The substandard reporting done by Jeremy Peters in Thursday's NY Times should be brought to the attention of their editors. This is one of the most poorly supported articles I have read this election cycle. Read on...
Being an outstanding journalist requires great time and effort. Writing a basic news article does not. Many of us took a journalism class in school- you have your five W’s when applicable, and after that you state facts. If you make an assertion, you support it with fact.
The New York Time’s Jeremy W. Peters is not new to journalism. He began working for the paper eleven years ago, and has done well enough to assume more responsibilities since then. But you never would have guessed this having read this piece from Thursday about the presidential race in Pennsylvania.
Peters begins with the familiar question about why Mitt Romney is now putting some resources into PA. Does he see an opportunity, or is it a head fake? Though every GOP candidate going back to Bush 41 has done this the last weekend of the race and still lost the state, I suppose it is a fair question to ask.
Peters continues to conclude that it’s the former- the race is tightening and a door is opening for Romney. I’d have no problem with this conclusion if he provided some tangible evidence- a steady stream of polling showing Romney making some gains perhaps.
But none of that is to be found. Instead, his concrete evidence for ‘Mittmentum’ in PA is given to us in paragraph twelve:
"But there is a tangible sense — seen in Romney yard signs on the expansive lawns of homes in the well-heeled suburbs, and heard in the excited voices of Republican mothers who make phone calls to voters in their spare time — that the race is tilting toward Mr. Romney."The boldface is mine. I’ll give you a moment to process the absurdity of that statement. Peters’ evidence that the race is tightening is that he (possibly) has seen some Romney yard signs in some suburbs and (presumably) some ‘excited’ Republican mothers have called people in the state in support of Romney. Though being Peters lives in Manhattan, I can’t imagine he has received any of these calls himself. He also clearly needs to learn the difference between 'tangible' and 'intangible'.
I live in Florida. I see a dozen Obama yard signs on the way out of my neighborhood in the morning. At the local OFA office, excited women (and men) place calls all day long in support of Obama. I suppose we can therefore conclude the race in Florida is tilting toward Obama?
Folks, this goes beyond partisanship- in fairness, Peters has written articles that would bother conservatives. This is about laziness. While the standards at the NY Times seem to have dropped in the last decade, this may be the worst example of journalism I have read in their paper this election cycle. Please join me in letting the Times know that we expect better.