A whole lot of wrong in one place

A pretty remarkable Times correction of an Alessandra Stanley piece (from CJR via O-Dub):

An appraisal on Saturday about Walter Cronkite’s career included a number of errors. In some copies, it misstated the date that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed and referred incorrectly to Mr. Cronkite’s coverage of D-Day. Dr. King was killed on April 4, 1968, not April 30. Mr. Cronkite covered the D-Day landing from a warplane; he did not storm the beaches. In addition, Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969, not July 26. “The CBS Evening News” overtook “The Huntley-Brinkley Report” on NBC in the ratings during the 1967-68 television season, not after Chet Huntley retired in 1970. A communications satellite used to relay correspondents’ reports from around the world was Telstar, not Telestar. Howard K. Smith was not one of the CBS correspondents Mr. Cronkite would turn to for reports from the field after he became anchor of “The CBS Evening News” in 1962; he left CBS before Mr. Cronkite was the anchor.

This is the same Alessandra Stanley who confused “truthiness” with “trustiness”, the same whose many mistakes were the subject of a Chicago Tribune column, the same whose standing as a tv critic gave her the authority to write:

2001 President Bush and his newly appointed aides had ample warning, including a briefing paper titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.,” and they failed to take it seriously enough, but their missteps are not equal (to Clinton’s). It’s like focusing blame for a school shooting at the beginning of the school year on the student’s new home room teacher; the adults who watched the boy torment classmates and poison small animals knew better.

I’m sympathetic to the plight of the Times and I hope it doesn’t go under. But how can it be that the most prestigious paper in the country would (1) employ someone so inept and (2) fail to copy edit that person properly?






167 replies
  1. 1
    RedKitten says:

    Wow — Stanley wasn’t performing even basic, lazy fact-checking. Half of that stuff she got wrong is on fricking Wikipedia, for crissakes. Teachers here dock marks off of students if their only research source is Wiki, so how could Stanley get a job as a journalist when she’s a lazier researcher than your average 14-year old C-student?

  2. 2
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    OT

    I wish for an open thread;

    We don’t need to torture people to get good intel.

  3. 3
    Hunter Gathers says:

    “I’m sympathetic to the plight of the Times and I hope it doesn’t go under. But how can it be that the most prestigious paper in the country would (1) employ someone so inept and (2) fail to copy edit that person properly?”

    Pure professional laziness. It’s the NYT, therefore everyone is the best at what they do and don’t need no damn copy editing. Facts in journalism dissapeared a long time ago. It is all about truthiness.

  4. 4
    Ailuridae says:

    I think your presumption that the NYT has/had an interest in furthering the truth or reality is where we differ here. For most of the last decade there have only been two newspapery type things doing actual journalism: McClatchy and the WSJ (I am not in any way defending their opinion page).

    I wonder what it would actually take for other people on the left to take the NYT, and a lesser extent the Post for what they are: establishmentarian drivel.

  5. 5
    MikeJ says:

    For most of the last decade there have only been two newspapery type things doing actual journalism: McClatchy and the WSJ

    Don’t forget the CSM.

  6. 6
    Florida Cynic says:

    My father ran a small town newspaper for a few years while I was growing up. The reporter who submitted a piece that full of errors would have found herself unemployed instantaneously.

  7. 7
    Ailuridae says:

    @MikeJ:

    Assuming you are talking about the Christian Science Montior that is a glaring omission on my part although I still think of the CSM as a magazine (its not – again my error).

  8. 8
    calipygian says:

    Copyediting – NPR’s “On the Media” had a piece yesterday about how copyeditors are the easiest ones to let go because, you know, journalists should already know how to fucking write.

    The Baltimore Sun, for instance, once had a couple dozen copy editors. They interviewed the head copy writer who was fired after 23 years there.

    The Sun now has six.

    Just as papers look like they are going under, they fire the guys who guard their credibility.

    Expect more crapitude.

  9. 9
    ellie says:

    This reminds me of an article in the Boulder Daily Camera back in 1997 which repeatedly referred to climber Anatoli Boukreev as “Anatomy” Boukreev. Idiots.

  10. 10
    Davis X. Machina says:

    But ellie, that’s exactly what his girlfriends called him…

  11. 11
    geg6 says:

    As the daughter of a print journalist and as someone who worked for a newspaper for 7 years, this is the most glaring example (though it is not in any way unusual these days) of what a lack of copy editors does to journalism. This might be a case (not might…change that to is) of a lazy journalist but it also shows how few copy editors there are out there these days and how incompetent/overwhelmed the few around are. Shameful.

  12. 12
    GregB says:

    I’m surprised that Stanley didn’t report that Walter Cronkite owned two bulls named Black and Gus.

    http://www.stupidvideos.com/vi....._Gus/#8953

    -G

  13. 13
    Jim says:

    Jesus, and that’s a television review, not an ‘editorial’. What a looser.

    She and MoDo are bestest pals, from what I’ve read.

  14. 14
    DougJ says:

    I wonder what it would actually take for other people on the left to take the NYT, and a lesser extent the Post for what they are: establishmentarian drivel.

    I think most commenters here believe that. I believe there is some truth to that, but it is putting things a bit too strongly. (The Post, the NYT, and most other large papers have a lot of solid reporting to go along with the establishment driver, IMHO.)

  15. 15
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    Ah yes, Alessandra Stanley, who showed such stellar insight in reviewing the lie-filled hit piece that was slated to air on the eve of the 2004 election:

    “Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal,” the highly contested anti-Kerry documentary, should not be shown by the Sinclair Broadcast Group. It should be shown in its entirety on all the networks, cable stations and on public television. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . This histrionic, often specious and deeply sad film does not do much more damage to Senator John Kerry’s reputation than have the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth’s negative ads, which have flooded television markets in almost every swing state. But it does help viewers better understand the rage fueling the unhappy band of brothers who oppose Mr. Kerry’s candidacy and his claim to heroism.

  16. 16
    Cat Lady says:

    When the correction approaches half the word count of the original article and probably took the fact checker more time to fact check and write it than the reporter took, it’s time for the Times to say goodnight, Gracie.

    OTOH, Stanley may be responsible for keeping several people employed who otherwise wouldn’t be if she weren’t a hack.

  17. 17
    Roger Moore says:

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    We don’t need to torture people to get good intel.

    Yeah, we just need to infiltrate their organization. There’s no way to know for sure, but this is exactly what I’d expect a good infiltration mission to look like. We send in an infiltrator who manages to join al Qaeda and shows some bona fides without actually doing any real damage. When he gets enough good intel, he tips off his handlers and gets caught in a raid. Then he sings like a canary when we turn him over to the FBI in order to get a reduced sentence. Don’t be surprised if he disappears into the witness relocation program in the near future.

