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Amazon Work Conditions

August 16, 2015 at 9:47 pm

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The New York Times has a long article about the "bruising workplace" of Amazon.com. It claims in a headline, "the company is conducting an experiment in how far it can push white-collar workers to get them to achieve its ever-expanding ambitions."

An Amazon executive, Nick Ciubotariu, has a LinkedIn post rebutting the Times article and explaining problems and inaccuracies with it.

A professor of journalism at the City University of New York, Jeff Jarvis, who is an Amazon shareholder, has a post complaining that the Times article "lacks two key attributes: context and — I can't quite believe I'm saying this — balance."

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Jerome Kohlberg Jr.

August 1, 2015 at 9:41 pm

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The New York Times manages to publish an obituary of Jerome Kohlberg Jr. that, bizarrely, omits any mention of the fact that he owned the Vineyard Gazette, which he bought in 2010 from the Reston family. That is quite a lapse.


Koch Emails

July 31, 2015 at 10:48 am

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A front-page Times news article about the Koch brothers reports, "Relations with the news media could be fractious: If Koch Industries did not like an article, its public-relations team was in the habit of posting email exchanges it had with the reporter."

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Times Uses PETA Donor to Cover Zoo

July 30, 2015 at 12:02 pm

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Retraction Watch has a piece by Times journalist Tracy Tullis, who reports that she told her Times editor she was a donor to People for Ethical Treatment of Animals before she was assigned an article about an elephant at the Bronx Zoo:

I also told him that I'd made small contributions over the years to various animal welfare organizations, including PETA, which is mentioned in the article. The ethics handbook cautions writers about financial donations too, but Ferguson didn't respond to that part of my email, which I assumed meant it wasn't an issue.



July 29, 2015 at 1:39 pm

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Andrew Ross Sorkin has a column about Hillary Clinton's plan to raise capital gains taxes.

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Samuel Pisar

July 29, 2015 at 1:28 pm

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The Times obituary of Samuel Pisar z'l strangely omits any reference to his role as the longtime lawyer of Robert Maxwell, which is in the Times clips.


Nails Rebuttal

July 29, 2015 at 1:25 pm

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The Times has published an official response to the criticism of its nail-salon investigation.


Jason Rezaian's Computer

July 29, 2015 at 1:18 pm

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The thuggish Iranian government seized the computer of Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and has thrown him in jail for more than a year. The New York Times apparently sees this as justification to print anonymous quotes from people describing Mr. Rezaian as a biased journalist, and disclosing the contents of the computer:

"For Jason, Iran was not just news; it was part of his personal story and emotions," one friend said. "He saw himself as someone who could play a constructive role in bringing Iran and the U.S. closer."

In 2008, without a full-time job in Iran, he completed an email form offering help as an Iran expert to Barack Obama's election team, a friend said. He never deleted the email from his computer, and it became part of the accusations against him, the Iranian news media has reported.

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Minimum Wage Experts

July 27, 2015 at 11:15 am

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Smartertimes reader-participant-watchdog-community-member-content-co-creator Colin writes:

Not sure if you saw today's NYT piece on the minimum wage but it's a real piece of work. The only three experts quoted in the article on this contentious topic are Jared Bernstein, someone from the left-wing Economic Policy Institute and the national director of the lefty Working Families Party. The ideologies of both the EPI and WFP are unmentioned, while the WFP official is allowed to use his quote in the story's conclusion to editorialize rather than provide any analysis about the economic impact of a minimum wage hike. The only skeptic of minimum wage hikes even named in the piece is David Neumark, who is seemingly only mentioned to introduce the concept on an increase in the earned income tax credit.

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Conservative Catholics

July 27, 2015 at 10:57 am

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A Times news article under the headline "Boy Scouts Are Poised to End Ban on Gay Leaders" reports, "To gain the acquiescence of conservative religious groups that sponsor many packs and troops, like the Mormon and Roman Catholic Churches, the policy will allow church-run units to pick leaders who agree with their moral precepts."

So to the New York Times the Roman Catholic Church amounts to a "conservative religious group." Have the newspaper's reporters and editors been following their own coverage about Pope Francis's campaign against global warming and income inequality, about his assistance in the reconciliation between the governments of the United States and Communist Cuba, about the church's opposition to the death penalty, its support for the labor movement, its advocacy of comprehensive immigration reform and its support for welfare spending?

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What the Times Got Wrong About Nail Salons

July 26, 2015 at 9:39 am

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Former Times reporter Richard Bernstein, a part owner of two day-spas in Manhattan, has a devastating post up at the New York Review of Books thoroughly debunking — or at the very least credibly challenging — that big New York Times investigative series of the city's nail salons. Mr. Bernstein, calls the Times coverage "demonstrably misleading." Particularly interesting are Mr. Bernstein's thoughts about why the Times got it wrong:

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Angry Obama

July 22, 2015 at 10:31 am

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A dispatch from Pittsburgh reports that President Obama "called angrily for Iran to release Americans who are being held prisoner there."

How does the Times know whether Mr. Obama is genuinely angry or just feigning anger? I'd prefer if the Times limited itself to describing what a reporter can see or hear — a politician raising his voice, pounding the podium, clenching his jaw, uttering profanities, or getting red in the face — rather than making assumptions or drawing conclusions about the politician's underlying emotional state of mind. They are all pretty good actors or they wouldn't have gotten to that level.

And that's not even getting into the question of racial stereotypes that describing Mr. Obama as "angry" might raise.


Context Or Opinion

July 22, 2015 at 10:23 am

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A dispatch from Tehran reports, "The agreement will end punitive sanctions imposed on Iran by the United Nations, United States and European Union in exchange for verifiable guarantees that the Iranian nuclear program remains peaceful."

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Muslims and Chattanooga

July 19, 2015 at 10:20 pm

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Smartertimes reader-participant-watchdog-content co-creator-community member Colin G. writes:

Following the shooting in Tennessee it seems the NYT has identified the real victims -- the local Muslim population:


Maybe it's just me being overly cynical, but is this not the world's most predictable spin?Can you imagine the paper running a similar story about a backlash against those who display the Confederate flag?

And of course I say this as someone with absolutely nothing against Muslims and who personally finds the Confederate flag an anachronism at best and odious at worst.


Hard Right Walker

July 19, 2015 at 10:10 pm

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A Times news article asserts, "Scott Walker wants to come across as the most electable of the hard-right conservatives in the race." David Bernstein writes that in the entire history of the Times, it's used the phrase "hard left liberals" exactly once, in 1998, in reference to the New Mexico Green Party, and never with respect to Democrats.


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