Friday, February 25, 2005

New York Times public editor concedes need for more veterans in the newsroom! 
A few days ago, I sent this email to the New York Times public editor:

Actually, I can see why your paper would miss a story about a Congressional Medal of Honor winner.

I think I figured it out: Your editors can't even tell the difference between the Congressional Medal of Honor and an award for songwriting.

This is from your Corrections pages, January 23rd:

"An Op-Ed article last Sunday about the Plaza Hotel misstated details about an award given to the songwriter George M. Cohan. He won the Congressional Gold Medal, an award also given to other songwriters. He did not win the Congressional Medal of Honor. "

So how many layers of fact-checking did THAT one go through?

See, I'm a big believer in diversity. REAL diversity. You might want to think about reaching out and getting some veterans in the newsroom, so your paper wouldn't make embarrassing gaffes like that anymore.

Errors of omission are one thing. But THIS one takes the cake!

Just for kicks, how many veterans ARE on staff in the editorial department of the NY Times?

I received this courteous reply from Mr. Arthur Bovino, the assistant to Dan Okrent, public editor of the New York Times:

Mr. Okrent has been lobbying management for more intellectual and experiential diversity in the newsroom -- and veterans are certainly a group to be desired, as evidenced by the superb work of C.J. Chivers, a former Marine officer

I'd love to say we got results - but it's too soon to say. It's one thing for Okrent to lobby management. It's quite another for the Old Gray Lady to actually budge.

Meanwhile, the Times still has not deigned to run a story on SFC Paul Smith's posthumous medal of honor.

Splash, out


UPDATE: Paris Hilton gets plenty of press, though.

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