Monday, April 16, 2007

Redeeming the Times

Among all publications, the New York Times stood out for its faulty coverage of the case. From the outrageous writings of sports columnists Selena (“lily-white”) Roberts and Harvey Araton to the transparently pro-Nifong slant of Duff Wilson, the paper of record went out of its way to keep the hoax alive.

Even in reporting Attorney General Roy Cooper’s dismissal of the charges on grounds of absolute innocence—an event essentially unprecedented in modern American law—The Times used a restrained tone. In the Wilson-only piece posted to the Times website Wednesday afternoon, the opening paragraph read as if describing a routine legal maneuver:

All remaining charges were dropped today against three former Duke University lacrosse players who had been accused of rape more than a year ago, North Carolina’s attorney general announced, concluding a three-month investigation of a racially charged case that polarized and outraged many in the state and nation.

The next day, when David Barstow joined as co-author, the piece at the very least bumped Cooper’s statement of absolute innocence—clearly the most newsworthy item of the AG’s statement—into the first paragraph, though the headline carefully avoided what Dave Evans has called the “i-word.”

In a fall article for New York, Kurt Andersen quoted a Times reporter,

“I’ve never been a source for anyone on any story ever written about the Times,” one reporter at the paper told me. So why on this one? “I’ve never felt so ill over Times coverage.” That’s ill at a paper that published Jayson Blair’s fabrications and Judy Miller on WMD. “It’s institutional,” said one of the several editors to whom I spoke. “You see it again and again, the way the Times lumbers into trouble.”

The Times’ flawed coverage in the case had direct effects on those involved. Here’s an excerpt from the Meadows/Thomas story in this week’s Newsweek.

Nifong got a boost from The New York Times in August. On the front page of the Friday paper, a long article featured a confidential report—a Durham policeman’s summary of his interview with the accuser. Though he didn’t take notes during the interview, he said she’d described someone with Finnerty’s distinctive tall, thin looks as her assailant. The newspaper treated the report unskeptically, even though notes taken during the interview by the other officer present indicate that none of her descriptions fit the player. “We were so blown away,” says Mary Ellen Finnerty, Collin’s mother. “We were just so furious.”

(On Friday, Wilson introduced himself to me at the Nifong hearing, and said that while he “couldn’t go into details,” the “body of evidence” justifying to which the article referred revolved around SANE nurse-in-training Tara Levicy’s report. Yet I had looked at the same 1850 pages of discovery file that Wilson claimed to have examined for his article, and there is nothing in those 1850 pages that supports Wilson’s thesis that there was “a body of evidence to support [Nifong’s] decision to take the matter to a jury.” And, indeed, Cooper’s announcement that “no credible evidence” ever existed to substantiate Crystal Mangum’s claims gives the lie to the claim in Wilson’s article.)

Nothing can ever redeem the Times’ embarrassing coverage of this case. But Peter Applebome’s column yesterday is certainly a positive step. Applebome penned one of the most important early publications on the case—a July piece that accurately portrayed Reade Seligmann as a good, indeed very good, person. The Applebome article was the first print media publication that challenged the (wildly inaccurate) conventional wisdom that all 46 white lacrosse players were arrogant, awful people.

Applebome returned to the case yesterday (TimesSelect only), asking,

How did college kids with no shortage of character witnesses become such a free-fire zone for the correct thinkers in academia, the news media and the socially conscious left? Like l’affaire Imus in reverse, why did denouncing them remain fair game long after it was clear that the charges against them could not be true, and that even most of the misbehavior originally alleged about the team party was distorted or false?

Essex Fells mayor Ed Abbot noted, “People had racial agendas, economic agendas, media-driven agendas, and who these boys were got totally lost. You feel like you’re in the middle of the forest screaming and no one can hear.”

Tricia Dowd, whose son, a lacrosse player, graduated from Duke last year, recounted her experience at the NCCU forum (yes, she actually went): “Maybe I’m na├»ve. I didn’t know there was so much hate in the world.”

And Nona Farahnik, who lived in the same dorm as Reade and Collin, lamented how “they became a perfect example of all the injustices in society, except in their case, justice went out the door. And the same people usually championing basic human rights were so intent on denying it to them.”

Applebome lamented that—unlike the situation with Don Imus, who was defended by no one for his remark about the Rutgers women’s basketball team and ultimately was fired—there will be no “apologies from those in academia (particularly at Duke), the news media, and civil rights and women’s rights organizations who were so intoxicated by the story of bad white boys that they missed the real outrage: how prosecutors can railroad innocent people, nearly all of them without the students’ resources or abilities to fight back.”