  18. 18
    shelley matheis says:

    On NPR’s ‘Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me”, one of their questions was ‘what was Cronkite’s nickname’. One of the choices was ‘Bushy eyebrows of Doom.’ The answer? ‘Old Iron Pants.’

    Swear to God.

  19. 19
    Comrade Vida Loca says:

    I heard the NPR piece referenced by calipygian this morning — it’s worth a listen. Its point in a nutshell: newspapers are awash in red ink. They have to cut costs but cutting the staff members who generate the column-inches has a downside: no column-inches. So they cut everyone else more quickly and some of the first ones cut are the quality-contol staff.

    Now we all know what would happen if a manufacturing concern (say, for example, GM) cut all its quality-control staff: cynics that we are, we’d say “Nothing good can come from this” because we know that pretty soon the customer base would start bitching once they saw the car doors start to fall off. And the credibility of the manufacturing concern (say, for example, GM) would go into the shitter.

    But this all depends on your customer base being knowledgeable enough to realize the having the car door fall off is indeed a problem. This is not necessarily true in the newspaper business. If the customer base is no smarter than say, for example, Alessandra Stanley —- where’s the downside?

  20. 20
    Ailuridae says:

    @DougJ:

    Where are those good reporters when things matter? Like now with the health care debate* or during the run up to the Mess in the Sand? Those papers are eminently devoid of anything relating to facts anytime it fucking matters. The papers themselves don’t even deny their abnegation of duty. Do you?

    I can comment accurately that those two newspapers are establishment drivel and not feel I am unfairly criticizing their handful of good reporters and columnists. That includes Klein and Krugman without denying the obvious fact that most of Stanley’s errors over the years have conveniently amounted to maligning progressives.

  21. 21
    Comrade Vida Loca says:

    @Cat Lady:

    Yeah, no shit. Look a Judy Miller. A whole fucking jobs program, she was.

  22. 22
    shelley matheis says:

    (2) fail to copy edit that person properly?”

    Heard that when newspapers have been trying to cut costs, copy-editors are one of the first layoffs to go.

  23. 23
    Lisa says:

    But how can it be that the most prestigious paper in the country would (1) employ someone so inept and (2) fail to copy edit that person properly?

    Two words: Bill Kristol

  24. 24
    geg6 says:

    Comrade Vida Loca: Very well said.

  25. 25
    Scott says:

    I’ve been under the impression that most newspapers don’t have fact-checkers anymore. They’ll have someone who’ll proofread the copy for spelling and grammar errors, but not anyone who’ll check basic facts.

    Not sure if that’s completely so or not, but neither of the papers I’ve worked at (both, admittedly, either small or smaller) had anything like a fact-checker.

  26. 26
    The Moar You Know says:

    The two cited pieces of work just reek to me of someone who has slept her way to the top; there are millions of high school students who can and do churn out better journalism on a daily basis, even without the benefit of a copy editor.

  27. 27
    Brachiator says:

    @calipygian:

    Copyediting – NPR’s “On the Media” had a piece yesterday about how copyeditors are the easiest ones to let go because, you know, journalists should already know how to fucking write.

    Good editors and good copy editors have helped to maintain the journalistic reputation of many reporters, since quite a few of them know how to sniff out a good story and set it up, but are lazy with background, sourcing and the basic elements of writing.

    But they are proud graduates of journalism schools.

    And in someone like Stanley and the vastly overrated film critic Manohla Dargis, the Times picked younger writers who had a reputation for writing hot, edgy stories, but who are not nearly as knowledgeable about their subjects as they pretend to be.

    This capitulation to stupidity is bringing down all the formerly great papers. Last week a co-worker showed me a back page of the LA Times which was mainly as series of corrections to stories that had run earlier in the week. And I still recall how the Times obituary for its former publisher Otis Chandler had a number of errors that had to be corrected in a later issue. How can you screw up writing about your own people.

    And this again brings to mind the example of Walter Cronkite, who was not only the anchor but also served as editor on the CBS evening news, and so had a hand in making sure that he picked people who would get the story right.

  28. 28
    DougJ says:

    The Times also has a brilliant tv writer, Virginia Heffernan. I don’t know why they don’t run more of her stuff.

  29. 29
    geg6 says:

    Scott: At the small paper my mom and I both worked for, the copy editors checked basic factual information on any non-wire story. They still do. I’ve never seen a set of errors like that get into print there. Hell, my campus student newspaper is better at fact checking than that.

  30. 30
    Ailuridae says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Would you ever make that comment about a man? Most of Stanley’s errors over the years further a conservative/establishmentarian bent. Why choose not to malign that while suggested her sex and sexuality have allowed her to advance instead of her allegiance to that conservative/establishmentarian bent?

  31. 31
    MikeJ says:

    Scott, the fact checkers at newspapers are called reporters. Magazines, which have longer lead times, are more likely to have fact checkers. They’re the people who write second person novels about doing lots of coke in the 80s.

  32. 32
    Ailuridae says:

    @DougJ:

    The Times also has a brilliant tv writer, Virginia Heffernan. I don’t know why they don’t run more of her stuff.

    You can’t be serious. We have already established that Frank Rich is good at his job. Hiring Heffernan would entail firing him. Why do you want Frank Rich fired?

  33. 33
    JMG says:

    I worked for a daily newspaper for 20 years as a reporter and columnist. My gratitude to my department’s copy editors remains enormous.
    Newspapers that lay off the desk deserve to die.

  34. 34
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    It’s prolly not Ms. Stanley’s fault. There’s a lot of mistakes and misinformation on Conservapedia.

  35. 35
    Martin says:

    Would you ever make that comment about a man?

    From the sound of it, she slept her way to the top via MoDo. For the record, I’d say that Dubya slept his way to the top as well – just so we’re clear on how broadly that euphemism can be applied.

  36. 36
    Ailuridae says:

    @Martin:

    You meant ala MoDo not via MoDo I think. Finding male bimboes to remove one from clear misogyny doesn’t do much for me.

  37. 37
    robertdsc says:

    Funny, the first thing I thought of when I read the title was the White House. My bad.

  38. 38
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    OT

    Sarah Serendipity is set to give her farewell to thee my Lord speech any minute now..

    I bet she frees the white people/

  39. 39
    Ailuridae says:

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    Weird. Shouldn’t she be taking day of rest today?

  40. 40
    Steve LaBonne says:

    The fact that Alessandra Stanley went to Harvard is a perfect example of the fact that legacy admissions = affirmative action for stupid white people.

  41. 41
    El Cid says:

    With Judith Miller the correction took over, what, two, three years?

    After all, the mistakes you wish to make are harder to correct than the ones you do by habit.

  42. 42

    But how can it be that the most prestigious paper in the country would (1) employ someone so inept and (2) fail to copy edit that person properly?

