Tuesday, September 8, 2009

NYT'S Jill Abramson Admits NYT Blew Van Jones Story. "We Should Have Been Paying Closer Attention," She Says.

In a late-afternoon posting on the "Talk To The Times" website, NYT managing Editor Jill Abramson admitted that the paper was "a beat behind" on the recent controversy over now-resigned White House environment official Van Jones.

After attributing its failure in part to a short-staffed Washington bureau over the Labor Day weekend, Abramson said that was "not an excuse" and that "we should have been paying closer attention" to the events as they unfolded.

The NYT took a beating on Twitter and from the right for its failure to properly cover the events leading up to Jones' resignation; the story was being widely covered on Fox News, but mostly ignored in the so-called MSM, or mainstream media. Abramson's admission reflects a rare mea culpa for the NYT.

In brief: Jones had become a target of attack this summer after it was reported that he had signed a "9/11 Truth Statement" in 2004, which suggested the Bush administration may have allowed the World Trade Center attack to happen, as a pretext to launch its war on terrorism. It had also been reported that Jones referred to Republicans in Congress as "assholes."

As right-wing commentators ratcheted up their calls for Jones to resign last week, the NYT failed to pick up on the story. It first covered the Jones brouhaha on its Caucus blog on Saturday. The news of Jones' resignation made it to the front page on Monday.

Abramson responded to six questions from readers raising the same question: why so late? She noted that Jones was "not a high-ranking official" as another reason the NYT was so late to the story. But in essence, her reply to readers was a clear admission that the paper missed the mark in its coverage.

Who knows, maybe Abramson has just gotten all soft inside now that she's spending so much time with her new puppy, Scout. Whatever the reason, it's fun to see the usually-boosterish managing editor admit to an actual mistake for a change.


Kareem said...

The NYTimes is so full of shit it's unreal. They are protecting their messiah at ALL costs, they mock, ridicule and disparage any traditionalist/conservative story and bury anything that doesn't fit in with their agenda. Thank GOD for www.newsbusters.org NYTimes, I got news for you douchebags, you no longer control the news cycle. It's over clowns.

Bradley J. Fikes said...

Maybe the NYT was too busy pursuing other news, like who is writing this blog. That's got to be of more interest to the Grey Lady than boring stuff like an admitted communist in the White House.

Anonymous said...

These people breathe, eat, and sleep politics. Of COURSE they were paying attention. They just decided to bury the story because it did not suit their agenda to report on it honestly.

Anonymous said...

Maybe NYT had it further down the priority list because IT WASN'T NEWSWORTHY and only became so because the RWM would not shut up about it.

Anonymous said...

Totally! It just wasn't newsworthy,I mean here is a white house advisor helping craft and distribute stimulus money who served jail time on more than one occasion, spews racist rhetoric blaming whitey for routing pollution into the black community, calls 9/11 an inside job, calls opponents assholes, calls himself a communist, works with cop killer Mumia Abu and this is NOT NEWSWORTHY? Are you seriously that retarded? You must work at the NYT, what a massive tool and POS you must be. Get out of your little left wing bubble and try leaving your little progressive city for second you effing chode.

Jim Treacher said...

They weren't a beat behind. They got their behinds beat.

Does "RWM" mean "right-wing media"? Oh, that is adorable.

Bill Keller said...

Hey NYT, or anyone in that building, here is a little tip for you guys since you were "a beat behind" on the Van Jones story. Glenn Beck is showing an exclusive never before seen hidden camera expose of a sex for money scheme involving a major government official. It airs at 5PM on Fox News, tomorrow, that's Thursday, once again this is 5PM eastern standard time, THURSDAY, on the FOX NEWS CHANNEL...I'll say it slower or use larger fonts next time soo it can sink in so you're not a "beat behind", infact, maybe we can have a Goodyear blimp do a few flyovers of the NYTimes building with a scroll of the big story so you don't miss your scoop. Either way I'll be sure to read about it in the Times 6 months later.