New York Times Editor's Perplexing Darfur Comments

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When the executive editor of The New York Times suggests that the plight of his newspaper is equally as important as horrific acts of genocide, even in jest, then The New York Times has become irrelevant and has no use in a civilized society.

[Genesis Of Financial Meltdown]

I have personally approached the Publishers and executive editors of The New York Times with a true story of serial rape-and a massive cover-up of rape, money laundering and drug smuggling, by Wall Street street executives and their acolytes at the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission; nothing was done to even verify these revelations let alone to report them in the Times.

I had been a trader for several years and had personal knowledge of these cases.

The New York Times could have made a difference in the world, and not just Wall Street, by exposing these crimes.
Instead, the newspaper’s executive editor demonstrated that he is devoid of any sense of reality based on a remark he made at Stanford on April 2. 

Bill Keller, the Executive Editor of The New York Times, made the following statement: " Saving The New York Times now ranks with Darfur as a high-minded cause."

An arrogant and insensitive remark. This is the same Keller who, as a New York Times reporter many years ago, in one of his articles referred to Africa dismissively as a "cruel continent." Now he ranks the possible demise of his elitist newspaper as a cause similar to saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of Africans; he should do the right thing and publish an apology on the pages of his newspaper.

To his credit, Keller at least did respond to my phone call to the Times seeking an explanation. Here's what he says in an e-mail response:

"Of course I was not equating saving The Times with the campaign to stop the genocide in Darfur. My remark was an ironic way of expressing my surprise that people have taken up the cause of 'rescuing' newspapers with such earnest passion. For the literal-minded people who misstook my point, I would translate it something like this: 'Saving journalism is important, but it isn't Darfur.'

By the way, I'd be interested to ask the Huffington Post and Drudge Report and other places that chose to misconstrue my remark, how many reporters they have sent to Darfur? My guess is, most of what they know about the horrors of that country they know thanks to reporters, columnists and photographers from The New York Times -- Lydia Polgreen and Somini Sengupta and Nick Kristof and others who have been witnesses in Darfur year after year after year."

It's hard to buy Keller's explanation; of all the thngs he could have said, why Darfur?
 
To me Keller demonstrates an American perversion of noblige oblesse. He was a child of privilege. Keller’s father, George M. Keller was a former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chevron Corp. 

Therein is the problem with The New York Times and its senior staff; entirely divorced from the reality of life. When the executive editor of The New York Times suggests that the plight of his newspaper is equally as important as horrific acts of genocide, even in jest, then The New York Times has become irrelevant and has no use in a civilized society.




Black Star columnist Manfredonia was a trader on Wall Street.

Please post your reactions online or send them to milton@blackstarnews.com


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