Too Much Free Time

by Mike Masnick

NYTimes: Haven't Quite Figured Out This Online Conversation Thing

from the extra-attention dept

There's been some controversy in the past over the question of whether or not GM understands new media. While some have said they don't, it seems increasingly clear that they understand it quite well -- better than many in the old media, in fact. The latest example of this concerns a spat with the New York Times and its columnist Tom Friedman. Friedman apparently wrote a piece blasting GM. We'd link to it here, but, of course, the NY Times is working hard to keep their best columnists out of the discussion. In fact, they apparently want them so far out of the discussion that they won't let those disparaged by those columnists respond in kind via the traditional "letters to the editor." GM apparently wrote a 490 word response to the Friedman piece, and submitted it to the NY Times, who rejected it as being "too long" (note that the original article was a clean 800 words). GM actually had to go through a series of negotiations, where they agreed to shorten their response to 200 words (well shorter than other letters the NY Times has published). Finally, the NY Times demanded they take out the word "rubbish" in describing Friedman's arguments. So, what does GM do in response? They post the entire story to their own blog, which is probably going to get a lot more traffic and attention than the NY Times' "letters to the editor" would have gotten. It's not clear what world the NY Times thinks it's living in these days, but trying to limit a response to an attack column in a world where anyone can post online seems somewhat pointless -- and, as in this case, pretty much guaranteed to have the opposite effect.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Chris Miller, Jun 9th, 2006 @ 5:10pm

    The NYdT - Dinosaur Times

    Endless declines in earnings will not wake up this company. They are hopeless. In fact, what is the point in talking about them. They are already dead.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Mitch the Bitch, Jun 9th, 2006 @ 5:14pm

    NY Times is out of touch?

    What a shocker.....

    Where is Timothy Mc Veigh when ya really need him eh?

    The Gray Lady (and entire NE) has been out of touch with reality for 35 years and continues it's downward spiral into oblivion. The sooner the better.

    As always NYT liberals are to busy TELLING you what to think instead of actually reporting anything of substance or truth which will let YOU decide without coersion.

    Truth is the NYT's mortal enemy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    The Online Marauder, Jun 9th, 2006 @ 7:24pm

    the above comments

    I think it's ironic that the buffoons above wrote on the ignorance of the NY Times. You know in a way they're right, you have to use ad hominine attacks and seem as really dumb as possible in order to get any traction in the online sphere. Good job guys, man, you really showed the Times, eh? Phew, with guys like you two manning the net what need do we have of the NSA? Pat yourselves on the're doing all of us a great service!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Mitch the Bitch, Jun 9th, 2006 @ 7:41pm

    Re: the above comments

    It's ironic the buffoon can only attack (quite similar to the NYT does daily) all the while proving his moral, physical and emotional ineptitude to the wide world.

    Thanks for making that point quite clear for everyone.

    Reach arounds (patting or not) are the realm of the liberal democrats and their band of gay lobbyists...

    Buh Bye loser :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2006 @ 8:11pm

    That's what those out-of-touch simpletons at the New York Times get. I've been sick and tired of the irresponsible behavior from them for so long. They say and do whatever they want with total disregard to the free speech of others. It's nice to see them pick on someone their own size for a change and get the big slap in the face response they deserve.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    ummmmmmm, Jun 9th, 2006 @ 10:37pm

    the above comments

    yaaa ..ummmm what he siad

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Kanhar Munshi, Jun 10th, 2006 @ 1:48am

    If I had my way, I would have sued NYU

    They violated journalistic integrity, in not giving the other side a chance to respond equally.
    They omitted several parts of the letter, and their editors have prbly been bought off by Toyota or somebody. Why else would they go out of their way to inconvenience GM. Friedman always gets flak, he is used to it.
    I wonder who the third party in this is
    Kanhar Munshi

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    syona, Jun 10th, 2006 @ 2:07am


    and this is what happens when the personalities of the reporters get to be bigger than the news they are reporting [supposidly]...

    To heck with the lot of them. There should be no room for ego in journalism, online or offline. We are reporters, citizen bloggers or professionals, we report the news, not make it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Republican Gun, Jun 10th, 2006 @ 3:21am

    Who reads.....

    the NY Times other than liberal losers. Liberals like to talk in monologues to their lowly constituents that need their help to stay poor and in debt. They don't want to discuss anything else because it is wrong.

