What is going on at THE NEW YORK TIMES?

Whether or not the McCain story the paper ran today has any truth to it — and I’m talking about the lobbyist and influence-peddling — the article’s publication is plainly irresponsible.  If most of the people in my age group had turned in a college paper so poorly researched and cross-checked, we would have flunked.

Wait.  Make that high school.  My English teachers were by the book.

This is the platinum standard in journalism?  You’d think that after all the paper’s missteps in the past decade, it would have learned something.

Well, at least maybe we will. 

Journalists, writers and bloggers should take a moment to pause and consider the responsibility that accompanies the pen or the keyboard. 

Readers should work ever harder to analyze what’s being put in front of them.

Companies should approach media relations with their eyes wide open — know the journalist and his or her mindset.  It’s unfortunate, but understand that while there are still journalists who value objectivity, their relevance in today’s world is lost on the publishing powers that be. 

We all need to realize that having a tool like this little blog is not just technology democratizing the bully pulpit, it’s a wakeup call to lazy, agenda-driven so-called professionals and their bosses.  You want to know why newspapers are losing advertising?  It’s because they’re losing credibility.  Antics like that article this morning irritate reasonable people — the ones who want their news delivered in an unbiased, thorough manner.  Reasonable people are on to your game, so they’re going elsewhere for news.  And your advertisers know that.

Another nail in the coffin, folks.  And you’re doing it to yourselves.

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