Friday, March 04, 2005

Our occasional news of the Times.

How did I miss this? ...
Maureen Dowd and Paul Krugman are excluded from a new weapons policy at The New York Times according to a report in The Wall Street Journal:
After an internal debate, the New York Times has issued a policy banning its correspondents, photographers and free-lancers from carrying guns while on assignment. The issue arose late last year when Baghdad-based Times reporter Dexter Filkins was found to be carrying a gun...
Maybe that explains why Dowd, Krugman and other Times' columnists are not required to follow The Times Style Guide or issue corrections when they get it wrong. Maybe someone needs to get Gail Collins some Kevlar... [via The National Debate]
According to the WSJ story, the problem was ...

"the Times worried that Mr. Filkins's actions violated the journalistic tenet of acting like a neutral observer."
Well, yes, when you're working in a combat zone where terrorists are running around kidnapping and beheading Americans, we can see why the New York editors wouldn't want you to act as if you were anything but neutral about it all.

But the report seems right -- op-ed writers in Manhattan appear to be excluded from the policy. No need for them to appear neutral, of course.

And speaking of taking shots at Timesers, John Tierney's first column won't appear for another month yet and already he's being criticized at the Columbia Journalism Review as being too biased for the job! [via Luskin]

Although the particular objection raised against Tierney here -- that he's not sufficiently respectful of opposing points of view and doesn't give them a fair presentation before answering them, while the job of NY Times op-ed writer "requires someone who has demonstrated a willingness to deal genuinely with opponents' arguments" -- seems rather odd, doesn't it?

I mean, among the current op-eders who have "demonstrated a willingness to deal genuinely with opponents' arguments" we have Mo ... Bob Herbert (who writes columns lambasting government subsidies for private businesses while sitting in his brand new government subsidized office) and, of course, the single most biased columnist in America.

I did a quick Google search and didn't find any similar criticism by CJR of the incumbents. Peculiar, that, eh?

Maybe John ought to indulge his libertarian streak and report to his new office with a gun. For self-protection, of course. That'd be fun, eh?