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A surprising commentary on the New York Times

Just a titbit. I’m listening to the England/Zimbabwe cricket commentary on BBC radio 4, and for some reason one of them, Jonathan Agnew, who used to bowl quick for some county or other (and for England occasionally if I remember it right), referred in passing to the fact that his newspaper reading this morning had included the New York Times. There’d been some reference to Agnew in the newspapers, it seems, but in the papers he’d been reading he hadn’t come across it – something like that. They were just making conversation between overs. Anyway, Agnew’s fellow commentator Mike Selvey, who used to bowl quick for Middlesex (and England occasionally if I remember right), then said:

The New York Times? I wouldn’t believe a word of it. Their editor’s just been fired.

I have been listening to cricket commentaries on the radio for the last half century. Never, never have I ever heard the New York Times get any mention on these commentaries before.

That brand is definitely suffering.

14 comments to A surprising commentary on the New York Times

  • erp

    With any luck, BBC will be next.

  • “Selvey” and “quick” are two words I don’t recall seeing together vey often. I always thought of him as a little above trundler pace but with a run-up and action that made people think he was quick.

    Anyway, time to start an irresponsible rumor: what are the chance of Matthew Engel joining the TMS team now he’s become too profoundly disgusted with America to continue on there?

  • The rabid anti-NYT folks are way over the edge. They don’t have Bill Clinton to nip at, the war is over and they are bored.

    The Times made a mistake and their pomposity is catching up with them. But their “brand” will emerge strengthened if they proffer the required mea culpa.

    Innaccuracy and shading is endemic in _all_ media, uinfortunately. “For some reason,” — I just wonder why — the taste-of-the-day blogpundits are jumping on this one.

  • Brian Micklethwait


  • Johnathan

    David writes, “The Times made a mistake”

    A mistake? Er, pardon me, but reading about what went on at that paper in the Guardian today (yes!), I got the impression of a once-great paper being destroyed.

    You don’t have to be a right-wing nut to understand just how sad the plight of that paper is.

    The NYT gets some of us annoyed because it has become a beacon of political correctness and anti-business propoganda. Sorry David, but we ain’t going to call the dogs off just yet.

  • Aggers played (if that is the right word) for Leicestershire.

    I understand Engel will be resuming his throne as editor of Wisden.

    Zimbabwe are all out for 94. Between Mugabe and their batting, they don’t have much hope at all do they?

  • And Selvey writes for the Guardian too.
    He’s also quite political too, often making sarcastic jibes about the real world and stuff.

  • Yes “if” is fair proviso.

    And the same criticism of unfairness and bias should be made throughout the media foodchain. The only reason we attack the NYT is because local media throughout North America is so grotesquely bad.


    I saw nothing new in the Guardian (assuming I read the correct story.)

    As to “mistake.” Yes, the NYT made a mistake with Blair. The Braggs matter is an entirely different issue; no one attacks the Braggs’ story for being in accurate only as being unfair to stringers.

    (I never read Dowd anyway as she is boring. She was unfair and biased when she attacked Clinton and that is just her style; I agree that she is not appropiate to any serious media.)

    But if one thinks that The Times is anti-business then I cannot magine what would satisfy.

    Most of these anti-business crits come, I would wager, from people who have never met a payroll or ever put their own capital on the line. I love it that so many academic right-wingers are so incensed by things about which they know only from the media. I see that especially in the world of land use and real estate development.

  • S. Weasel

    The only reason we attack the NYT is because local media throughout North America is so grotesquely bad.

    No, we attack the Times because it is smug, self-important, fiercely partisan and not a fraction as good as it thinks it is.

  • John©

    Poor David…”the rabid anti-Times” folks aren’t part of the VRWC, the most rabid are Times employees…and if you doubt it, hit Romensko or just google it up to get the dish. And one should also add John Stewart, David Letterman and Jay Leno…they’ve not let up the mockery for a moment. It wasn’t coming from (shudder!) Rupert Murdoch’s outlets; they virtually ignored the story.

    And it wasn’t “a mistake.” It was lying about stories. It was lying in stories. It was plagiarism. It was selective and misleading quotations (everybody, especially Dowd.) It was deliberate distortion of statistics and facts to bash political opponents (Krugman.) It was Johnny Apple predicting quagmires in Iraq (and then his multiple red-faced apologies.) It was flooding the zone with false reports on looting at the museum. It was using the front page as a tool for political crusades (Augusta, anti-drug company propaganda, etc.) Raines turned the Times into a disgracefull embarrassment in less than 2 years. The most embarrassed–read Poynter–were those who worked there.

  • I love it that so many academic right-wingers are so incensed by things about which they know only from the media. I see that especially in the world of land use and real estate development.

    Well I am not an academic but am a businessman who constantly puts his own capital on the line… and the statist line taken by the NYT is indeed anti-business. They are a bastion of regulatory statism and I fail to see how that is not anti-business, unless of course you regard the interests of businesses purchasing regulations to raise the barriers to future new market entrants as paramount.

    As for land use, I suppose the grotesque use of ’eminent domain’ (a euphemism for naked armed robbery) in the USA counts as ‘pro-business’ if you happen to own the business which benefits from the proceeds of the theft in question, but in reality I think anything which hugely diminishes the sanctity of private property by making the force backed voiding several ownerships by whoever is politically connected enough (such as any number of property developers who have bought themselves enough chums in city hall) is about as far from being ‘pro-business’ as one can possibly get.

    And don’t even get me started on the morality issue of land appropriation…

  • If you don’t like eminent domain, then we have something you’ll like even more: zoning.

  • So, S. Weasel (and thanks I feel stupid typing that) what would be a good paper that IS a fraction as good as it thinks it is?

    Or did you just say that ’cause it sounds good?

    The two that were the problem – well, three – have left. What would be enough for you and your ilk?