Friday, September 23, 2005

Fast Forward

Every now and then, a media outlet puts something up online that was written before an event -- such as a State of the Union address -- but written in such a way as to indicate it is a reaction to the event.

When the media outlet is caught at this, the alert Internet users often jump all over it. And the discovery strengthens the suspicion that this sort of thing happens all the time.

It does. As an insider, I can tell you. Only a few publications are dim enough to get caught on the Internet with their chronological pants down. But many more play the game.

Right now, it's Friday evening and I'm sitting at the wire desk reading a Boston Globe editorial about Iraq that is written as though looking back on the anti-war protest slated for tomorrow. Not only is it looking back on them, it is bolstering its argument based on the number of people who (turned out) haven't yet turned out for them.


BY NOW it should be clear to Bush administration policymakers that their blunders in Iraq have led to the current situation in which US forces are unable to stamp out a quicksilver insurgency, parts of the country are slipping into a sectarian war between Sunni Arabs and Shi'ites, and the specter of a many-sided civil war looms over the future.

Most of Washington's mistakes originate in a failure to grasp - or accept - Iraqi realities that do not correspond to administration hopes or delusions. One consequence is that many Americans see no reason to continue sacrificing American lives in Iraq, as evidenced by this weekend's large antiwar protests.

Emphasis added. At the bottom of the piece is a timestamp that reads "NYT-09-23-05 1831EDT," meaning this story was moved on the New York Times wire at 6:31 p.m. Friday.