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March 23, 2014 at 10:47 pm

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Here is a Texas Tribune dispatch with which the New York Times covers, with an article in the March 23 paper, the news that the chancellor of the University of Texas announced back on February 10 that he is resigning:

An email in February by Paul Foster, the chairman of the board, indicated that this and other disagreements could have caused some regents to sour on the chancellor. (U.T.-Austin is a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune. Mr. Foster is a major donor to The Tribune.)...But of the chancellor, Mr. Huffines said: "I think he deserves credit for pushing through the turmoil. He exceeded my expectations, and I set the bar pretty high." (Mr. Huffines is president of PlainsCapital Bank, which has been a corporate sponsor of The Tribune.)

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Cost of Carried Interest 'Loophole'

March 21, 2014 at 8:43 am

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An editorial in today's Times says:

If Mr. Boehner really wants to crack down on cheating, he might look to the carried-interest tax loophole, which allows hedge fund managers to mischaracterize their income as capital gains and costs the Treasury $11 billion a year — far more than extra dollars for food stamps.

The Times source for the "$11 billion a year" number is a Times op-ed that, when it appeared, Smartertimes pointed out was inaccurate, but the Times did not correct. As I wrote when the op-ed appeared:

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Multimillionaire Businessman

March 20, 2014 at 8:32 am

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A Times news article from Chicago begins:

With the selection of a multimillionaire businessman to be the Republican candidate for governor in Illinois, union leaders have begun bracing for one of their starkest campaign battles of the year over the fate of public sector labor unions, pensions and pay.

The same article mentions President Obama but doesn't call him a multimillionaire, even though he is one. And the Times writes about Mayor de Blasio all the time without calling him a multimillionaire, even though he reportedly owns "a pair of two-family homes on 11th Street in Park Slope that are valued at more than $1.1 million apiece."

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Rothstein on Museums

March 20, 2014 at 8:23 am

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This site is usually devoted to criticizing the New York Times, not to praising it. But an exception is called for in the case of Edward Rothstein's piece in today's special section on museums, which is so good, so smart, and so at odds with the paper's left-leaning conventional views, that it's almost a wonder that it made it into the paper. If you are interested in history, museums, or identity politics, it's worth your time.


Ochs-Sulzberger Family Narrows NYT Stake

March 18, 2014 at 11:24 am

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The Wall Street Journal's Keach Hagey shrewdly notices that the Ochs-Sulzberger family's economic stake in the New York Times company has declined to a mere 13 percent, from 19 percent as recently as 2010.

A Times company spokesman who spoke to the Journal attributed the decline to "estate planning and long term estate taxes." (I will resist the temptation to make a smart-aleck remark here about the Times editorial position on the estate tax.)

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Krugman, Tarp, and the Tea Party

March 17, 2014 at 8:55 am

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Paul Krugman writes in his New York Times column:

it's hard to find angry Tea Party denunciations of huge Wall Street bailouts, of huge bonuses paid to executives who were saved from disaster by government backing and guarantees. Instead, all the movement's passion, starting with Rick Santelli's famous rant on CNBC, has been directed against any hint of financial relief for low-income borrowers.

Finding these denunciations is not "hard," as Professor Krugman claims. In fact a quick search in the archives of the Times itself turns up a news article about Sharron Angle, "the Tea Party darling from Nevada," denouncing Senator McCain as "Lord of the TARP."

Another Times news article, which appeared on the newspaper's front page, reported:

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Israeli Group

March 17, 2014 at 8:26 am

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A Times article about Mayor de Blasio begins, "He wants to close schools for the Chinese New Year, has pledged fealty to an Israeli political group, sprinkles Spanish and Italian phrases into his speeches and speaks frequently of his wife's Caribbean heritage."

The reference to the mayor having "pledged fealty to an Israeli political group" is unexplained in the rest of the article, which is about Mr. de Blasio's relations with the Irish-American community in New York.

But it appears to be aimed at Mr. de Blasio's remarks to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. If that is indeed what the Times is talking about here, a correction is warranted, because Aipac is not in fact "an Israeli political group" but an American pro-Israel lobbying group.


