Can't see the forest for Amanda Tree
I've now received a response to my letter to the Times concerning the Jayson Blair-tinged-Amanda-Tree-quoted-twice-in-as-many-days incident. My "source" at the Times defends this decision, and claims that two reporters and an editor held a pow-wow before going ahead and including dog-walking, actress, model, singer/songwriter Amanda Tree in this story, the second article in which she was quoted in as many days.
I can just imagine the meeting: They hold the presses, waiting, while behind closed doors, a meeting is held. The air is blue with smoke and expletives fly. All parties involved have sleeves rolled up, notes are taken, the room is littered with crumpled balls of paper, the blasted meeting goes on so long food must be brought in to keep up the strength of the deliberators. Finally, the decision is made: Amanda Tree is crucial to the second story. The quote stands.
In all of New York a Harvard graduate that works for the Times couldn't find another dog walker to interview? The city is sloppy with dog walkers. One of my best friends is a dog walker.What is so astounding to me, and I will repeat myself, is that they decided that Tree was crucial to the second story. So crucial, in fact, that some material from the story had to be cut, according to my "source" and Ms. Tree's quote remained!
Perhaps Amanda Tree went to Harvard with Ms. Lee? That would explain this whole "Jenny 8 Quotegate" thing nicely, I think.
At first I was convinced that this was just sloppy journalism, perhaps a tin horn Jayson Blair (not a lie, but still wrong). You know how they say bloggers are the ones who sit around all day in their pajamas at their computers?
Here's the scene I imagined: Ms. Lee, not wanting to actually go out in the cold and get quotes, calls her friend Amanda, the two women, clad in raggedy ass pjs, giddy with laughter at the prospect of pulling another one over on the readership of the Times.
I used to be so proud that the New York Times was my "local paper." Now I'm almost embarrassed to be seen reading it. The only thing more embarrassing is that I actually read both of these stories closely enough to catch this, blunder, error, journalistic decision, whatever you want to call it; it's all the same to the Times, it seems.