NYTimes The Public Editor: How Would Jackson Pollock Cover This Campaign?

From Romenesko @ Poynter Online, we find:

The New York Times > Week in Review
The Public Editor: How Would Jackson Pollock Cover This Campaign?



Published: October 10, 2004

SEPTEMBER 26, re “Kerry as the Boss: Always More Questions”: Faith C. McCready thinks “the Kerry campaign ought to be paying The Times a consultant/advertising fee” for the article. Scott Libbey of Chevy Chase, Md., calls it “another negative article on Kerry,” and concludes: “I don’t know how you guys can look at yourselves in the mirror anymore. I really don’t.”

October 5, regarding a few stories: From Michael Malone of Darien, Conn., “I know that many of the Times reporters and editors are breathlessly trying to get Kerry elected.” And from John Owens of San Francisco, “I often won’t read your paper because of the relentless pounding on Kerry.”

Pollock was an abstract-expressionist painter. One simplistic point of the comparison? No matter how many people look at something, they all see something different.

And, as for ‘what an ombudsman does’, try that Google definition search. Or, look at this Wikipedia entry for NYTimes ‘allegations of bias’.

Jeff Jarvis (Buzzmachine.com) has an interesting take on the issue.

UPDATE: And, as this sad spectacle continues to play itself out, here is a reminder that ‘not only do blog comments never fade away (due to Google caching)’, but your e-mails are permanent records, too. Also, they can be used to hurt you – even if your e-mail’s wording was intended to hurt another. Don’t believe me? You haven’t believed the stories about Jessica Cutler, Dooce and Troutgirl? Well, check out Steve Schwenk’s open letter to the NYTime’s Public Editor, Daniel Okrent. Do you think Mr. Schwenk regrets his e-mail?

So, my point is, students – think before you write. Hey, I’m guilty of it, too. I am sure there are things I have written, said and e-mailed which I would gladly take back – if I could. Please, don’t make that mistake.

See how Mr. Schwenk will ‘write all of his e-mails in the future’:

Let me close by pledging that, henceforth, I shall write all of my e-mails as though they will be published in the New York Times. I shall write them with the care, consideration and respect for civil discourse that one would expect from the public editor of the nation’s leading newspaper. I will write them as though I am writing a respected column that will be read by people around the world, and that will be captured in Google forever. My parting request to you, Mr. Okrent, should you choose not to do the honorable thing and resign, is that you pledge to never again write a column for the New York Times as though you are writing a private, angry and hostile e-mail to an audience of one.