For the Techno-Lynching of the Tea Party, NYT Issues a Non-Apology, Apology

New York Times Public Editor Arthur Brisbane published an amusing non-apology apology for the Times’ sloppy coverage of the Giffords shooting.

Rather than simply come out and say, “We subtly blamed an entire segment of the population for the shootings, and this has contributed toward a wave of hate against millions of Americans … we’re sorry,” Brisbane, speaking for the paper, spends nearly half of the article apologizing gratuitously for initially misreporting Representative Giffords as dead. And in lieu of a mea culpa for stirring-up bigoted hatred against millions of Americans – which has led to FBI crackdowns on tea partiers and thousands of death threats against tea party leaders, some of which on national television nearly made it on national television but for the slick editing of disingenuous, dishonest reporters like Christiane Amanpour – Brisbane (hereafter, “Brizzy”) simply implies that the NYT merely framed the story inappropriately.

So, stirring up ethnic/racial hatred that leads to thousands of death threats is merely inappropriate framing. Techno-lynching a group of people is just an honest mistake. Right, and encouraging folks to burn crosses on our lawns is what, overzealous art patronage?

Brizzy claims that this inappropriate reframing of the story was an honest mistake:

“So why does a story get framed this way? Journalism educators characterize this kind of framing as a storytelling habit — one of relating new facts to an existing storyline — and also as a reflex of news organizations that are built to handle some topics well, and others less well.

Jerry Ceppos, dean of the journalism school at the University of Nevada, Reno, said journalists’ impulse to quickly impose a frame on a story is “genetic.”

“Journalists developed automatic framing protocols generations ago because of the need to report quickly,” he said. “Today’s hyper-deadlines, requiring journalists to report all day long and all night long, made that genetic disposition even more dominant.”

In no way does this explanation pass the BS test. We’re to believe that journalists are simply genetically predisposed to be anti-tea party bigots and hate-mongers? And well, since it’s genetic, we can’t hold them accountable. Boys will be boys. Bigots will be bigots. Haters will be haters.

Brizzy also blames the hyper-demanding news cycle.

“The circumstances were these: A major breaking news event, occurring on a Saturday afternoon with a small staff on duty, with print deadlines to worry about and a Web site that needed to be fed as fast and as frequently as possible.”

There’s a wave of racial and ethnic hatred out there that was a direct result of the misrepresentation of the story by the NYT and its palls, and all Brizzy can say is boys will be boys, and, “sorry guys, deadlines are tough.” OK Arthur, you and your pals maligned millions of people and in so doing became everything you proclaim to hate, and you lack the character to apologize like a person of integrity. It’s pathetic and you demonstrate why the Establishment Media is dying.


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