Sep
18
2012

NYT Buries Occupy Wall Street

oocupy-fizzle

The Paper of Record has spoken: We didn't think much of Occupy before, and now what we think is that it's over. The day before Occupy activists were gathering to mark the movement's one-year anniversary, Times columnist Joe Nocera wrote (9/16/12): "For all intents and purposes, the Occupy movement is dead." Before the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Nocera explains, there was complacency. It was easy to believe that housing prices could only go up and that we could always rely on debt to maintain our standard of living. We shrugged as manufacturing jobs disappeared–5.8 million just since 2000–and good middle-class […]

Apr
23
2012

Anti-Obama, Pro-Romney Media? Don't Believe the Hype

There seems to be a lot of attention to a new study from the Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) study that finds Barack Obama to be much more harshly covered than the Republicans competing to run against him this fall. "Obama Has Received Least Favorable News Coverage So Far During 2012 Election Cycle" reads the headline at Think Progress (4/23/12). At the Daily Beast, Howard Kurtz writes, "During the bruising Republican primaries, there was one candidate whose coverage was more relentlessly negative than the rest"–that candidate, it turns out, is Barack Obama. A study like this is a handy […]

Feb
24
2012

NYT Public Editor on Anonymity and Drone Story

After our new alert (2/24/12), the New York Times public editor's office contacted FAIR to let us know that Arthur Brisbane responded to readers who complained about one of the articles discussed in the alert. Below is that response, which was emailed to readers. It was not published on the Times' site. Thanks for your message, one of a number I received about this story. I have had an opportunity to ask the reporter, Scott Shane, about it and reflect on the circumstances. On the positive side, I applaud the Times for covering the findings of the Bureau of Investigative […]

Jan
12
2012

NYT to Readers: Can You Handle the Truth?

New York Times public editor Arthur Brisbane has a new column wondering if the readers of the Paper of Record want to know if the politicians the paper covers are telling the truth. Seriously. It's right here. He writes: 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. He even has a pretty good example: on the campaign trail, Mitt Romney often says President Obama has made speeches "apologizing for America," a phrase to which Paul Krugman objected in a December 23 column arguing […]

Mar
10
2011

NYT's Retro Rape Reporting Returns to Victim-Blaming Ways

I wrote a letter to the New York Times in 1991 after they ran a piece by Fox Butterfield (4/17/91) that invaded the privacy (literally peering into her daughter's bedroom window) and scrutinized the personal life of a woman who accused a member of the Kennedy family of raping her. Clearly some people inside the paper were outraged as well, because they don't usually print letters that are this critical (4/21/91): I read with growing disbelief the "profile" of the alleged victim in the Palm Beach, Florida, rape case. It seems you are borrowing not only your policies on naming […]

Feb
28
2011

NYT Public Editor Explains What's Not Fit to Print

New York Times public editor Arthur Brisbane (2/27/11) offers a justification that makes very little sense for his paper's concealing the fact that an American arrested in Pakistan worked for the CIA. The Times, Brisbane wrote, could not "take the risk that reporting the CIA connection would, as warned, lead to Mr. Davis's death." Davis was arrested for murder after allegedly shooting two people in Pakistan. Pakistan has the death penalty, so in theory he could be tried and executed if found guilty. Is that the risk that the New York Times is concerned about? If so, is that how […]

Dec
06
2010

NYT's Embarrassing Response on Iranian Missiles

New York Times public editor Arthur Brisbane wrote a response (of a sort) to the criticisms that the paper's reporting on Iranian missiles was fundamentally flawed. It's hard to believe thathis column was meant be taken seriously. To review: The Times published a story, based ona WikiLeaks cable,onNovember 29 alleging that Iran possesses powerful missiles with "the capacity to strike at capitals in Western Europe." The Times kept the cable off its website, but it was available on the WikiLeaks site. The cable showed that these were not facts, but U.S. claims–and weak ones at that, to the point where […]