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October 18, 2004

Students lied, NY Times editors died - UPDATE

About a week ago, we were having a little fun at the expense of the NY Times over its letters editor's anguish. See, some students got letters in the paper even though they sometimes faked their names and addresses. The editor was worried about the credibility of the Times, whatever that is.

Turns out, the New Yorker carries an item about this, too, which contains this gem from the editor:

Feyer acknowledged that the students exhibited “good writing and smart thinking,” but that’s beside the point, he said. “Coming in a climate where journalists are under increasing scrutiny and the Times has had its troubles in the last couple of years, and CBS—this isn’t of the same order, but we rely on the good faith of our letter writers.” He does not consider Duckenfield’s assignment a harmless pedagogical stunt.
Yes, I can see the harm that real letters from fake people could cause to the Times's credibility.