The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Saturday, February 07, 2004

Is the sex slaves controversy over?

(Last dealt with on February 4 - from whence trace links.)

My guess is that the New York Times thinks it's done enough: the NYDN piece, the Observer interview with Gerry Marzorati, and generally holding on for the referee to blow his whistle.

Jack Shafer - point-man for the prosecution - hasn't touched the story since February 3: the game is unlikely to go into extra time without another contribution from him, or some amazing revelation. This weekend is - by my count - Times ombud Daniel Okrent's off-week.

And all the unanswered questions? Peter Landesman writes another challenging piece, and we get the sex slaves file out again.

Rome was not built in a day, nor a writer using questionable methods - which Landesman may or may not be: the Times' technique ensures the matter doesn't reach the jury - proved to be such at the first attempt.

There's a sort of story arc (as in TV drama), on the downward slope of which the momentum for bringing the story to an end becomes irresistible. I'm getting the hang of things so far as to discern that, in journalism, a similar thing tends to happen.


A Tim Blair piece (from God knows where) produces a delicious piece of prose from Boris Johnson.

Johnson, who is Tory MP for Henley (west of London - one of the choicest constituencies on offer for a Tory) and a well-known figure on the British media scene as editor of the Spectator and owner of a mop of baby-blonde hair. He is a toff and a character, where most MP's of all parties are grey chisellers with an Estuarine whine (or similar slack diction applied to regional accents).

Cross between Just William and Bertie Wooster.

Anyhow, Johnson was commissioned by the New York Times in the run-up to war last year to do an op-ed on the situation. There was a culture clash with the op-ed editorial staff. I won't spoil it for you.

The Blair link is dead - try the Google cache.

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