‘Philadelphia Inquirer’ Yoo Controversy Spreads

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By: Joe Strupp

The controversy over The Philadelphia Inquirer hiring as a columnist conservative John C. Yoo — who, among other things, authored Bush Administration legal memos on brutal interrogation — grew Wednesday as The New York Times weighed in on the situation.

One Times story stated “it was probably inevitable that the decision would draw complaints,” then added, “The surprise was that it took months to provoke much reaction, in part because it took that long for readers to realize that Mr. Yoo, a Philadelphia native, was not an occasional contributor, as he had been for years, but a regular monthly fixture at the paper.”

The Times also noted that Philadelphia Daily News blogger Will Bunch openly criticized the Inquirer, saying Bunch wrote that those at both Philadelphia papers “weren’t immediately aware (myself included) that Yoo was now a regular columnist.” Bunch called on the Inquirer to fire Yoo.

Bunch shot back late Tuesday
online, writing, “no one has ever said anything about denying Yoo the right to speak freely but this is about giving a megaphone to this man, out of about 4 million Philadelphians, who advocated — successfully! — for the United States of America to undertake torture.” Bunch also stated the Times never called him for comment.

Stay tuned.

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