The conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch has brought to light a media flap that could prove embarrassing to the New York Times. National security reporter Mark Mazzettii of the Times emailed an advance copy of a Maureen Dowd column to the CIA last year, complete with the plea, “this didn’t come from me… and please delete after you read. See, nothing to worry about!” report Gawker and Politico. After Times managing editor Dean Baquet initially called it "much ado about nothing," a Times spokesperson followed up by calling Mazzetti's move a "mistake that is not consistent with New York Times standards."
She explained: “Last August, Maureen Dowd asked Mark Mazzetti to help check a fact for her column. In the course of doing so, he sent the entire column to a CIA spokeswoman shortly before her deadline. He did this without the knowledge of Ms. Dowd.” Judicial Watch got the emails as part of an FOIA lawsuit to obtain information about the CIA's cooperation with filmmakers making a documentary about the Osama bin Laden raid. Dowd was writing a column critical of the White House, accusing it of trying to spin the raid to Hollywood. (Read more CIA stories.)