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June 27, 2005

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» Boy, Dan Okrent Wasn't Kidding, Huh? from Ed Driscoll.com
Hollywood screenwriter Barbara Nicolosi is that rarest of rare birds--a conservative Christian working in Hollywood and openly discussing her faith and politics. Oddly enough, this seems to frighten the New York Times:This is a somewhat paraphrased and... [Read More]

» Boy, Dan Okrent Wasn't Kidding, Huh? from Ed Driscoll.com
Hollywood screenwriter Barbara Nicolosi is that rarest of rare birds--a conservative Christian working in Hollywood and openly discussing her faith and politics. Oddly enough, this seems to frighten the New York Times:This is a somewhat paraphrased and... [Read More]

» Can Credibility Committee Fix The New York Times? from Tapscott's Copy Desk
Tom Maguire of JustOneMinute.com evidently is not heartened by Keller's response. [Read More]

» POLITICS: You Know You Have A Problem When . . . from Baseball Crank
I think my favorite detail from this story is the fact that the NY Times has a "Credibility Committee." When you need to appoint a committee to figure out why you have credibility problems . . . Tom Maguire has... [Read More]

» ApplauseGate? from Ed Driscoll.com
In a post titled, "The Dumbest Controversy Ever", Ed Morrissey writes that "The New York Times eats up several column inches on what has to be the pettiest controversy of recent memory -- The Case Of The Missing Applause.":from the... [Read More]

Comments

Crank

I just love the fact that the NYT has a "Credibility Committee." Is there also a "Credulity Committee"?

Jim Rhoads

"The proliferation of critics and the growing public cynicism about the news media pose a threat to our authority and credibility that cannot go unanswered."

Who knew the NYT thought it had "authority"?

And that it perceives its authority is diminishing?

This is news.

zigg

I think the two commenters above are a good example of why the Times' reporters are hard to reach by email. Zero substance, just cheap venom, easy to produce, time consuming on the receiving end.

Rick

Or someone just placed the cart before the horse.

Cordially...

GaryS

Why would I want to reach an NYT editor? Since they pimped for Stalin in the 1930s, they have been on the wrong side of pretty much every issue. They are pretty much all knee-jerk liberals, and there is not a scrap of evidence that this has anything to do with any desire to change that.

No, it's about adopting the Democratic strategy of speaking slower and screaming louder, so that us dummies in "fly over" country will be fooled. Given the steadily declining credibility of the MSM, that seems like a very long shot to me.

Personally, the NYT has negative credibility; my first inclination is to believe the opposite. And to assume that I'm being deliberately mislead. If they really tried (which they will not), I figure that they could fix their problem in, oh, 20 - 25 years.

David

I find it striking that the Editor in Chief is uncertain about when his reforms will be obeyed if ever. In (non-publishing) companies I worked for, when top management ordered some significant change in procedure, it was taken for granted that employees would obey the new marching orders, or else. But, Keller says he would like it if his orders regarding anonymous sources were followed a year from now. Why a year delay, and why not insist that his approach be followed?

John Blake

From 1954 to about 1984 (date to conjure!), I used to spent near ninety minutes daily poring over the New York Times. Coverage seemed fairly comprehensive, articles well-written (some even scholarly); excellent graphs, presenting intelligible data from standard sources in historical context, carefully scaled so as not to distort impressions by mere statistical sleight-of-hand. Columnists and editorials covered a broad spectrum, not by any means predictable ideologically. Guest appearances, always with well-defined but civil and arguably reasoned points-of-view.

When Pinch succeeded Punch, this changed. Articles grew diffuse, "sociological", not news-worthy in sense that they had little "present value", but could have been published at any time or never. Graphs and tables disappeared. Very little was ever followed up. Beginning with Iran-Contra, a pronounced anti-Administration bias became ever more apparent. In particular, Reagan's tax cuts, Grenada expedition, and overseas missile deployments were subject to increasingly shrill, even vituperative attacks. Editorial Page and columnists' opinions grew boringly left-liberal, without dissenting voices, increasingly drawing on a well-worn potpourri of spurious "studies" unanimously pushing "alternative energy", class and race division, tax initiatives, sober overviews of Soviet diplomatic offensives and economic dynamism.

"Biased", "left-leaning" etc. do not do justice to this transformation. In fact, the Times under Pinch Sulzberger wrapped itself in an Upper West Side coccoon of such naked unreality that objections only dignified its simpering inanities. A generation later, the chrysalis has only been wrapped tighter.

It really is not worth any normal person's time to dispute with self-deceiving phonies of this ilk. They are beyond accountability, beyond responsibility; but never beyond the exalted narcisissm that serves and guides their views.

John Blake

From 1954 to about 1984 (date to conjure!), I used to spent near ninety minutes daily poring over the New York Times. Coverage seemed fairly comprehensive, articles well-written (some even scholarly); excellent graphs, presenting intelligible data from standard sources in historical context, carefully scaled so as not to distort impressions by mere statistical sleight-of-hand. Columnists and editorials covered a broad spectrum, not by any means predictable ideologically. Guest appearances, always with well-defined but civil and arguably reasoned points-of-view.