Cleaning Sex Toys

March 14, 2014 at 8:53 am

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The New York Times has now published its second article in two months about a book that tells readers how to clean sex toys. The first article, an interview with the author, was the subject of an earlier Smartertimes post here. Today's Times article, a book review, reports:

What other book will advise you to wash your sex toys — your unmotorized ones, at any rate — in the top rack of the dishwasher? Or will note that STP Fuel Injector & Carburetor Treatment helps remove certain lube stains? Or will have a trick up its sleeve for getting bong water out of a carpet?

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Harassment of Exchanges

March 12, 2014 at 1:23 pm

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A Times editorial about the problem-plagued state ObamaCare websites accuses Republicans of "harassing state officials with requests for information about the salaries and vacation time of directors of the state exchanges." The editorial is headlined "harassment of troubled state exchanges."

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A Metropolitan DIary Low

March 12, 2014 at 12:49 pm

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One of the nice things about the comments section of the Times online is it lets us see quite dramatically when the newspaper disappoints its readers (no wonder the paper usually does not allow reader online comments on its staff editorials). The latest example is a Metropolitan DIary item, published by the Times with the byline "Billy R.," a first-person account of being so stoned that he missed his train to work.

Reader comments include "Dear NYT, What are you giving us? A story about someone who gets high, misses his transportation and gets canned? Pointless." That comment was upvoted by 34 readers.

Another reader comment was: "The point of this taking up space as a bylined article is? He gets a chunk of space for being a doofus? Why?" That comment was upvoted by 32 readers.

A third reader commented, "You were fired because you were foolish. Other than that, not sure what the point is of this essay. Is the bar for publication really this low?" That comment was upvoted by 26 readers.


Lost in Germany

March 10, 2014 at 9:49 am

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Reader-contributor-content co-creator-community member-watchdog-participant Colin writes:

Today's NYT has a travel piece on Nicaragua that, unsurprisingly, was written by someone who first went there to assist the Sandinistas in the 1980s. In any case, at one point she says:

My friends and I spent the night at Selva Negra Mountain Resort (named for Bavaria's Black Forest)

The Black Forest is not located in Bavaria, but rather the German state of Baden-Württemberg.


Glorifying Tobacco Use

March 10, 2014 at 9:32 am

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The Times banned cigarette ads from its pages back in 1999 "because of concerns about the harmful effects of cigarette smoking," the paper reported at the time. Earlier this month, a Times editorial called for stricter government regulation of electronic cigarettes, citing "increasing evidence that the electronic cigarette industry is targeting children and young people who have never smoked before."

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Pubic Hair

March 10, 2014 at 9:22 am

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The Times, having published articles about women's pubic hair in December and in January, weighs in with a third mention in the Sunday Men's Fashion magazine, with a feature on a series of photographs of men's chest hair. The Times reports that "The images are cropped so tightly that they resemble female pubic hair."


Clergy for Higher Taxes

March 7, 2014 at 8:37 am

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A Times article headlined "De Blasio and Dolan Announce a Push for More Pre-K Classes" waits until the tenth paragraph to deliver the news that in the fight between Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio over whether to raise taxes on the "rich" to pay for the pre-K classes, Cardinal Dolan is neutral. (Governor Cuomo opposes an additional tax increase, while Mayor de Blasio is insisting on it.)

The Times article concludes: "Later on Thursday, an advocacy group leading the mayor's prekindergarten campaign released a letter of support for his plan signed by 250 religious leaders. Cardinal Dolan's name was not on the list."

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Eva Moskowitz's Pay

March 6, 2014 at 9:37 am

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A Times news article about the clash between New York Mayor de Blasio and charter school operator Eva Moskowitz includes this paragraph:

She has also attracted notice for her salary, $475,000, partly paid by donors, and roughly double what the chancellor earns. "The irony of what is going on is, here is a woman who makes quite a substantial living on the ability to create schools by pushing thousands of children out of their school buildings, and now she is upset that someone is pushing back on her," said Michael Mulgrew, the president of the city teachers' union.

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