    This goes waaaay beyond copy editing. In fact, if a reporter’s attitude towards basic facts is “Eh, the copy editors will catch it,” that reporter should move over and let the copy editor drive.

    Sorry, if I submitted a story with half this many errors my editor would have stuck my head on a spike as a warning to my co-workers.

  43. 43
    ominira says:

    I’m sympathetic to the plight of the Times and I hope it doesn’t go under. But how can it be that the most prestigious paper in the country would (1) employ someone so inept and (2) fail to copy edit that person properly?

    The money situation that makes the NYT likely to go under makes it necessary to let go of some copy editors, which reduces the quality of the paper, which makes it even more likely to go under as fewer people trust what they read. I hope they pull through – I love the op-ed columnists.

    iluvsummr

  44. 44
    RedKitten says:

    there are millions of high school students who can and do churn out better journalism on a daily basis, even without the benefit of a copy editor.

    Exactly. Copy editors are extremely valuable and sadly unappreciated, but by the same token, the original writer of the piece could at least spend 10 minutes on the internet checking basic dates before submitting the piece.

    It’s gotten to the point where we have journalists who obviously wouldn’t even get the colour of the sky correctly without relying on a copy editor. That’s not a testament to the skill and necessity of the copy editor; that’s a testament to the idiocy, laziness and incompetence of the journalist in question.

    When not only blog posts, but blog comments is better-written and better-researched than mainstream journalism pieces, you know something has gone seriously awry.

  45. 45
    RedKitten says:

    This goes waaaay beyond copy editing. In fact, if a reporter’s attitude towards basic facts is “Eh, the copy editors will catch it,” that reporter should move over and let the copy editor drive.

    That’s basically what I was trying to say, but you put it much more succinctly. :) I guess I need my own copy editor.

  46. 46
    burnspbesq says:

    I have long been of the view that the most appropriate way for a freshly minted lawyer to spend his or her first day on the job is to read Strunk and White from cover to cover.

    Apparently the same holds true of J-school grads.

    EDIT: And that goes at least double for freshly minted MBAs.

  47. 47
    Mike G says:

    It’s like focusing blame for a school shooting at the beginning of the school year on the student’s new home room teacher; the adults who watched the boy torment classmates and poison small animals knew better.

    What the fuck does that even mean? Clinton is more to blame for 9/11 for not stopping it when it was a couple of guys taking flight lessons, versus Bush ignoring multiple warnings from international intelligence agencies, a crescendo of communication traffic and money transfers, keeping airline security lax, keeping the Air Force grounded and reading a children’s book for seven minutes while it was underway?

    The second half of that sentence is ironic considering Bush’s childhood of violence toward animals and people.

    Thousands of talented unemployed journalists in this country, and this lazy right-wing hack holds a prime job at the NYT. Who did she blow to get it, or is she a mediocre rich kid with connections like Bush?

  48. 48
    demkat620 says:

    Has Ms. Stanley been reprimanded in any way?

  49. 49
    DougJ says:

    Has Ms. Stanley been reprimanded in any way?

    Not as far as I can tell.

  50. 50
    gnomedad says:

    OT, pourmecoffee: “I have heard this speech before. Palin is running away from home, but first a lecture about her mistreatment.”

  51. 51
    demkat620 says:

    All I can say is WTF, Alaska, WTF?

  52. 52
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @gnomedad:

    She eats, she hunts. Ughh!

  53. 53
    Davis X. Machina says:

    a reputation for writing hot, edgy stories, but who are not nearly as knowledgeable about their subjects as they pretend to be

    Essay question: If all the faculty, and all the students, and all the alumni of all the J-schools were magically swapped with the ditto of all the MFA Creative Writing programs out there, would we notice? Would newspapers actually get better?

  54. 54
  55. 55
    chrome agnomen says:

    red kitten@43

    agree with your post, but note the use of a singular verb with a plural subject.
    (red-faced grammar police person)

  56. 56
    Ailuridae says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    There is a nearly 100% chance if you took any broad occupation in America and made them journalists their reporting would be more factual than the current incarnation of newspaper journalists.

  57. 57
    RedKitten says:

    agree with your post, but note the use of a singular verb with a plural subject.

    Ouch, you’re right. That was due to my changing “commentary” to “comments” and neglecting to change my verb tense. Considering the fact that I was off on a superior rant about blog commentary being better-written than journalistic pieces, I suppose one could say I had it coming. :)

  58. 58

    @Davis X. Machina: Ms. Stanley’s piece was pretty fucking creative.

    Oh wait, that’s not what you meant.

  59. 59
    The Raven says:

    The NYT thinks it’s going to start charging for its online service soon. Heee.

  60. 60
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @RedKitten:

    As a serial grammar offender, I would just like to say, the meaning of “is” are many.

  61. 61

    @Davis X. Machina: Essay question: If the current crop of celebrity journalists were given paper hats and nametags could they out perform the pimply faced kid manning the register at your local fast food establishment? Please discuss all aspects of this profession, to include, customer service, cash register operation, mopping floors, wrapping burgers, bagging fries and pouring soft drinks.

  62. 62
    skw says:

    Off topic, but has anyone else had problems displaying B-J today? It appears that CSS isn’t working on the site. The problem occurs on my OS X and Linux machines, and doesn’t appear to be browser specific. Sorry if this was mentioned in older threads, but I didn’t see any mention of it in the last 4-5 posts.

    Edit: Weird. Immediately after posting this from my Linux machine, the site rendered normally, but CSS still doesn’t work on my Mac. Not sure what’s going on.

  63. 63
    Yutsano says:

    Ms. Stanley’s piece was pretty fucking creative.

    Oh wait, that’s not what you meant.

    Oh so that whole column was a stream of consciousness thing, gotcha.

  64. 64
    syl says:

    Honest Question: Can a journalist get too many facts right?

  65. 65
    burnspbesq says:

    @The Raven:

    Your “hee” is the root of the problem. You don’t feel like you should have to pay, but you can’t make the costs of making that content available to you magically disappear.

    We mock the MSM, but when they are gone and nothing takes their place, we will miss them.

  66. 66
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @syl:

    Honest Question: Can a journalist get too many facts right?

    Can Superman Fly without his cape? Maybe, but what for.

