A senior State Department official has notified the Taipei Times that he will no longer speak to the newspaper's Washington correspondent in retaliation for a Times editorial on Monday which called Powell a "sorry wreck of a once principled man."
This reporter received a call on Monday from Randall Schriver, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in charge of China, Taiwan and Hong Kong affairs, complaining about the editorial and saying that he would no longer speak to the newspaper because of it.
Schriver said that the administration does not take issue with newspapers that disagree with the administration's policy, but he said the description of Powell went too far.
It was not clear whether Schriver was speaking for himself or for the administration.
The Bush administration has come under periodic criticism for its hostility to news media -- mainly in the Middle East --
that criticize US policy.
Telephone calls to Schriver and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage were not returned on Monday evening.
Schriver and Armitage are expected to leave the administration shortly, following Powell into the private sector.
Armitage is expected to return to his former political consultancy, and Schriver is widely reported to be planning to rejoin Armitage's firm, where he was employed before joining the Department of Defense during the Clinton administration.
When Powell picked Armitage as his deputy, Armitage tapped Schriver to be his chief of staff.
Later, Schriver assumed his present position.
Conservative supporters of Taiwan have been suspicious of Schriver, citing his time in the Pentagon during the Clinton administration.
Charles Snyder is the Taipei Times' Washington correspondent.