Tag Archives | New York Times

New York Times In Panic Over ‘Facts’

Clay Shirky, smartest guy in the room when it comes to Internet and society, reviews the mess that the New York Times finds itself in after an editor publicly questioned whether or not the Times should challenge “newsmakers” on dubious facts, for the Guardian:

Thursday, Arthur Brisbane, the public editor of the New York Times, went to his readers with a question:

“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.”

Brisbane (who, as public editor, speaks only for himself, not the Times) referred to two recent stories: the claim that Clarence Thomas had “misunderstood” a financial reporting form when he left out key information, and Mitt Romney’s assertion that President Obama gives speeches “apologising” for America. Brisbane asked whether news reporters should have the freedom to investigate and respond to those comments.

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The New York Times Is Misleading The Public On Iran

Iran / USARobert Naiman writes at Al Jazeera English:

It’s deja vu all over again. AIPAC is trying to trick the United States into another catastrophic war with a Middle Eastern country on behalf of the Likud Party’s colonial ambitions, and the New York Times is misleading the public with allegations that say that the country is developing “weapons of mass destruction”.In an article attributed to Steven Erlanger on January 4 (“Europe Takes Bold Step Toward a Ban on Iranian Oil”), this paragraph appeared:

The threats from Iran, aimed both at the West and at Israel, combined with a recent assessment by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran’s nuclear programme has a military objective, is becoming an important issue in the American presidential campaign [emphasis my own].

The claim that there is “a recent assessment by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran’s nuclear programme has a military objective” is misguided.

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New York Times Suing Government For Refusing To Reveal Its Secret PATRIOT Act Interpretation

docPerhaps the most perverse aspect of the PATRIOT Act is the federal government’s refusal to reveal how it interprets and puts into practice the (vague and far-reaching) law. Techdirt reports that the New York Times is stepping up to the plate and challenging Washington:

Reporter Charlie Savage of the New York Times filed a Freedom of Information Act request to find out the federal government’s interpretation of its own law…and had it refused. According to the federal government, its own interpretation of the law is classified. What sort of democracy are we living in when the government can refuse to even say how it’s interpreting its own law? That’s not democracy at all.

We’ve been covering for a while now how Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall have been very concerned over the secret interpretation the feds have of one piece of the PATRIOT Act. They’ve been trying to pressure the government into publicly explaining how they interpret the law, because they believe that it directly contrasts how most of the public (and many elected officials) believe the feds are interpreting the law.

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Bill Keller’s Theory of Conspiracy Theories

ManWearingTinFoilHatPerhaps still smarting from being deposed as Executive Editor of the Gray Lady, Bill Keller takes on conspiracy theorists in the New York Times Magazine:

Dear Mr. Keller: Last night on the “PBS NewsHour,” they had a story about some Los Angeles Times reporters who uncovered corruption in a nearby, small city in California. The newspaper eventually received a Pulitzer Prize. That is what you can have if you will talk with me. Within one hour, I will convince you and your staff that Lee Oswald did not assassinate President Kennedy. Then, I will give you the evidence for the real killers, and how the cover up could be perpetrated. It is a great story, fully documented and supported with facts, many from the Warren Commission itself!!

That e-mail landed a few weeks ago. Even if you are a card-carrying member of the reality-based community, even if you regard the liberal use of exclamation points as a symptom of emotional instability, there is a little voice, a very, very little voice, that whispers, in the few seconds before you push “delete”: “What if he’s right?

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Don’t Pick Your Nose On The Subway: Rupert Murdoch Might Be Looking

AnimalNY via Jason Shelowitz

AnimalNY via Jason Shelowitz

It’s no secret that Rupert Murdoch wants his Wall Street Journal to usurp rival newspaper the New York Times as the top read for the elites in New York City. Whether or not stories like this one will do the trick is doubtful, but I guess it might give Gothamist a run for its money, were the latter ever to start a print edition…

Last week, Jason Shelowitz, 30, a Chelsea-based painter and freelance graphic designer, started hanging very realistic facsimiles of MTA service advisories in subway cars and train stations around the city. The goal: to call New Yorkers out for their inappropriate or disgusting behavior, and to make them laugh i the process. “Keep your hands to yourself, perv,” one sign says. Another: “Keep your finger out of your nose. Please.” The posters bear the stamp of the MEA: Metropolitan Etiquette Authority.

