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Whole Foods Amazon Price Cuts

August 29, 2017 at 8:02 am

Times coverage of the Whole Foods "price cuts" associated with Amazon's purchase of the grocer has been astonishingly gullible and lame.

A page one news article by Nick Wingfield and David Gelles appeared under the print headline "Amazon's First Act at Whole Foods: Slash Prices." That article included not a single actual price. I mean, there were references to company stock prices in the article, but the only reference to food prices that included actual numbers was a quote from "Brittain Ladd, a strategy consultant who previously worked for Amazon on its grocery business." The Times quoted Ladd as saying, "I won't be surprised if some prices are lowered 15 percent to as high as 25 percent in some categories."

How many other businesses can get a front-page, totally unskeptical, New York Times article out of a vague promise to cut prices, without any specific details about how much prices will be cut?

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Trump and Charlottesville

August 27, 2017 at 7:27 am

From a Times magazine interview with Charlie Sykes:

I'm assuming you're not surprised by Trump's inability to condemn the white-supremacist march. I'm shocked but not surprised. Denouncing Nazis is the easiest thing in the world: All it requires is a modicum of historical perspective and a working moral compass. Instead, we got this Dumpster fire.

Here is the White House transcript of the president's August 14 statement:

As I said on Saturday, we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence. It has no place in America.

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Louise Linton and Max Kennedy

August 23, 2017 at 9:36 pm

Is the New York Times' obsession with Louise Linton, the wife of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin:

a) just another example of the paper's anti-Trump bias?


b) totally nonpartisan — the same coverage that the paper would apply to any rich or famous person found to be behaving badly or displaying a sense of entitlement?

Well, here is a fine double-blind experiment. The same week that Linton Instagrammed in a way that the Times deemed less humble and demure than circumstances warranted, Matthew "Max" Kennedy and his daughter Caroline Kennedy were reportedly arrested on Cape Cod at 1:30 a.m. after noise complaints about a party.

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Times Sneers at Ikea, L.L. Bean

August 23, 2017 at 2:26 pm

Do you like L.L. Bean canvas tote bags or shopping at Ikea? The New York Times has nothing but scorn for you, at least to judge by two articles in Wednesday's paper.

On page three of the front section, the Times serves up this fashion advice to a reader who asked: "Can you recommend a stylish but very durable bag that can put up with the wear and tear that I place upon it?"

The Times's Isabel Wilkinson replies:

if you do opt for canvas, stick with black — like these from Herschel or Everlane — which doesn't appear as dirty as a khaki color, and looks slightly more professional than an L.L. Bean tote.

An L.L. Bean tote is now unprofessional, according to the Times?

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Not a Parody

August 14, 2017 at 5:55 am

"Why women had better sex under socialism" — actual headline over a story in Sunday's New York Times.


The Politics of Silicon Valley

August 14, 2017 at 5:33 am

What are the politics of Silicon Valley? The New York Times can't seem to give a straight answer.

An article in the Sunday Review section reports, or claims:

The rise of Google and the other giant businesses of Silicon Valley have been driven by a libertarian culture that paid only lip service to notions of diversity...Viewers of the comedy series "Silicon Valley" note that uber-libertarianism and uber-geek machismo go hand in hand.

Elsewhere in the same day's newspaper, the front page of the Times Sunday Styles section reports on what it calls "overwhelmingly liberal Silicon Valley, where supporters of President Trump are nearly nonexistent and few think populism would improve their lives."

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A Proskauer Rose Anonymouse

July 25, 2017 at 10:06 am

A news article in the Times reports on the landscape for woman law firm partners:

A second case, filed in May against Proskauer Rose and brought by a female partner in its Washington office, is seeking $50 million for "substantial gender disparities" in the firm's compensation practices.

The plaintiff, who asked not to be named in order to protect her personal information, argued that even though she was a partner, the firm had "excluded" her from client matters and refused to allow her "to pitch or to participate in any employment litigation matter for firm clients, rebuffed her efforts to assume a greater leadership role at the firm, tolerated and facilitated an environment where she was targeted for harassment and humiliation by firm leadership, demeaned and belittled by her peers and clients and refused to rectify pay disparities."

