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THE NYTIMES OMBUDSMAN IS TOTALLY WORTHLESS

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By Michelle Malkin  •  September 23, 2005 04:20 PM

You’re going to love this. This morning, I posted a follow-up item on DemCreditScam, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee’s dirty trick against Maryland GOP Lt. Gov. Michael Steele. (Send your suggestions for naming the scandal to Hugh Hewitt). I wondered why the NYTimes has failed to print a single article about the scandal, engineered by two of NY Sen. Chuck Schumer’s former staffers.

Reader Michael V. posed the question to NYTimes ombudsman Byrom Calame (emphasis on LAME). Here’s Michael’s e-mail:

Why did the Times ignore the story about N.Y. Sen. Schumer’s aid[e]s illegally obtaining Maryland Lt. Gov (and 2008 probable Senate candidate) Michael Steele’s credit report?

Why is it that every other paper in town covered the story, while the Times ignored it completely?

What if a Republican senator’s aid[e]s had illegally obtained Sen. Clinton’s credit report? Do you honestly think that the Times would have been quiet?

Here’s the snippy answer Michael V. received from the ombudsman’s office, which claims to represent the reading public’s best interests:

Dear Reader,

Thanks for writing and raising this issue. This office has no control over what is printed in the paper. It seems your message would be better directed to news-tips@nytimes.com.

Sincerely,
Simone Bridges
Office of the Public Editor
The New York Times

Note: The public editor’s opinions are his own and do not represent those
of The New York Times.

Why even bother having an ombudsman at the Times? Calame’s assistant haughtily suggests that since the office has “no control” over what’s printed, then the office has no role whatsover in questioning the paper’s sins of omissions. If Calame’s office has no jurisdiction over what’s left out of the paper, that leaves him only with the task of correcting and criticizing the errors that are left in. But he can’t even do that job.

Recall that when readers challenged Calame about liberal bias in the paper’s failure to report on Air America’s financial troubles, Calame’s idea of good ombudsman-ship was to go ask the Times editors if liberal bias existed–and then to slavishly report that there was none since the editors told him there wasn’t any.

Since the NYTimes is hemorrhaging money and desperately slashing jobs, the budget-cutters might as well axe Calame’s job while they’re at it.

He’s a waste of their money and our time and energy.

***

Hugh Hewitt’s got lots of questions for reporters to ask Sen. Schumer. Don’t bother sending the list to Ca-LAME’s paper.

***
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