The New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet defended the newspaper’s publication of information about the identity of a whistleblower. The Times‘ decision to publish this information, which may have blown the cover of a CIA national intelligence officer, has come under intense criticism.
“We decided to publish limited information about the whistle-blower — including the fact that he works for a nonpolitical agency and that his complaint is based on an intimate knowledge and understanding of the White House — because we wanted to provide information to readers that allows them to make their own judgments about whether or not he is credible,’ Baquet said in an article published in the Times‘ Reader Center. Baquet added that “We also understand that the White House already knew he was a C.I.A. officer.”
The Times‘ Sept. 26 article, “White House Knew of Whistle-Blower’s Allegations Soon After Trump’s Call with Ukraine Leader,” was based on “people familiar with the matter” and noted that the whistleblower’s lawyer, Andrew Bakaj, said, “Any decision to report any perceived identifying information of the whistle-blower is deeply concerning and reckless, as it can place the individual in harm’s way.”
iMediaEthics asked the Times if it will continue to report further details if obtained about the whistleblower. The Times pointed to Baquet’s comments in the aforementioned article.