Sunday, September 27, 2009

New York Times knows what is best for you to know

Further to the last post:

'...Some conservatives think O’Keefe and Giles were doing work that should have been done by the mainstream media. But most news organizations consider such tactics unethical — The Times specifically prohibits reporters from misrepresenting themselves or making secret recordings...'

WTF? Are they serious???? Undercover videoing is a staple of both broadcast and print journalism in Britain. Without it, the proof of many many important stories would be absent. If you don't video, even if you go straight from discovering some pertinent information and write it in a notebook, you could misremember, leave out important details and be subject to the standard 'its my word against yours' defence. Even WITH video, the lefties in the states have tried to both deny that what was said was said, and call into question the editing of the tapes. Without the video, this story would have been NOTHING. The ACORN people would simply have accused the two individuals of inventing everything out of malice for the organization.

The BBC constantly try to find pockets of racism and fascism round Britain and get it on secret video. Its their favourite pastime. They have NEVER tried to find pockets of communist or anarchist activity because they are politically approved of, but the tactic itself is valid. A few years back, it was an internet truism that it doesn't exist if its not on video.

Mark Steyn constantly rails about how utterly boring American newspapers are. Perhaps now we know one of the reasons why.

'And the two were sloppy with facts. One Acorn employee who bragged about killing one of her former husbands said she knew she was being scammed and was playing along. The police said they found her ex-husbands alive.'

Eh? Talk about garbage reasoning- because one of the Acorn employees bragged about killing her husband, the two investigators are sloppy? No assertions have been made about the contents of the tapes- they have simply been published and allowed to speak for themselves. The feeling I got from that particular incident mentioned was that she was a pathetic fantasist who enjoyed telling gratuitously over-the-top lies for dramatic purposes; to brighten up her terrifically boring life and job with some soap-opera glory. Her after-the-fact self-justification just adds a little more pathos to the sad incident. It does add to the overall impression from the tapes, however, of a highly disfunctional workforce who have no judgement and no morals.

'Dean Baquet, the Washington bureau chief, said, “We did not ignore the Acorn story, so I don’t think it’s fair for people to say we blew it off.”'

Er, you did ignore it you lying liar. For the longest time it was possible to ignore this story, you sat on it like pompous old school marms pretending that the annoying scuffle in the corner will simply sort itself out. You completely failed to perform your basic function. Wanker.

'Baquet said people need to keep Acorn in perspective with other Washington stories: health care, two wars and the deep recession.'

Oh my God! Can you listen to yourself for a moment? YOU CAN'T DICTATE TO PEOPLE WHAT STORIES THEY THINK ARE IMPORTANT (any more). Millions upon millions of people find it perfectly easy to discern in what way this story is important- Obama and ACORN have been linked at the hip for decades, or had you forgotten? Scandal at ACORN is scandal for Obama.

If George W Bush had been linked over decades with some barely legal scam outfit like ACORN, the NY Times would be running above-the-fold splashes about any whiff of scandal there every other day. Hell, they even invented scandal about the completely not corrupt President Bush anyway. And McCain. And Palin. But when real live demonstrable scandal hoves into view, suddenly the NY Times has bigger fish to fry, because its Saint Obama in the crosshairs.

'Jill Abramson, the managing editor for news, agreed with me that the paper was “slow off the mark,” and blamed “insufficient tuned-in-ness to the issues that are dominating Fox News and talk radio.”'

Trust me Jill, there's a whole lot more than those two you are not tuned in to. Day was when a story which broke on ABC would be on CBS and NBC within a few nano-seconds. Why not? All is fair in love, war and ratings. The fact that it was which broke the story is completely by the by. The NT Times in its haughty grandeur doesn't consider the whole vast array of right-leaning media legitimate, so it ignores it and its stories. THAT is a story in itself. Where is the newshound spirit of the muckrakers? Long long gone. Replaced by a prim fastidiousness which is contrary to all known cultural aspects of traditional Anglo-American journalism.

'Despite what the critics think, Abramson said the problem was not liberal bias.'

That's right, there is no track record of liberal bias at the New York Times. Nuh uh. Nada. Rien. Nil. Zippo.

'Tom Rosenstiel, the director of the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism, said he has studied journalists for years, and though they are more liberal than the general population, he believes they are motivated by the desire to get good stories, not to help one particular side.'

We love him.

'Conservatives who believe The Times isn’t critical of Democrats forget that the paper broke damaging stories about the personal finances of Representative Charles Rangel and the hiring of prostitutes by Eliot Spitzer.'

I don't know about the Spitzer story, but the Rangel claim is complete shite. Local journos in Harlem have been digging dirt on Rangel from pretty much day one, but he is a protected species. Here is a question for the NYT: and what effect has your reporting on Rangel had? I didn't notice him losing his job... or his influence... or anything...

'And Republicans earlier this year charged that the paper killed a story about Acorn that would have been a “game changer” in the presidential election — a claim I found to be false.'

Not going to tell us what the story was? Not going to back up your judgement with facts, reasoning or evidence? How surprising. Not only is the claim true, the courts in thirteen states are investigating voter registration fraud. They don't do that for fun. Most Americans don't find organizations like ACORN interesting to read or talk about- for good or ill. But that doesn't mean if they were given the facts it couldn't have changed the outcome of the 2008 election. It may well have done. But we'll never know, because the NY Times suppressed the story.

'“If you know you are a target, it requires extra vigilance,” Rosenstiel said. “Even the suspicion of a bias is a problem all by itself.”'

Yeah, that's right- its all just faked-up suspicion by the Rethuglicans, right!

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