Media Miscellany, Jayson Blair in a Cocktail Dress Edition

Jayson Blair in a cocktail dress.jpgToday’s Media Miscellany is All-NYT All The Time, because there seems to be a lot swirling in the ether. Also, every time we look at the picture to the left, we feel strangely alive.

  • Cry me a Rivera: As we reported below, Geraldo Rivera got his correction from the NYT (after a double-diss from Barney Calame) but no apology – and no “The Times regrets the error.” Speaking of regretting errors, we asked Regret The Error’s Craig Silverman what he thought of the half-hearted apology (leading question, Louise Story-style) and got this:

    The second-to-last paragraph in the Editor’s Note offers some of the most specious hair-splitting since the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal. How is a nudge not a physical action when you write that someone “…nudged an Air Force rescue worker out of the way”? In a strange way it’s almost admirable that the paper is willing to explain its initial (poor) reason for not running a correction. The thin silver lining here is the public editor seems to have some sway over decisions at the newspaper. Who knew? (emphasis added)

    We had asked Slate’s Jack Shafer for his opinion yesterday, before the correction ran (other people’s words = less work for Fishbowl). Presciently, Shafer wrote: “There’s a funny column to be written by somebody other than me about the Stanley/Rivera dispute that would probably include the sentence,”It all depends on what the meaning of ‘nudge’ is.” Does a nudge require body contact, or can you nudge somebody with your body language?” Two things are to be gleaned from this paragraph: one, no one is fooled by the NYT’s hairsplitting semantics; and two, Shafer likes delegating, too.

  • Neverending Story: We can’t help it, something about the whole Louise Story barefoot-in-the-kitchen-and-loving-it story gets our goat (never mind that it’s #1 on MEL this week!). So here are some more opinions on the piece: two female Yalies take to the school paper to air their beef with Story’s methodologies and biases (“Story’s assessment was so at odds with our experience that we wondered if we were in fact reading about the Yale we know”); Gelf Magazine still has no appetite for the sausage, despite seeing how it was made; check out the view from the “traditional breadwinner” side in the NYT as Nicholas Kulash gently reminds Story’s target demo that sometimes giving up one’s career isn’t an option, especially when it’s called a “job” (“Not working is no longer a choice for many. It’s a luxury – or at a minimum, a serious sacrifice”). Or, to paraphrase, a song.
  • Someone Else’s Story: The brouhaha above is all well and good, but E&P is troubled by lack of focus on another player: Judith Miller. William E. Jackson Jr. wonders where Barney Calame’s column about the lame investigation into Miller’s role in the Plame case. He finds it odd that the NYT permits itself to be scooped (“It is striking that important information that has appeared elsewhere, including certain details about Miller’s meeting with Vice President Cheney’s chief of staff — which is now widely believed to be prosecutor Fitzgerald’s main focus — and John Bolton’s visit to her in jail, have still not been reported in The New York Times”) and odder still that Keller and Sulzberger Jr. aren’t acknowledging the “big elephant” in the newsroom. [E&P]
  • Of note: This article on a Shi’ite cleric agitating against the Iraqi charter ran on Friday; the identity of the “Iraqi employee of The New York Times” who contributed from Najaf did not. Ditto in today’s awful report on the execution of schoolteachers, but the NYT steps up the disclaimer: “An Iraqi employee of The New York Times, whose name has been withheld for reasons of safety, contributed reporting from Karbala.”
  • We have to stop Fishbowl writing about the Times. Now.