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Times Reporter Who Resigned Leaves Long Trail of Deception
The New York Times ^ | May 11, 2003

Posted on 05/10/2003 10:29:40 AM PDT by sarcasm

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To: Pukka Puck
In some businesses, they're quite happy if you DON'T submit expenses.
101 posted on 05/10/2003 2:05:11 PM PDT by Poohbah (Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women!)
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To: sarcasm
I'll be curious to see if he fades into obscurity or if he is secretly rewarded.
102 posted on 05/10/2003 2:08:26 PM PDT by philetus (Keep doing what you always do and you'll keep getting what you always get)
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To: sarcasm
The widespread fabrication and plagiarism represent a profound betrayal of trust and a low point in the 152-year history of the newspaper.

I don't think so. Anthony Lewis' comment that "mass explusions are the only way to start on their (the Khymer Rouge's) vision of a new society" was lower. Sydney Schanberg calling predictions of mass executions under Pol Pot "tendentious" was lower. Herbert Matthew's shilling for Castro was lower. Walter Duranty hiding the murder of over 6 million people was lower.

Two Times reporters killed themselves last year. One jumped out of a 7th floor window at the paper's Manhattan headquarters. Wonder what is going on we don't know.

103 posted on 05/10/2003 2:24:34 PM PDT by DPB101
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To: IncPen
JEEEZ.....
104 posted on 05/10/2003 2:30:06 PM PDT by BartMan1
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[Spin, Spin, Spin]: New York Times Executive Editor Defends His Paper's Integrity :

[excerpt, an unofficial transcript of the audio file]


Mr. Raines: I do want to make a point to your readers who are not a part of the journalism community, that the processes of editing on a paper like the Times and other large papers in this country is a multi-layered process; and it’s designed to find the unintentional or accidental errors in the copy of people who are working on an atmosphere of mutual trust and integrity, and holding a share stake on the strict set of journalistic values that we observe here.

This system is not set up to catch someone who sets out to lie, and to use every means at his or her disposal to put false information into the paper.


Mr. Smith I understand the distinction. What I’m curious about is, since he had a great number of corrections published in the paper over his tenure; and since publicly, the prosecutor Bob Horan and others raised questions about his reporting, wasn’t there a red flag to you earlier than last week?


Mr. Raines: The corrections were a red flag. I don’t want to get into a debate with Mr. Horan whose account there has some parts out of it that might be responded to. But communicating with our readers about our efforts to set the record straight.

We manage corrections closely; as Jack Schaefer (sp?) and other media commentators have pointed out, on a serious newspaper you will have a higher number of corrections because those papers are aggressive about finding out mistakes, tracking them down.

In the case of this young man, he was working under the direct supervision as an intern, under two of our most rigorous training editors. He had over the space of three years, a correction rate of 5%. From my point of view, the acceptable correction rate is zero, but 5% on a paper like this is not an automatic sign of incompetence. Indeed we have a number of reporters who run in that range, over time, who are without a doubt seasoned professionals.

Because we are aggressive about correcting our errors does not mean we are reckless about letting them into the paper.

I’ve been back over this young man’s personnel record for the entire time he was here. After coming onto the staff in 2001, he went into a period where his error rate shot up to 16% in an eight-month period, . . .


Mr. Smith You might explain how that rate works. That’s 16 errors about of 100 stories?


Mr. Raines I should have said corrections, Terry. 16 corrections. In other words, for every 100 stories, 16 of them had to have something corrected and run in the paper. Sometimes this might be an error or correction that is not due to reporter’s fault, that is, the police released the incorrect spelling of a name, we come back and correct it; it shows up in that reporter’s computer tally.


