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NY Times - All The News Fit To Distort(29 posts)

NY Times - All The News Fit To DistortAlpedhuez55
Apr 3, 2003 6:43 PM
Remember that quote earlier in the week from a general saying the enemy we're fighting is different from the one the US war-gamed against. Remember how it lead to things such as pundits & all over the media saying the war would stretch out for months. Well it looks like the New York Times conveniently left out a couple of words that made the situation sound a lot different:


A front-page article on Tuesday about criticism voiced by American military officers in Iraq over war plans omitted two words from an earlier comment by Lt. Gen. William S. Wallace, commander of V Corps. General Wallace had said (with the omission indicated by uppercasing), "The enemy we're fighting is A BIT different from the one we war-gamed against."
Those two words "A BIT" take away a lot of the impact from the quote. Just about every news outlet ran with the quote and many using the quote to claim the US war plan failed.

If that was not enough,they asked Lawrence Eagleburger to write an essay on the war for the Times. He outlined what he was going to say and the editors told him "What we want is criticism of the administration."

I guess the integrity "A BIT" less important than bashing the administration over at the Times these days.

Mike Y.
More distortionsSpoiler
Apr 3, 2003 9:49 PM

"...its (Israel) commitment to protecting Palestinian lives and property at almost any cost..."

"Ultimately, urban combat is always a dirty business, no matter what the weaponry and tactics at an army's disposal. But as Israel's experience indicates, with the right tactics, victory can be achieved and casualties minimized."

If Iraqi civilians sustain minimum casualities like the Palestenians have, we should have peace in no time.
It is hard to call that op ed peice a destortionAlpedhuez55
Apr 4, 2003 5:37 AM
If you look at the by line is ic by "Yagil Henkin, a military historian, is fulfilling his reserve requirement as a researcher with the Israeli military." Unless they misquoted him, I would just say he is giving his opinion, and not a distortion. THough the times does control what opinions they print in their op ed pages.

THat said, I also disagree with some of his statements. Israel could use more caution in their tactics. When they destroy a building, instead of going into the building and aprehending the suspect, they put civiliians at risk.

But on the other hand, it is hard to fight a war against terrorists. They tend to show little concern for thier own people, such as the suicide bobmer who killed 3 coalition soldiers this morning, as well as a fleeing pregnant woman who was being used as human shield.

Mike Y.
"Op ed" by definition is OPINION, and everybody gets onecory
Apr 4, 2003 9:42 AM
Let me get up on my high journalistic horse here for a minute: A newspaper has an obligation to give all sides of an argument (so do the other media, but newspapers are where I make my living). As a matter of routine, on every significant story, we actively look for people representing contrary views. It's not a lack of integrity, or a lack of patriotism: It's the JOB, whether the other views are popular or not.
In the case of op ed pieces, they're almost always opinion, and every newspaper I've ever seen labels them as opinion. So unless you're decreeing that nobody but you is entitled to an opinion, what's your gripe here?
But a Doctored Front Page News Story is Poor JournalismAlpedhuez55
Apr 4, 2003 10:15 AM
Of course I know what opinion is. I included Eagleburgers quote to show that the editors were not interested in printing an essay in support of the war. THat is their right as an editor or publisher.

Doctoring a quote in a news story to prove your argument is wrong. THat is in-accurate reporting. They are trying to mislead the public when they do that. If the NY Times wants to get on a journalistic high horse, they shoiuld fire the reporter or editor responsible for the quote.

The LA times fired a photographer for doctoring a phote to add effect. The NY Times did something far worse. It just exposes their biased reporting.

Mike Y.
question forAd'H55cycleaddict
Apr 4, 2003 11:29 AM
On which turn of the Alpe d' Huez did you crash and suffer such horrible brain damage?
question for cycleaddictSteveS
Apr 4, 2003 12:08 PM
What are you addicted to, something you smoke, something you drink, something you inject, or something that you swallowed hook line and sinker?

