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Thread: New York Times publishes fake letter

  1. #1
    The very model of a modern Moderator Xiahou's Avatar
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    Default New York Times publishes fake letter

    I didn't see a thread to fit this into, so I guess it gets it's own...

    Sure, the NYT has been going downhill for quite awhile, but I'm still surprised by this:
    NY Times published fake letter from Paris mayor
    The Times blamed the mistake on a failure to verify the authenticity of a letter that arrived by e-mail.

    "In this case, our staff sent an edited version of the letter to the sender of the e-mail and did not hear back," the paper said. "At that point, we should have contacted Mr. Delanoe's office to verify that he had, in fact, written to us. We did not do that. Without that verification, the letter should never have been printed.
    So, apparently someone at the NYT gets a letter claiming to be from Delanoe, edits it for publication and sends the changes back to the original emailer.... and gets no reply. So what do they do with it? Publish it as fact obviously.

    Why on earth would you bother to check up on it's authenticity with the alleged source of the letter? Surely an unverified email address that doesn't respond to queries is enough basis to send it to the presses, right?

    Astonishing.
    I think most posters in the backroom have higher standards than that.
    Last edited by Xiahou; 12-23-2008 at 09:08.
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  2. #2
    Master of Few Words Senior Member KukriKhan's Avatar
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    Default Re: New York Times publishes fake letter

    NYT has been miffed by C. Kennedy's refusal to reveal her finances to them prior to any appointment to the Senate - which the Times also sneers at as undeserved. That stance, I'm thinking, prompted the editors to jump at any hint of a rumor of a suggestion, that someone agrees with them.

    Normally, I wouldn't much care who gets a temp appointment to a Senate seat not from my State. But the NYT's strong opposition is making me pay attention now. Who's palm has not been greased there, I wonder?
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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: New York Times publishes fake letter

    a shame. the NYT used to be a respectable paper in my eyes...
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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: New York Times publishes fake letter

    Quote Originally Posted by hooahguy View Post
    a shame. the NYT used to be a respectable paper in my eyes...
    Pics or it didn't happen.
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    The Usual Member Ice's Avatar
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    Default Re: New York Times publishes fake letter

    I still the times (in general) is a well written newspaper which is interesting to read. This one thing isn't going to change my mind.



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    Stranger in a strange land Moderator Hooahguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: New York Times publishes fake letter

    Pics or it didn't happen.
    what? r u talking to me?
    Last edited by Hooahguy; 12-23-2008 at 21:09.
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    Poll Smoker Senior Member CountArach's Avatar
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    Default Re: New York Times publishes fake letter

    Quote Originally Posted by Kush View Post
    I still the times (in general) is a well written newspaper which is interesting to read. This one thing isn't going to change my mind.
    Spot on.

    Newspapers print BS all the time, and I just think this is one more obvious example where the Mainstream media didn't check its sources. I'm sure I can dig up thousands upon thousands of examples where Faux News printed the wrong information...
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  8. #8
    TexMec Senior Member Louis VI the Fat's Avatar
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    Default Re : New York Times publishes fake letter

    Quote Originally Posted by The Letter
    Kennedy, Seen From Paris
    Published: December 22, 2008

    To the Editor:

    As mayor of Paris, I find Caroline Kennedy’s bid for the seat of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton both surprising and not very democratic, to say the least. What title has Ms. Kennedy to pretend to Hillary Clinton’s seat? We French can only see a dynastic move of the vanishing Kennedy clan in the very country of the Bill of Rights. It is both surprising and appalling.

    With all the respect and admiration I have for Ms. Kennedy’s late father, I find her bid in very poor taste, and, after reading “Kennedy, Touring Upstate, Gets Less and Less Low-Key” (news article, Dec. 18), in my opinion she has no qualification whatsoever to bid for Senator Clinton’s seat.

    We French have been consistently admiring of the American Constitution, but it seems that recently both Republicans and Democrats are drifting away from a truly democratic model. The Kennedy era is long gone, and I guess that New York has plenty of more qualified candidates to fill the shoes of Hillary Clinton. Can we speak of American decline?

    Bertrand Delanoë
    Paris, Dec. 18, 2008
    How could they even think this is real?

    What sloppy journalism!

    More interesting to me, is what this affair reveals about the opinion of the NYT, of leftist - I shall be generous: intellectual - Americans about the French: meddlesome pests, imposing of their own values, which they hold for the highest standards.
    The letter follows the exact pattern of what an American thinks the stereotypical Frenchman thinks about America: it starts with an expression of admiration for America's ideals and Constitution, then moves on to a fierce criticism of current American political practices, and ends with the - gleeful or not - note that 'America is in decline'.

    All of which, upon reflection, makes me think the NYT has the French spot on actually.

    Americans and their French fascination, as much a source of endless wonder and amusement as the reverse. American thought about France wavers between admiration and disgust. With both feelings based on some of the exact same (imaginary) elements of France: cultured, sophisticated, haughty, and ever snobbish over the absense of any of these characteristics in America.
    France here, moves away from the real to the realm of the Imaginary Other. This imaginary construct of France in American thought can be invoked either as support for or criticism against a political position. For example, Bush reinforced his Iraq policy by juxtapositioning himself against the effeminate French. Leftist, liberal Americans often invoke France, and by extention 'Europe', to show that their position isn't obscure, but is considered the norm elsewhere.

    In this case, though I must admit the story largely eludes me, nor do I have the interest to remedy that, as a guess I would think that the NYT was all too eager to show their readership that for the French, a republican (anti-monarchical here) hotbed to boot, the dynastical candidacy of Kennedy is obviously a travesty. (Of course, few here have ever heard of her, fewer still could care any less). This in a hastily embraced opportunity to boost the NYT's position.


    News of the hoax was first reported by France-Amerique, which published a story on its Web site Monday. Editor-in-chief Jean-Cosme Delaloye said an employee of the French language monthly, which is based in New York City, read it Monday morning and was skeptical.
    Of course. If not simply an American with common sense, certainly everybody with even a remote knowledge of Delanoë or of French political customs will recognise the letter as a forgery immediately. Maybe the NYT could've send it to their correspondent in Paris for verification?
    Last edited by Louis VI the Fat; 12-24-2008 at 01:01.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: New York Times publishes fake letter

    Americans and their French fascination
    Hey Louis , is that why the Fox news anchor said bugger off France , keep your nose out of our business ?
    Though of course that was sloppy journalism and it hapened before they checked the source

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