August 6, 2001
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A headline in the national section of today's New York Times reports, "An Unrepentant Nader Unveils a New Grass-Roots Project."
This is reminiscent of the April 23, 2001, headline in the Times national section, which said, "An Unrepentant Nader Sees a Positive Side of Bush Policy."
If you got your news only from the New York Times, you might think that Mr. Nader had changed his first name from "Ralph" to "Unrepentant." Back in April, Smartertimes.com said, "the Times still is harboring hostility toward Mr. Nader for supposedly costing Al Gore the election. The Times would do better to get over it, already, and stop demanding in headlines that Mr. Nader repent."
But it looks like the Times itself is unrepentant. Today's article devotes an inordinate amount of space to "at least two dozen" anti-Nader protesters. Mr. Nader drew a crowd of 7,500, but the Times prefers to dwell on the protesters and the demand that Mr. Nader repent.
Fuzzy Math: A brief article in the business section of today's New York Times reports on a content-sharing agreement between the Web sites of the New York Times and the Financial Times. The article claims that "the total monthly visitors to the two Web sites, NYTimes.com and FT.com, is almost eight million -- nearly six million for NYTimes.com and two million for FT.com."
Elsewhere in the same business section of the same newspaper, the New York Times publishes a chart listing "total visitors" to news and information Web sites in June 2001. According to that chart, NYTimes.com drew 2.82 million visitors from "at home" and 2.28 million visitors from "at work." That's a total of 5.1 million visitors -- a far cry from "nearly six million." Now, there could be an additional 900,000 visitors going to the Times Web site from places that are neither "at home" nor "at work." And it's possible that there were 900,000 more visitors in July than there were in June. It's also possible that the Jupiter Media Metrix numbers the Times cites in the chart are less accurate than the figures generated by the Times's own count of visitors to its site. Whatever the explanation, the newspaper might consider sharing it with readers, who otherwise might be baffled at seeing the number of monthly visitors to NYTimes.com pegged at "nearly six million" on one page of the Times business section, and at 5.1 million on another page of the same business section.
Satmar Silliness: A report in the metro section of today's New York Times tells of mayoral candidate Peter Vallone's visit to a Satmar summer camp. "Signs are lettered in Hebrew," the Times reports. In fact, given Satmar beliefs and practices, the signs are almost certainly lettered in Yiddish, which uses the Hebrew alphabet, but is a different language.
Newly Published: The international section of today's New York Times carries an interview with Ehud Barak, a former prime minister of Israel. The article refers to "newly published accounts" that offer "a different perspective" on the collapse of the Arab-Israeli negotiations. It's strange the way the Times refers to these "newly published accounts" without mentioning where they were published -- in one particularly egregious case, in the July 26, 2001, New York Times. Had that article bothered to include the perspective of Mr. Barak -- which was available from a public speech he made in Washington -- the Times wouldn't have to be doing a separate article now with his rebuttal.
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