    Edit. Can Balloon Juice survive when it’s authors have left the building? Same answer/

  67. 67
    Tom says:

    Some VERY insightful comments on this over at Columbia Journalism Review. First:

    Yes, the Times has made cuts on its copy desks. But seeing as this is a columnist, I’m betting it’s one or two scenarios:
    1) Copy desk is told that, as a columnist, she should only be lightly edited, and only for style, etc., so that her “voice” won’t be lost. Possibly, her column is not even included in the normal editing process.
    2) Copy desk sees rash of errors in first column, tries to get them fixed, is rebuked for ruining her “voice,” decides to do what they’re told and let it through, wincing at some of the bigger humdingers.
    It would take brass ones for No. 2 to happen, but with the rate of corrections being identified, and at a place where layoffs have taken place, those routine factual errors wouldn’t have gotten through even the greenest of copy editors unless it was being done to prove a point.

    and secondly:

    A quick look at Stanley’s wikipedia page might enlighten us as to why she’s tolerated at the New York Times. It’s a big problem in journalism that class and social position often trump reporting and talent.

    goes on to detail her father was a prominent authority on defense policy with Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon Administrations, she has been Rome and Moscow bureau chiefs, has worked for Time Mag, a prominent husband, was married BY Ruth Bader Ginsberg. And so on.

    Also noted was she is BFF with MoDo.

    They don’t dare edit her, or fire her.
    Much more of interest over there:
    Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong : CJR

  68. 68
    geg6 says:

    burnspbesq: I don’t agree with you. I don’t believe for a minute that nothing will take the place of newspapers. I’m not sure of the medium that will replace them, but I would point to something similar to TPM as a national and Mudflats as a more local model. Not exactly those, but something like them.

  69. 69
    Ailuridae says:

    @syl:

    No, but a politician can certainly understand the facts too well for journalists’ liking

  70. 70
    Yutsano says:

    burnspbesq: I don’t agree with you. I don’t believe for a minute that nothing will take the place of newspapers. I’m not sure of the medium that will replace them, but I would point to something similar to TPM as a national and Mudflats as a more local model. Not exactly those, but something like them.

    That’s all well and good for getting the local stuff around (there’s a non-profit newspaper that’s all online in San Diego I’m thinking of that’s being touted as the next step in journalism, interesting business model but VERY tiny operation) but as far as getting national and international news someone is gonna have to correlate and corroborate all that stuff. I could see a site like TPM or HuffPo accomplishing that but they would still need a business model capable of supporting staffs and reporters. And they need to eat too.

  71. 71
    MikeJ says:

    TPM and HuffPo both have staffs and reporters. HuffPo hired Froomkin in fact.

  72. 72
    burnspbesq says:

    @geg6:

    I hope to hell you’re right, but I think you’re being a bit naive.

    Josh’s enterprise may be at break-even, or may even be modestly profitable, but only because his ratio of aggregation to origination is still astronomically high. Flip that ratio — put another way, make him research and report 100 percent of what appears at TPM — and his cost structure starts to look a lot like … ummm … a newspaper. Without the ad revenue from car dealers and real estate brokers that made the newspaper business model work for so long.

    And if we could get a look at the P&L of Mudflats, I suspect that what’s making it balance is an injection of money that the people who run it earn at day jobs, or contributions from readers, or both. That’s neither scalable nor sustainable.

    I don’t know what other business model can scale up and be sustainable, in a way that the historic advertiser-supported model of print media was sustainable for three centuries. But if somebody doesn’t figure it out, there is going to be a huge disintermediation in the flow of information to the citizenry. And that’s a potentially lethal problem for our republican form of government. Ask yourself what happens if government fills that vacuum. Umm, that would be something very much like Pravda. And nobody ever had any illusions about Pravda.

  73. 73
    Yutsano says:

    TPM and HuffPo both have staffs and reporters. HuffPo hired Froomkin in fact.

    I guess the question becomes are they the future or are they the model/prototype for what journalism will become in the future? International news seems to still be mostly done by state-sponsored journalistic outfits (CBC, BBC etc.) so it really seems to be the national side of things that’s lacking. The HuffPo question from Obama was really quite earth-shaking in perspective now.

  74. 74
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    testing

  75. 75
    ellaesther says:

    The two times in my writing-for-papers career (of about 17 years) in which a correction had to be issued as a result of something I had written (+ the one time a correction should have run but didn’t) were MORTIFYING for me. How can someone get up in the morning and face the screen with that level of error in her work? I ask this in all sincerity — is there, sincerely, something wrong with this woman?

    Also: @JMG: Yes indeed. There were many times that, were it not for a copy desk, additional corrections would have had been made! I hate to say it, but you’re right: If you don’t want to pay copy editors, call yourself something other than a newspaper, or just close your doors.

  76. 76
    IndieTarheel says:

    The fact that all that fail occurred in a piece on Walter Cronkite is pretty damned EPIC. In fact, this might qualify as an all-new category of FAIL.

  77. 77
    geg6 says:

    See, I’m not a pessimist. I know enough about the history of journalism and the press in America to know that we have had chaotic periods like this in the media in the past. I was just discussing with my John this very thing. The early republic had one of the most free-for-all periods in all of American journalism, with various ways and means of disseminating information and political propaganda. It was some crazy stuff. But eventually it evolved into the newspapers of today whose demise, for the most part, I will not mourn. Truly, most of the best journalism happening today is on the blogs. Not all of them do nothing but aggregate. TPM has just made a large number of hires and promises more investigative stuff. Marcy Wheeler does some of the best research- and analysis-based reporting in the business. And Arianna has just committed to a new section for HuffPo to do investigative stuff. I’ve said for years that blogs reminded me of the early American broadsheets where Franklin and Paine got their starts. I’m not at all naïve and, for all the crap they get on this board, the young journalism majors at my campus are beyond our thinking on this. This is where they see their futures. And I can vouch that these kids aren’t your MoDos or Bobos. And they aren’t stupid. It’s those kids’ slightly older brothers and sisters that turned me on to Jon Stewart and the media criticism in HuffPo. I think they will figure it out. They impress me for the most part, this young but very serious generation we’ve got coming up.

  78. 78
    JK says:

    Doug,
    Thanks for posting on something which I posted about on Friday night’s Open Thread.
    http://www.balloon-juice.com/?.....nt-1309636

  79. 79
    burnspbesq says:

    Way OT:

    Listening to “Potato Hole,” the latest recording by Booker T. Jones, and it is just stunningly good. He is backed by (get this) Neil Young, Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood (of Drive-By Truckers) on guitars, Shonna Tucker of Drive-By Truckers on bass, and a couple of drummers whose names don’t mean anything to me.

    Wow. Just, wow. Strongly recommended.

  80. 80
    Pavlov's Dog says:

    I just love scanning freeper threads:

    To: dfwgator
    Whenever I’m feeling down about how the country is going I grab a sixpack and pop in Red Dawn. Last night as a matter of fact.
    7 posted on Sunday, July 26, 2009 7:30:29 PM by Eagles6 ( Typical White Guy: Christian, Constitutionalist, Heterosexual, Redneck. (Let them eat arugula!))

  81. 81
    burnspbesq says:

    @Pavlov’s Dog:

    Wouldn’t you love to ask that guy what he means by “constitutionalist?’

  82. 82
    DougJ says:

    Thanks for posting on something which I posted about on Friday night’s Open Thread.

    All right, I’m a little slow.

