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.
Here is a Texas Tribune dispatch with which the New York Times covers, with an article in the March 23 paper, the news that the chancellor of the University of Texas announced back on February 10 that he is resigning:
An editorial in today's Times says:
The Times source for the "$11 billion a year" number is a Times op-ed that, when it appeared, Smartertimes pointed out was inaccurate, but the Times did not correct. As I wrote when the op-ed appeared:
A Times news article from Chicago begins:
The same article mentions President Obama but doesn't call him a multimillionaire, even though he is one. And the Times writes about Mayor de Blasio all the time without calling him a multimillionaire, even though he reportedly owns "a pair of two-family homes on 11th Street in Park Slope that are valued at more than $1.1 million apiece."
This site is usually devoted to criticizing the New York Times, not to praising it. But an exception is called for in the case of Edward Rothstein's piece in today's special section on museums, which is so good, so smart, and so at odds with the paper's left-leaning conventional views, that it's almost a wonder that it made it into the paper. If you are interested in history, museums, or identity politics, it's worth your time.
The Wall Street Journal's Keach Hagey shrewdly notices that the Ochs-Sulzberger family's economic stake in the New York Times company has declined to a mere 13 percent, from 19 percent as recently as 2010.
A Times company spokesman who spoke to the Journal attributed the decline to "estate planning and long term estate taxes." (I will resist the temptation to make a smart-aleck remark here about the Times editorial position on the estate tax.)
Paul Krugman writes in his New York Times column:
Finding these denunciations is not "hard," as Professor Krugman claims. In fact a quick search in the archives of the Times itself turns up a news article about Sharron Angle, "the Tea Party darling from Nevada," denouncing Senator McCain as "Lord of the TARP."
Another Times news article, which appeared on the newspaper's front page, reported:
A Times article about Mayor de Blasio begins, "He wants to close schools for the Chinese New Year, has pledged fealty to an Israeli political group, sprinkles Spanish and Italian phrases into his speeches and speaks frequently of his wife's Caribbean heritage."
The reference to the mayor having "pledged fealty to an Israeli political group" is unexplained in the rest of the article, which is about Mr. de Blasio's relations with the Irish-American community in New York.
But it appears to be aimed at Mr. de Blasio's remarks to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. If that is indeed what the Times is talking about here, a correction is warranted, because Aipac is not in fact "an Israeli political group" but an American pro-Israel lobbying group.
The New York Times has now published its second article in two months about a book that tells readers how to clean sex toys. The first article, an interview with the author, was the subject of an earlier Smartertimes post here. Today's Times article, a book review, reports:
A Times editorial about the problem-plagued state ObamaCare websites accuses Republicans of "harassing state officials with requests for information about the salaries and vacation time of directors of the state exchanges." The editorial is headlined "harassment of troubled state exchanges."
Subscribe to the Mailing List
© 2014 FutureOfCapitalism LLC