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Two From the Algemeiner

July 20, 2017 at 7:41 am

Most of my New York Times criticism on Israel and Jewish topics has moved over to the Algemeiner. The two latest pieces are "Nine Flaws With New York Times 'Israel's War on George Soros' Article" and "New York Times Showers Compliments on Iranian Foreign Minister." Please click on the hyperlinks to the headlines and check them out if you are interested in those topics.


CIA Iran Coup

July 20, 2017 at 7:32 am

A New York Times editorial headlined "Avoiding War With Iran" includes this passage:

Most Americans are aware of Iran's crimes against this country, including the 52 Americans taken hostage in 1979; the 241 Marines killed in the 1983 bombing of their barracks in Lebanon; and the 1996 bombing of the Air Force quarters in Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. Perhaps less known are events that still anger Iranians — like the 1953 coup aided by the C.I.A. that ousted Iran's democratically elected leader, Mohammed Mossadegh, and America's intelligence support for Iraq in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.

It's as if the editorial writers are totally unaware of the Weekly Standard article "The Myths of 1953," by a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Ray Takeyh, reporting on newly declassified documents indicating that, as he puts it:

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Smoking Marijuana While Black

July 19, 2017 at 1:00 pm

A New York Times editorial about arrests for marijuana smoking in public expresses regret that "the state missed an opportunity to fix this problem five years ago when a bill that would have made public display of marijuana an offense similar to a traffic violation — rather than a crime — died in the Legislature."

The newspaper's proposed solution? "The city needs to do more to minimize arrests. District attorneys can take the lead by refusing to prosecute most, if not all, of these cases."

I understand the idea of prosecutorial discretion, which at least as I understand it is basically that, given the broad universe of possible crimes to pursue, prosecutors have some latitude to decide how and where to focus the finite and limited resources of their offices.

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Arbitration Clauses

July 17, 2017 at 9:41 am

The New York Times has an editorial arguing that banks should be prohibited from forcing customers to handle disputes in arbitration rather than in court:

In recent decades, banks and other corporations have increasingly required customers to agree in advance to individually arbitrate any conflicts that arise over products and services, rather than sue in court. Arbitration, however, has turned out to stack the deck; corporations choose the arbitrators and set the rules of evidence. As a result, individuals usually abandon the effort rather than pursue their grievances.

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'Largely Unregulated'

July 17, 2017 at 9:20 am

The New York Times has a pattern (see here, here, and here for previous examples) of publishing news articles describing things as "largely unregulated" or "lightly regulated." Often that's inaccurate and just a way for the Times to insert its editorial opinion advocating for increased regulation. The latest example of this comes on today's front page, in an article about companies trying to make money by guiding NFL players through a head-injury settlement process:

The cottage industry of companies and law firms, going by names such as N.F.L. Case Consulting, Concussion Case Management and Legacy Pro Sports and looking to help people file settlement claims, is largely unregulated, even if their pitches are for services that are usually unnecessary.

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Go Ahead, Celebrate the Mosul Win

July 16, 2017 at 6:47 am

No sooner had the Iraqi Army liberated Mosul from the clutches of the Islamic State terrorists than American journalists were rushing to find a way to rain on the parade.

"It is far too soon to celebrate," wrote the New Yorker's Robin Wright, who is a fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

"The government's costly victory in Mosul and the questions hanging over its aftermath feel more like the next chapter in the long story of Iraq's unraveling," Tim Arango wrote in a front-page New York Times news article, leaving unspecified whose feelings, exactly, other than his own, were being described.

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Fourteen Flaws In Tom Friedman's Latest Column

July 14, 2017 at 7:43 am

Thomas Friedman's latest column, which appeared in the New York Times under the headline "Israel to American Jews: You Just Don't Matter," has at least 14 flaws. I enumerate and explain in my latest piece for the Algemeiner. Please check it out here.


Correction Delayed

July 8, 2017 at 11:03 pm

It's one thing for the Times to get an architect's first name wrong, as it did in a July 4 dispatch reporting on the building activities of developer Sheldon Solow. Yet when the Times's own former architecture critic, Paul Goldberger, who won a Pulitzer Prize for his work at the Times, publicly calls the paper out on Twitter: "The day after @nytimes writes about new Apple hq w/o mentioning its architect it calls Richard Meier 'Thomas Meier'" — it's another thing for the newspaper not to correct the apparent mistake, either online or in print. It's as if they're indifferent to getting it right, or as if the paper's copy editor layoffs and "work slowdown" are having severe effects.


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