  83. 83
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    Racist Web Posts Traced to Homeland Security

    After federal border agents detained several Mexican immigrants in western New York in June, an article about the incident in a local newspaper drew an onslaught of vitriolic postings on its Web site. Some were racist. Others attacked farmers in the region, an apple-growing area east of Rochester, accusing them of harboring illegal workers. Still others made personal attacks about the reporter who wrote the article. Most of the posts were made anonymously. But in reviewing the logs of its Internet server, the paper, The Wayne County Star in Wolcott, traced three of them to Internet protocol addresses at the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees border protection.

    Your GOP built DHS at work.

    Something you won’t hear about on Fox News, but that Gates and Obama are a couple of racist stinkers.

  84. 84
    DougJ says:

    @GWS

    Your link doesn’t work.

  85. 85
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @DougJ:

    Well shucks. Let me try again. Linky

    fixed

  86. 86
    gbear says:

    Via NYT The Caucus:

    Noting that American soldiers were dying in order to protect tenets like freedom of the press, [Palin] said, “How about, in honor of the American solider, you quit making things up.”

    After I hit submit, I’m going to go find the duct tape and try to repair my head.

    ps: BJ formatting has fallen apart on my screen. Graphics are gone and all the ads and links have fallen to the bottom of the page. What’s up?

    edit: now I hit the refresh button and everything is OK. Wasn’t doing that earlier in the evening. The internets confuse me.

  87. 87
    Brian J says:

    Leaving aside the fact that this was almost certainly prepared well in advance, the problem isn’t so much that a bunch of dates are wrong or that so many of them are wrong in one place. I doubt anyone came away with some sort of mistaken impression of Cronkite based on this, so it doesn’t change much. On the contrary, it’s that the paper that drives the news for the entire country and thus for a lot of the world is letting this stuff happen. Perhaps it’s just the writer herself, but at the same time, you’d think the paper would find some way to not let basic stuff like this happen. The Times is more scrutinized than any other newspaper and its errors therefore become more prominent than they otherwise might be, so why is it making its job that much harder than it needs to be?

    I’m not going to pretend that The Times hasn’t made some serious errors in the past, but I am also not going to act like this means the paper is worthless. Still, this is the sort of stuff that a few really astute people can catch. It’d do itself a world of good by making sure stuff like this doesn’t happen.

  88. 88

    @Yutsano: Only if “consciousness” a synonym for big flaming sharts. And who knows, maybe it is in Stanley’s special dictionary of Fail.

    This woman must have some serious dirt on everyone at the NYT. That’s the only possible explanation for why she hasn’t been fired.

  89. 89
    Ailuridae says:

    @gbear:

    The notion that the troops currently in harm’s way in Iraq or Afghanistan are there to protect first amendment rights is silly.

    I suppose it would seem ironic for me to say this to a lot of poster but Palin is a pretty apologetic statist.

  90. 90
    Brian J says:

    The NYT thinks it’s going to start charging for its online service soon. Heee.

    It will, and I think it will do fine, primarily because the people (and I’m guessing this includes you, but correct me if I am wrong) who are so vehemently against it, either from the right or left, aren’t the ones they are targeting. Of course, there’s no guarantee that if there’s some money left over after debt payments, they’ll replenish diminished resources in the newsroom. But something tells me that the Sulzberger clan would rather blow in Times Square Rupert Murdoch rather than have him own the paper.

  91. 91
    oh really says:

    But how can it be that the most prestigious paper in the country would (1) employ someone so inept and (2) fail to copy edit that person properly?

    The answer to (1) can be indirectly found in all the other inept people the Times hires, employs, and often rehires despite their poor work product. Incompetence and a lack of professionalism is common at the Times today.

    The answer to (2) may be that the Times has been firing copy editors in a move to save money.

  92. 92
    Brian J says:

    Incompetence and a lack of professionalism is common at the Times today.

    That’s a pretty strong statement. What are the most prominent examples you can think of?

  93. 93
    jwb says:

    @Brian J

    But something tells me that the Sulzberger clan would rather blow in Times Square Rupert Murdoch rather than have him own the paper.

    But nevertheless I have a feeling that Murdoch is going to end up owning it…

  94. 94
    Brian J says:

    But nevertheless I have a feeling that Murdoch is going to end up owning it…

    Perhaps. Assuming that even happens, it’ll be amusing to see some on the right praise him for making such a great decision of purchasing a quality name and product while at the same time trying to pretend that it’s worthless because of what it has done and tries to do, no matter how often it fails. I’m reminded of a Bill Kristol column during the Jayson Blair scandal where he went on for a few paragraphs about how important and influential the paper was, before proceeding to argue it was a piece of crap. Of course, this was before he accused it of treason and went to write for it.

    I know starting a new newspaper is hard, but Murdoch must think that he can buy the paper milk its reputation for all it work. As I see it, he has two choices if he owns the paper: (a) make very minor changes on the content side while making it more efficient on the business side or (b) make drastic changes on the content side while also making sufficient business changes. The former doesn’t seem to fit his reputation, while the latter threatens to destroy the core audience of the paper right now. I’m kind of curious why he didn’t try to buy The New York Sun when he bought The Wall Street Journal to put the screws to The Times that way. Unless the investment would be so incredibly large as to make it completely pointless, you figure that he could have packaged the two and relied on his news empire to feed it information as it built itself up. But then, he’s successful in his business, and I’m just a casual observer.

  95. 95
    Cat Lady says:

    @geg6:

    I’m looking forward to the new world order of news dissemination. The current model of access based reporting has been exposed as the whorehouse/message parlor (*cough*WaPo*) that it is, and there is a burgeoning crop of journalism majors and hungry new media types interested in breaching the MSM fortress. There is a large left/center demographic that isn’t being served, of which we here on BJ represent a small fraction. Once the current MSM paradigm fails, the righttards won’t know how to recover. They’ll have radio, and that will be akin to smoke signals soon. They already talk in code they only understand among themselves, as DougJ likes to point out. The kids are alright.

  96. 96
    burnspbesq says:

    @Brian J:

    “I’m kind of curious why he didn’t try to buy The New York Sun when he bought The Wall Street Journal to put the screws to The Times that way.”

    Because he already owns the Post.

  97. 97
    gex says:

    So you’re saying that if I post a comment, the web formatting will fix itself?

    ETA: Yes. Yes it will. Weird.

  98. 98
    Brian J says:

    Because he already owns the Post.

    That was merely to give him some voice in the New York media market. The Post, in the words of one analyst I can’t think of, is a relentlessly downmarket paper and doesn’t try to be much more. The Sun was launched to be more sophisticated, right-leaning alternative to The Times.

  99. 99
    amk says:

    OT, site apperance question.

    Has the site changed its format in the last 12 hours ? I don’t see any side bar ads and the posts run across the entire screen width (making them harder to read).

