Sunday, February 24, 2008

New York Crimes

To be sure, upon publishing a rather uncomplimentary article about Sen. John McCain, the New York Times found itself at the forefront of political conversation. Typically regarded as one of the world’s finest newspapers, the Times is accustomed to unveiling major stories. It is not, however, accustomed to finding itself as the subject of media attention. But, as they say, all good things must come to an end.

Make no mistake, It is not my objective to accompany right-minded media commentators in their efforts to oust the Times as a partisan establishment, its mind set on conservative sabotage. No, Rush Limbaugh and the like, from what I can tell, seem no more effective in making this argument than any other. Rather, it seems that the criticism to be made is one of a singular (albeit substantial) lapse of judgment. As I see it, even the most trustworthy source loses much of his or her credibility upon requesting anonymity. Of course, a story of this magnitude must be covered, but perhaps it would be best suited to publish at the expense of obstinacy. That is, without providing readers with the same evidence afforded to the story’s authors, making such hard-line convictions is the sort of unjustified endeavor best left to men of the aforementioned Limbaugh’s caliber.

Fortunately, the Times reestablished much of its credibility upon publishing an editorial in opposition to the McCain article. However, the damage done to McCain’s campaign is unequivocally tangible. The propriety of this damage, it seems, is a query now amongst the ranks of the article’s anonymous sources, as all are now beyond our ability to ascertain. And, though I am quite assuredly not a supporter of John McCain, I must believe that the Times ought to have produced the article as such. That is, the Times ought to have acknowledged the difference between describing accusations of indeterminate credibility, and thusly making them, as this distinction has since proven paramount. As such, it now seems obvious that, despite the implicative-weight of his work, a journalist is forever at the mercy of credibility.


andrewswift said...

What's sad is that the real story - McCain's close ties to lobbyists - has been ignored, and the sex played up. The NYT's Ombudsman said as much in his piece today.

Nate said...

Well, it IS a student newsp....huh? Oh, never mind.

Jon Gold said...

Yeah, if they'd structured it a bit differently, there would be hoopla of an entirely different nature.