Coulda Woulda Shoulda

Apparently the New York Times is still unclear on what its fucking job is. For example, after getting criticism about last week’s voter fraud story, which was short on facts and long on the “both sides have a point” crap, the paper went on the defensive:

The national editor, Sam Sifton, rejected the argument. “There’s a lot of reasonable disagreement on both sides,” he said. One side says there’s not significant voter fraud; the other side says there’s not significant voter suppression.

“It’s not our job to litigate it in the paper,” Mr. Sifton said. “We need to state what each side says.”

Mr. Bronner agreed. “Both sides have become very angry and very suspicious about the other,” he said. “The purpose of this story was to step back and look at both sides, to lay it out.” While he agreed that there was “no known evidence of in-person voter fraud,” and that could have been included in this story, “I don’t think that’s the core issue here.”

Oh, really? Would someone like to tell what the core issue is, then? One side says voter fraud is a big problem, and the facts say that it is not. Meanwhile, one side is passing laws that take the Constitutionally-protected right to vote away from millions of people. That isn’t the core issue?

But no, the Times’ reporter and national editor both think the core issue is “one side says this and the other side says that.” End of story.

Seriously, people? And since when did reporting facts become “litigating the issue”? No wonder you suck.

Yes, do keep telling me how the internet killed journalism. Please.

(h/t, Atrios)

12 Comments

Filed under Media, New York Times, voter fraud

12 responses to “Coulda Woulda Shoulda

  1. Bob

    http://www.brennancenter.org/content/resource/citizens_without_proof_a_survey_of_americans_possession_of_documentary_proo/

    You may find this study interesting. It was linked as a source on a politifact commentary that suggested Eliminating between 7% and 11% of undocumented citizens rights to vote (or that poll taxing the indigent) doesn’t really matter.

    Our local paper has apparently embraced the idea that those not in possession of a driver’s license or passport don’t really need to be voting anyway.

    http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/sep/14/rejected-as-voter-knox-woman-has-wild-goose-to/?partner=popular

    They cut off my ability to post at about 4:00 pm this afternoon.

    • Oh yes….the great KNS…..reading the comments on there makes my skin crawl..The Southern (read it anyway you want to…. ) mindset is a scary frustrating thing! Facts don’t penetrate!

  2. D.

    Frankly it’s stories like that that discourage me from subscribing. I can get craven equivalence anywhere.

  3. So true !!!!!!!! I hate it when these TV political talk shows always have 2 sides of the story. I know it’s just fair, but when the host doesn’t even ask the right questions, or worse, doesn’t even question a statement that is clearly a lie , that really pisses me off. Pardon my word.

  4. IN THIS CASE, there are not two sides to this issue. These ALEC written laws, pushed by REPUBLICANS in power in 30 states, were designed to suppress, deny, discourage millions of potential DEMOCRAT-leaning voters from voting for our black President. ONE PA state Rep even admitted that fact…And the article mentioned above from the Knoxville News Sentinel mentioned that 284 voters were “stopped from voting” in our August Primary because they did not have a photo ID and that number does not count those who “did not request or were turned away without receiving a provisional ballot”. And the irony is that, as stated in a post on our ‘KnoxViews.com’ blog, the voter in question who was denied her right to ‘continuing to vote’, is a member of a REPUBLICAN family here. And they appealed to our GOP State Senator, Becky Duncan-Massey, who stated that she “hoped the situation would be straightened out because she still thinks it is “important to have the proper identification”…keeping in mind that her ONLY platform when she ran to fill an empty seat in 2010 was to ‘fight excess government regulations’…The ACLU is now working in all 30 States to find victims who have been denied their right to vote…and apparently we have a good list already here in Tennessee. So I repeat: THERE IS NO OTHER SIDE to this story.

  5. democommie

    Internet did not kill print “journalism”, aka, the NYT. The NYT and other, “Papers of record” committed suicide.

  6. JR in WV

    I grew up in a newspaper household. Everyone in my family worked in the media, many at more than one job. We got flack about printing stories that people disagreed with all the time. Although I wound up years late getting a technology degree, I have years of experience in print and TV work, back before the innertubes.

    These “journalists” have learned a false notion of fairness, much like the idea that every member of a youth sports league deserves a trophy, even if they finish their season 4-12. Everyone’s opinion is not a fact! On most issues, if there are more than a single opinion, research can be done to determine which opinions are, in fact, true and which are wrong-headed.

    Researching the actual facts in a dispute is the job of the reporter, not validating everyone’s opinions to protect their fee-fees. Being a publisher of press releases is something a web-bot can do, and does, pretty well. Look at the pseudo-news web sites out there – fact-free zones that regurgitate the opinions of the folks they want to help.

    Actually looking up objective data to see if a political claim is based on facts is pretty much the definition of being a “political reporter” – not riding on the bus, eating and drinking a candidates munchies! That’s called being a sycophant, not a reporter!

  7. CB

    There is, unfortunately, very little true reporting — as in, getting the damn facts straight — in today’s version of the media, all of the media. Those who used to be broadcast journalists have now become entertainers. The ‘both sides do it’ meme is part and parcel of this trend. Can’t upset too many viewers, or your ratings tank. Mmmm. Can’t have that. Gotta stroke everybody, whether they deserve your affections or not. Pandering, in the historic sense of the word, does come to mind. Since print journalism (and I used that term advisedly) has migrated to the web, every outlet has a blog, and every dickhead has a voice. We don’t have news anymore. We have propaganda, paid for by the media masters, and conforming to their preferences.

  8. kay

    Its a real shame. Even the science section of the Times (which I used to love) is so bland and fearfully politicized that its unreadable.