Thursday, September 08, 2005


I didn't call the Times 'biased,' despite the Brooklyn Downtown Star headline

Well, headline writing isn't always easy, compressing complex thoughts into shorthand. The Brooklyn Downtown Star, reporting on my report, headlined the 9/8/05 article Journalist Calls the Times Biased. But I very carefully avoided that charge.

Of course, lower down in the story, the newspaper quoted a press release that itself quotes from my report: The Times's inconsistent coverage of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards development doesn't mean that reporters and editors at the Times have been told to go easy on Forest City Ratner. However, given the two companies' corporate relationship, the newspaper should report on FCR exactingly, taking care to dispel any suspicion of conflict of interest. The Times has failed to do so.

So, to reiterate, I didn't call the Times biased. My report says that coverage has been "inadequate, misleading, and mostly uncritical." Those are strong enough charges in themselves and, unlike charges of bias, can be backed up with evidence.

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