A Michael Powell column faulting the Archdiocese of New York for laying off teachers at Catholic schools and offering severance of either six months of health insurance or $5,000 twice refers to "University Boulevard" in the Bronx. A Smartertimes reader-community member-watchdog-participant-content co-creator in the Bronx says the correct name of the street is University Avenue. Meanwhile, Mr. Powell doesn't explore what severance the New York Times Company gave to the employees it laid off when the voluntary buyouts it offered earlier this year failed to achieve the full cost reductions necessary. That would be an interesting basis for comparison, at least.
Thanks to reader-participant-community member-watchdog-content co-creator P for sending the tip.
From a Times book review of Jonathan Alter's The Center Holds: "It is an environment in which anti-government conservatives have faced off against the administration over health care reform, taxes and a host of other issues."
So if you oppose ObamaCare or tax increases you're "anti-government"? A lot of people who oppose ObamaCare and oppose tax increases are quite patriotic and are not anarchists. They just think government shouldn't get any bigger, or should get smaller. That doesn't necessarily make them anti-government, any more than it makes someone who prefers his steak in half-pound portions rather than one-ton portions a vegetarian.
For some reason the Times seems to find this a hard concept to grasp.
A New York Times editorial takes aim at what the newspaper calls "the harvesting of what is called nonpublic information" by "political intelligence operatives" who "make regular rounds to schmooze with well-situated acquaintances and discover what is in the works that is not yet on the public radar."
The Times asserts that "these specialists should have to register like lobbyists." The editorial concludes with a call by Congress to pass a law to "force disclosure by the information parasites living off Congress."
The Sunday Times featured a long and detailed article about the costs of colonoscopies, which the Times says explain "Why U.S. leads the world in health expenditures."
It was a fine article, but I thought it would have been even better had it included two thoughts that were missing.
The first is ObamaCare, which wasn't mentioned at all. One of the promises of ObamaCare is that it was supposed to help rein in these out of control costs and "reform" health care. But the problems outlined in the Times article seem to be going on despite the passage of the Affordable Care Act, and the article gives no indication at all of what the effect, if any, that the implementation of the law will have on the problems.
Today's New York Times devotes more than two full pages of newsprint in its Home section, including 16 photographs, to covering an apartment in Russia that has been decorated in what the newspaper calls "Stalin Empire Style."
There's some attempt made to acknowledge that Stalin wasn't exactly an admirable figure, including this passage:
The New York Times has ratcheted back its description of businessman and philanthropist Sheldon Adelson from "ultraconservative" (May 20 article) to merely "conservative" (today's article). Today's article also includes this passage:
The Times business section reports on the liquidation of Better Place, an electric vehicle infrastructure company that had raised $850 million in private capital. The firm was founded by an Israeli entrepreneur named Shai Agassi.
The Times news article makes no mention of Tom Friedman's July 27, 2008 column describing Mr. Agassi as "the Jewish Henry Ford" who "could sell camels to Saudi Arabia."
Maybe Mr. Agassi will succeed in some future venture, and maybe some future businessman — perhaps even one who buys some of Better Place's assets — will succeed in making a business out of electric vehicle infrastructure. But anyone who invested in Better Place even in part in the basis of Mr. Friedman's enthusiasm might consider asking him for their money back, or, at the very least, for a follow-up column explaining what went wrong and why.
"Though Enrolling More Poor Students, 2-Year Colleges Get Less of Federal Pie," is the headline over a news article by Times Washington Bureau Chief David Leonhardt about "a report to be released Thursday."
True to form, the Times includes no hyperlink to the report and no quotes from anyone critical or even skeptical of its findings. The notion that federal funding might be allocated to support scientific, academic, or medical research, and that such research dollars might go disproportionately to professors at major research universities rather than community colleges, goes unexplored in the article. In other words, the point of federal funding to higher education isn't solely to subsidize poor students, but to fund research.
The article is also flawed by the unquestioned assumption that government money spent on colleges somehow goes to the students rather than to professors or administrators. The Times article says:
Today's example comes in the latest installment of the Times' coverage of gay Boy Scouts and leaders. (This is the main issue for the Times when it comes to the Boy Scouts, an organization that saves lives, teaches skills, and performs community service while attracting little attention from the Times for anything other than its policies on gays.)
Today's Times article reports "Glaad and other rights groups took up the cause, enlisting celebrities like Madonna, who wore a Boy Scout uniform to an awards ceremony."
A truly nasty column by Michael Powell in today's Times relies on an anonymous source to smear the insurance executive Maurice Greenberg.
The column says that Mr. Greenberg "has fought a lengthy battle from his Fifth Avenue aerie to avoid acknowledging anything sounding like personal responsibility for the disaster that befell A.I.G. and its shareholders."
This is an odd formulation. First of all, Mr. Greenberg's office is on Park Avenue. Second of all, the "disaster that befell A.I.G. and its shareholders" was really what happened after Mr. Greenberg had been forced out as CEO.
The anonymous smear comes here:
This is a clear violation of the Times policy on anonymous sources, which states:
A news article from Tel Aviv about the Israeli politician Yair Lapid includes a reference to "the revelation that he met in April with Sheldon Adelson, the ultraconservative financier who backs Mr. Netanyahu and owns the Israel Hayom newspaper that loyally supports him."
"Urging Government Action on Water, Roads and Power in Texas" is the headline on a New York Times article supplied by the Times' non-profit partner, The Texas Tribune.
Like other Texas Tribune articles highlighted here earlier, this one has a left-wing slant. It's not government action that's being urged, it's government spending. And a reader could easily think that the one doing the urging is the Times (or the Tribune) rather than the subjects of the story.
The article quotes four sources supporting more spending — Governor Perry, Bill Hammond, Ed Emmett, and Robert Nichols. Three other sources quoted in the article — Linda Watson, Michael Cline and Stephen Klineberg — don't explicitly call for more spending but talk about the state's growing needs, which the others argue can be addressed by more spending.
The opposition is relegated to a single paragraph in the 23-paragraph-long news article. That paragraph reads:
A dispatch from Jerusalem in today's New York Times reports: "Although Israel's economy is regarded as relatively strong and stable, having weathered the global economic downturn, the growth of recent years has directly benefited a small percentage of the population, living costs are high — perhaps because of a lack of competition, experts say — and the gap between the rich and the poor has been increasing."
The Times op-ed page is pushing pretty hard for this idea of a tax on processed food. First was Mark Bittman's op-ed calling for "a tax on prepared food, but not on raw ingredients." Then over the weekend, less than a month after Mr. Bittman's article, came another op-ed piece, this one by Kristin Wartman, suggesting:
In the middle of an article about the supposed disappearance of the New York accent, the left-leaning columnist in the Times Sunday Metropolitan section (in which there is no right-leaning columnist) hits us with this:
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