Monday, July 27, 2009

Kings and Queens of the city... Washington DC city..

WASHINGTON – Despite their denials, influential Democratic Sens. Kent Conrad and Chris Dodd were told from the start they were getting VIP mortgage discounts from one of the nation's largest lenders, the official who handled their loans has told Congress in secret testimony.

Both senators have said that at the time the mortgages were being written they didn't know they were getting unique deals from Countrywide Financial Corp., the company that went on to lose billions of dollars on home loans to credit-strapped borrowers. Dodd still maintains he got no preferential treatment.

They don't have the same health care, they don't have the same retirement, they get special deals...They are truly Kings and Queens.

Mistakes at the New York Times and why.

Some people wonder why I call them the Lame Stream Media. This is a correction published by the NY Times on a piece written by Alessandra Stanley on Walter Cronkite.

Of course 20 years from now, or next Friday for that matter, people will be nodding wisely that Walter stormed the beaches as well as told us that we had lost in Vietnam.

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. Because of an editing error, the appraisal also misstated the name of the news agency for which Mr. Cronkite was Moscow bureau chief after World War II. At that time it was United Press, not United Press International.

Now you may wonder why this person is a reporter, especially since:

Back in 2005, Gawker used Nexis to conduct a corrections-per-article study of Times columnists. It discovered Stanley was, at the time, the paper’s most error-prone columnist. By the end of 2005, it seemed like everyone had taken their shots at her.

Then something remarkable happened. She got better.

Stanley has been responsible for nine corrections so far this year. By my count in Nexis, she had fourteen corrections in 2008, twelve in 2007, and fifteen in 2006. Averaging just over a correction a month is not something to be proud of. But that’s still better than before she attracted so much attention. Stanley had twenty-three corrections in 2005, the year everyone noticed her predilection for error, and twenty-six in 2004. Perhaps the decline in corrections between 2005 and 2006 was in part due to the attention focused on her.

But why the tolerance? That's a very large number. Could it be that the boss is sleeping?

George Rubei is correct. While Stanley deserves every bit of criticism that's being leveled at her, the glaring omission from this piece is the question of why none of these scores of errors were caught by the copy desk, or the section editor, or any other editor on staff who might have been reading the paper between editions.

Posted by ej on Fri 24 Jul 2009 at 01:32 PM

But still, the question is, why. Perhaps this is the answer.

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.

"Stanley is a daughter of Timothy W. Stanley, an authority on defense policy who served in the 1960's as assistant to Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara for NATO force planning and then as a defense adviser in the United States mission to NATO,[14] and Nadia Leon Stanley.

Stanley was previously married to Michael Specter,[15] a former reporter for the Washington Post, The New York Times and The New Yorker.

Stanley is a 1977 graduate of Harvard University where her uncle was a trustee.[15]"

Posted by Jon C on Sat 25 Jul 2009 at 07:09 PM


Hat tip to UrgentAgenda