Carol Platt Liebau: Corruption at the NY Times (and Columbia)

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Corruption at the NY Times (and Columbia)

Outrageous. In exchange for a "scoop" on the story of Columbia University's clearing of several professors credibly accused of anti-Semitism, the paper's reporter promised not to "seek reaction from other interested parties" -- like, for example, the students who had brought the complaint.

In other words, it was a corrupt bargain. The Times would present only one side of the story in exchange for getting the story first.

Two questions: Is it really "the story" if, as here, the account is unavoidably biased from the start (or is it just Columbia's version of "the story")? Second, how often does this happen when it's not discovered by editors or ombudsmen?

Oh, and one more thing: How, exactly, does Columbia continue to maintain that it's a place hospitable to open inquiry and robust debate -- after extracting a promise that "the paper of record" will ignore the viewpoint of its students (the parties that paying tuition -- or having tuition paid for them, incidentally)?

It's a disgrace all around.


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