A kind and clever reader got this email from the Times. Now we know that the Times went on a fishing trip through the adoption record of little kids to see if there was anything wrong. There was no evidence there was anything wrong with the adoptions. . . somebody decided that little children could be subject to the quest to “get” Judge Roberts.Note the key part of the Times defense:
In the case of Judge Roberts’s family, our reporters made initial inquiries about the adoptions, as they did about many other aspects of his background. They did so with great care, understanding the sensitivity of the issue.
The Times seems to think it appropriate to check up on your six year old with no evidence of wrong doing. Adoption is tough enough in this nation without having it subject to witch hunts by political foes with no scruples.Pehaps next they will see if the Roberts’ tykes have any views on abortion? I am sure they could ask the children these questions in a sensitive manner.Perhaps they have checked to see if Roberts is really married to his wife? Was it a Church wedding with a traditionalist priest?Have they run his library card yet? Perhaps Roberts read Conscience of a Conservative one too many times?Let’s be clear. If the Times had no reason to think there was a problem (and it would take very strong evidence even then), people’s little kids are off limits to investigation in a civil and decent society.That was true for the Clintons and should be true for Judge Roberts.Whoever approved this story should apologize to the Judge now.I pass it on to you as the reader sent it to me:
Dear Reader,Thanks for writing to us.While the public editor does not usually get involved in pre-publication matters, Bill Keller, the executive editor of the paper, told us that he would not stand for any gratuitous reporting about the Roberts’s children.He said that as an adoptive parent he is particularly sensitive about this issue.In addition, a senior editor at the paper wrote, “In the case of Judge Roberts’s family, our reporters made initial inquiries about the adoptions, as they did about many other aspects of his background. They did so with great care, understanding the sensitivity of the issue. We did not order up an investigation of the adoptions. We have not pursued the issue after the initial inquiries, which detected nothing irregular about the adoptions.”Sincerely,Joe PlambeckOffice of the Public EditorThe New York TimesNote: The public editor’s opinions are his own and do not represent those of The New York Times