105 posted on 05/10/2003 2:30:27 PM PDT by george wythe
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To: sarcasm
I am detecting a lot of between the lines information as to why Jayson Blair was kept on the Times' staff so long. And it wasn't just because Blair was a professed liberal (you have to be at the Times to be tolerated for such lousy work habits). No, it is something more than that. Just who was Blair's boyfriend at the Times? Could it have been Pinch himself?
106 posted on 05/10/2003 2:36:23 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (A Person With No Sense Of Humor Is Someone Who Confuses The Irreverent With The Irrelevant)
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To: Pukka Puck
Not when you're Pinch's Boy Toy? Note the youth of Blair. I'll bet he looks like Boy Toy material.
107 posted on 05/10/2003 2:37:37 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (A Person With No Sense Of Humor Is Someone Who Confuses The Irreverent With The Irrelevant)
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To: Miss Marple
I will bet he isn't the only reporter who does that. I have repeatedly questioned the "unnamed sources" that the Times is so fond of using.

"Sources say..." Yeah, the sources floating around in the NY Times reporters' imaginations. Believe me, Blair isn't the only reporter there making up sources. It is a common NY Times practice.

108 posted on 05/10/2003 2:40:52 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (A Person With No Sense Of Humor Is Someone Who Confuses The Irreverent With The Irrelevant)
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To: george wythe
Does the correction rate matter? From the LA Times http://www.calendarlive.com/cl-et-rutten7_may07_c.story

Much has been made of the fact that, since hiring Blair in 1998, the Times has run 50 corrections on his stories. Raines, in fact, has said that the young reporter was admonished in a performance report that he had committed an excessive number of mistakes. A number of publications, including this one, have conducted computer searches to see how Blair's error rate compared to that of his colleagues. The Weekly Standard, for example, compares Blair's record to that of senior Times correspondents R.W. Apple and Adam Clymer over the same period of time. Blair had an error rate of 6.9%, less than half Apple's rate of 14% (46 corrections on 327 stories) and almost a third lower than Clymer's rate of 9% (36 corrections on 400 stories). (Since January 2002, this columnist has had an error rate of about 10%, 12 mistakes in 116 stories and columns.)

109 posted on 05/10/2003 2:43:54 PM PDT by Drango (There are 10 kinds of people in this world. Those that understand binaries, and those that don't.)
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To: kristinn
Raines should have been fired as this article went to print. A fish rots from the head first.

In the history of Journalism, has there ever been a WORSE editor than Howell Raines? His entire tenure has been fouled by the stench of bias and just general all-around CRAPPY journalism. Pinch won't fire Raines because of the weird mesmerizing hold Raines has over Pinch.

110 posted on 05/10/2003 2:46:36 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (A Person With No Sense Of Humor Is Someone Who Confuses The Irreverent With The Irrelevant)
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To: sarcasm
LOLOL! After decades of relentless lies and bias, the NYT is suddenly soooo concerned about "misleading readers."

Hey, NYT! Yoohoo! You still haven't 'fessed up about your boy Walter Duranty and all his years of lying and Soviet propaganda that appeared in your rag. Because of that, nobody in his right mind takes the Pulitzer seriously anymore.

111 posted on 05/10/2003 2:49:34 PM PDT by Bonaparte
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To: sarcasm; Cathryn Crawford
guided him to the understaffed national desk,

The New York Times can't get reporters
to do national news?  Who [k]new?

He did not respond to messages left on his
cellphone, with his family and with his union representative


I thought one of the purposes of unions was to see
that only qualified people could join and do the work
of that union.  Fancy that.

``The New York Times,'' she said. ``You would expect more out of that.''

And that's what is so funny about this chicanery.  Anyone with two neurons
to rub together knows that the reporting side on the NYT is so poisoned by
the editorial vision of what the news ought to be rather than what it is, nothing the
NYT prints can be read with any expectation of truth, including the logo with
its backwards 'Y.'

112 posted on 05/10/2003 2:53:27 PM PDT by gcruse (Vice is nice, but virtue can hurt you. --Bill Bennett)
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To: Drango
From your article, it seems that about 10% of the stories are corrected, even when written by season reporters.

The big questions is: Which kind of corrections?

If the correction is simply an update on a spelling error caused by faulty police records, the correction is inconsequential.

On the other hand, if the correction involves made up quotes and other fabrications, then the correction is a sign of incompetence and dishonesty.

The NY Times has a lousy system if it cannot distinguish between Blair’s correction record and Clymer’s correction record.