I doubt that we will see any apologies from the Times, either. This is, after all, an institution whose public editor, Byron Calame, has weighed in on the paper’s flawed coverage once and only once, on April 23, 2006. Calame’s conclusion? The paper’s reporting was first-rate—even Selena Roberts’ factually inaccurate claims of the players refusing to cooperate with police—but with a caution: “If the rape and kidnapping charges do not hold up, the story doesn’t end. The Times should be prepared to continue covering what is done about the racial-insult allegations, given the prominence of the team and the university.” It’s hard to fathom how anyone could seriously contend that, of all the issues likely to emerge from this case, Calame considered one or two players getting in a racially charged argument with Kim Roberts to constitute the item primed for long-term reporting.

Applebome’s column is a reminder of the line that paper could have taken, had it lived up to its ideals of defending justice and speaking truth to power rather than—as Calame’s recommended follow-up suggests—bowed to the dictates of political correctness.

[Correction, 12.21am: Byron Calame writes,

Dear Mr. Johnson:

For the record, my April 23, 2006, column stated that The Times's performance on the Duke case "deserves a decent grade." My dictionary says that means "adequate." It is a factual error for you to say that I concluded then that the paper's performance was "first-rate."

Sincerely,
Byron Calame

I hope that Calame will be as eager to correct the indisputable, and still uncorrected, factual items in the August 25 Duff Wilson story.]

72 comments:

Kelly in Miami said...

The story about your intrepid blogging & fighting for the basic rights of people you didn't even know makes me PROUD to be an American!!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

a shout out to Amy Poehler and SNL for her Nancy Grace parody last Christmas , the beginning of the end of the hoax on main stream media. And a big boo to Youtube or NBC for taking this off You-tube. This satire noted that on one hand you had the truth and on the other somebody making stuff up. Other AP parodies of NG are still up on YOUTUBE. Whats up with that?

Anonymous said...

Applebome is to be commended. Duff Wilson and the New York Times editors should have to explain under oath how they came to publish the libelous August story.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I hope this cost Duke and Durham beaucoup money. I know I would never recommend the University to anyone nor would I visit the place until they fired the 88 professors and the Dean. Of course that will never happen. Also wouldn't it be fun to interview all those student protestors who so quickly condemed the three Duke players.

AMac said...

In March of 2004, then-Public Editor Daniel Okrent described what an American soldier in Baghdad had written to friends:

"'Although you can read both sides of the story in this e-mail, the American people only know the original story as printed in The Times, which never issued a retraction or clarification. Let the reader beware.'"

Okrent went on to write of the Times' subsequent coverage:

"The editors who decided to handle the clarification this way may not know the term, but this was a classic example of the rowback. The one definition I could find for this ancient technique, from journalism educator Melvin Mencher, describes a rowback as 'a story that attempts to correct a previous story without indicating that the prior story had been in error or without taking responsibility for the error.' A less charitable definition might read, 'a way that a newspaper can cover its butt without admitting it was ever exposed.'"

Rowback.

Is current NYT Public Editor Brian Calame familiar with this term?

Anonymous said...

Why did the Times hide Applebome's article on the first page of the metro section? Is the metro section distributed in the national edition? Two of the boys -- Finnerty (Long Island) and Seligman do come from the NYC area, but Applebome's article should have been in the national section.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn says:

KC - I'm sorry for how clearly it has hurt you to realize the NY Times now chooses agenda over facts.

But I am so grateful you haven't done the same yourself. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

OK, that's it. This is going too far. You have to publish the book now, and stop teasing us with this rich tale.

Joe T. said...

If anybody is good-hearted enough to have even a fraction of sympathy for everyone from Nifong down to those who might just have to bitterly eat crow, remember this: these people would have shown not a scintilla of mercy had their case turned out like they were rotten enough to hope it would.

Anonymous said...

Coverage of the Duke Lacrosse Case by the New York Times clearly has been despicable. Duff Wilson will be forever remembered as among the biggest cheerleaders pushing this hoax. Particularly offensive was his bolstering of the rape-hoax-lie by front-paging the previously undocumented personal recollections of Sgt. Mark Gottlieb back in Aug. of 2006. Yet he continues to cover this story as though he had some modicum of credibility. Based on the facts we all now know, the Durham Police Department should be investigated for witness tampering, violating photo lineup procedure, failing to document key evidence, withholding exculpatory evidence, civil rights violations, etc., etc. If the NYT wants a story, they should write about THAT. Alas, that falls outside their politically correct agenda for "selling copy." Alas, Duff Wilson deserves only the "Spewitzer Prize." They will NEVER apologize. They are arrogant, ignorant, and write only for their limited constituency.

Anonymous said...

There is little else to say about the Times, except don't buy it or read it on line. The Duffer (who can't go into detail) is full of stuffing. Anyone one know what has happened to Chin, Everer and the rest of the bit ;oayers in this drama. A visiting professor insults the students paying the bills?

Anonymous said...

JLS says...,

The NY Times is a brand built up over many years and decades. The current ownership has decided to erode that brand to push their personal views. That is certainly their right.