    Never mind. It was a login issue. Now it’s back to normal.

  100. 100
    Cat Lady says:

    Commenting fixeteth the intertooobs! Yay! I haz a happy!

  101. 101
    burnspbesq says:

    @Cat Lady:

    “I’m looking forward to the new world order of news dissemination.”

    I’m looking forward to having someone say that, and then describe a sustainable business model for said new world order.

  102. 102
    burnspbesq says:

    @Brian J:

    Assuming (and I know it’s a stretch) that “antitrust enforcement” is still something that DOJ cares about and remembers how to do, that might be a further impediment to Mudrock’s dreams of empire.

  103. 103
    Brian J says:

    The current model of access based reporting has been exposed as the whorehouse/message parlor (*cough*WaPo*) that it is, and there is a burgeoning crop of journalism majors and hungry new media types interested in breaching the MSM fortress.

    There is, and if the older media types are smart, they will steal what resources they can. Perhaps some plans are underway that I don’t know about, but just think of how The New York Times’ political coverage would be enhanced by hiring Nate Silver. He could continue to blog as he does now, but he could also contribute longer pieces to the paper. He’s already working in other media capacities, but if they threw enough money at him (and I’m pretty confident he could be compensated well enough so that it’d be worth his time in addition to his book deal and so that The Times could afford him), he’d probably join.

    I could be wrong about this, but it looks like there’s enough talent out there that would love the chance to work for a big time institution while still being cheap enough for them to afford. Meanwhile, these organizations get fresh, engaging content to complement or even supplant already existing coverage.

  104. 104
    Brian J says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Good point.

  105. 105
    Cat Lady says:

    HuffPo and Josh Marshall are already doing it. It’s going to evolve from that – they have advertisers, as does BJ. The advertisers will migrate to where the eyeballs are. No one is going to get rich any time soon, but that’s the idea, right? It took a long time for the reporters to get corrupted, and there was a fairly long period of muckraking and poorly paid but respected newshounds before the news business became whores to their corporate masters. Families who revered reporting owned or published newspapers – The Taylors in Boston, Chandlers in LA, Sulzbergers, etc., before they sold out to the corporatists, and indebted themselves to Wall Street for their corporate headquarters.

  106. 106
    Yutsano says:

    Perhaps some plans are underway that I don’t know about, but just think of how The New York Times’ political coverage would be enhanced by hiring Nate Silver. He could continue to blog as he does now, but he could also contribute longer pieces to the paper. He’s already working in other media capacities, but if they threw enough money at him (and I’m pretty confident he could be compensated well enough so that it’d be worth his time in addition to his book deal and so that The Times could afford him), he’d probably join.

    Nate currently works his main job at Baseball Prospectus, however he did just move from Chicago to NYC recently (he blogged about it and got quite a few invites for beers/pub crawls/other salacious goodies) so at the very least they wouldn’t have to relocate him. Whether he could double-gig is a completely different story.

  107. 107
    Yutsano says:

    Assuming (and I know it’s a stretch) that “antitrust enforcement” is still something that DOJ cares about and remembers how to do, that might be a further impediment to Mudrock’s dreams of empire.

    Lord I hope so. The changing of media ownership rules was one of the biggest Bushie giveaways and we have paid for it since.

  108. 108
    shoutingattherain says:

    @gex:

    OK then. Been weird all day. Well, weirder than usual…

    EDIT: yay fxed

  109. 109
    Fencedude says:

    WTF is up with the CSS?

  110. 110
    burnspbesq says:

    @Cat Lady:

    Or not. This piece from Ad Age, from the beginning of the year, doesn’t exactly give one a warm fuzzy feeling about HuffPo’s economic viability.

    http://adage.com/mediaworks/ar....._id=133541

  111. 111
    Brian J says:

    Whether he could double-gig is a completely different story.

    Assuming it’s for sale, why wouldn’t The Times or some similar organization just buy Baseball Prospectus and employ him in two capacities? If what I’ve seen is any indication, it could provide a nice demographic boost by attracting new, demographically desirable males to the paper. And while the workload might be crazy during election cycles, if he were to publish a piece in the magazine or a column every other week or so, it seems theoretically manageable. After all, wasn’t he making regular appearances on television and writing opinion pieces during the fall?

    Anyway, not to make this too Nate Silver heavy, but I think the larger point about young media talent applies.

  112. 112
    Yutsano says:

    @Brian J: Nate actually made a comment that the work from the election was seriously disruptive of his BP work. However it was a labor of love for him (538 is his baby, it’s why he chose to continue it even after the election and it still has great stuff on it today) so he devoted his time and resources to the success of 538. It’s hard to say if he’d get that sort of freedom from the NYT should he go to work for them.

  113. 113
    asiangrrlMN says:

    Sometimes, the best thing you can do is walk on by, but not this time.

    What the hell? That was in the NYT? Give me a fucking break. I only read the opinion page of the NYT (and sometimes I scan the front page), and I have never been more glad of that fact. I know that there aren’t enough copy editors, but that kind of sloppiness is inexcusable.

  114. 114
    burnspbesq says:

    Salon is a public company subject to SEC reporting requirements. The link below will take you to its most recent 10-K, which provides a fascinating look into the economics of the online world.

    http://www.sec.gov/Archives/ed.....033109.htm

  115. 115
    Brian J says:

    It’s hard to say if he’d get that sort of freedom from the NYT should he go to work for them.

    Freedom to do what? Devote most of his time to BP?

  116. 116
    poon says:

    OT

    Not a single wingnut blog (as far as I can tell) posted anything about Sarah Palin stepping down today.

    Am I missing something?

  117. 117
    amk says:

    How does one register here ? I just post using the leave a reply box at the btoom of each post.

  118. 118
    Fencedude says:

    Thats it.

  119. 119

    The advertisers will migrate to where the eyeballs are.

    Sure, but how much will they pay? One problem with the business model is that web advertising actually provides some ways to figure out if the ads are doing the company buying them any good. The results have been pretty underwhelming. Mostly, they lead to the question of whether web advertising is particularly ineffective, or whether all of those print ads that were bought over the years were equally overpriced.

    Either way, no one is going to be able to build a large operation purely off of online ad revenues.

  120. 120
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    It was the classified ads that made money for newspapers, not the full and part page ads. It’s the loss of classified type advertising to the internet that has hurt the newspapers.

    They didn’t move to secure their position before things like Craig’s List and Ebay started up, now they are paying the price.

  121. 121
    JackieBinAZ says:

    With spell check, who needs copy editors? So, occasionally, someone through the ball, or they’re dog ran away. Everyone knew what they meant to say.

  122. 122
    FlipYrWhig says:

    How can anyone not know that Martin Luther King was killed on April 4? I mean, that’s right in the U2 song about it.

