To the Public Editor,
Article Headline:Rand Paul’s Mixed InheritanceDate Published:
1/25/14Web or Print:
BothYour Concern (please limit to 300 words):It has come to my attention that Prof. Block has been unjustly characterized as pro slavery in an NYT article.
Yet , your paper refuses to correct.See this and this from the article:“One economist, while faulting slavery because it was involuntary, suggested in an interview that the daily life of the enslaved was “not so bad — you pick cotton and sing songs.”But later in the article:“Walter Block, an economics professor at Loyola University in New Orleans who described slavery as ‘not so bad’[...] ”
He did not describe slavery as “not so bad.” His point was that picking cotton and singing songs may not be bad, but that the coercion that is slavery is bad. Which appears to be the point the writers seemed to get close to understanding in their first comment on Block.
But, clearly, the second description contradicts the first. It is outrageous for NYT to refuse to correct.
Prof Block has a full rebuttal here, including an exchange with NYT editors.
2014/01/walter-e-block/ scurrilous-libelous-venomous/---Your Name:
San FranciscoYour E-mail:
Robert WenzelEditor & Publisher
There, as of yet, has been no response. Here is the bottom line response Walter Block received from NYT after he attempted to get a correction:
To Walter Block
On Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 2:39 PM, Walter Block <email@example.com> wrote:
From: NYTimes, Senioreditor [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 6:42 PMTo: Walter BlockSubject: Re: letter to the editor
Dr. Block,Thank you for your reply, but we are comfortable with our characterization of your views.
Regards,Now consider how NYT treated an article about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Politico reports:
The Times’ original story said that Wildstein claimed “he had the evidence to prove it,” while later versions stuck to his lawyer’s vaguer “evidence exists” formulation.
In a statement Saturday night, the Times said: “We regularly update web stories for clarity as we did in this case.”To my ear, there isn't a hell a lot of difference between “he had the evidence to prove it" and “evidence exists," yet NYT editors say the change was made because they " regularly update web stories for clarity as we did in this case." Yet, when Professor Block is clearly mischaracterized as being in favor of slavery, and after this is brought to the attention of the editors, they see no reason to add clarity.
As Dr. Block responded to NYT, "Wow"