But educated and informed people now ignor the Times. That is what happens when you erode your product. You hold on to some of your less well informed customers for a while, but more and more figure it out and go some place better. We have all seen this take place more quickly when the new ownership of an eatery lives off the reputation built by others.

Anonymous said...

Those unhappy with the Times coverage should write to the board of directors of the company. The board should be concerned with the direction of the once-great newspaper under Pinch Sulzberger.

Anonymous said...

Where is Duff on what went on out here in Vegas over the NBA all star weekend?

Anonymous said...

It's absolutley amazing that the academic minds at Duke have lost all their humanity. One thing they forgot when they got their PHD's was something their mommy's taught them when they were 3 years old - how to say "I'm sorry".

If these elite PHDs had a moral compass, they would do the right thing and appologize to the Duke 3, the LAX players, and their families. However, I wouldn't hold my breath.

Anonymous said...

If ever you get a chance to speak to Duff Wilson again I hope you ask him how he reconciles his August statement of

“It shows that while there are big weaknesses in Mr. Nifong's case, there is also a body of evidence to support his decision to take the matter to a jury.”

With Copper statement of

“We have no credible evidence that an attack occurred.”


Logically I see no way both statements can be true.


Also I think I’ve figured out why there is no DNA evidence. It is obvious that if CGM can levitate and break the rules of physics then certainly she can have ejaculate without DNA and break the rules of biology.

eric said...

to 12:37 and AMAC

Applebone works in the metro section of the paper.
Roberts and Wilson are in other sections and have different editors.

Anonymous said...

The column appears in the "New York Report" pages of the national edition, at the back of the first section.

Anonymous said...

Why are so many SHOCKED by revelations of biased reporting? From their reactions, one might imagine that they just learned the truth about Santa Claus. As far as journalism is concerned, the plain and simple truth is that the 'Times'has been a Communist rag for two generations now. Only recently, though, has the technology been sufficiently accessible to allow a large segment of the population to idependently verify it.

Anonymous said...

Duff Wilson? Please. He is the biggest cheerleader, complete with pom-poms, that this hoax has seen. The NYT is HOPELESSLY bonded to a politically correct agenda that blinds it to any facts if they involve the violation of the civil rights of non-traditionally protected classes. FORGET IT! You will never get objectivity out of the NYT.

Anonymous said...

A petition has been started online to appeal for a public apology from the Times and the individual journalists involved. Here is the link:

http://www.petitiononline.com/nytethic/petition.html

Anonymous said...

1:51

i love the idea of national outrage but the outrage must also be about the trustees and broadrot as well

the trustees are there NOT to rubber stamp PC and to sanction minority rule of the community, they are there for balance based upon their varied experiences

instead they were as evil as the NYTIME, the GROOUP 88 and others invited on campus to seek revenege against the team and the INNOCENT PLAYERS...
what we can now see so vividly is what their true values were

they are incompetent, individually and collectively...NOT A SINGLE TRUSTEE spoke up, no different than JUDAS to JESUS

they have no idea of how our system of justice works ...they IGNORED their responsibility

"Morality establishes its own universality, the state acts as judge and jury not because it decides right and wrong but because it is the means of effecting justice.

Just as the Constitution is, but the positive law means of effecting certain natural law ends, it, the
Constitution,is worthwhile only to the point that it is efficacious in
bringing about the natural law state we might all agree to in
principle.

That is why we form the state or the school corporation, that we might not act as jury,judge, and warden, BUT MOST CERTAINLY NOT because we are incapable of determining culpability.

the trustees are capable of DETERMINING CULPABILITY...after all they(as the university) KNOW these students better than anyone but their parents.

the students were accepted by admission...the STUDENTS were part of the university community for as long as 4 years...and broadrot didnt believe or even consider them innocent ?

broadrot is the reason that no one challenged hitler, stalin, chavez or mugabe

the duke team members were educated men of GREAT CHARACTER, and as we see so many times in the great bibles of western civilization they were denied over the word of a HO who lied before about the very same issue ?

a HO defended by the intellectually inferior AA co authors of the group88 MANIFESTO, who did ZERO RESEARCH TO come to their conclusions...what grade does one give the tenured professors who MINDLESSLY SIGNED THE MANIFESTO...?

to me its called EXPULSION...they are incapable of educating others by their OWN HASTY AND MEAN SPIRITED ACTIONS witjout any regret

broadrot didnt lift a finger at DUKE to examine the facts..he rejected meetings with parents..

he is a lazy lout like the group88 he defends by taking no action to sanction the Group88, THEN AND NOW, from the hate they INTENTIONALLY engendered against their own DUKE STUDENTS..

academics must be LOYAL to facts not FEARS...loyal to those one knows from years of contact and scholarship

and the board believed the lazy coward BROADROT ?