Most addictions are harmful to the individual and society, the only problem is that virtually all addicts are in denial of their condition and refuse to seek or accept help. They just want another fix of their preferred addiction.
Czar, defend me from this viscious personal attack ;-) NMAlpedhuez55
Apr 4, 2003 12:12 PM
Even <i>my</i> tolerance has limits. : Þ (nm)czardonic
Apr 4, 2003 12:37 PM
LOL.... Thanks for nothing :'-( (nm)Alpedhuez55
Apr 4, 2003 1:13 PM
Hey, its the least I could do. {: D (nm)czardonic
Apr 4, 2003 2:35 PM
Did NY-Times not announce the correction itself?kilimanjaro
Apr 4, 2003 2:50 PM
I have no intimate knowledge of the newspaper business in general and even less of NY Times. However, the fact tha NY-Times anounced the correction itself suggests to me that your interpretation that the paper purposefully "doctored" the quote as quite "doctored" itself.

If you argued that NY Times rushed to print without double checking the quote due to its inherint bias (read, unintentional) I can at least understand if not agree.

When is the last time Rush corrected himself. I forgot, G-d is never wrong.
Did NY-Times not announce the correction itself?Alpedhuez55
Apr 4, 2003 3:20 PM
My guess is Wallace or someone from the Pentagon called them on it. That is usually how a correction is made. Someon points it out and makes them correct it.

Of course the story was their front page above the fold story, but the correction is tucked on page two. Corrections the tend to be minor things such as a mislabled photo caption or wrong dates. A correction like this on a lead story is pretty rare. Even earlier this week, the LA Times fired a photograpgher for doctoring a photo.

Whether it be intentional or not, it is bad journalism. I included the Eagleburger interview quote to show the paper has an agenda. Either a reporter or editor made a consious decision to alter the quote. That is wrong. Op Ed is fine in the Op Ed pages.

Mike Y.
Superfluous words omitted. Big deal.czardonic
Apr 4, 2003 3:43 PM
Different is different, especially when you are talking about war preperations on which lives may hinge.

If you think that there is some kind of agenda behind this ommision, compare the NY Times "distortion" of the quote to that of the notoriously conservative Washington Times:

"The dispute was fueled yesterday by remarks made by Lt. Gen. William S. Wallace, the Army 5th Corps commander. He conceded to The Washington Post and the New York Times that planners never "war-gamed" for combating the Fedayeen resistance. He said their tactics had in fact slowed operations, putting the three-star general in direct conflict with U.S. Central Command's contention that the war is on schedule."

Whether or not the enemy is "a bit" different or just plain old different, it is technically true that it was "never" prepared for. Kind of an odd spin for such a pro-Bush organization as the Washington Times.

Incidentally, did the Washington Post ever post a correction?
Is the article truthful or "A BIT" Truthful?Alpedhuez55
Apr 5, 2003 8:49 AM
You are taking the quote out od context. Those words taken in the context of an article claiming the war plan is failing is a big difference. The Times obviously has an anti war-agenda. Though I cannot be 100% sure because I cannot get in the mind of the person who altered the quote, it is a fair assumption that it was done intentionally to make the articles impact stronger.

Here is what columnists Bill Keller wrote about the quote today:
"General Wallace, who commands Army forces in Iraq, told The Times's Jim Dwyer that enemy tactics had been "a bit" different from what was war-gamed against beforehand. Most accounts lost the "a bit," making an obvious and innocuous remark sound like a defeatist whine."

This week, the NY Times also directly quoted Dick Cheney saying "Iraq would fall like a House of Cards" then posted a correction saying he never said it. That time they just made one up. It seems these days you need to read the Page 2 corrections section before the front page.

As for the Washington Times article, they were writing about the the NY Times article that icluded the misquote. As I mentioned, virtually every major media outlet picked up the quote. I think i would be great if every newspaper & Media outlet that ran a story with the NY Times quote wrote a correction saying that they quoted an in-accurate report by the NY Times in their article. Then mabybe NY Times will get start cross checking their facts.

The NY Times is distorting the news. I guess that is OK with you if they do it since they are an Anti-Bush paper. You seem to think it is OK to criticize the "'Goverment Controlled' Embed Journalists" but when one of the most important newspapers in the world distorts the news you see it a no big deal. Distorting the news on either side is poor journalism. You seem to think it goes one way.

