A Times dispatch from Jerusalem reports:
The use of the language that the buildings "sprung up" or "went up" oddly omits the question of who built them. Arabs? Jews? The article doesn't say who the unscrupulous slumlords are, and it's almost as if the reporter is bending over backwards not to find out.
Thanks to reader-participant-community member-watchdog-content co-creator D.K. for sending the tip.
Reviewing Barbara Ehrenreich's book Living With A Wild God: A Nonbeliever's Search For The Truth About Everything, Times book critic Dwight Garner writes:
A Times op-ed today appears under the headline "Global Warming Scare Tactics" and says, "claims linking the latest blizzard, drought or hurricane to global warming simply can't be supported by the science."
Someone might want to alert the Times news department to that. A 2012 article about Hurricane Sandy reported:
A Times news article about the decision by Brandeis University to withdraw an offer of an honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali refers on second reference to the president of Brandeis, Fred Lawrence, as "Dr. Lawrence." Mr. Lawrence is a lawyer and has a J.D. degree, but the Times reserves the automatic "Dr." honorific for medical doctors and dentists. "Anyone else with an earned doctorate, like a Ph.D. degree, may request the title," the Times stylebook says. If the paper is going to let J.D.'s request to be called doctor, it seems like a pretty low bar and runs counter to common usage. And if the paper is calling President Lawrence "Dr. Lawrence" without his requesting it, it's misleading, because it suggests he requested it when he did not.
Today's New York Times features both a front-page news article and an op-ed page opinion piece about the threat posed by greedy, unlicensed tax preparers. Here's a quiz to see if you can tell the difference between the news article and the opinion piece:
Web headline: "Tax Preparers Targeting the Poor With High Fees"
That was the news article.
Passage from the text:
That was from the news article, too.
Another passage from the text:
From a Dealbook article that runs under the headline "Former Kaplan Chief Assembling a Digital Learning Company":
It's kind of a lame article anyway — the only person quoted in it by name is the former Kaplan chief, Jonathan Grayer. There's no response from Kaplan and no assessment from independent observers of Mr. Grayer's plans.
From a dispatch from Paris about Marine Le Pen, "the charismatic and complicated leader of the National Front, the largest far-right party in France.":
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A Times business section article runs under the headline "Senate Report Says Caterpillar Used Swiss Subsidiary To Reduce Taxes." It begins:
No mention at all in the Times article of the company's ties during that period with President Obama. As FutureOfCapitalism reported back in 2011:
The New York Times Public Editor, Margaret Sullivan, links to and quotes Smartertimes in the second edition of her AnonyWatch column cracking down on the use of anonymous sources in the New York Times. You can read her column here.
Maybe the Times Thursday Styles section should be renamed the Michelle Obama section. Today's contains not one, not two, but three articles mentioning the first lady. Some might consider it overkill.
The main cover story about a businessman who invested in a move called "Fed Up" reports, "Michelle Obama, a noted advocate for better eating habits, declined to participate." This is an example of finding a way to insert Michelle Obama into an article even when she has nothing to do with the article.
Then there is a fashion article that reports in its opening paragraph, "Lane Bryant, the plus-size retailer, was presenting a collection designed by Isabel Toledo, a designer probably best known for the lemon-grass wool lace dress and matching coat Michelle Obama wore on the cold morning of the 2009 inauguration."
Nate Silver's website FiveThirtyEight.com has a pretty funny analysis about how Paul Krugman's view of FiveThirtyEight has changed substantially in a negative direction since FiveThirtyEight left the New York Times.
"Festival Focus Is on Quality, Not Diversity," is the headline over a Times article about a film festival in New York. It reports:
It's a strange headline in that it suggests that quality and diversity are somehow conflicting goals rather than mutually reinforcing ones.
An auto review in Sunday's Times (of a $238,180 Bentley Flying Spur) features the reviewer writing about driving the car in a snowstorm "the night after Christmas." If the Times is letting the copy age for three months before publishing, you'd think they'd be embarrassed enough about it to edit some of these dated time references away. What good does this do the guy who would have bought the Bentley back in January or February but was stuck with an inferior vehicle for two months until the Times saw fit to allow the review to see the light of day. Strange.
A front-page Sunday Times article about the political prospects of Rand Paul, the Republican from Kentucky, includes this: "Nate Morris, a wunderkind fund-raiser for President George W. Bush in 2004, has linked Mr. Paul to such figures as the billionaire investor Herb Allen."
Could there be a more vague verb there than "linked"? Did Warren Buffett's pal Herb Allen donate to Rand Paul's campaign or political action committee? If so, how much? If there has been such a donation, it isn't yet disclosed in the Federal Election Commission's online database. The Times article carries no comment from Mr. Allen, nor any indication that there was an attempt to reach him for comment. For all we know, the Times may be getting Herb Allen mixed up with Paul Allen, or with Harold Allen of Mexican Manufacturers, Inc., in El Paso, Texas. Was there a meeting between Herb Allen and Rand Paul, arranged by Mr. Morris? Again, Times readers can't know from the sentence. Some more clarity would be appreciated by this reader.
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