Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Official Times Response: We Screwed Up; You Drop Dead

It's official: New York Times policy is that it is free to steal as much as it wants from anonymous bloggers.

As indicated in an earlier post, the Times stole an item from this blog on the Romenesko salary issue. Today I received two emails from Hubert Herring of the New York Times, the last of which, received a few minutes ago, says as follows: "If you will give your name, we will consider running a correction."

Note that the Times doesn't pretend that there were no violations of its policy or errors. It simply doesn't want to run a correction! I responded as follows:

"No, Mr. Herring, I am not going to give you my name. As I indicated earlier, I am not asking you to run a letter. I am asking YOU to correct an error in your newspaper, for the benefit of YOUR readers. You do not need my name in order to determine that 1) You failed to properly credit my blog and 2) Your article contained errors.

"My request for a correction stands.

"I am actually a little (a tiny bit) stunned by the arrogance of your response. Yes, yours is an arrogant newspaper. But it is not often that the arrogance is quite so 'in your face.'"

"The fact that my blog is anonymous is not a license to steal for the New York Times. Neither is does it have any bearing on the fact that you violated the code of ethics by failing to properly credit my blog."

I copied Barney Calame on this correspondence, in which I presume Hubert here was speaking for Times management. Let's see what happens.

Think about it. The Times violates an ethical precept, poaching an item from other media. It makes errors. Does it matter whether the victim of the errors is an anonymous blog? So far, the answer is, "hell yes!" The Times's policy is "When we screw you, you have to dance to our tune."
Like I said, arrogant. But then again, what else is new?

UPDATE: Barney Calame's empty suit.