Mike Y.
Your fears are baseless, and you are being hypocritical.czardonic
Apr 7, 2003 10:08 AM
First, as a liberal, I can assure you that the words "a bit" make no difference in my interpretation of the article. As I said, different is different, and peoples lives are hinging on how well our troops are prepared.

Second, you don't care when Fox News distorts the news. You don't even care when the Washington Post makes the exact same "distortion".
Your fears are baseless, and you are being hypocritical.Alpedhuez55
Apr 7, 2003 10:52 AM
Removing "A BIT" does change the meaning of the quote just like if you were to add "a lot". Just because you say it made "no difference in my interpretation of the article" does not adress the fact that the quote was changed. When you say the words "A BIT" does not change the meaning to you tells me that you are taking out of the article want you want to hear, regardless if it is truthful or accurate.

How is it hypocritical in regards to the Wasinton Post (I thought it was the Washint Times you quoted)? THe article you quoted in your earlier post was paraphrasing the distorted article from the NY Times. I suggested they write a correction saying they quoted an inaccurate article inn the NY Times.

I have been critical of Fox and know they have a bias. I have not found any fabricated or altered quotes. THey spin the news, but they do not make it up. I did say I think they were more accurate then NPR for war coverage. I also think Geraldo is an idiot who deserved to be booted from Iraq and Bill O'Reilly thinks he is alot smarter than he really is. Their war coverage ahas been good though.

Mike Y.
Read the Washington <i>Times</i> quote again.czardonic
Apr 7, 2003 11:12 AM
The Washington Post was also a primary source of the quote in question, and I have not seen a retraction on their part. (Are they part of the Liberal Media Consipiracy, or did they make an honest mistake, as opposed to the NYT's intentional distortion?)

What is "spin", as opposed to "distortion"? The only distinction I can see in your posts is that it is harmless "spin" when the "distortion" agrees with your bias.
That's not what he said.purplepaul
Apr 7, 2003 12:30 PM
He said they didn't make things up. That is VERY different from spinning. But I wish all parties did less of it. Nobody benefits from obfuscation, and I don't believe anyone here really wants that, as painful as it might be to their beliefs.
Its not what I said either.czardonic
Apr 7, 2003 1:24 PM
He said that Fox "spins" the news as opposed to distorting it, to which I replied that his definition of "spin" seems to be distortions that cater to his political tastes. Spin is an obvious euphamism.

I never said that Fox makes things up. They add selective emphasis to their reporting that is intended to skew its likely interpretation.
Its not what I said either.Alpedhuez55
Apr 7, 2003 2:21 PM
Czar, you said:
"I never said that Fox makes things up. They add selective emphasis to their reporting that is intended to skew its likely interpretation."

I agree with you there to a point. Every news agency does that. Fox does it mostly in their panels, and leaves the news reports alone. The Times is doing that in their reporting what should be left to the oped page.

What I am taking offense with is the fabrication and altering of quotes. They got caught red-handed on that twice last week. All the newspapers and media outlets (including the conservativce ones) that ran a stories on the operational pause or reports doubt in the war plan early last week ran that altered General Wallace Quote made to Times Reporter Jim Dwyer. Plenty of liberal & conservative outlets ran a simular story to the one in the Times. I am just following those stories to the source.

Whether it be an accident, the fog of war or intentional, it is just plain poor journalism. I guess you just do not want see it for what it is, distortion.

Mike Y.
Are you also offended by the distortion of Gore's statement. . .czardonic
Apr 7, 2003 2:55 PM
. . .about his role in the invention of the internet? That is a prime example of words being re-arranged and ommited for effect, and then offered as a direct quote.

This distortion was not only tolerated but applauded by conservatives.
There, you see, we agree on something.purplepaul
Apr 7, 2003 3:33 PM
Perhaps if people received better educations and learned to be more critical thinkers rather than just accept what their professors say, they could have seen how unfair that was and maybe even made a better choice for president (it is my contention that most of those who voted for Bush did so despite it being in their best interest not to).

