May 04, 2011
The death of Osama bin Laden will raise the inevitable question: What are we still doing in Afghanistan? The answer, of course, is that the mission in Afghanistan is about something bigger and more ambitious than eliminating Al Qaeda’s leaders—most of whom, in any event, are probably living in Pakistan, as bin Laden was when the United States finally tracked him down. No, the mission in Afghanistan isn’t about killing Al Qaeda members.
‘The New York Times’ vs. WikiLeaks
April 27, 2011
On Sunday night, as Michael Calderone has reported, two groups of news organizations began publishing details of secret inmate reports from Guantanamo Bay. Some, like The London Telegraph, had gotten the documents from WikiLeaks; others, like The New York Times, had not. Although the Times did not identify its independent source, WikiLeaks itself provided a clue in a tweet it issued on Sunday: “Domschiet, NYT, Guardian, attempted Gitmo spoiler against our 8 group coalition.
Walk, Don’t Drive, to the Real Estate Recovery
April 26, 2011
The front page and lead home page New York Times story this past Saturday had the startling headline: “Bad Times Linger in Homebuilding.” The Times concludes that “A long term shift in behavior seems to be underway. Instead of wanting the biggest and newest, even if it requires a long commute, buyers now demand something smaller, cheaper and, thanks to $4 a gallon gas, as close to their jobs as possible.” You don’t say? This might have been front page news three years ago, but today it’s a history lesson. Ironically, the Times dateline was Chicago.
The NYT's Public Editor Disaster
April 24, 2011
[Guest post by Isaac Chotiner] The New York Times is the best newspaper we have. It is full of brilliant writers and editors, and every day it provides a wealth of fascinating stories. It also makes its share of errors and mistakes. As the most important news organization in America, it certainly provides plenty of opportunity for commentary and debate. Into this ripe field, however, has stepped another dreary "public editor." The Times began this position a few years ago, and offered prime real estate--a big chunk of the Sunday op-ed page--to its occupant.
April 07, 2011
The day after I arrived in Chicago to cover the mayoral debate, an Appeals Court removed frontrunner Rahm Emanuel’s name from the ballot. The decision, which reversed findings by the Chicago Elections Board and a Circuit Court judge, ignored more than 150 years of Illinois election law in denying that Emanuel met the residence requirements for a mayoral candidate. Not surprisingly, the ruling drew outrage.
Not Always Bingo
April 06, 2011
Even if the crime rate in New York City had not dropped over the last few decades to a level that makes Broadway feel more like Main Street, the murder of Daniel Malakov, an orthodontist shot at a Queens playground in 2007, would have been notable. Malakov and his estranged wife, both doctors, were immigrants from Uzbekistan who lived among a tightly knit community of Bukharan Jews, a group known for their secrecy and impenetrability to outsiders. The couple were embroiled in a tense divorce and custody battle over their four-year-old daughter.
Moving While Black
April 01, 2011
Black people have been moving. South, that is, according to a recent and widely read piece in the Times—more, according to the latest census data, than since 1910. And from this article and the census, what we see is that black people first of all are able to move: They have the means to, and if they choose to live among whites, they are encountering ever less opposition to doing so. Moreover, it would appear that typically the black people moving are content with their decision.
Can You Trust The New York Times' Traffic Stats?
March 29, 2011
After testing in Canada last week, today the New York Times completed its paywall for readers in the rest of the world. With the massive popularity of the Times, observers will be watching its traffic figures closely to see how many readers the paper retains. But is there a reliable measure for internet traffic? Not yet, says a report from the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University's journalism school.
The Existence Of Crime Is Not A Racist Myth
March 28, 2011
Thomas Sugrue, writing in the New York Times op-ed page, calls the fear of crime cited by white Detroiters a pretext for racism: Those who left the city cited various reasons: desire for a little green space, new housing, better schools, freedom from crime.
March 23, 2011
It’s time to talk about swearing. As The New York Times recently noted, for the first time, three of the top-ten pop music hits incorporated the word “fuck” prominently in their choruses, including Cee-Lo Green’s gleeful “Fuck You,” which has been cleaned up for radio as “Forget You.” The Times treated this event as a cause for mild concern: Swearing has become more common—Melissa Leo even swore at the Oscars!—and what’s more, the phenomenon is now running the risk of devaluing swear words. Yet this phenomenon is as predictable as it is harmless.