Tag Archives: Mainstream press

Puerto Rico

Reporting on the recovery efforts in Puerto Rico seems to be more about scoring political points than helping out.   The mainstream press (NYT, CNN, Washington Post) is attempting to paint this as another Katrina, while the conservative side (WSJ, the White House) says that everything is just wonderful.

I don’t like to get into politics, but the following is worth reading.  It is from a good friend who had a long career at Chase Manhattan Bank rising high enough to go on yearly dog and pony shows with the head (David Rockefeller).  It actually has some data.  Unsurprisingly, it has a rather conservative take on things, but it is still interesting.

“The abject irresponsibility of Puerto Rican politicians has been evident for 25+ years. Back some 15 years ago, a  former colleague at Chase Manhattan , Alfredo Salazar,  was for a short period in the Puerto Rican government responsible for finance. He went very publically and very loudly with the  warning to the political establishment that the ongoing fiscal irresponsibility of the PR government was unsustainable. He was purged quickly.

The buying of votes continued to escalate the debt –  reaching a climax of the territorial bankruptcy this year. As usual the politicians get off from, in effect, a crime spree lasting decades without being held accountable. It is one of the weaknesses of our governmental system. There should be no forgiving of debt without a charter change inhibiting the politicians from going back to “business as usual”. Incidentally since 1965 Puerto Rico has only had Democrat Governors.”


–       xxxxx

Here’s a link to Wkipedia about Salazar — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfredo_Salazar,_Jr. — it doesn’t mention any falling out of Salazar with the government — but these things are edited and re-edited by partisans.

Oct 4, 2017 | 14:29 GMT

Puerto Rico: U.S. President Says Territory’s Massive Debt Will Have To Be Forgiven


While on a visit to Puerto Rico to observe recovery efforts following Hurricane Maria, U.S. President Donald Trump said the island’s massive debt will have to be wiped out, Reuters reported Oct. 4. Facing massive debt, Puerto Rico filed for bankruptcy earlier this year and is struggling to regain economic stability.

The impeccable timing of the New York Times — take II

Reality keeps intruding. I’d much rather be posting about a marvelous paper (see the end), but the Sunday New York Times of 18 September 2016 had 3 articles telling us all how deplorable, irrational and islamaphobic we are, the day after 3 separate attacks on the citizenry (the Chelsea and Seaside Park bombs and the knife attack in Minnesota).

Two were on the opinion page — one comparing the Jews of the 30s trying to escape the Nazi’s with the mideast refugees, another concerned “England’s Forgotten Muslin History”. Well, we all know what a bunch of terrorists the Jews of the 30s were.

On p. 13 “Level of Hate Crimes Against U. S> Muslims Highest Since After 9/11” “Some Tie Attacks to Trump’s Statements” It couldn’t possibly be anything they’ve done.

For your enjoyment, here’s the post of just 3 months ago (13 June)

The impeccable timing of the New York Times

After putting ex-Weatherman Bill Ayers on page 1 saying he wished he’d ‘bombed more’ the day of the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001, the New York Times kept its unenviable timing record intact by posting “Dreams of my Muslim Son” about Islamophobia on the editorial page the day of the Orlando massacre. Usually they run their invariable innocent Muslims fearing hate crimes by American rednecks story a day or so after the latest atrocity.

Unfortunately Orlando can’t be camouflaged as workplace violence or the response to some video or other a la Benghazi. The perp was far too explicit. Nor can it be blamed on the failure of ‘the MidEast Peace Process’ or Israel, although undoubtedly some will try.

If I were the Muslim leadership in this country, I’d try to put together a Million Muslim March on Washington to protest the Orlando, San Bernadino, Boston etc. etc. massacres, as blots on the name of Islam. ISIS would probably try to kill a few, but it’s time for them to stand up, assuming there are large numbers of US Muslims that actually think this way.


You could not have a better example of how totally out of touch elite opinion is and the placement and timing of these articles is exactly an expression of elite opinion.

I had thought that the terrorists would be lying low until after the election, as terrorist acts work in Trump’s favor. But as a friend said about another Muslim group — they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

The paper I’d planned to write about is Nature vol. 537 pp. 107 ’16 (1 September 2016 Issue).

Now on to Trump’s health information.