"BROADROT is a textbook example of positivism in both academic and legal philosophy...broadrot and those 88 he represents is certainly the great enemy of liberalism and freedom"


if the trustees have any love in their hearts for these students and future DUKE students,the CYA TRUSTEE POLICY to suspend students MUST BE LOOKED AT on an incident by incident basis

...why have trustees if they cant LOOK at the facts, the knowledge of these men, in fact they NEVER asked COACH K, to HELP THEM..

the holocaust occured for the same policy reasons..that the duke trustees and its broadrot president have allowed out of control professors to pursue

Joe T. said...

Any statements from the useless Duke Chapel yet or the useless "Father" Vetter?

Anonymous said...

The NYT has volunteered itself as an indentured servant to the racist plantation owned and operated by "Reverend" Al Sharpton and "Reverend" Jesse Jackson. Sadly, the leftwingers are so blinded by their loyalty to racism they fail to see that they bailed on their traditional fealty to support for the victims of corrupt state power. They found themselves in a quandry and lined up in support of Nifong et el in violation of all their traditions. KC obviously seeks the redemption of the Times no doubt because he remembers when it actually lived up to its reputation. But those days are long gone, KC. Move on. Let the Times founder in the seas of reality and sink. The real Times died long ago and this chimera we read today is a leftwing, politically correct mirage posing as a real newspaper.

Anonymous said...

As AG Cooper said a lot of people owe the players an apology. But there won't be one soon, not from the group of 88, not from the pot banging students and not from the New York Times.

It's their narrative that is wrong. And they have too great a stake in preserving it to see how it misled them in this case.

"Louts but innocent" New York Times

That says it all. The players were privileged white male athletes and for too many people involved in this story, that is all that mattered.

Ms. Hale's apology was honest and heartfelt and a genuine recognition of what really went wrong. It is easy to admit that you got the story wrong. You can simply blame that on Nifong. But Hale's admission was essentially that she wanted to believe the stripper's tale because it fit her preconceptions.

The tragedy of this case is that while most will now acknowledge their innocence of the charge of rape, there are many who will not admit that they are innocent of the charge of being bad people.

The assumptions that people hold that led to such bigoted conclusions are difficult to give up. It is going to take some time.

Anonymous said...

"On Friday, Wilson introduced himself to me at the Nifong hearing, and said that while he “couldn’t go into details,”"

I wonder why he couldn't go into details?
The Times never learns from it's mistakes, and seems doomed to making them over and over.

Anonymous said...

The Times? Biased and unfair in its reporting? Arrogant and unrepentant, even when confronted with its own egregious doings? Whoda thunk it.

Anonymous said...

I am still awaiting for an editorial from the NYT re the case.

I am not holding my breath.

At least the Week in Review section had Sage Stossel's cartoon commenting on the Duke case -- though it was a tie-in with Rutgers/Imus story.

Anonymous said...

If a man more wretched than Mike Nifong exists, his name is Pinch Sulzberger.

Anonymous said...

I have written multiple letters to the editorial staff of the NY Times. Although I was polite and reasonable in each note, I took them to task for factual errors.

To this date I haven't had the courtesy of a reply that they had received my note let alone a correction.

P. Rich said...

The Times has degenerated into an arrogant shill for the left's social and political agenda. There is in fact no major publication in this country that has not. The Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, LA Times - all have abdicated their responsibility for thorough reporting of accurate, unbiased news so necessary to a functioning democracy; and all are dying as a result. Regrettably they are still influential, and there will always be those who buy these rags because of the bias.

jim2 said...

Old news does not sell papers.

Rehashing old news in such a way that might raise doubts on current stories most especially does not sell papers.

Fresh misreported and sensational stories sell papers.

NYT has come to equal tabloid, in terms of journalistic integrity.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how the NY Times will feel about KC's book being on their best sellers list...

being forced to promote a book that will no doubt trash their reporting.

Anonymous said...

P Rich said...

"The Times has degenerated into an arrogant shill for the left's social and political agenda. There is in fact no major publication in this country that has not. "

I disagree. I believe the Wall Street Journal reports factual news. Of course the WSJ's focus is towards the marketplace where the actual facts matter as opposed to the NY Times whose reporting is targeted at the liberal left and how the "want" things to be.

Anonymous said...

"Those unhappy with the Times coverage should write to the board of directors of the company."

Those unhappy should do what we did. Cancel your subscription. It's a rag. News stories are all over the Internet. Their editorials are muted, PC versions of what you can get on Kos, etc. The only item of value, their crossword puzzle, can be bought separately over the web.

Anonymous said...

to the Times bashers:

All MSM--even the NY Post--are basically politically correct. The Times is excellent in its national and international coverage. If you read it regularly, you will discover that there are a lot of fine writers on the paper.

Polanski

Anonymous said...

8:44

KC's book will get a review in the Times, regardless of what's posted on this blog. I know plenty of people over there, and they are certainly not thin-skinned.

Polanski

rod allsion, detroit said...

There is absolutely nothing that the SANE nurse could have said, written, or done that, when weighed against all the known evidence - or lack thereof - could have justified taking this case to trial.

