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New York Times Public Editor Leaves A Few Parting Gifts

Daniel Okrent, appointed to a newly created Public Editor job at The New York Times in the wake of the Jayson Blair scandal, steps down Monday. His parting column addresses topics he never got around to covering, including this parting bomb.

Op-Ed columnist Paul Krugman has the disturbing habit of shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers in a fashion that pleases his acolytes but leaves him open to substantive assaults. Maureen Dowd was still writing that Alberto R. Gonzales "called the Geneva Conventions 'quaint' " nearly two months after a correction in the news pages noted that Gonzales had specifically applied the term to Geneva provisions about commissary privileges, athletic uniforms and scientific instruments. Before his retirement in January, William Safire vexed me with his chronic assertion of clear links between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, based on evidence only he seemed to possess.

No one deserves the personal vituperation that regularly comes Dowd's way, and some of Krugman's enemies are every bit as ideological (and consequently unfair) as he is. But that doesn't mean that their boss, publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr., shouldn't hold his columnists to higher standards.

I didn't give Krugman, Dowd or Safire the chance to respond before writing the last two paragraphs. I decided to impersonate an opinion columnist.

Ouch, that's going to leave a mark.

13 Things I Meant to Write About but Never Did - [New York Times]

Via Alarming News


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Comments (9)

What could "higher standard... (Below threshold)

What could "higher standards" possibly mean when applied to Maureen Dowd? I mean, Krugman and Safire could be improved, but what is there to even work with in Dowd's case?

Holy Crap! I was wondering ... (Below threshold)

Holy Crap! I was wondering why Okrent was leaving, now I know.

"I didn't give Krugman, Dow... (Below threshold)

"I didn't give Krugman, Dowd or Safire the chance to respond before writing the last two paragraphs. I decided to impersonate an opinion columnist."

Or a impersonate a blogger? Just sayin'...

That didn't hit me quite the same way it hit you, did it?

Remy: You being funny? Okre... (Below threshold)
89:

Remy: You being funny? Okrent has reached the end of his "term", and that's why he wrote this parting column.

Uh, King Abdullah of Jordan... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

Uh, King Abdullah of Jordan admitted last week that he had tried to get Saddam to turn over Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to Jordan since before the war, if that's not a pretty clear connection between al Qaeda and Saddam what exactly does it take? Safire is right. Zarqawi wasn't the only al Qaeda member Saddam was harboring, and the NYT staff would know it if they bothered to read their own paper.

Note to self:Use t... (Below threshold)
tony:

Note to self:

Use the word "vituperation" in more daily conversation.

P.S. - Take martial arts class to protect myself from those that want to kick my ass for being so self-aggrandizing that I feel the need to use words like "vituperation".

Public Editor, my ass.... (Below threshold)

Public Editor, my ass.

The New York Times has an article on their web site saying I was fired from Microsoft, when I actually quit. So I called the Public Editor's office and gave them the phone number for a woman at Microsoft's alumni group who had my employment records. They called her and she told them I wasn't fired, I quit, and the article was wrong.

After that, the Public Editor did -- nothing. They are still refusing to change the article even after I told them that one of my employers saw the article and thought I had lied about my employment history.

Full story:
http://www.PublicEditorMyAss.com/

89,Not being funny... (Below threshold)

89,

Not being funny. I really didn't know why he was leaving. Either way, I'm amazed at what he wrote. I imagine taking Dowd and the rest of the crowd to task for their damn-the-facts writing must of been the job from hell.

That's great! Maureen Dowd'... (Below threshold)

That's great! Maureen Dowd's status as a tragic figure is well known, but it nice to see that idiot Krugman get a slap, too.




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