The New York “Hard” Times

Thursday, September 22nd, 2005 11:12 am by Neal

Recently, I wrote about Paul Krugman’s and the New York Times’ inability to correct undisputed errors. Donald Luskin has a follow-up with Checkmate? — a fifth move in the chess match over accuracy in old media.

Move Five: This column, today. We once again challenge Krugman and Collins to make the correction official. The facts are not in question. Krugman admitted his error in his web posting — so why not commit it to print, and to the searchable archives, so that generations of future researchers utilizing the “newspaper of record” won’t be misled? And if Krugman and Collins won’t do it, then we challenge Calame to document the correction himself — and the dysfunctional process under which it was not made official — in his Sunday column in the print edition of the Times, not just his web journal.

Why is it important to go to so much trouble to correct one lie? First, because Paul Krugman and the Times are tremendously influential and prestigious, and unless their lies are corrected they will live in the public discourse and the history books as truths. And second, by teaching Krugman that he will have to bear the public humiliation of correcting his lies, his columns in the future will have to be based only on truth. And that will make it a lot harder for him to advance his loony Angry Left agenda — an agenda that doesn’t have much truth underpinning it.

This is just more bad news for the Times which just this week announced additional layoffs of 500 employees and witnessed a new, 52-week low in the company’s stock price. Forbes reports,

The Times disclosed late Tuesday that it plans to cut about 500 jobs, or 4 percent of its total workforce, over the next six to nine months. About half of the cuts will be at the New York Times media group, including 45 newsroom positions at the Times newspaper.

The company’s actions follow a previous round of 200 job cuts earlier this year and come amid warnings of weak advertising sales for September. Advertising revenue fell 0.8 percent in August for the Times media group, but was up 1.7 percent company-wide over August 2004.

Also Tuesday, New York Times said it expects third-quarter earnings to fall well below year-ago levels and Wall Street expectations, due to a challenging advertising environment and higher-than-anticipated costs related to job reductions. Quarterly profit is now seen between 11 cents and 14 cents per share, compared with 33 cents last year.

Merrill Lynch analyst Lauren Rich Fine, in a note to investors, said “patience is wearing thin as this is the fifth negative quarterly pre-announcement in a row.” The analyst also said the Times’ plan to cut more jobs is “not a sign of better times ahead,” despite the money it will save.

Is it any surprise that ad revenues are down given incidents such as the Jayson Blair Scandal and the Paul Krugman fiasco? Who would want to be associated with an organization that “invents” news and refuses to correct blatant, undisputed errors? Stay tuned as we continue tracking the suicide of this MSM dinosaur.

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