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October 22, 2005
NY Times Editor Vows Not to Be Distracted by Scandal
by Scott Ott

(2005-10-22) -- New York Times executive editor Bill Keller today joined President George Bush in a vow not to be distracted by "background noise, chatter, speculation and opining" about the scandal surrounding the unmasking of Valerie Wilson as a CIA operative.

"The American people expect me to do my job, and I'm going to," said Mr. Keller. "I'm focused like a laser on correcting mispellings, improving syntax and wondering to myself whether my reporters are behaving ethically out there."

Top officials at the newspaper are quietly anxious about the outcome of events over which they have little control. It's an uncomfortable position for a publication that likes to steer the agenda and has a reputation for protecting its secrets.

Mr. Keller said his "fate is in the hands of the grand jury and the bloggers."

"We don't know what all the facts are," he said. "All of us would like to know what they are and get to the bottom of this. But that's just the nature of journalism. As you know, you go to press with the facts you have. They’re not the facts you might want or wish to have at a later time."

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