113 posted on 05/10/2003 2:54:14 PM PDT by george wythe
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To: DPB101
"Two Times reporters killed themselves last year. One jumped out of a 7th floor window at the paper's Manhattan headquarters. Wonder what is going on we don't know."

Well, they no longer recall them to the Kremlin for show trials and banishment to the Gulag, so there must be some other reason. Perhaps in a rare unguarded moment, they realized they had spent their entire professional lives in the service of evil.

114 posted on 05/10/2003 2:55:54 PM PDT by Bonaparte
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To: Pukka Puck
Looks like Raines should also be fired, since he showed such bad judgement

Howell Raines should absolutely be fired.

I've read the NYT every morning since I was 13 (I obviously didn't absorb much from the editorial page).

The Times used to be an indispensible news source. The Times printed stuff that didn't exist anywhere else. It was our first, and our only, newspaper of record.

Raines has ruined a national institution. And it wasn't his to ruin, to begin with.

115 posted on 05/10/2003 2:55:59 PM PDT by Jim Noble
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To: PJ-Comix
Boyd was Blair's managing editor.

Now you got me thinking,
Was Blair Boyd's Toy?

116 posted on 05/10/2003 2:59:11 PM PDT by george wythe
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To: Travis McGee
Who did the reporting for the NY Times on the Vince Foster Case? Who did the reporting for the Washington Post on the Vince Foster case? Who did the reporting for the Boston Globe on the Vince Foster case?

Remember, back then the major newspaper reporters REFUSED to investigate the Vince Foster case because they just accepted what the government told them and then stopped any independent investigation. And Peter Jennings was the one who displayed that PHONY photo of Foster holding a gun on ABC World News Tonight while acting like that should put a stop to the controversy.

Again, WHO were the major reporters on the Vince Foster case?

117 posted on 05/10/2003 2:59:15 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (A Person With No Sense Of Humor Is Someone Who Confuses The Irreverent With The Irrelevant)
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To: rabidralph
For instance, after the Post was forced to take back a February front-page story on the sniper case, Blair sent along an e-mail with the following subject line: "oooooooppppps." The missive proceeded to chide the Post's reporting and accused the paper of "stretching."

It seems that the Washington Post does not want to be left behind in the fabrication department... and Blair had a lot chutzpah

118 posted on 05/10/2003 3:06:07 PM PDT by george wythe
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To: PJ-Comix
Who did the reporting for the Washington Post on the Vince Foster case?

The best reporter for the VF case was Ambrose Evans-Pritchard with the
London Daily/Electronic Telegraph.  He was on assignment, IIRC, in
Washington at the time.  I have his book about Whitewater somewhere.
119 posted on 05/10/2003 3:08:45 PM PDT by gcruse (Vice is nice, but virtue can hurt you. --Bill Bennett)
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To: gcruse
The best reporter for the VF case was Ambrose Evans-Pritchard with the London Daily/Electronic Telegraph.

And he was castigated by the lamestream reporters as some sort of kook. Actually what Ambrose Evans-Pritchard did was FOOTWORK, something the other reporters REFUSED to do.

120 posted on 05/10/2003 3:18:11 PM PDT by PJ-Comix (A Person With No Sense Of Humor Is Someone Who Confuses The Irreverent With The Irrelevant)
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To: PJ-Comix
Actually what Ambrose Evans-Pritchard did was FOOTWORK, something the other reporters REFUSED to do.

"Investigative journalism is the job of the tabloid press."
                                        --Ted Koppel

Of course, that was while Clinton was president.
When a Republican is in office, see Watergate for details.
121 posted on 05/10/2003 3:26:02 PM PDT by gcruse (Vice is nice, but virtue can hurt you. --Bill Bennett)
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To: sarcasm
bump for later reading
122 posted on 05/10/2003 3:27:02 PM PDT by proud American in Canada ("We are a peaceful people. Yet we are not a fragile people.")
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To: Pukka Puck
It was kind of a Mexican standoff,''

I wonder if a conservative could use this phrase and not have 27 NYTCNNCBSNBCABC reporters camped on his/her front lawn?

