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What's up with the NYTimes and Patrick Healy's Coverage of the Campaign?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SoloFlyer, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. SoloFlyer

    SoloFlyer Active Member

    Going to try to keep politics out of this, but this is the second time in a week that the New York Times is catching flack on social media for its coverage of a major, late-night event in the 2016 election campaign. While this is SportsJournalists.com, we're all journalists here (or at least were), so hopefully we can have a valid discussion about the news process and not about who is the better candidate.

    The furor today centers on the Times' coverage of the forum held by NBC. Secretary Clinton and Mr. Trump each were subjected to questions from Matt Lauer and the audience of veterans for 30 minutes apiece. Some of the notable discussion points for Mrs. Clinton included the latest reports surrounding her private email server as well as her past decisions with conflicts in Iraq, Libya and Syria. Notable developments for Mr. Trump included his praise of Russian president Vladimir Putin, something which he's done before, as well as his insistence - despite evidence to the contrary - that he was never for the War in Iraq or U.S. action in Libya, among other topics.

    This Washington Post article sums up the night's events quite well - https://t.co/eAVxYhYiEw

    What's curious is that the NY Times has had two drastically different articles appear in the span of an hour recapping the night. The first, by Alexander Burns, mentions Mr. Trump's comments about Putin, his comments about men and women serving together in the military, and comments about oil in Iraq relatively early on.

    The follow-up, written by Patrick Healy, contains no mention of Mr. Trump's comments on Putin. It also does not contain any mention of Mr. Trump's suggestion that sexual assault in the military was inevitable once men and women started serving together, a claim he first made on Twitter and then repeated last night.

    The bizarre nature of the two articles is quite astonishing. You can read them both here: NewsDiffs | Diffing: Candidates Flex Debate Muscles During TV Forum

    This is the second time in a week that the Times and Mr. Healy have been at the forefront of something like this. The previous case was when the Times, in an article with Mr. Healy's byline, published an article detailing Mr. Trump's shift in immigration policy after his visit to Mexico. That article was published shortly after Mr. Trump's appearance in Arizona later that day, where he appeared to contradict many of his comments made in Mexico that afternoon. The Times published a story with a markedly different tone about an hour after the first article went up.

    Sow hat's going in the NYT newsroom? How are we getting two vastly different reports? Is it coincidence that Mr. Healy is at the center of both of these odd takes on televised, highly public events?
  2. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    Sorry that this has gone unanswered. Journalism board is kind of dead these days.

    The best explanation I can come up with is that the Times, and perhaps Healey in particular, is twisting itself into pretzels in an attempt to seem "fair" and unbiased which now includes eliminating entire swaths of things that Trump says that others deem gaffes. I think the Mexico thing was just a total deadline whiff. The Times didn't anticipate that he would completely zoom back toward Coulter-land as soon as he got back to Phoenix, and they were so eager to normalize him, they went with Healey's early draft and had to scramble the jets when Trump went full red meat in front of his fans.
  3. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    Like Frank Bruni (not even a good restaurant critic), theater critic Healy has been promoted beyond his field of competence. But while the Times will admit making journalistic errors, in fact, they're reasonably about that, they will never, ever admit to a personnel decision error.
  4. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    He seems to have a hard time interpreting statements and actions through his own lens, without using the starting point of which way the wind is blowing. A theater critic can always let the crowd's reaction guide him.
  5. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    What's amazing about Jayson Blair is not that it happened. It was how much they willfully and stubbornly refused to admit he was a disaster as a reporter despite mounting internal evidence for more than a year. I'll always remember that editor being quoted (in a message to his bosses) "We have to stop Jayson for writing for the Times. And that was BEFORE the sniper stuff. He was averaging like a correction a week and they still sent him to DC and weren't surprised when he suddenly had police sources telling him Malvo was chewing on grapes while he shot people. If the writer in San Antonio never goes public about Jayson lifting her entire story, he might have gone on for another six months making shit up and lower level editors pulling their hair out.
  6. SoloFlyer

    SoloFlyer Active Member

    Trump was done in Mexico by mid-afternoon Eastern Time. His speech in Arizona started at 9:30 PM EST. Why, as an editor, would you even post Healy's initial report at 11pm EST when it's been made clear that Trump has completely changed its tone? And if you're Healy and you're presumably at the event in Arizona, why are you not frantically texting and emailing the editors and web crew back in NYC at 9:45 saying, "Hey, that story I sent a bit ago...scrap it. No longer applicable."

    So I can't give them a pass for a "deadline whiff". If Healy's first article is up before Trump speaks in Arizona, then okay. The story changed after it was up. But it was posted after he spoke in Arizona. That's just bad management, bad reporting and bad editing.

    I buy the first part of your post much more -- the Times is tripping over itself to appear impartial, and in the process it's sacrificing quality journalism for laughable tripe. The Post is cleaning the NYT's clock in election coverage.
  7. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

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