At 11 a.m. New York time, New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet posted the following on Times Insider, a blog that goes to the paper’s subscribers, in response to attorney David Boies’ letter to journalism outlets and Aaron Sorkin’s Op-Ed column on the subject of publishing material from the files stolen from Sony.
The comment was introduced this way:
Sony Pictures Entertainment warned media outlets on Sunday against using material obtained by hackers who raided the studio’s computer systems. In a sharply worded letter sent to news organizations, including The New York Times, David Boies, a lawyer hired by Sony, demanded that news outlets avoid or destroy hacked material. (In a Sunday Op-Ed, the screenwriter and playwright Aaron Sorkin wrote that journalists shouldn’t help hackers.)
Below, Dean Baquet, The Times’s executive editor, speaks to the question of the newspaper’s policy on Mr. Boies’s request and Mr. Sorkin’s counsel:
It is hard to have a firm policy on how to handle these kinds of materials.
As we’ve made clear, we have used documents surfaced by others. It would be a disservice to our readers to pretend these documents weren’t revealing and public.
But the main issue, the main thing we consider, is how newsworthy the documents are. In that regard I would say these aren’t the Pentagon Papers. And these aren’t Wikileaks.
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