123 posted on 05/10/2003 3:32:00 PM PDT by Free State Four
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To: DPB101
Two Times reporters killed themselves last year. One jumped out of a 7th floor window at the paper's Manhattan headquarters. Wonder what is going on we don't know.

'Republic of Fear' (Howell Raines Runs The New York Times Through Humiliation and Fear)

124 posted on 05/10/2003 3:49:16 PM PDT by MediaMole
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To: gcruse
Expect more out of the New York Times?!?!?!

BWAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
125 posted on 05/10/2003 3:55:44 PM PDT by Cathryn Crawford (I should have inhaled.)
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To: NYCVirago
how in the world would blankets be a justifiable work expense?

It is curious. Maybe to keep warm in one's car when staking out a source or potential source? Like the press stake out in front of Starr's house during the investigation of X42.

126 posted on 05/10/2003 3:58:59 PM PDT by BillF (Sorry anti-America leftists, Saddam has left the planet!)
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To: Miss Marple
I would certainly like a list of the stories this guy fabricated.

One of those stories he made up was the one about the government stopping the D.C. sniper from confessing.

127 posted on 05/10/2003 3:59:34 PM PDT by Howlin
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To: sarcasm
``To have a national reporter who is working in a traveling capacity for the paper and not file expenses for those trips for a four-month period is certainly in hindsight something that should attract our attention,'' Mr. Boyd said. But the fact that it did not, he and others said, is an indication of just how thoroughly the newspaper relies on trust.

The Clueless Times has been working on the honor system for the last 40 years as its ideologues presented politically correct reality as truth. A real investigation of all their people and practices would be a labor fit for a Hercules, an Augean stables.

128 posted on 05/10/2003 4:13:34 PM PDT by VadeRetro
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To: sarcasm
This story would be far more interesting if it had happened at a newspaper that had some degree of journalistic integrity.

Coming as it does from a mouthpiece of the Democratic Party, however, it seems:

1) Irrelevant, since a newspaper that prints op-ed pieces as "fact" on its front page and shamelessly endorses specific political doctrines in its "reporting" cannot seriously be considered an objective source of news. Thus, another set of fabrications coming from a well-known source of fabrications isn't at all surprising.

2) Predictable. Indeed, it is impossible to imagine how a young writer surrounded by such pathos for four years would not resort to emulating it. The issue here is not that Jayson Blair wrote fictitious stories, but that he did so without permission. How supremely ironic that a news staff that worships Bill Clinton takes offense at dishonesty!

If this had occurred at a newspaper that had maintained a good reputation for honest reporting, it would be a sensational story. Coming as it does from a handbill for liberal Democrats, it is nothing more than a tempest in a teapot.

129 posted on 05/10/2003 4:26:53 PM PDT by Imal (There's a Marxist born every minute)
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To: Free State Four
Article reports that Horan said "It was kind of a Mexican standoff," [end of quote]

I wonder if a conservative could use this phrase and not have 27 NYTCNNCBSNBCABC reporters camped on his/her front lawn?

Horan, Fairfax County Commonwealth Attorney (i.e., District Attorney for Fairfax County) for decades now, is the one who said that. Although I think that he is a Democrat, I'm not sure. At any rate, he is quite conservative.

130 posted on 05/10/2003 4:30:11 PM PDT by BillF (Sorry anti-America leftists, Saddam has left the planet!)
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Diversity at NY Times:
excerpt from Columbia Journalism Review, December 1993

Accepting the premise that a newsroom lacking in proportional representation of nonwhites cannot provide fair and accurate coverage of America's increasingly multicultural society, [NYTimes Publisher] Sulzberger has called diversity "the single most important issue" his newspaper faces. In 1991 he made a speech to the National Association of Black Journalists in which he referred to it as "our cause." The following year he told the National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association, "We can no longer offer our readers a predominantly white, straight. male vision of events and say that we, as journalists, are doing our jobs."