Wilson is just talking out of his ass.

Remember when Nifong pressed charges with no evidence, and, as a result, people fugured that he must have an "ace up his sleeve"?

Now Wilson is trying to hint that he had an ace up his sleeve, but that he "couldn’t go into details"

I wonder if the Minister of Information and the Minister of Justice have the same ace?

There can be no damage control for Wilson. The more he tries to weasel his way out of it, the worse he looks.

The Times couldn't accept, and didn't want us to see, that the criminal justice system worked against white defendants because of their race, or that a white liberal Democrat politician lied to and used black voters to get elected. So they tried to hide these realities by giving legitimacy to corrupt prosecutor and his obvious frame up.

They brought further disgrace to the once great newspaper that is now little more than a political journal.

Anonymous said...

How does the phrase go? "The ends justify the means". I see this more and more in political and ideological arguments. I think the pattern of actions by the G88, some in the Duke administration, reports for the H-S, and reporters for the NYT support this.

I think that I have finally learned how bad and inaccurate reporting is. Many stories that I have been personally involved with, or follow in detal - like this hoax, is screwed-up. Thank God there are now venues where 'outsiders' can call into question a reporters story or commentary.

I think one of the huge benefits of this site is that there is a group of interested readers, with some actually contributing to the investigation, and others providing criticism of KC's posts. These actions had to keep KC on his toes.

I get angry at those posters who slam other posters who ocassionally challenge KC. It is only through challenge and discussion that the truth can be discerned.

I am looking forward to reading the book.

jamil hussein said...

Redeeming the Times??

So is "Redeeming Mike Nifong" up to tomorrow?

New York Times has always been a political newspaper, leaning towards extreme left. It cheered Castro, (and even Hitler and especially Stalin). In Nifong Hoax case, it lied, misled, fabricated stories, refused to correct its reports when caught: in other words, it was typical New York Times report. I'm always amazed how people believe or read NYT. If one suffers from BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome), maybe reading NYT gives you some pleasure, but you can watch Rosie or Katie Couric for free and get the same BS.

Anonymous said...

While the easy (albeit knee jerk) reaction to the Times wretched coverage of this case is the "MSM/Liberal agenda" line, the truth is actually more nuanced.

There's no doubt that Selena Roberts and Harvey Aaraton wrote about the case in a way to support *their* worldview. However, it's important to note that columnists at the Times have enormous latitude and that heavyweights such as David Brooks and Nicholas Kristof weighed in on the side of justice -- rather early among the larger news organizations and months before Ed Bradley. Consider it a wash.

However, the news coverage was shameful. But what was the cause? Considering that this is the second instance in the last five years in which a Times reporter bought the government's story hook, line and sinker (the other story: the build-up to the Iraq War), I think this is an issue more about institutional laziness and a reporter's incompetence than about a liberal agenda.

In my opinion, this was simply amateur hour -- the unholy marriage of a naive, yet ambititous reporter and a craven prosecutor out of his depth as a politician. I think each gave the other strength, which is why Nifong provided Wilson with excluisive access.

That it took Bill Keller, Executive Editor of the Times, so long to add another writer to the team (and that he kept Wilson on the case) is yet another black eye of Pinch Sulzberger's reign and signal even more difficult times ahead.

The good news: there is an outlet to convey disappointment and rage. Do write the public editor and make the Times accountable. While this may not yield a mea culpa rivaling the newsprint devoted to the WMD/Judy Miller fiasco, it will drive a lentghty response and, more importantly, some introspection.

SG

P. Rich said...

Anon 8:48

I agree that the WSJ is better, and in another category of publication altogether. I should have been more specific and addressed the MSM. The WSJ does not target a general audience, and thus I would not place it into the category of "mainstream" media. That's why I did not list it.

Polanski

The NYT is a sadly biased excuse for a quality newspaper. It is not saved from its degenerate state by having some good writers scattered among the horde. Would those be in the food and entertainment areas? Book reviews? Obits? Just curious...

Anonymous said...

I can't see any reason or justification for Duff Wilson's August story, there never was any body of evidence that supported her story.

The many inconsistenices in her story were already public. The fact that the SANE nurse's report only showed diffuse edema was public.

There isn't any excuse for Duff Wilson. Here's what we have on the side of the boys at that time: (a) alibi evidence (b) witness that supports the alibi (c) multiple, mutually exclusive stories by the accuser (d) medical report that is inconsistent with any of her stories about beating/strangulation (e) prior similar gang rape accusation (f) photographic evidence that disputes accusers account...

What did we have in the body of evidence that supported her story? We had Mike Nifong and we had a SANE report that simply didn't rule OUT that a rape occured and that said she was upset during the exam.

That puts the evidence as overwhelmingly supporting innocence with nothing but the accusers changing stories and a nurse who basically said 'she could have been raped'.