  123. 123
    Yutsano says:

    @Brian J: Devote his time to 538, especially come 2010 when there will be more elections to contend with.

  124. 124
    Martin says:

    Either way, no one is going to be able to build a large operation purely off of online ad revenues.

    Other than Google that is.

    Josh had built a pretty solid place just on that model though. Is it a large operation? Well, no – but virtually everyone at TPM makes content. Virtually nobody at the NYT does. The papers are dying because most of the employees don’t do the thing that the customer is paying for – writing sentences.

    But the forced constraints of newspaper column inches to publish per day (regardless of the amount to actually report) plus the fixed deadlines, plus the dead tree printing and distribution, subscription infrastructure, unique ad infrastructure (rather than google ads, etc), and so on means that you get the kind of shit that DougJ wrote about way up there. Dump the editor and give Alessandra an extra hour to proofread and verify her own words in exchange for having more people writing copy.

    Further, I think the Times is getting hit with a slightly bigger stick by DougJ than perhaps they ought to be because we expect more out of a huge institution with subscription revenue and all that. I trust TPM more than the Times, but if TPM made a similar error, would they get the degree of ridicule? Probably not. They’d get some, but being closer to the blogging model, my guess is they’d largely get a pass for such a mistake. Ultimately I think there’s a double standard here solely built around how each institution operates, rather than what they deliver – which is a pretty similar product when you boil it down.

    Should the Times make those mistakes? Well, with their editorial staff I should hope not, but the demand that they operate at a different level than TPM or HuffPo probably dooms them to bankruptcy simply by expecting they keep all that additional staff. I don’t think we’re going to get to have it both ways.

  125. 125
    burnspbesq says:

    @Martin:

    “Josh had built a pretty solid place just on that model though.”

    Excuse my skepticism, but I’ll believe “solid” when I see eight consecutive quarters worth of audited financial statements that show positive net operating cash flow.

    “Virtually nobody at the NYT makes content.”

    Dude, with all due respect, what on earth are you talking about? I don’t doubt that the NYTCo has substantial administrative and management headcount; most companies with nearly $3billion a year in revenue have substantial administrative headcount. But to suggest that substantially all of its 9,346 employees (that number comes from its most recent K, and represents an approximately 25 percent reduction in headcount over the last four years) don’t “make content” is just silly. No publicly available data of which I am aware support that contention.

    I love Josh. But he’s not capable of doing this.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07.....na.html?hp

  126. 126
    Yutsano says:

    Should the Times make those mistakes? Well, with their editorial staff I should hope not, but the demand that they operate at a different level than TPM or HuffPo probably dooms them to bankruptcy simply by expecting they keep all that additional staff. I don’t think we’re going to get to have it both ways.

    The fascinating experiment in all this will be if the Seattle Post-Intelligencer can find a way to survive as a viable news source with exclusively an online presence. At least they had the smarts to keep the best of their talent and maintain the contacts vital to being a good news source. I’m not saying TPM doesn’t have those contacts, but there is some relationship cultivating that needs to occur in order to get the stories, especially if the angle is less than flattering.

  127. 127
    Martin says:

    Excuse my skepticism, but I’ll believe “solid” when I see eight consecutive quarters worth of audited financial statements that show positive net operating cash flow.

    Fair enough. But he’s been producing results (in the journalistic sense) for almost 6 years now. If the business model wasn’t working, I think we’d know by now. Surely he’s doing no worse than the Times is, financially.

    But to suggest that substantially all of its 9,346 employees (that number comes from its most recent K, and represents an approximately 25 percent reduction in headcount over the last four years) don’t “make content” is just silly.

    How many names show up in bylines in a year? 500 max – including the photographers. The rest aren’t producing content, they’re supporting the ones that are to one degree or another. I’ll even toss in a few hundred researchers as contributing enough to the content that they should be named. Since they are losing money, it would seem that they are still several thousand non-content employees too heavy.

    By comparison, I think Josh has exactly one employee that doesn’t have a byline. Yes, he can’t do the piece that you linked to, but even looking at reporters, the Times is many dozens of times larger than TPM. That’s simply not a fair comparison. Show me 20-50 TPMs in the market and then let’s talk.

  128. 128
    gwangung says:

    How many names show up in bylines in a year

    Wrong way to count content generating people (though the point has a fair amount of force).

  129. 129
    FMguru says:

    What gets me is that this story wasn’t written on a deadline – Chronkite had been ailing for some time, and newspapers regularly pre-write obits for famous or sick people.

    The ineptitude and lack of subject knowledge of most “elite” reporters never fails to boggle my mind. The lead economics writer for the WaPo didn’t understand the difference between nominal and real interest rates, for instance – and when Brad DeLong pointed that out to him, he responded with a string of profanities. Explain to me again what a terrible loss it would be for civic understanding if these institutions went under?

  130. 130
    Martin says:

    The fascinating experiment in all this will be if the Seattle Post-Intelligencer can find a way to survive as a viable news source with exclusively an online presence. At least they had the smarts to keep the best of their talent and maintain the contacts vital to being a good news source.

    I agree. I think they’re one of the first papers to organize in the manner that the market is demanding. Not sure if it’ll work – but I hope it does.

    I still think the papers need a proper electronic subscription model. The Kindle is pretty darn close, but I don’t think it offers a single-issue micropayment option. If the P-I could sell a monthly electronic subscription at a reasonable rate (I think the print dailies are very reasonable, FWIW) and offer a single issue or week subscription for people traveling or just looking for a different read, that’d could really work. I don’t think people are unwilling to pay for a full paper, I think they reject the format and are unwilling to make up for the lost ad revenue. On the online side, consumers have few easy buying options – buying cheap things online is simply a pain in the ass.

    I’m just not sure Amazon can get this right given their fuckups so far. The device is good (a bit too limited, IMO) and the wireless model is pretty damn smart, but the store seems poorly done. I still expect Apple to walk into this market before Xmas. They would be the ones to get the store right and put out a broader device.

  131. 131
    Martin says:

    Wrong way to count content generating people (though the point has a fair amount of force).

    I know it’s overly simplistic, but the true answer shouldn’t be more than a small coefficient away.

    Let’s put it another way – if the Times needs 9500 people to write that content every day, they’re doing something really, realy fucking wrong – in-depth investigative pieces included.

  132. 132
    Frans says:

    Restore styling in 3, 2, 1..

  133. 133
    Frans says:

    Didn’t work.

    Kinda like the sparse new look, though. And the ads are down at the end of the page where they can’t bother me.

    EDIT: And now the styling is back. If you say something nice about the new style the old style takes revenge.

  134. 134
    Fencedude says:

    Its not a “new” style, its a complete lack of style.

    If you turn off CSS, then that is what the site would look like. There’s something preventing the CSS from loading sometimes, which is profoundly weird.