    Dick Cheney in '08

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Cpt. Kirk, Jun 10th, 2006 @ 5:24am

    Re: The NYdT - Dinosaur Times

    I am continually surprised that we are all surprised when we see this sort of approach from a NY based ultra liberal propaganda machine. Thanks (GM) for posting the information and allowing me to make a decision... My, how 'Times' have changed, ehh?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Moneyguy, Jun 10th, 2006 @ 8:16am

    One more reason

    The NY Times has given us another reason not to subscribe or even read it's biased and slanted news stories. I found the emails particular enlightening.

    I have to give them credit for sticking to their own liberal biased guns, if I can actually use the word liberal and gun in the same sentence.

    I wonder how far the NY Times will sink before they realize their own little world is really their own little world?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Tyshaun, Jun 10th, 2006 @ 9:06am

    since when...

    I agree that the times is very wrong in this case, but my questions are this...

    1. When did liberal become a 4 letter word? Almost every reply on this article used liberal as though it was a horrible thing. I guess I call myself libertarian more than anything else so it's very amusing to liberals and conservatives frame arguements as though the other side isn't need. Liberals are the Ying conservatives yang. You need a foxnews to balance out the ny times, both play an important part in getting the right story, somewhere in the middle.

    2. It is amusing to listen to commentors belittle the NY times, liberal or not probably the most widely read publication on the planet (way more than most blogs I would assert, on a daily basis).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Miles, Jun 10th, 2006 @ 10:16am

    Pwned like a n00b

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Sean, Jun 10th, 2006 @ 12:14pm

    Yeah, it's not like being a Republican (like everyone who dissed liberals obviously are) is a very good thing to begin with. Sure the NYT may be Liberal, but that's up to them you fucking idiots. It's quite obvious that if the NYT wants to be Liberal they have the right to be. They don't have to be like every other "cold blooded American" and be a Republican gay bashing, racist, religious fat-cat. If you want to bash on Someone, go bash on someone you can understand with your child like mentality, such as Bush or Sean Hannity. Wait.. you might not even be able to understand the Bullshit that comes from Hannity's mouth and hand..

    But, the NYTs reall should have let GM input that article.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Greg Andrew, Jun 10th, 2006 @ 1:28pm

    The New York Times continues to be a tool of the Republican administration, reporting what the Bush administration wants the public to know about Iraq and nothing else and featuring one sided, biased articles like the article about the Clintons marriage on the front page last week.. It's time for the Times to stop being yet another conservative tool and start telling the real truth.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    The Online Marauder, Jun 10th, 2006 @ 7:14pm

    Re: Re: the above comments

    Ineptitude? you surmise incorrectly mr. bitch. To be sure, I would go so far as to say that you're a liability to any side to which you subscribe. I'm not even a liberal; I'm a former Republican who has the requisite independence to stand away from both parties. My original point was that when critiquing some other position tease out your opining a bit so that you seem to have some modicum of intelligence. BTW, if the NY Times is as vicious as you say then I think you, with all your intolerance, should find some sympathy of company there, eh? I’ll leave you now knowing full well that you’re unenlightened response will only serve as fodder for the coming Democratic victory in November. Thanks for being a retard :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    nixr, Jun 10th, 2006 @ 8:54pm

    This isn't very shocking.

    Journalism as a whole has become somewhat of a joke to me. I'm not surprized that they would try to keep such criticism under wraps though. Why would you willingly let someone point out your shoddy journalism in your own paper?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 11th, 2006 @ 9:06am


    Liberals have ceased to be 'Liberal'. Liberal in a short definition is to be open minded. The 'Left' has become fanatical, arrogant, haters. The NYT and yourself exude that hatred every time you open your mouths or put pen to paper. Re-read your own little anti Republican name calling rant. I am a Republican, and I am not a racist, nor am I religious or anti-gay. I don't assume that because you are 'liberal' that you are a Peta following communist. Anne Coulter writes a controversial book, and she needs to increase security and keep her itineray secret. Michael Moores fat ass is still wandering around. You'd think with all us gun toting red-neck republicans he would have to hide in a basement somewhere. Be carefull, you are quickly becoming what you claim to hate.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. identicon
    bubba, Jun 11th, 2006 @ 9:58am