Shelowitz created more than 300 posters, which he will finish hanging up over the next few days (though he plans to keep a few to sell or give away to friends).

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Murdoch Says NY Times Publishes ‘Anything Obama Wants’

Rupert Murdoch - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2007. Source: World Economic Forum (www.weforum.org) (CC)

Is this a case of the pot calling the kettle black? I mean come on, Rupert, it’s not as if your newspapers and TV networks (Fox News Channel fuhchrissakes) don’t have a very obvious bias. From TheWrap.com:

News Corp. Chairman-CEO Rupert Murdoch described himself as “maybe a radical” Tuesday night and accused the New York Times of being too close to the Obama administration.

“I have great respect for the Times, except it does have very clearly an agenda,” Murdoch said in an interview at the National Press Club in Washington with Marvin Kalb. “You can see it very clearly in the way they choose their stories, what they put on Page 1 — anything that Mr. Obama wants.”

Murdoch, whose Wall Street Journal soon will start to more directly compete with the Times by publishing a sections that covers New York also denied he has a personal tiff with Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., the bottom of whose face was used to illustrate a recent Journal story on “feminine-looking” men’s appeal to women.

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The New York Times on Its ‘Kill More Civilians’ Op-Ed Writer

Old New York Times LogoGlenn Greenwald writes in Salon:
Last week, I wrote about the mysterious Op-Ed writer, Lara M. Dadkhah, published by the New York Times, who urged that the U.S. be less restrained about slaughtering Afghan civilians with air attacks (when Dadkhar reads things like this from today — "Airstrike kills dozens in Afghanistan ... Ground forces at the scene found women and children among the casualties" — she presumably thinks: "yes, that's exactly what we need more of"). As I noted, beyond how deranged the argument was, virtually no information was disclosed about Dadkhah herself, who was allowed to tout her work for a "defense consulting company" without even specifying who it was. The Hillman Foundation's Charles Kaiser asked NYT Op-Ed Page Editor David Shipley about this strange matter and received this reply:
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Hacked List Of Passwords Shows ’1234546′ Is Most Popular Choice

Might as well load up on stories from the New York Times as it has announced plans to "meter" usage and limit free online access to its content (at least for now - it's not the first time the Times has tried charging for some content). If this story doesn't tell you to change your passwords now, nothing will:
Back at the dawn of the Web, the most popular account password was “12345.” Today, it’s one digit longer but hardly safer: “123456.” Despite all the reports of Internet security breaches over the years, including the recent attacks on Google’s e-mail service, many people have reacted to the break-ins with a shrug. According to a new analysis, one out of five Web users still decides to leave the digital equivalent of a key under the doormat: they choose a simple, easily guessed password like “abc123,” “iloveyou” or even “password” to protect their data...
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How Low Can The New York Times Go?

Charlie Suisman’s invaluable Manhattan Users Guide alerted me to a story in the New York Times that I missed while out of the country. Charlie sums it up better than I can:

Just when you think about the Times that maybe there’s a dance in the old dame yet, they go and do something simply inexplicable, even despicable. On New Year’s Day, the Times gave a platform to climate change denier Denis Dutton, who conflates Nostradamus, ‘evil aliens’, and global warming in his editorial. Any more of that crap and the Times, after its eventual demise, won’t even be missed as fish wrap.

Here’s the beginning of the Times Op/Ed:

Christchurch, New Zealand

IT seems so distant, 1999. Bill Clinton had survived impeachment, his popularity hardly dented, Sept. 11 was just another date and music fans were enjoying a young singer named Britney Spears.

But there was a particular unease in the air.

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