Endorsing the first tentative steps toward diversity taken by the Times's executive editor, Max Frankel, after Frankel took over the newsroom in 1986, Sulzberger has urged his executives to redouble efforts to hire and promote minority editors and reporters. In 1991, Gerald Boyd, the first black manager in the Times's Washington bureau, had been made editor of the Metro section, and in 1993 he became the paper's first black assistant managing editor; as Metro editor, Boyd expanded coverage of the outer boroughs, to which the paper had previously given short shrift. Other celebrated diversity hires have been Bob Herbert, who this spring became the first black columnist, and Margo Jefferson, who became the paper's first black critic, leaping from outside the Times over the heads of several talented white male veterans whose seniority would have given them preference before.

The quest for diversity has had unquestionable benefits. It has led to the hiring of many talented members of minority groups who might have been ignored by the paper in a less enlightened day. While not too long ago the Times was a nearly all-white institution focused on all-white precincts of power, it is now getting closer to the "ideal newspaper" made up of "as many smart people from as many different backgrounds as possible," as one Times reporter put it.

Some acknowledge the value of this effort but see a worrisome downside. A recent Esquire magazine piece by Robert Sam Anson described the feelings of white reporters at the Times who complained of certain stories being reserved for minorities, of editors tailoring stories to suit their political views, and of management so desperate to hire and promote minorities that some have been placed in positions where they were in way over their heads.


131 posted on 05/10/2003 4:30:19 PM PDT by george wythe
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To: sarcasm
...and the inquiry found that Mr. Blair repeatedly violated the cardinal tenet of journalism, which is simply truth.

I'm stunned. Shocked. It took FIVE Times reporters and an additional TWO researchers to pen this bit of classic irony? The Times wouldn't know "truth" if it flew a hijacked 757 into their newsroom and this entire story PROVES it!

What arrogance! These folks think they know the truth??? They can't handle the truth!!!

132 posted on 05/10/2003 4:31:04 PM PDT by Tall_Texan (Destroy the Elitist Democrat Guard and the Fedayeen Clinton using the smart bombs of truth!)
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To: tgslTakoma
That's telling, IMO.

By golly, you've got a point.

``There has never been a systematic effort to lie and cheat as a reporter at The New York Times comparable to what Jayson Blair seems to have done.''

That statement does kind of beg the question, doesn't it...???

Blair exceeded who? Just how comparable were they...???

133 posted on 05/10/2003 4:32:41 PM PDT by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE.)
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To: NYCVirago
Never mind the location difference -- how in the world would blankets be a justifiable work expense?

Why, for the "cover up", of course! ;-P

134 posted on 05/10/2003 4:33:13 PM PDT by Tall_Texan (Destroy the Elitist Democrat Guard and the Fedayeen Clinton using the smart bombs of truth!)
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To: firebrand; StarFan; Dutchy; stanz; RaceBannon; Cacique; Clemenza; rmlew; NYC GOP Chick; ...
ping!

Please FReepmail me if you want on or off my infrequent ping list.

135 posted on 05/10/2003 4:35:32 PM PDT by nutmeg (USA: Land of the Free - Thanks to the Brave)
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To: sarcasm
Is Jayson Blair the bastard child of Janet Cooke? The Washington Post got stung 20 years ago by a features writer who won a Pulitzer Prize due to a story about a fictitious 8-year-old boy on crack. This must be that child...

Blair has nothing to worry about professionally. I'm told CNN is looking for a new Baghdad Bureau Chief.

136 posted on 05/10/2003 4:38:50 PM PDT by Tall_Texan (Destroy the Elitist Democrat Guard and the Fedayeen Clinton using the smart bombs of truth!)
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To: sarcasm
If the NY Slimes fired every reporter who lied, pushed the DNC mantras in place of news and just out right fraud like their top maggots do, there would be nobody left at the Slimes.
137 posted on 05/10/2003 4:39:59 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (Free Republic, where leftist liars are exposed 24/7!)
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To: Miss Marple
Right on you posted: I have repeatedly questioned the "unnamed sources" that the Times is so fond of using.

So many of their opeds and vile swipes at our president, rummy or SOS Powell are filled with these unnamed sources who just happen to regurgitate the Slimes's latest lie about GW.

They all remind me of the Yeti that Woodward used for his Nixon lies, the Yeti called Deepthroat!