    Re: Re:

    This is the only way liberals (far left) can get anywhere these days. Hope their name calling, hateful rants get traction and brainwash the younger generation. Thankfully, most people still have a brain of their own and shuts the nonsense out. Keep going libs, the dem's are successfully shooting themselves in the foot almost every day.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    John Spence, Jun 11th, 2006 @ 2:17pm

    Re: One more reason

    Perhaps the TIMES is going the way of GM and is unaware. GM was imperious and look where it got them


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. identicon
    ray, Jun 11th, 2006 @ 4:52pm

    Re: since when...

    i don't think either fox or nytimes gets it right at all, fellow libertarian

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    srgtick, Jun 11th, 2006 @ 7:28pm

    Re: NY Times is out of touch?

    Mitch the Bitch

    Right, where is Mc Veigh, would expect nothing less from a person that believes the NYT is a liberal newspaper after cheerleading for Bush for 5 years with slight exceptions such as Frank Rich who would have no problem with criticism. I guess you really bought into the bullshit of Fox's Slogan. They yell in your face and edit surreptitiuosly, you decide. Funny how they anger you now that that are on your side What a tool. Why is it that guys like you always have killing as punchlines in jokes. Guess that's why you guys don't get laid.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    Moneyguy, Jun 11th, 2006 @ 8:44pm

    Re: since when...

    I'd have to agree with you on your "yin" and "yang" argument - in fact I'd like nothing more to have the Democrats and the Republicans more balanced. That way they end up fighting each other and leave me (and my business) alone. When Democrats had the power they spent money like crazy. Now that the Republicans have it, they are spending like crazy.

    As far as Foxnews balancing out the NYT, I'd have to throw a flag on that one. Sure Foxnews has a conservative slant, but the news organizations with a liberal slant more than make up for Foxnews (and talk radio). CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR, and the NYT all have a liberal slant (and I'm sure there are a host of others). Ever notice how conservatives are willing to admit that Foxnews has a conservative slant, while liberals would never admit that ABC has a liberal slant?

    As for "liberal" being a four letter word, they have no one to blame but themselves. I don't remember when there were more people spewing sewage out of their mouths than the self proclaimed enlightened "liberals" we have today. For people claiming to be enlightened, I'm always amazed at their intolerance of people with different ideas than their own. (I always thought the conservatives were known for being a tad intolerant. Not any more.) Granted there have always been crackpots on both sides, but lately the liberal crackpots are presented as normal. (Don't believe me? When was the last time Janeane "our country was founded on a sham" Garofalo was presented as an ultra-left crackpot? She is often presented as the "liberal" viewpoint. What ever happened to the normal liberals who declared war on poverty?)

    Then there is the journalist. Freedom-of-speech-loving, keeping-the-government (and business)-honest journalists. Journalists were once depended upon to tell the truth - all of it not just their side of it. Journalists had integrity. News was News and not entertainment. Getting it right was more important than ratings. Barbara Walters, Michael Moore, Authur Sulzberger (of NYT fame), Dan Rather, Mary Mapes, Ted Rall, George Soros, Paul Begala, and I could go on. OK, Mr. Soros isn't a journalist, but he's got a bunch of 'em in his pocket. Mr. Moore is often treated as one. How can stories such as the one above even begin to pretend to be journalism? Want to express your liberal opinion? Fine, just don't pretend your agenda qualifies as journalism.

    And yes, I know the conservatives have their share of crackpots. They just don't seem to dominate the so-called mainstream media like the liberals do.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. identicon
    Jon, Jun 12th, 2006 @ 3:43am

    Re: Re: since when...

    > And yes, I know the conservatives have their share of crackpots. They just don't seem to dominate the so-called mainstream media like the liberals do.

    Bill O'Reilly. Rush Limbaugh. Ann Coulter. Hannity. Scarborough. Novak. Tucker Carlson. Michael Savage. Dennis Miller. Judith Miller. etc. etc.

