Sunday, July 25, 2010

Correcting the New York Times

This post is a revised and update version of an entry that was scheduled to go live early Monday morning (see the original post below). Some readers might recall that last weekend I caught New York Times' political reporter Matt Bai publishing a 100 percent falsehood that claimed a "shower of hateful epithets" had allegedly met Rep. John Lewis outside Capitol Hill last March. Full details below, but it's a pleasure to revise and update with a correction from the editors published in today's newspaper:

Published: July 25, 2010


The Political Times column last Sunday, about a generational divide over racial attitudes, erroneously linked one example of a racially charged statement to the Tea Party movement. While Tea Party supporters have been connected to a number of such statements, there is no evidence that epithets reportedly directed in March at Representative John Lewis, Democrat of Georgia, outside the Capitol, came from Tea Party members. (Go to Article)

There's no perma-permalink, so here's the screencap for posterity. (The orginal article has been revised, however, and the correction is appended at bottom: "Beneath Divides Seemingly About Race Are Generational Fault Lines.")


And this correction is an extremely limited one at that. John at Power Line picked it up, and he notes:
Someday the Times may go all the way and admit that the epithets "reportedly" directed at Lewis (reported by Lewis himself, that is) never occurred. In the meantime, the paper is careful to assure its readers that Tea Party members have made "a number of" racially charged statements, all of which are unspecified.
Hat tip to Pirate's Cove, who links to Linkmaster Smith at The Other McCain. And thanks to Glenn Reynolds for originally linking and spreading the word. My original post is below:


Interesting piece at NYT (FWIW), "In a World of Online News, Burnout Starts Younger":

Such is the state of the media business these days: frantic and fatigued. Young journalists who once dreamed of trotting the globe in pursuit of a story are instead shackled to their computers, where they try to eke out a fresh thought or be first to report even the smallest nugget of news — anything that will impress Google algorithms and draw readers their way.

Tracking how many people view articles, and then rewarding — or shaming — writers based on those results has become increasingly common in old and new media newsrooms. The Christian Science Monitor now sends a daily e-mail message to its staff that lists the number of page views for each article on the paper’s Web site that day.

The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times all display a “most viewed” list on their home pages. Some media outlets, including Bloomberg News and Gawker Media, now pay writers based in part on how many readers click on their articles.

Once only wire-service journalists had their output measured this way. And in a media environment crowded with virtual content farms where no detail is too small to report as long as it was reported there first, Politico stands out for its frenetic pace or, in the euphemism preferred by its editors, “high metabolism.”

The top editors, who rise as early as 4:30 a.m., expect such volume and speed from their reporters because they believe Politico’s very existence depends, in large part, on how quickly it can tell readers something, anything they did not know


The golden nugget of today's high-octane online journalism is the breaking news report. And what's not mentioned so much at the piece is how newspapers are in fact threatened by all the alternative media. Notice how at the piece reporters aren't working a beat so much nowadays as trawling the web for interesting and exclusive tidbits of information. Also important is the premium of fresh content so as not to lose readers.

Sounds a lot like blogging, actually.

Speaking of which, I had a great time of it last week. I broke a story.

On Sunday night I published "
Calling New York Times: Congressman John Lewis was NOT 'Showered With Hateful Epithets Outside the Capitol' Last March." I e-mailed it out to some on my bloggers' distribution list, and Glenn Reynolds picked it up (and I had an Instalanche rockin' the blog when I got back online at 3:00am Monday morning.) That was followed up by Andrew Bolt at Australia's Herald Sun, and then a little later by Power Line and NewsBusters. (I'm especially proud of the Power Line link --- that's a first for me, and Power Line was one of the very first blogs I discovered years ago before I picked up blogging for myself.) And it turns out a Power Line reader has written "An open letter to Matt Bai." (Via Glenn.)

So, head on over there and check it out. That's cool!

BONUS: It turns out Mark Levin linked to my post as part of his 7-19 program on "
race based politics."

That's too cool!




Left Coast Rebel said...

Congrats, Donald - a feather in your cap indeed!

Chris Muir said...

Super Work, Sir!

Norm said...

A+ prof! Pleased to see your work
get recognition.