Man Without Qualities

Friday, September 16, 2005

Public Editor Comes After Herr Doktorprofessor And Gail Collins: Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels

New York Times "public editor" Barney Calame absolutely blasts Paul Krugman and Times opinion page editor Gail Collins:
Columnist Correction Policy Isn't Being Applied to Krugman

An Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times who makes an error "is expected to promptly correct it in the column." That's the established policy of Gail Collins, editor of the editorial page. Her written policy encourages "a uniform approach, with the correction made at the bottom of the piece."

Two weeks have passed since my previous post spelled out the errors made by columnist Paul Krugman in writing about news media recounts of the 2000 Florida vote for president. Mr. Krugman still hasn't been required to comply with the policy by publishing a formal correction. Ms. Collins hasn't offered any explanation.

As a result, readers of who simply search for "Krugman" won't find any indication that there are uncorrected errors in the columns the query turns up. Nor will those who access Mr. Krugman's columns in an electronic database such as Nexis or Factiva. Corrections would have been appended in all those places if Mr. Krugman had complied with Ms. Collins' policy and corrected the errors in his column in the print version of The Times. (Essentially, to become part of the official archive of The Times, material has to have been published in the print paper.)

All Mr. Krugman has offered so far is a faux correction. Each Op-Ed columnist has a page in that includes his or her past columns and biographical information. Mr. Krugman has been allowed to post a note on his page that acknowledges his initial error, but doesn't explain that his initial correction of that error was also wrong. Since it hasn't been officially published, that posting doesn't cause the correction to be appended to any of the relevant columns.

If the problem is that Mr. Krugman doesn't want to give up precious space in his column for a correction, there are alternatives. Perhaps some space could be found elsewhere on the Op-Ed page so that readersÂ?especially those using electronic versions of his pieces -- could get the accurate information they deserve.

A bottom-line question: Does a corrections policy not enforced damage The Times's credibility more than having no policy at all?
Mr. Calame's revelations and evident exasperation raise some other bottom-line questions:

Is the Times (with the presumed acquiescence of its Chairman) publishing a violent disagreement over a willful and error-haunted Times columnist between two of its most important editors without a willingness, or even a plan, to have one or more of the three people involved leave the paper?

Can the Times public editor challenge the credibility of the Times on its own pages, and assert that the paper's corrections policy is being outright flaunted, without major repercussions?

Given the violent and intemperate reaction of Herr Doktorprofessor to criticisms leveled at him by the Times' prior public editor, how likely is it that this situation is not going to become rapidly and highly inflamed - with Herr Doktorprofessor resorting to his customary paranoid rants, superheated accusations and apocalyptic doomsaying?

Does any sensible person expect that the Times reporters and columnists other than Herr Doktorprofessor - and Times competitors - will sit still while all this goes on?

Don Luskin has been tracking these developments on his blog and on National Review Online. Looks like there will be lots more for him to report in the near future. Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night at the New York Times. In fact, lots of them!

I don't know you but I love the world where we live in, especially for the new technology and now it seems to me impossible to stay without.
The things that I prefer are all kind of little stuff that I can keep in my pourse. As you can imagine my cell phone play a center role in my daily life.
I can't resist to motorola ringtone. I get tired of a new one quickly so I want a new one, immediately. The good part is I'm a student so my parents pay for them and further to make a monthly account is not difficult.
Time to go back to study.
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