Thank God for the internet, warts and all

Here’s the New York Times Monday reporting on Hillary’s fainting spell the previous day — “Clinton Treated for Dehydration and Pneumonia”, “Falling Ill at 9/11 Event”. Then it states that she ‘had to be helped into a van by Secret Service Agents”.

Still on the first page, “about 90 minutes after arriving there (Chelsea’s apartment) Mrs.Clinton wearing sunglasses emerged from the apartment” She is then quoted as “I’m feeling great” “It’s a beautiful day in New York” On the front page there’s a picture of her at the 9/11 service before anything happened. Inside there’s a picture of her leaving the apartment looking just wonderful and smiling.

The Times does mention the video, and noted that it captured ‘what appeared to be her legs buckling’.

Back in the day when the NYT controlled the news, you’d think nothing much happened. However, anyone looking at the video can see her passing out and nearly hitting the pavement, until she was caught by her handlers.

As I predicted in an EMail to some friends, the Times in its letters to the editor today had a letter praising Hillary as a typical plucky lady who carried on no matter what. For a paper that routinely headlines articles dumping on the church (the front page of 14 Sep has an article concerning how Putin is using the Russian Orthodox Church to extend Russian power abroad) they certainly love one of its institutions (the amen corner — aka letters to the editor).

The paper of record in Northampton described the event has Mrs. Clinton becoming “Unwell”, With Hillary in seclusion and unable to campaign, the lead story on Yahoo yesterday, concerned an attack ad of Hillary’s on Trump, not anything he said or did.

The internet and the blogosphere is often scatological, misleading, irritating and biased. But there’s such massive coverage on the internet that it has broken the monopoly of the mainstream press. Thank God for them warts and all.

Now, hopefully back to the science.

Narratives of the Times

Before I get started, let me say that one of the first things my late parents found they had in common 75+ years ago was reading the New York Times.  I grew up reading it and still do.  That’s what’s so appalling about what it’s become;  editorials masquerading as news, and even those slanted to keep the (presumably) liberal readership undisturbed.

On 4 August the front page carried a story titled “Police Stops in New York Drop by 34%”.  The article goes on for 24 paragraphs and occupies a full third of an inside page.  In it we find that the number of police stops, questioning, and frisks dropped by 34% in the second quarter of 2012.  The first 3 months  had some 203,500, the second 3 had 133,934, which was 25% lower than the same quarter a year ago.  Only half the stops resulted in frisks.

We are told that some unnamed civil rights groups and City Council members don’t like stop and frisk, as 85% involve Blacks and Hispanics.  We are told that the ACLU sued the Philly police department about them, and got the cops to put in ‘safeguards’.

There is an interview with Mr. Kelly the police commissioner.

What aren’t we told?  This is practically a lab experiment on the effect of stop and (possibly) frisk on crime rates.  The Times is silent.  The two reporters were certainly not cramped for space.

The same day the New York Post ran an article on the subject (not sure where it appeared).  The headline was rather different “Crime way up after stop and frisk drop.” Here’s the data the Times didn’t give you.  There were 24,751 major crimes reported in the first 3 months of the year and 27,832 in the second quarter, a 12% increase in crime associated with the 34% decline in stop and frisk.  The number of guns seized dropped from 881 to 732.

Most readers of this blog are interested in the science presented and have a scientific background.  So for them, I have a question.  What did the New York Post leave out that you’d want to know?

I think you’d want the number of major crimes reported for each 3 months for 2010 and 2011.  Otherwise what looks like cause and effect could just be statistical fluctuation.  It is my understanding that crime rates go up in the warm months, so the 12% rise might just be a seasonal fluctuation.  We don’t know and we aren’t told.  We should be. The data is clearly available.

The Post’s transgression is relatively minor.  The Times’ is not.  It’s an attempt to keep one of their favorite narratives going.  If this were some brief note on the inside of the paper, it would be one thing.  But this is front page news (except that it isn’t news but a thinly disguised editorial).  Why is the article an editorial?  Because it chooses to ignore facts that don’t suit the acticle’s thrust.  This is perfectly acceptable in an editorial, but not in one masquerading as news.

It is very sad to see this happening in what was  formerly a great paper.  Granted that there has been a decline in readership, advertising and profitability in all print media largely due to the rise of the internet, but these wounds are self-inflicted.