Aug. 26, 2007
Please Boycott the NY Times
The NY Times, in a front-page article on Sunday, August 12th, presented demonstrably false and misleading information about the Democratic presidential candidates and their positions on the Iraq war. Not only was the information false, but I believe it demonstrated a clear bias in favor of entrenched interests and against candidates who stand for genuine change.
The article (entitled “Democrats Say Leaving Iraq May Take Years”) asserted that all of the Democratic presidential candidates, despite their calls for an end to the Iraq war, were nevertheless proposing plans that would continue US military presence in Iraq for years to come. The article cited Bill Richardson as the lone exception, completely ignoring Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich, who have been the strongest and most consistent opponents of the war.
This inaccurate version of the facts favors the Bush Administration and the Democratic front-runners at the expense of those candidates who offer the American people a real alternative to current policies. This is a gross failure on the part of one of the most widely read and respected news outlets in the country, and if this behavior is not outright illegal, it is very definitely inappropriate and unethical. The article deliberately downplayed the intensity of opposition to the war, claiming that “antiwar advocates have raised little challenge to such positions by Democrats”.
This is a life-and-death issue, and I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that by misrepresenting the reality of the political situation, the Times is contributing to the on-going slaughter of Americans and Iraqis alike. After failing to do its journalistic duty in 2003 by asking the “hard questions” during the run-up to the invasion, the Times is now once again betraying the public trust and failing the American people.
I wrote an e-mail to the writers of the article outlining the facts they presented and demonstrating how their reportage was false. [To view the e-mail, please click here.] After two weeks I have received no response, and to the best of my knowledge the Times has not printed a correction. I therefore propose to organize a boycott of the NY Times. I have created an e-mail address for anyone who wishes to join me:
Please e-mail your name and city/state of residence to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I furthermore ask anyone who supports this effort to repost this blog and encourage others to do likewise.
Just as it is said that in a democracy we get the leaders we deserve, we also get the press that we deserve. If we allow the NY Times to slide on such an important issue we are failing in one of our most basic responsibilities as citizens of a democratic republic.