The story was torn apart as soon as it was published, yet no one at the NYTimes appears to have done any fact checking or review of the record, they let Duff go with his unsupported view. The fact that according to KC he's STILL trying to justify that ridiculous article by blaming the SANE nurse is more of the same.

jamil hussein said...

SG:

Consider it a wash.

I bet you believe in Sant Claus.

NYT was printing lies (they knew they were lies), and refused to correct them. If token conservative on NYT writes meaningful stuff, it hardly is a "wash". This was not isolated incident. They do it on daily basis. Often they get caught. Sometimes public editor issues an apology, sometimes not.

The Iraq WMD story was different: As bipartisan 9/11 commission reported, everybody, including then president Bill Clinton, then-VP Al Gore, and later GWB, senators Hillary, Kerry etc and all european intelligence agencies (French, Russians) believed it in. Of course, this does not fit in liberal NYT storyline so better to ignore inconvenient facts.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hussein,

If you read my post more closely, I properly divided Times content into two groups: news and opinion.

I stated that columnists who write opinion pieces have more latitude and that the presence of heavyweight (i.e, influential and widely read) columnists Brooks and Kristof cancel out the ignorant rumblings of two relative no-name sports columnists (I mean, who reads the Times for its Sports coverage). "Consider it a wash" referred to the opinion writing and I excoriated the Times for its news coverage.

As for viewing this as a pattern of the Times buying the government line, I stand by that assertion. And your providing more examples of the government line simply proves my point...

SG

jamil hussein said...

SG: Conservative (or centrist) people in NYT (all two of them) write more reliable stories than the 99% of far left wackos. The reason is simple and it has everything to do with the label conservative vs liberal.


Re WMDs: A lot of Iraq WMD stuff was reported by european intelligence agencies (esp French, UK and Russians) who investigated this using their own sources.
Bill Clinton and Al Gore warned about Iraqi WMD threat long before GWB and I doubt they lied. It was the best information available (CIA did not have a clue in 1991 when Iraqi WMD program was exposed by a lucky accident so trusting only conflicting CIA reports was hardly assuring). NYT WMD reports were based on best information available. Comparing it to Jason Blair or the countless examples of NYT fraud and forgeries (e.g. abortion article 3 weeks ago) is disgraceful.

Anonymous said...

P Rich

re Times--yes, you have to pick and choose. Seth Schiesel writes on video games; Nicholas Wade on genetics; good science and health writers; book review is a disaster; magazine sucks; good opera and dance coverage; decent film reviewers, especially AO Scott; check out the dispatches from Iraq, etc

As other posters have already observed, the biggest problem with the NY Times is Pinch Sulzberger--a perfect example of the evils of nepotism. He has no taste, and he's a major diversity pimp, which has hurt the paper enormously.

Pick and choose, and by all means skip the editorial page.

Polanski

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hussein,

This is not the place for this discussion, but multiple news organizations peeled the onion to reveal the truth about WMD.

The Times, who admitted to using Chalabi as a principal source (and not "European intelligence agencies"), fired the lead reporter and printed a lengthy mea culpa.

Please note: you compared the WMD fiasco to Jayson Blair, not me.

Also note: my initial point was that the reasonable reaction to the Times wretched coverage is more nuanced than the knee-jerk right wing response.

Let me ask you: did you happen to see Torrie Clark, Rumsfeld's former spokesperson, on This Week yesterday? She announced her ambivalence over the dismissal and the labeling of the young men as "innocent" because they do not deserve to be put on pedestals. This from one of Rumsfeld's biggest apologists/enablers? Is she now part of the liberal agenda?

SG

jamil hussein said...

The Times, who admitted to using Chalabi as a

Earlier you said:
Times reporter bought the government's story

Last time I checked, Chalabi was not US goverment. All major intelligence agencies concluded the same thing, using various sources and methods.
But maybe you are right. In fact, New York Al-Times is a great, honest newspapers who prints only truths. It never allows it far-left idealism to influence its decision to mislead, lie, fabricate, forge documents, involve criminal leaking of national secrets etc.

Anonymous said...

Oh please, stop defending Judith Miller, she has already been discredited. I don't know what European intelligence you are talking about other than the Brits, the French, Germans and Russians all took issue with several of our conclusions about WMD, even in some cases telling us our intelligence was flat out wrong and we were relying on sources that were not credible.

Anonymous said...

Who is surprised that the Times has not (at least I've not seen it) come forward with an editorial on the NC AG's decision and how wrong the country/media/it's own coverage were? Does anyone think that had the decision been different (e.g., continuation of charges)that the Times would have seen fit, in it's twisted way, to comment that "justice had been served?" What a tragedy that our country's major newspaper is so agenda-driven.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hussein,

Chalabi was the intelligence source for the Vice President's Iraq Task Force, which was in charge of the thesis for invasion.

Therefore, his intelligence became the government's and was distorted.

That said, I'm sorry that I mistook you for a reasonable person. I hardly defended the Times in this matter, simply provided more context and nuance.

