NYT Has Become a Weak Sister

Erstwhile KC Star editor/publisher, now public editor for the New York Times, Art Brisbane asked a rather interesting question this morning: Should The Times Be a Truth Vigilante?

I’m looking for reader input on whether and when New York Times news reporters should challenge “facts” that are asserted by newsmakers they write about.”

I say interesting in the disbelieving-laughing-my-ass-off-is-this-guy-for-real vein because to many people, certainly most journalists, that’s not a real question.

And if it were a real question the immediate, no-brainer, if I don’t get another answer correct on this J-class final I will get this one response would be: hell, yes you challenge facts as represented by authority. Or anyone else you talk with or interview. Even if said newsmaker gets all pouty on you. 1

I mean, WTF?

Suppose, for the sake of argument, the NYT had questioned the facts on Judith Miller’s infamous reportage. Is it possible had Miller done some fact-checking she could have forstalled or even prevented the illegal US invasion and occupation of Iraq? A decade-long error in judgement that drained our economy of a trillion off-the-books dollars, dollars needed but not there to fend of the subsequent recession caused by running two wars? 2

And that’s just one story.

Hell, that Art even has to pose the question begs his paper’s ineffectiveness.

You should check out the post, if only for the readers’ commentary. 3

THURSDAY EVENING UPDATE: The Astas have been read to (Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince), been trounced at Sorry! and sent off to bed. Which means I finally had time to scour the Internetz, whereupon I discovered Jay Rosen’s comprehensive take on Art’s faux pas. It is a must read.

WNBTv - Good TV!

Show 3 footnotes

  1. Hard to believe Art’s been gone so long he forgot his old motto, Ad astra per aspera. Although, really – is someone pulling a sulk or faux outrage actually difficult to overcome? Please…
  2. As well as the bank/wall street/stock market/mortgage “misjudgement”.
  3. Which are more subtle variations on my WTF!!!!

9 Replies to “NYT Has Become a Weak Sister”

  1. They certainly have had their problems over the years though another way to look at it is what if the New York Times didn’t exist? They don’t get everything right you know. Did you read this? (I hope I did that right, it would be easier if you had a comment section where I could just highlight and click the site in, you know what I mean?) Now that’s not anywhere near true, do you think? I know I was offended by it.

    1. The fact that they don’t get everything right is sort of what Art was missing, Anne.

      And, no – I hadn’t seen the vegan piece. Thanks. I imagine the local foodies will be up in arms, though the story rang true to me – KC’s obsessed with meat. Look around you the next time you’re in public; chanes are 3 out 5 people around you will be mordily obese. People may talk a good vegan game but for the most part, that’s it – talk.

      1. I read a pretty long rant this morning on the 816 site? But when I went back just now to cut n paste the URL, the post was gone. Which is weird because the guy wrote this morning that he was going to post something vegetarian everyday for like the next week. Did anyone else read it?

        1. Fred –

          No, I didn’t see it and when I swung by the site a moment ago there wasn’t a post like that dated either today or yesterday. Are you sure of the date?

    1. Pretty much what I thought. In addition, Sulzberger’s article wasn’t in any way, shape or form a “hit” piece; he went out of his way to not insult us. Or that’s how I read it.

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