THESE ARE WORDS that will live on famously: “The administration has now lost all credibility.” Most of us could have written that on January 20, 2009. The New York Times finally saw things our way on June 6, 2013, at least for several unbelievable hours. Then cooler heads prevailed and the paper offered a slight emendation, adding “on this issue” to the end of its famous sentence. So let the record stand corrected: While the Times no longer can support the Obama administration’s ravenous surveillance policies, it continues to find its credibility unimpeachable on everything from Benghazi and the IRS to the harassment of journalists and the corrupt enforcement of what it fondly calls the Affordable Care Act.
Of course it might be a little too late for that. Having let the cat out of the bag, the Times failed to declaw it. It allowed the sentence that immediately followed the revised one to remain untouched, and in the larger scheme of things its content is infinitely more damning. It said: “Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive branch will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it.”