Sunday, April 22, 2007

More Mealy-Mouthed Shilling from the Empty Suit

Going out with a whimper

The Empty Suit, New York Times "public editor" a/k/a spokesman Barney Calame, wind down his disastrous two-year term as public editor today, with a typically mealy mouthed column that says absolutely nothing about the Times' coverage of the Duke Universtiy rape case.

Calame "revisits" the infamous Aug. 25 article in whcih the Times essentially lynched the Duke University defendants. As usual, he says nothing in particular and churns out the usual patented Calame Whitewash: "I found that the past year’s articles generally reported both sides, and that most flaws flowed from journalistic lapses rather than ideological bias."

That's typical. No matter how dramatic the evidence, the Suit never finds evidence of ideological bias.

What the Suit forgets is that a series of notorious "journalstic lapses," all taking place on the same side of the ideological spectrum, is a prima facie case of ideological bias.

Calame winds up his two-year term as public editor this month. The general view of journalism critics in the mainstream media is precisely what I was saying two years ago: that he is little more than a shill for Times management.

Good riddance, Calame.

UPDATE: Here is a terrific blog post from Durham that sums up the situation nicely:

Sunday, Times public editor Byron Calame published his review of the Times coverage of the lacrosse case. It avoided any comprehensive analysis of the coverage, faulted Duff Wilson’s August 25 story but offered no convincing explanation of why the story was so flawed, and provided a basic message of “no harm, no foul” in the Times’ mishandling of the case.

The article that a good public editor might have written appeared in today’s Chronicle, penned by Iza Wojciechowska. “In the year since the story first broke,” wrote Wojciechowska, “The Times has been criticized for printing news with a slant favoring Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong and for drawing out the amalgam of sex, race and class issues that contributed to the case’s prominent position in the national spotlight.”


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