Einstein, NYT and lies

Albert Einstein once noted in a letter that “You see that I have retained my black humor despite Palestine, corrupt American politics and daily reading of the N.Y. Times which doesn’t even lie honestly but distorts the truth with malicious intent.” Perhaps he had the following in mind when referring to the NYT.

When Jonathan Weisman first put his story up on Friday following more Congressional testimony, this is what the headline  and the opening sentence looked like:

Now, notice what Weisman did here: in the HEADLINE and in the OPENING SENTENCE he revealed the MAJOR NEWS that came out of that day’s testimony.  The IG directly contradicted the Obama administration’s claim it had no idea anything was wrong at the IRS or that certain groups and citizens were being targeted for harassment due to ‘incorrect’ political beliefs.

In other words, WEISMAN DID WHAT A REPORTER IS SUPPOSED TO DO.  He led with the news and made it easy to see.

Well that really bothered somebody higher up, who decided that Weisman’s piece was ‘incomplete’ and needed some ‘massaging’ to bring out the REAL STORY.

Take a look at what Weisman’s original piece was turned into after it was helpfully ‘edited’ by Jeremy W. Peters:

Hello! I’m Jeremy Peters, the Political Morale Officer
here at the NYT’s!  I see Jonathan left the real news out of his article!
No problem, I can fix that!

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/18/us/politics/irs-scandal-congressional-hearings.html?_r=0

As you can see, Jeremy W. Peters knew EXACTLY what Weisman’s article needed; the real story is about the REPUBLICANS trying to use this breaking scandal for their own political benefit.

So how could Weisman have left out the word ‘Republicans’ in the headline? How could he have not inserted Republican attempts to enlarge the scandal to score political points against the White House in the very first sentence?  Well Peters made sure those were the very first things that got changed.

Peters must have also wondered: Hey Johnathan, WTF? Why are you LEADING with the IG’s testimony that he informed top administration officials of the scandal back in 2012?  Don’t you realize this directly contradicts what Obama & the administration spent all this week claiming? Why the bloody blue hell would you make THAT the lede?  Are you seriously trying to give your readers the sense there’s a REAL scandal here instead of just another political witchhunt?  No man, you gotta BURY that crap and  hide it way further down in the story like this: 

Weisman’s original opening sentence:

What Peter’s butchered it into way down in the 9th paragraph:

See Johnathan? THAT’S how it’s done, bro!  You change it from ‘senior Treasury officials’, which reveals a bunch of top Administration people knew, to just the ‘Treasury’s general counsel’, a single person.  It’s important to give the present administration as much cover as you can! Are you taking notes, bro?

In the USSR’s military, there was the military commander and then there was the ‘Morale Officer’ which is a kind way of saying Communist Party hack.  The military commander would make decisions and then would have to run them by the Morale Officer first for approval.  That often meant sound military decisions were changed and suborned to stupid party ideology.

How is what Peters did to Weisman’s article any different?  Sound reporting was ‘massaged’ until it reflected Party Ideology.  There is no way anybody can call that revised article anything but propaganda.

 

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