    Yeah, they're nowhere to be found. Both sides have their loopies. Funny, that last one worked for the NY Times, and used the paper to basically recite WH talking points for a few years. Hard to see how that gets the NYT accused of being "liberal" but what do I know.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. identicon
    Neal, Jun 12th, 2006 @ 6:22am

    Dick Cheney in '08

    Yeah Baby, Dick Cheney in '08 !!

    If all the democrats in the US died tomorrow, Dick Cheney might have a shot at '08 if he takes a hunting trip with Bush and has another 'accident'.

    Not because he'd have the advantage of coming into the election as the sitting President either...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. identicon
    Moneyguy, Jun 12th, 2006 @ 6:43am

    Re: Re: Re: since when...

    I did not say conservatives were "never to be found," I pointed out they didn't dominate the mainstream media - and talk radio isn't exactly on par with the CBS evening news. It's ...well, talk radio.

    You're right - the people you named do have a conservative bent, but they're out numbered - Catie Couric, Matt Lauer - any host of any morning or evening news on CBS, NBC, or ABC. Or how about Neal Shapiro president of NBC news, David Westin President of ABC News. Foxnews has their conservative hosts but by my count that's three major networks to one. I'll give CNN credit - their hosted news programs tend toward opposing co-hosts, so we'll call that one a tie. However, the majority of the news coming out of CNN still has a liberal slant.

    I can't tell you the last time I saw Dennis Miller and I wouldn't put him at the same level as a Ted Koppel. And yes, conservatives dominate talk radio. Talk radio isn't exactly the same as a major network news show, is it? (For the record: in my book Michael Savage is one of those sewage spewing idiiots. But it's still talk radio.) Not sure how Air America is doing, but I'll give liberals credit for trying to break into that market. Not sure how AA is doing in the ratings game - how many news outlets can liberals support?

    I haven't read the NYT for years. I got tired of their liberal bias and the editors for the NYT have an liberal bias. I may say the ABC Evening News has a liberal slant, but that's a far cry from the NYT's type of journalism. I honestly don't know much about Judith Miller but I wouldn't call her the conservative rock at the NYT and even if she was you couldn't compare her to Katie Couric.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. identicon
    Moneyguy, Jun 12th, 2006 @ 6:52am

    Re: Re: Re: since when...

    Here is a news release from that bastion of conservative thought UCLA:

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28. identicon
    eb, Jun 12th, 2006 @ 7:44am

    Something that seems to have been

    overlooked is that Tom Friedman is not reporting news, he is writing a column of opinion. In that regard, I think any liberal bias is balanced by David Brooks' column, also opinion, with a decided conservative slant.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29. identicon
    Ray Trygstad, Jun 12th, 2006 @ 8:00am

    Read the NY Times article

    In another exhibition of their lack of understanding of how the Web really works, the Times should not require subscriber-only access to their coumnists who are SYNDICATED! Read the NY Times column under discussion at

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30. identicon
    Martin MacIntyre, Jun 12th, 2006 @ 11:20am

    Responses to articles in newspapsers that disparag

    The same thing happened to me in articles in the San Francisco Examiner by a columnist and in another one in the San Francisco Bay Guardian by in intern reporter writing what was just a new report but was really a column with a point to be made. Both articles were filled with falsehoods and mistatements and conclusion that didn't follow from the prior statement in the articles. Editors of the Examiner just ignored my request for a response and the SF Bay Guardian said they would allow a letter to the editor but no more than 100 words in response to the 700 word article. Both of these newspapers are fee because no one would buy them otherwise. If they don't see the light, free will not be enough to stay in business.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31. identicon
    Anonymous, Jun 12th, 2006 @ 12:32pm

    The Times is liberal?! Ummm.... no.

    The New York Times is Liberal?!? Hello... wake up and smell the coffee. Times has changed. I'm a liberal and I rarely read the NY Times because I agree with one of the above posters that it's simply another Republican news tool. So Republicans... you can relax and get all your officially sanctioned Republican news and talking points from the New York Times.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32. identicon
    Anonymous Montrealer, Jun 16th, 2006 @ 8:29pm

    "Reality has a well-known liberal bias"

    Boy, I hope y'all never invade Canada.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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