Of course, I don't know -- I'm not Snowden. But neither are they. I am a lifetime reader of the NYT and very interested in the information that was leaked by Snowden, and WikiLeaks before that.
The Times introspection should include a review of their performance with WikiLeaks. Being so public with their personal dislike of Julian Assange raised questions about how the Times was managing the story.
It also raised doubts about their integrity, imho. Why be so vocal about Assange? Has there never before been a newsmaker that they didn't like personally, is that why this is news? Or is it possible they wanted to draw a distinction between what they do and what he does for selfish reasons, like staying out of jail? They could see clearly that Assange was in legal trouble, and might have been trying to avoid that for themselves, by joining the demeaning (for all of us) personal smear campaign against him.
No matter what, it was insulting to readers of the Times to assume we care what the top editorial guy at the Times thought of Assange personally. If he wants to vent his feelings, he should have quit his job and written a blog. The Times itself has no business having an opinion about someone's socks, unless somehow they are presenting themselves as an authority on socks, which as far as I know Assange never has.
PS: This was going to be a longer post, but I just heard about Snowden's live video Q&A at 11AM today (a little less than 2 hours). I have to get my other work done before that. This is going to be great.