Monday, September 7, 2015

Just Another Day At The NY Times

THC could write every day about the hijinks at the New York Times but tries to restrain himself (his most recent failure to exercise restraint can be found here); nonetheless he can't resist alerting his readers to a couple of recent tidbits:

In its original story on the Kentucky county clerk jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, the Times identified the clerk as a "49-year old Republican".

Oops, at the end of the long feature the Times has now added this correction:
"Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article misstated Kim Davis’s political affiliation. She is a Democrat, not a Republican."
Now we all know what really happened.  This was not an editing error.  The authors of the piece, Alan Blinder and Tamar Lewin simply could not conceive that the clerk was anything other than a Republican.  Further, that assumption fit neatly with the quotes they used likening the clerk to Governor George Wallace who was also a  . . . uh-oh, another oops here; Wallace was a Democrat too, though his party affiliation is not mentioned.

Traditionally, you could always tell in a Times story the party affiliation of a politician involved in a scandal or something the Times reporters and editors believed to be bad behavior - when the politician was a Republican their party affiliation would always be mentioned prominently; if they were a Democrat their party affiliation would not be mentioned or only mentioned near the end of the article.  With the Kentucky story the reporters for the Times took it to another level altogether - giving the wrong party affiliation.

And speaking of stories that would be handled differently if a Republican rather than a Democrat were involved do you remember back in the Bush Administration when one of GW's White House staffers attempted to shoot their significant other?  Of course not, because it didn't happen in the Bush Administration, it happened in the Obama Administration just last month.

The Times did manage to rouse itself to publish one brief AP story on the shooting and then let the matter drop.  This is the lead sentence:
A White House staffer is charged with firing the service weapon of an off-duty U.S. Capitol Police officer in what authorities described as a domestic incident.
There was a little more to that story than the Times reveals.  The staffer was not a junior intern; she was Barvetta Singletary, special assistant to the President and legislative liaison at the White House and former chief of staff and policy director for Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), the third ranking Democrat in the House who, according to this article in The Week:
. . . turned her boyfriend's gun on him after he refused to reveal the passwords to his two cell phones, according to police documents. Singletary and her boyfriend were allegedly fighting about the victim's relations with other women.

"You taught me how to use this. Don't think I won't use it," Singletary allegedly said before firing a round in her boyfriend's direction. via Daily Mail)

This article adds some more details from the police::
 Police said Ms Singletary on Friday texted her boyfriend, who was not identified, “to come to her residence … for sexual intercourse,” according to the charging documents. Afterward, according to the criminal complaint,  Ms Singletary went to the man’s car with him and accused him of dating other women.
Singletary was recently indicted and resigned her position.

Let's be honest.  If this incident had occurred in the Bush White House how many articles would the Times have run on it?  How many investigative reporters would have been assigned? How many opinion pieces, or opinion pieces masquerading as new stories discussing the gun control, policing, security, racial and domestic violence implications of these events would we have seen?

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