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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Wednesday, May 26, 2004

NYT's own news management hammered

There is a particular group of people suckered by the Times's Iraqi WMD (I laughingly call) coverage whose displeasure might actually have some effect: those papers which take the New York Times News Service.

But, according to E&P (May 26), the first that the 300 rags who take the NYTNS heard of the Editor's Note on the WMD coverage fiasco was at 2200 ET.

The piece quotes
Doug Clifton, editor of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland
- a rag of some renown - as saying
A correction ought not be one of those things you have to deal with as breaking news. They knew about this for a while. It is sort of bothersome that they did not put any advisories out.

By the lights of the sachems at the Times, the Plain Dealer is one of the little people. If the Gray Lady was having to grovel, it was clearly looking to limit the satisfaction that lesser breeds might take in it.

Clifton points out that the Plain Dealer ran the Note on page 2:
We didn't want to be accused of sweeping it under the rug

He then went beyond that sly dig directly to critcise the Times for running the Note on A10, something I mentioned earlier today. This E&P piece helpfully points out that not only was the Note place well inside, but there was no reefer: that is, nothing on the front page referring to the Note.

That note was not merely buried, it was really most sincerely buried!

Names of other NYTNS clients are mentioned in the piece - some well-known names like the San Francisco Chronicle which, apart from the immediate farrago concerning the Note, have egg over the face for printing the Miller crap. (Not to say they printed all of it, or didn't contextualise or otherwise detract from its awfulness.)

Could the NYTNS 300 get together on the issue? Then we might have some fun...

[How much play has this got on the main networks? Or even the news networks? Will there be anything on the nightly news on ABC/NBC/CBS? Is 60 Minutes sniffing round it?]

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