Skip to comments.Times Reporter Who Resigned Leaves Long Trail of Deception
Posted on 05/10/2003 10:29:40 AM PDT by sarcasm
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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.
[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 its 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 Im 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, wasnt there a red flag to you earlier than last week?
Mr. Raines: The corrections were a red flag. I dont 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.
Ive been back over this young mans 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. Thats 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 reporters fault, that is, the police released the incorrect spelling of a name, we come back and correct it; it shows up in that reporters computer tally.
"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.
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.)
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.
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.
``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.'
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 Blairs correction record and Clymers correction record.
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.
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.
Now you got me thinking,
Was Blair Boyd's Toy?
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?
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
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.
I wonder if a conservative could use this phrase and not have 27 NYTCNNCBSNBCABC reporters camped on his/her front lawn?
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.
One of those stories he made up was the one about the government stopping the D.C. sniper from confessing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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...???
Why, for the "cover up", of course! ;-P
Please FReepmail me if you want on or off my infrequent ping list.
Blair has nothing to worry about professionally. I'm told CNN is looking for a new Baghdad Bureau Chief.
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!
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.
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".
Two days ago I googled Boyd for exactly that reason.
he's married with children, FWIW.
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.
It isn't just the mainstream media - any large organization protects the people at the top from anything other than token blame.
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.....
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.
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.
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.
I like that figure very much.