138 posted on 05/10/2003 4:43:24 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (Free Republic, where leftist liars are exposed 24/7!)
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To: holdonnow
The New York Times admits they've lied about the truth.

CNN admits they lied to keep access to the Iraqi government.

The Washington Post admits they lied about fictitious crackheads.

CBS and ABC have former reporters detailing bias (to the point of outright deception) in their newsrooms.

NBC News fakes blowing up trucks and poisoning deli food to invent their own "news".

Isn't it about time there was a Class Action suit against "Big Media" for fraud?

If only the government would go after "Big Media" the way they went after "Big Tobacco". Imagine the spoils they could seize.

139 posted on 05/10/2003 4:45:07 PM PDT by Tall_Texan (Destroy the Elitist Democrat Guard and the Fedayeen Clinton using the smart bombs of truth!)
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To: PJ-Comix
Exactly.

BTW, in my novel the villains use "Vince Foster" a few times as a verb.

As in asking each other "was he Vince Fostered?" when a colleague is found dead in his car in a canal with an empty whiskey bottle and a .14 BAL.

Yes, he was "Vince Fostered".

140 posted on 05/10/2003 5:25:58 PM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: george wythe
Was Blair Boyd's Toy?

Two days ago I googled Boyd for exactly that reason.

he's married with children, FWIW.

141 posted on 05/10/2003 5:39:02 PM PDT by Jim Noble
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To: sarcasm
Sure have been a lot of theese over the last few years.Plus the Eason Jordans who are proud of it.
142 posted on 05/10/2003 5:44:08 PM PDT by arthurus
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To: Pukka Puck
hosted on its own petard

The phrase is "Hoist by his own petard."
A petard is a sort of low powered hand grenade.
The grenade gets its name form the French "petard" which is an echoic term for a particular sometimes explosive bodily function that might raise one in one's chair.

143 posted on 05/10/2003 5:48:02 PM PDT by arthurus
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To: okie01
It is as if the leadership of the mainstream media is congenitally incapable of fault.

It isn't just the mainstream media - any large organization protects the people at the top from anything other than token blame.

144 posted on 05/10/2003 6:02:41 PM PDT by garbanzo (Free people will set the course of history)
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To: sarcasm
This proves the NYT does not have a fact checker in their midst. If so, this idiot would not have had so much fun duping everyone.

Also, the fact that the NYT did not suspect anything after no expense reports were filed for four months is pretty shady. Maybe the NYT knew more than they are letting on.....

145 posted on 05/10/2003 6:13:48 PM PDT by BossLady
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To: Grampa Dave
I hope that NOW the people on Free Republic who constantly go off on an anti-Bush rant based on one of these Slimes stories will finally GET A CLUE!!

I have dissected these bogus stories until I am blue in the face, but every time Howell Raines wants to yank the chain of the Right, he has one of his minions grind out another "unnamed sources" story from the White House, the State Department, or the Pentagon. You have to read those stories very carefully and assume that the agenda is being pushed by the unnamed "leakers," who probably are fictitious.

At any rate, the next time one of these pot-stirring, anti-GW, fringe people starts posting something from this paper, I am simply going to assume that it is another "Blair" fiasco, and tell them to go pound sand.

146 posted on 05/10/2003 6:14:03 PM PDT by Miss Marple
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To: arthurus
When you set out to correct a person, make sure you know what you are talking about.

I am well aware of the expression, which just happens to be "hoist WITH his own petard" not "Hoist BY his own petard", I just happened to mistype hoist in my haste to put something down quickly. While I know a bit about words, I am the world's worst speller.

Since it was in the past, it would be hoisted not hoist. Since it was a newspaper, not a person hoisted by its own petard, its was more appropriate than his, IMHO.

I know exactly what a petard is, having looked it up years ago.

"For 'tis the sport to have the enginer / Hoist with his owne petar" -- Shakespeare, Hamlet III iv.

"Hoist" was in Shakespeare's time the past participles of a verb "to hoise", which meant what "to hoist" does now: to lift. A petard (etymology: to fart) was an explosive charge detonated by a slowly burning fuse. If the petard went off prematurely, then the sapper (military engineer; Shakespeare's "enginer") who planted it would be hurled into the air by the explosion. (Compare "up" in "to blow up".) A modern rendition might be: "It's fun to see the engineer blown up with his own bomb."