  135. 135
    Jody says:

    Happened to me earlier. It’s happening again now.

  136. 136
    Jody says:

    And now it’s fixed. Again. Weird.

  137. 137
    Frans says:

    @Fencedude: That’s what I meant, but HTML doesn’t have sarcasm markup.
    And indeed, leaving one or two comments fixes the problem.

  138. 138
    Fencedude says:

    The lack of sarcasm tags is the greatest failing of the HTML standard.

  139. 139
    grumpy realist says:

    It seems to me that we’re going to see a separation of the media into two areas: cheap/free with a lot of ads and sloppy content, or well-researched, paper/subscription on line, and a lot of good content (with the price to match.)

    I pay $300 biannually for my copy of “the pink paper” (FT) and read it cover to cover. Very rarely have I run into any article I would consider “fluff”. They usually reserve the more frivolous articles for the weekends and their “How To Spend It” magazine, and even there, I’ve run into some remarkably good articles. And, of course, nobody, but nobody is better than a Brit when it comes to producing well-done bon mots in the midst of a dry economics article.

  140. 140
    bago says:

    So apparently Orly is going on the Colbert Report.

    I know it’s bad form to pimp, but uhm…

    This comment from her post about going on the show was too damn good.

  141. 141
    Ash Can says:

    @bago:

    So apparently Orly is going on the Colbert Report.

    LOL! Wow. She’s really, really not very bright, is she?

  142. 142
    geg6 says:

    Orly on Colbert? Damn. That’s some must see teevee there. She must be even more stupid than I thought.

  143. 143
    WingNutz says:

    @bago: Oh my god. The comments there are a thing of beauty. Some panic, some O Rly bootlickers saying she can handle anything, and a smattering of that mythical 40% who think Colbert is playing it straight. Wow.

    I watch every episode, Stephen is stupendous. He has mentioned the Certigate Controversy several times, always as a humorous jab at Obama. He’s never diminished the claims or ridiculed the questions we have, though of due to the format of the show his treatment of the topic is usually reduced to one-line quips. His is one of precious few television outlets that has not been cowed into silence on the subject of Barack’s eligibility.

  144. 144
    Fencedude says:

    @WingNutz:

    His website says Arianna Huffington will be his guest on the 28th. I sure hope you don’t have to show up with her. She’s one nasty woman.

    LULZ WERE HAD

  145. 145
    bago says:

    Yeah, I figured that ORLY + Colbert + It’s a trap + lolcats would cause some kind of wingularity. Apparently it was not my density.

  146. 146
    WingNutz says:

    @Fencedude: ORly must be the early, short guest. That will leave her and Huffington mixing in the Green room. Fun times.

  147. 147
    bago says:

    @WingNutz: Oooh. The accents would make the catfight kind of hot.

  148. 148
    Johnny Pez says:

    Oooh. The accents would make the catfight kind of hot.

    Orly is kind of the anti-Arianna, isn’t she?

  149. 149
    Svensker says:

    @bago:

    A comment from over there, urging “Dr.” Orly not to go on Colbert:

    you should not flurt with comedians unless you want to be a doubt in people’s mind

  150. 150
    Johnny Pez says:

    Orly is such a flurt.

  151. 151
    burnspbesq says:

    Arrrgggh.

    Spend half the night defending the Times, and wake up the next morning and they publish shit like this.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07......html?_r=1

    As Brad DeLong is fond of saying, why, oh why, can’t we have better media.

  152. 152
    RedKitten says:

    you should not flurt with comedians unless you want to be a doubt in people’s mind

    Bwah-ha-ha! Love it!

    That has serious potential to become a meme in the same vein as “I am aware of all internet traditions.”

  153. 153
  154. 154
    bob h says:

    Yes, in the case of Bush and 9/11 we have to understand that there is a probationary, break-in period for new Presidents, during which any lapses and incompetence can be excused. New Presidents do not have to be ready from day one. Stanley had it right.

  155. 155
    gnomedad says:

    Where is John? Did Tunch finally make his move?

  156. 156
    Trinity says:

    OT – What’s with the whacky site layout? I do the like the ads being at the bottom of the page but I’m wondering if I have a virus or something.

    Anyone else see an odd site layout?

  157. 157
    gex says:

    @burnspbesq: They seem to be confused with their headline. I thought warrantless was A-OK now.

  158. 158
    Trinity says:

    Nevermind. It’s fixed.

    That was weird.

  159. 159
    Comrade Darkness says:

    @Trinity: Not weird, really. When you load a webpage, the browser gets the main html, and then makes requests for all of the components it references (like each individual image) any javascript and the style sheet (both of which can either be part of the page, or separate url references). Your browser gathers all of these pieces together and renders the website for you. If one of those extra transactions fails (and the ‘tubes are not a high error correcting form of communication) then the browser draws things up with what it’s got. Style sheets can carry a lot of information about how to draw the page, so without it, some sites look pretty raw.

  160. 160

    […] responsible for this fact-less mess is actual NYT journalist Alessandra Stanley, and this is hardly the first time she’s been so […]

  161. 161
    daryljfontaine says:

    I got all excited about the banner ad at the top promising me an “Ann Coulter-Free” existence, but then I realized the Wingnut Welfare squads were just giving her shit away again.

    D

  162. 162
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    gbear says:

    gah. just throwing in a comment to get the site’s formatting to work. Otherwise, I got nuthin.

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    silentc says:

    just posting to fix format

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    Brian J says:

    Devote his time to 538, especially come 2010 when there will be more elections to contend with.

    Maybe I missed something. If that’s what they hired him for, why wouldn’t he be able to that? He’d probably bring along a few of the other people that post on the site, so he wouldn’t be shouldering the burden by himself. If he wanted to do his sports work, either as a separate job or as a part pf the NYTCo media empire, then they’d probably let him. As I said before, if it’s for sale, acquiring someone like Silver and the Baseball Prospectus would probably be a very smart move on the part of The Times, as it would probably bring fresh, demographically desirable male eyeballs to the site. The same would apply to other people who can offer multiple and interesting services.

    The other thing I wanted to mention, and will more than once as new threads on this topic open up, is that a source like The Times charging for revenue makes a lot of sense if at at least part of that revenue is used to shore up existing operations and/or offer new, bolder content. Imagine if, for instance, The Times was bringing in $5-10 million a month. After it used some of that money for debt repayment, it could decide to hire a few reporters who would do longer, New Yorker-style investigative pieces. Charging for content would then be a smart move since it could enable the paper to stand out more among many sources.

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    Comrade Coffin says:

    Posting on an old thread to get a vaunted “comment cookie”..

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    […] know it’s embarrassing for newspapers to have to run corrections (speaking of, check out this doozy), but at least doing so shows some respect for the profession and for the public. By letting lies […]

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