Devolving to sarcasm to hold true to your black and white world view is not the hallmark of a reasonable man.

Anonymous said...

KC> Thank you for keeping it all in order. I look forward to the book and a whole chapter on the poor performance of the media with emphasis on the New York Times. They are a shadow of their former selves.
In a perfect world alot of people would apologize to these families which would go a long way in the improvement of race relations. A common ground and consensus might build. Many non-black people have learned alot about the unfairness of the system with this episode.Of course local corruption in the police dept. and with the judges and the DA were unique. Think what further support might come for change and vigilance against any injustice if the african community reps who prejudiced and slandered these boys expressed a heartfelt apology. You can't demand justice for one group of people only. In the meantime, your bloggers tell it like it is with regard to Duff et. al. and the media in general.

jamil hussein said...

I don't know what European intelligence you are talking about other

Bipartisan congressional 9/11 commission concluded this. Especially French intelligence services were certain about WMD program and they provided a lot of information to us about this. I can't remember how then president Bill Clinton concluded the same thing in late 1990s but there were a lot of supporting evidence about this, especially given the surprising Iraqi WMD program in 1991. I believe Bill Clinton and Al Gore were not lying about this in the late 1990s.
Sometimes the truth hurts.

Anonymous said...

The French told us straight out that the whole Niger uranium idea was false, not true, never happened, yet mysteriously it continued to show up in speeches.

How could there have been 'evidence' of WMD that didn't exist? That's like 'evidence' of a rape that never happened, imaginary.

jamil hussein said...

The French told us straight out that the whole Niger uranium idea was false, not true, never

This is a lie.

quick google search founds pieces of informationm like this: "France was responsible for some of the information later used by Britain and the United States to promote the case for war with Iraq."

)The British government's independent investigation into the Iraq/Africa uranium connection confirmed President Bush's claims on Iraq seeking nuclear material.

2) The bi-partisan 9/11 Commission's report pointed out Wilson's dishonesty about the assessment of the information in Niger, but also his lies about how he achieved the post in the first place.

As 9/11 and senate commissions concluded, european int services supported WMD claims, including Niger claims. Of course, in alternate liberal universe everything is the opposite.

Anonymous said...

No it isn't a lie.

The French told is that Hussein wasn't trying to buy enriched uranium from Niger, there was no evidence he had tried to buy it and that it would be impossible for him to buy it.

The Italians told us the documents were fake.

You are no better than Mike Nifong, you think if you keep repeating a lie long enough it will become truth.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure that the NYT got many letters after the charge dismissal that criticized its coverage. Note the only one they printed:

To the Editor:

The defense attorneys also pilloried the press for piling on early in the Duke rape case investigation. The Times should examine its reporting in this case and report to us, its loyal readers, as to how it contributed or did not contribute to this miscarriage of justice.

Henry Belch
Fairfax, Va., April 12, 2007

O, Great Leader, pray, may I approach you to beg for a crumb of your benevolence? --That's how I interpret the tone required to have the paper print a letter critical of its reporting.

Deklan Singh said...

I think at this point it is important for everyone to remember that this lacrosse players are no angels. Seriously, they're not angels, they're not lawnchairs, they're not mountain lions, they're not bald eagles. These are very valuable observations to put the case in context. Seriously, keep in mind, they're not portable hard drives, they're not chocolate covered waffles cones, they're not gaskets. They're former Duke students, they're men, they're INNOCENT.

Anonymous said...

Jamil Hussein wrote:

The Iraq WMD story was different: As bipartisan 9/11 commission reported, everybody, including then president Bill Clinton, then-VP Al Gore, and later GWB, senators Hillary, Kerry etc and all european intelligence agencies (French, Russians) believed it in. Of course, this does not fit in liberal NYT storyline so better to ignore inconvenient facts.


The Iraqis themselves believed they had it. Tehy had this little green line drawn on their operational maps idicating where to employ them should the American's penetrate too far.

jamil hussein said...

The French told is that Hussein wasn't trying to buy enriched uranium from Niger, there was no evidence he had tried to buy it and that it would be

Nice to see some NYT wannabes are on board. Every intel agency in the western world (including Iraq's own army) believed the case. So did Bill Clinton during his presidency. GWB, Kerry, Hillary etc had the same evidence. Intel material is always somewhat fuzzy and unreliable. CIA did not have a clue about Pakistan's WMD program. Nor Libya's WMD program. Nor Saddam's WMD program in 1991. Even if some CIA reports would have indicated that there is no WMD in Iraq, that is hardly assuring, given the evidence supporting the case and the history of Saddam's WMD program, his consistent lies, and support from UK, French, Russians. I think politicians (from Bill Clinton and Kerry to GWB) made the right decision.
Re Niger claim: UK government investigation confirmed the case. Wilson and his buddies in New York Times were liars, as you would assume from NYT.

NYT is the worst newspaper in the US.