When Pinch succeeded Punch, this changed. Articles grew diffuse, "sociological", not news-worthy in sense that they had little "present value", but could have been published at any time or never. Graphs and tables disappeared. Very little was ever followed up. Beginning with Iran-Contra, a pronounced anti-Administration bias became ever more apparent. In particular, Reagan's tax cuts, Grenada expedition, and overseas missile deployments were subject to increasingly shrill, even vituperative attacks. Editorial Page and columnists' opinions grew boringly left-liberal, without dissenting voices, increasingly drawing on a well-worn potpourri of spurious "studies" unanimously pushing "alternative energy", class and race division, tax initiatives, sober overviews of Soviet diplomatic offensives and economic dynamism.

"Biased", "left-leaning" etc. do not do justice to this transformation. In fact, the Times under Pinch Sulzberger wrapped itself in an Upper West Side coccoon of such naked unreality that objections only dignified its simpering inanities. A generation later, the chrysalis has only been wrapped tighter.

It really is not worth any normal person's time to dispute with self-deceiving phonies of this ilk. They are beyond accountability, beyond responsibility; but never beyond the exalted narcisissm that serves and guides their views.

Jeff

How about Dave Caldwell and Viv Bernstein? They cover Nascar and Indy for the NYT, and they write fairly often about the sport. Caldwell had a nearly 700 word story about Kyle Busch coming out from under his father's legacy a couple of Sunday's ago and wrote a nearly 1000-word story on the Coca-Cola 600 last month, for instance. And of course, Bernstein has covered the hell out of the Patrick story.

Look, anyone who goes to the NYT for extensive Nascar coverage should be treated the same as someone who looks for deep national news from the local paper, but they do a pretty good job, I'd say.

Better than some bloggers who'd rather be snarky than actually CHECK to see if the New York Times might already have TWO writers assigned to Nascar ....

Anselmo Cardinal Trentino

Blame it all on Pinch? Maybe. His handling of the Jayson Blair/Howell Raines affair was atrocious, deceitful, an abdication of management. His repeated encomiums to "diversity," not excellence is nauseating. Has he never noticed the merger of partisan cheerleading that infests the Times news columns, that, for instance, Abu Graib was trumpeted ceaselessly for weeks? For all its pages, the Times found no space for the Rathergate story until its "fakse but accurate" denouement.
Recently, Times stock hit a 52 week low. More layoffs are looming. The Ochs Cousins must be getting restless. I'm predicting that Prince Arthur will be jettisoned soon.

blackminorca

And what about the Smoking Gun Duranty Memo?

max

"Times stock hit a 52 week low" - nyt has been so dishonest of late that it feels in part like an intentional effort to minimize estate taxes for Punch et al by driving the stock down.

Yehudit

There are still many graphs and charts, at least on the website. Maybe some of them don't make it into the paper. Otherwise, I concur in the previous comments.

TM

Better than some bloggers who'd rather be snarky than actually CHECK to see if the New York Times might already have TWO writers assigned to Nascar ....

I would rather be snarky than learn anything at all about their NASCAR coverage.

In fact, I would rather rotate my tires than learn about their NASCAR coverage.

That said, at their website, when I click on sports they offer me setons on the big sports (baseball, b-ball, golf, soccer(?), tennis, hockey (??)...) and "Other".

Under "Other" I find, in addition to many other things, Motor Sports, Boxing, and Horse Racing.

Patrick R. Sullivan

"It’s amazing that some people at this paper believe fact-checking is someone else’s responsibility. It is not. Accuracy is everyone’s responsibility. Let’s begin by being absolutely clear about this: Writers, you are responsible for the accuracy of every fact in your copy — the spelling of names, the date of an event, the accuracy of an address, every fact. No writer at The Times is exempt from this..."

Except for those who write for Gail Collins?

spongeworthy

That's the crucial question, isn't it Pat?

What kills me is that the Times is a first-rate paper. I think even it's critics can admit it's the absolute best paper in the country with the second best back a ways. But I won't buy it.

As has been said and said, it is so obvious where the reporters are coming from that it's almost insulting to the rest of us. There is little you can accept as fact unless you have some familiarity with the subject. And the structural problems, the arrogance and lack of accountability are enough to put off all but devotees.

It's just too much. I'll take a pass on the country's best paper and this does not please me. I hope the patient can be saved.

Jeff

Well, yeah. Who goes to the NYT for sports coverage in general unless you live in NYC? And even then, the Daily News or the Post are better bets.

If you're not going for general sports, who's going there for Nascar? Are they going to compete against the Charlotte Observer? NASCAR Illustrated?

What torqued me off was that your snark at the end of your post implied that the NYT didn't have anyone assigned to cover Nascar, which simply isn't true. Which was especially rich in the midst of a piece criticizing the NYT for its lack of accuracy and fact-checking.

4jkb4ia

The Times did cover the Rathergate story. I remember a story close to the front page where they investigated the transmission of the documents and interviewed the person who gave them to CBS.
I observed the stock prices for the last year. The declining trend line is clear on the graph.

4jkb4ia

George Vecsey is one of the best things about the paper IMHO.

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