The New York Times is developing a bad habit of sending its columns to the Obama administration for approval. Daniel Harper at the Weekly Standard reported yesterday on a no-no committed by then-contributing Times columnist Peter Orszag, former director of Obama’s Office of Management and Budget and an Obama-care booster in an October 20, 2010 column, “Malpractice Methodology.” Halper wrote in part:
The latest Bob Woodward books reveals that Peter Orszag, at the time a columnist for the New York Times, sent a draft of an article to White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett for review and comments before publishing.
“Orszag continued his star turn in the op-ed spotlight and a month later drafted a column to appear October 20, 2010, on the sensitive subject of Obamacare,” writes Woodward of Orszag, the former OMB director. “He wanted to focus on one of its weaknesses. The health care legislation ‘does many things right,’ he wrote. ‘But it does almost nothing to reform medical malpractice laws.’”
Woodward adds, “Should he alert the White House? [Orszag] wondered. Better not to surprise them. With some discomfort, because a columnist is supposed to speak for himself, not his former employer, Orszag sent his draft to Valerie Jarrett. It was about three days before the column was scheduled to run. Here’s a draft, he wrote in an email to her. Let me know if you have any comments.”