Saturday, January 01, 2005

The Times has number trouble

As Tigerhawk so aptly points out today, "You have to look very carefully when the Times starts spewing numbers."
Well, yes, indeed.

Not one, but TWO incorrect dates appear in this article> . And it's not like they're obscure dates. One is the date that Truman was elected ('48, "Dewey Beats Truman" ringing any bells?) and the other is the year of Teddy Roosevelt's election (1901, not 1900). Tiger speculates that perhaps their "starting lineup" had the night off.

Hmm, wonder if Jennifer 8 was on duty ... ?

Amanda Tree is no george packer[sic]

I've saved the best for today. That "off the record" email from my Times "source" yesterday? After justifiying this mistake, er, choice, they went on to state, off the record, of course, that Ms. Tree is not an all around Man in the Street George Packer [sic].

I'm assuming they were referring here to GREG Packer who was mentioned in the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web Today's version of "Quotegate" here> .

I guess they should stick to Amanda Tree, it seems to be the only name they can get right.

More on this story over at Virago's blog.

Emilia Chegou!

My friend Arthur Zao and his wife Virginia have a new baby, Emilia. Stop by here> and see the most beautiful family in South America, maybe the whole world!

Friday, December 31, 2004

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.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

I'm proud to have contributed to "Best of the Web Today." Scroll all the way down to see my name listed with the contributors (dead last, they list alphabetically).

If you're wondering, the item I sent in was "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn," see my previous post.

There's much, much more fun to be made of this Jennifer 8. Lee, so stay tuned.

Jennifer 8. Lee

Well, could the Times' Jennifer 8. Lee be any lazier? Or maybe she just has a very short memory.
Yesterday in this article on the ongoing saga of Pale Male and Lola, she quotes one Amanda Tree:
"It was like a belated Christmas gift," said Amanda Tree, a Brooklyn actress and singer-songwriter who had waited, bundled up with wool hat and rainbow scarf, since 9 a.m. to see the hawks. "You couldn't imagine receiving anything nicer. It makes me happier than my first Barbie doll."

Today, in "New York is So Crowded, Everybody's Deserted It" she again quotes Ms. Tree:
"But Amanda Tree, an actress who walks dogs to earn extra money, has found herself cutting corners this week as her dog-walking and modeling jobs have dried up. The five or six dogs she walks regularly have all left New York on vacation.
"You scrimp," she said, shrugging. Holding up a brown paper bag, she said, "I'm making a bowl of soup do for the day and I have an apple in my bag and half a banana that I had to share with my cocker spaniel."

Apparently New York really is deserted, as Amanda Tree seems to be the only person left for Jennifer 8. Lee to interview.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Lay Off Christmas

Today as I was thumbing through one of my Christmas gifts, (Foreigners in Their Own Land: Pennsylvania Germans in the Early Republic, Steven M. Nolt)I came across this:

“On Tuesday 15 December 1808, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives set aside its normal routine of business and engaged in what one newspaper characterized as 'a rather heated debate' on the public place of Christmas." [Hmm, this sounds familiar ... ]

It seems that at that time, Christmas was not an accepted holiday among many early 19th century Pennsylvanians of British descent. The Quakers, et al observed the Sabbath, but did not, for the most part, celebrate holy days. My people, the Pennsylvania Germans, demanded a recess for the season, refusing to give up their holiday and challenging the Anglo-American basis for the public calendar.

"You'll want all day tomorrow, I suppose?'' said Scrooge.

Not only Christmas Day, but the day after, known to the Germans as Second Christmas. In the midst of the debate, one of my ancestors, George Spangler, said “that among the Germans Second Christmas (Dec. 26th) is observed as a holiday just like Sunday. So on that day no business could be carried out in the chamber in any case since the Germans would not be present.” The House eventually resolved to recess for both days. You tell ‘em George.

That's Ms Blog to you, Mister.

Ack! I just realized how sick that You Bet Their Life post must look inbetween the two death notices.
Anyhoo, here's something nice and proof that things like the whole Pale Male saga can have lasting effects. In case you haven't heard, the co-op bent beneath all the public pressure and reinstalled the pigeon-spikes that were providing nest support for Pale Male and Lola's nest. In other words, the little people won. The hawks are rebuilding, bringing twigs to the nest area as I write.

Try to remember ...

One of the greats, Jerry Orbach, dead at 69.

His Number 1 fan, the Gothamist, has lots of links.

And if you remember, then follow ...

Ok, it's almost here.

Anticipation crackles in the air like Rice Krispies. Choices are made, important choices, decisions that may haunt us all the way to 2006.

Yes, it is time to play You Bet Their Life.

There's still room on my team, Knock, Knock, Knocking on Death's Door, and I haven't made all my choices yet. As has been the case in the past few years, Karel Wojtyla (aka Pope John Paul II) is on EVERYONE'S list, as he is barely retaining the properties of a living organism.

A great place to start your research is at Who's Alive, Who's Dead? From there you're on your own. Anyone with inside information on an imminent demise is encouraged to join my team.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Susan Sontag is dead from leukemia at age 71.

The Forest For The Trees: Gimmie, Gimmie, Gimmie

The Forest For The Trees: Gimmie, Gimmie, Gimmie
Oh, this is rich. And the UN does, what, exactly, again?

Here are some links where you can find first hand accounts, photos, etc.
JavaJive aka Brandon, is in Java and, while Java has not been hit (yet? they are warning of aftershocks there in the next few days/weeks) has more up to the minute info. See some photos here>, more news resources here>, and as always, boingboing has assembled lots of links. You still aren't getting all your news from the Times and CNN are you? See this commenter's explanation as to why the msm continue to focus on Phuket, though other areas were much harder hit.
Lastly, here's a link to an interesting article on the web coverage of this disaster.

The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami

People with blogs are being asked to help spread information on the tsunami disaster in SE Asia. Please see The South-East Asia Earthquake and Tsunami for up-to-the-minute news and information about the damage and what you can do to help, and if you have a blog, please link to the Tsunami blog and ask others to do the same.

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