Anonymous said...

Your entire contention is illogical.

There cannot be "evidence" of something that doesn't exist.

There were no WMD in Iraq and therefore, there cannot have been any credible evidence that they existed, when in fact, they didn't.

The French discredited the Niger report and so did the Italians.

The Germans told us Chalabis nephew was not credible.

Our own intelligence community expressed skepticism about Saddams WMD and Chalabi; those who did so, were punished.

You can lie from here to eternity and that will never change the fact that there weren't any WMD and there wasn't any credible evidence that there were, only wishful thinking, document doctoring and 2+2=100 calculations.

Anonymous said...

It's no wonder why readership has plummeted through the floor for the once vaunted NY Times. It's not good enough for pet droppings these days.

rrhamilton said...

Re. Iraq (tho this is far off subject): Jamil Hussein is 100% correct on every point.

Btw, funny "the Germans were warning us off Chalabi's nephew", since it was the Germans who were feeding us "Curveball's" fantasies.

My personal view is that Saddam paid for WMD, his scientists lied to him and told him they had created WMD (and sent the funds he gave them off to Switzerland), he told his top commanders he had WMD, the CIA listened in on his chats, and the CIA thus concluded that because SADDAM THOUGHT HE HAD WMD, HE MUST HAVE WMD.

Just my theory.

Anonymous said...

Please don't forget the CIA was the agency that was completely surprised by the collapse of the Soviet Union. I was with Army Intelligence at the time and we were telling CIA we thought something was happening in the USSR, but they pooh-poohed us and assured us the Soviet Union was stronger than ever. Frankly, it has been my experience that the CIA couldn't find its own ass with a roadmap and a flashlight. It was no surprise to me that we couldn't find WMDs.

Anonymous said...

The USSR outspent itself six weeks before we outspent ourselves. I hope you are right about the Times falling readership.

rrhamilton said...

Anon at 4:05 is completely right, just like Jamil Hussein. In fact there is a connection between what I said about the CIA thinking Saddam knew what was happening in his own country and the Soviet leaders knowing what was happening in the old USSR: The CIA had taps on the Kremlin just they did on Saddam. In both cases, they foolishly thought that underlings would give their dictators bad news (i.e. "the USSR is collapsing" or "no, we don't have WMD").

That's why the CIA was suprised in one case that the USSR collapsed, and in the other case that Saddam didn't have WMD.

Anonymous said...

WMD are off-topic, but I'll add my 2 cents. Saddam DID have WMD, he used them on the Kurds. Chemical weapons are very much WMD. Not all WMD are nuclear. After we wasted more time with the UN, Saddam had time to move the nuclear WMD to Syria.

Part of Colin Powell's address to the UN contained satellite
shots of 18 wheel truck after truck leaving a base and driving straight to the Syrian border. If you want to find the WMD now, you need to check Syria.....also, I wouldn't be surprised if Syria didn't hide some of them in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon.

rod allison, detroit said...

The Times wil never admit their mistakes in covering the Duke case. Calame's backhanded backpedaling - which was meant to be a criticism of KC - is the closest thing we will get.

The reason is because it was never their intention to present the story accurately and fairly. It was their intention to misinform.

You could admit the former, but to admit the latter would be admitting something much more serious than merely making a screw up and getting a story wrong.

The more serious problem of deliberately using your paper as a political instrument is something they cannot admit.

Anonymous said...

Whew...
I missed this yesterday because of the flooding and the lack of electricity, but

(1) As a faithful reader of the NYT, I agree the NYT has completely wrecked its reputation and I will assume henceforth anything I read therein is possibly/probably a lie to further a political agenda even deeper and more invidious than I ever imagined possible (and I have always read with some skepticism).

(2) I agree with Polanski that the NYT still showcases scholars and excellent writers on matters of interest in the Science section (who could forget the piece on the star-faced mole, for example), the Magazine section, the op-ed page, excluding the in-house editorials, the well done series articles (China, New Orleans, Internet based sexual abuse, etc.) and often pieces in the Week in Review. I was disappointed no article about Duke appeared this past Sunday in that section.

NOTE: the picture of Reade Seligman giving his mother a hug after AG Roy Cooper's announcement last Wednesday (I believe the pic was in Thursday's edition) is fabulous...

(3) RE WMD, I tend to agree with rrhamilton and jamal hussein. Based on Ken Pollack's "The Threatening Storm," Thomas Friedman's and Nicholas Kristof's opinion pieces, and lots of publicly available information, I changed my initial opposition to the war. I cannot possibly argue I was in any way "misled." I was not. We did not have perfect knowledge then, and we probably still do not.

(4) If the NYT clings to rowback rather than fully airing the Durham Disaster and its abysmal coverage of the same, its moral collapse is complete...a political tool that I will read entirely as propaganda, unless, of course, it is discussing the star-faced mole.

(4) Kudos to Applebome.

Observer