DOG BITES EDITOR….Let’s see now….

The Newsweek retraction story is on Page 1 of the New York Times, Page 1 of the LA Times, and Page 3 of the Washington Post. That’s pretty strong coverage for a story about a newsmagazine retracting a small error in a short piece from two weeks ago.

And how did these same news organs respond three weeks ago to the leaked “Downing Street Memo” making it clear that President Bush had already committed himself to war with Iraq by the summer of 2002 and was actively “fixing” intelligence and facts to support that decision? It eventually ran on Page 3 in the LA Times, Page 18 in the Post, and nowhere at all in the New York Times aside from a buried Page 9 piece that treated it as strictly a British election issue.

That’s some top notch news judgment, guys. Still, maybe there’s some good news in all this: Dan Froomkin opines today that the British memo might be “less a dud than a bomb with a long, slow fuse.” We can hope, can’t we?

Mark Danner writes about the memo in the New York Review of Books this week. He also reprints the entire text of the memo, since no one else seems much interested in doing so.