The scrambled late Saturday to deny a New York Times report claiming Iran has agreed to meet directly with U.S. officials to discuss its nuclear program, sending New York Times editors rushing to quietly but substantially revise their initial reporting on a key foreign policy issue for the second time in as many months.
According to the Times, which anonymously quoted senior administration officials, Iran told diplomats it wanted to wait until after the November presidential election to put plans for the meeting in motion.
So...obviously, the New York Times blatantly tried to give President Obama a trump card coming into the Monday "foreign policy debate." You might think that the "White House scrambling" to deny that egregious bit of sychophantic "journalism" is an effort to blunt embarrassment of another "more flexibility after the election" moment. That's not it at all.“It has the potential to help Mr. Obama make the case that he is nearing a diplomatic breakthrough in the decade-long effort by the world’s major powers to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions,” the Times report said, adding that “it could pose a risk if Iran is seen as using the prospect of the direct talks to buy time.”
This is another leak of classified information for the benefit of a sitting President. You'll recall that the Republicans (led by John McCain) laid into the last few similar efforts like it was red meat, and it resonated with the public. Well, this is more of the same.
This story is an absolute buffet of incompetence, bias and shotty foreign policy. You have an in the tank media outlet setting the table. You have "anonymous" sources confirming the menu. Then, you have a repeat of the faire shared at the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul.
The NYT tried to do Obama a solid. It would have worked a year ago. But, the more times they initiate such bias, the less credibility and integrity they preserve. They've got none left, and the White House knows it.