Of course there are lots of variations on the hoist/petard theme, e.g., this headline and summary in Capitalism Magazine found at http://capmag.com/article.asp?ID=839 Hoisted by Their Own Petard and this summary of the same article,
Summary: It is Mr. Gore who was hoisted on his own petard. He who seeks unconstitutional, standardless recounts and tries to delay federal challenges to them, is in no position to complain that time has run out when the federal courts finally rule.

So it is wrong to claim that the phrase is "Hoist by his own petard", since that is neither the original quote from Shakespeare nor the only acceptable version of the quote.

I thank you for your effort to correct what you took for my ignorance and I hope this helps.

In any case, I am delighted that the New York Times are hoist with their own petard, political correctness of the type they champion, for example by supporting Martha Burk in the Masters controversy, blowing up in their faces and surrounding them with a rank smell.
147 posted on 05/10/2003 6:18:05 PM PDT by Pukka Puck
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To: arthurus
When you set out to correct a person, make sure you know what you are talking about.

I am well aware of the expression, which just happens to be "hoist WITH his own petard" not "Hoist BY his own petard", I just happened to mistype hoist in my haste to put something down quickly. While I know a bit about words, I am the world's worst speller.

Since it was in the past, it would be hoisted not hoist. Since it was a newspaper, not a person hoisted by its own petard, its was more appropriate than his, IMHO.

I know exactly what a petard is, having looked it up years ago.

"For 'tis the sport to have the enginer / Hoist with his owne petar" -- Shakespeare, Hamlet III iv.

"Hoist" was in Shakespeare's time the past participles of a verb "to hoise", which meant what "to hoist" does now: to lift. A petard (etymology: to fart) was an explosive charge detonated by a slowly burning fuse. If the petard went off prematurely, then the sapper (military engineer; Shakespeare's "enginer") who planted it would be hurled into the air by the explosion. (Compare "up" in "to blow up".) A modern rendition might be: "It's fun to see the engineer blown up with his own bomb."

Of course there are lots of variations on the hoist/petard theme, e.g., this headline and summary in Capitalism Magazine found at http://capmag.com/article.asp?ID=839 Hoisted by Their Own Petard and this summary of the same article, Summary: It is Mr. Gore who was hoisted on his own petard. He who seeks unconstitutional, standardless recounts and tries to delay federal challenges to them, is in no position to complain that time has run out when the federal courts finally rule.

So it is wrong to claim that the phrase is "Hoist by his own petard", since that is neither the original quote from Shakespeare nor the only acceptable version of the quote.

I thank you for your effort to correct what you took for my ignorance and I hope this helps.

In any case, I am delighted that the New York Times are hoist with their own petard, political correctness of the type they champion, for example by supporting Martha Burk in the Masters controversy, blowing up in their faces and surrounding them with a rank, smell.

148 posted on 05/10/2003 6:23:19 PM PDT by Pukka Puck
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To: Dialup Llama
Your comments reminded me of my dumbfounded, gaping, aghast revelation as I watched a tech journalist descending upon press kits at a computer convention.

This "professional" journalist raced through the tables, picking up $10-$25-to-prepare company packets of press releases, brochures, etc., seeming oblivious to the concerns of anyone around him. I thought he was flipping out.

Then, with a 24" stack of these, he stood near a trash can to winnow his hoarde, throwing 98% of it into the trash. Of what he was thinking I'm not certain, but it seemed he was muttering about his "areas of interest" or "what I know a lot about," or some such.

He kept a few press releases and a few glossy brochures. He chuckled and said something about "having done [that day's] column." I don't think he intended even to stop by the booths of the vendors whose press releases he had kept, though I quit following him around after that exposure to a "professional journalist" at work.

HF

149 posted on 05/10/2003 6:30:38 PM PDT by holden
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To: Pukka Puck
blowing up in their faces and surrounding them with a rank smell.

I like that figure very much.

150 posted on 05/10/2003 6:32:53 PM PDT by arthurus
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