Obfuscation of the truth helps no one (well, it helps politicians. Oh well, it sounds nice).
Are you also offended by the distortion of Gore's statement. . .Alpedhuez55
Apr 7, 2003 3:41 PM
Here is the infamous quote:
"During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."

I agree, that was a combination of poor phrasing by Gore while exaggerating his legislative record and Internet Magazines & late night comics putting their spin on it. They replaced create with invent and it took a life of its own.

And remember, it was his fellow Democrats in the primarys who were using it against him as well before Bush used it in the debate. The Republicans did nothing to clear the quote.

It was taken out of context and used against him. I agree with you that it is poor journalism and wrong.

Mike Y.
It all comes back to context.czardonic
Apr 7, 2003 3:54 PM
The question is not how the quote of Gen. Wallace was rendered in the Times. The quesiton is how well that rendition represented his intended meaning at the time.

You're acting as though this single ommision is responsible for the entirety of opinion that the Fedayeen Saddam's tactics were throwing our troops for a loop. I think the facts on the ground at the time spoke for themselves, and they justified the questions asked by many about whether or not our preparations were adequate.
It all comes back to context.Alpedhuez55
Apr 7, 2003 4:47 PM
In the context of the article in the Times I think the quote was bad. They were not just questioning the warplan, it was an attack directed at Rumsfeld. If it were a stand alone quote in the embed reporters report, it would not be as bad.

The misquote was the one atributed quote to an active military officer in an article filled with a few "nameless" active military officers and a couple of retired generals who were doing TV commenting. When you take the Wallace quote away, the rest of the article loses credibility.

You can ask the question of the troops being thrown for a loop without changing facts. The Times messed up and a lot of media outlets ran the same story. The article was proven wrong by the events of the last week with the troops in Baghdad already.

Mike Y.
are newspapers deceptions worse than administration deceptions?rufus
Apr 4, 2003 4:15 PM
Of course the story was their front page above the fold story, but the correction is tucked on page two.

you mean like the bush announcement of the iraqi nuke program? the one that was based on articles from british research papers from 1998 or earlier, some of it fake, and passed off as current intelligence from british intelligence? used by the president and his cronies as evidence for why we needed to attack iraq now.
Agree on poor journalism ...kilimanjaro
Apr 4, 2003 4:22 PM
but you have the tail wagging the dog here. Your main complaint is about "doctored" quote and used Eagleburger interview as supporting evidence. It should be the other way around. You should have used Eagleburger interview (by the way what is the source of this interview, just curious)as evidence of bias and then pointed out the misquote as suspicious albeit circumstantial supporting evidence.

Your charge that someone at the paper "made a consious decision to alter the quote" is streching it more than a bit. Corrections are always tucked away in the paper. Show me one exception. Even if we agree for aurgument's sake that the editors and reporters involved have a liberal bent, could the reporter not took the quote down incorrectly because he wrote down what he thought he heard (due to his anti-war bias). Unless the quote was recorded and checked by the editor or proofreader, could they not simply have missed it?

You are not charging them with poor or sloopy journalism, but purposefully deceiving the public. You will tell me next the editors decided on the deceit taking the EPA surplus black helicopter to confer with Bubba.

Your accussation really highlights the mistrust between oppossing views. The hard left is equally suspicious and irrational
Agree on poor journalism ...Alpedhuez55
Apr 5, 2003 3:19 PM
It could be a reporter's error, but most print reporters use tape or digital recorders. And with the strong anti-administration stance the Times has, I think the it fair to suspect was deliberate.

The quote was a cornerstone of an article critical of Rumsfeld saying the war plan was failing and the war would drag on much longer than expected. Take out that quote and the article loses a lot of the impact with just a couple of unnamed officers being critical.

If you look at my response to Czar, today one of their own columnists was critical of the misquote.
The Times also fabricated a quote from the Vice President in another article, causing yet another correction to be issued.

The quote from Eagleburger was from Fox News on "Hannity & Combs." You cannot deny paper has a strong anti-war and liberal bias. Letting bias that flow into their reporting is poor journalism. You can assume the best of the Times, but maybe you should be a little more sceptical of their reporting.

Mike Y.