Attribution Problems With NY Times Orthodox Sex Abuse Series, Public Editor Says

Earl Wilson / The New York Times
New York Times Public Editor Arthur Brisbane
After the New York Times wrote a searing two-part series earlier this month detailing the problem of sexual abuse in Brooklyn's Hasidic and Ultra-Orthdox communities, we noted that some journalists and activists thought the paper should have acknowledged its debt to other journalists.

The Times wouldn't comment on the record on the subject, but Arthur Brisbane, the paper's public editor, told us he was conducting his own investigation into the issue. Yesterday, Brisbane published his conclusions.

Carolyn Ryan, the Times's Metro Editor, told Brisbane "We were never under any illusion that we were the first outlet to report on abuse in the community, nor did we claim to be."

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Please Don't Forget Catherine "Kitty" Genovese

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Today marks the 48th anniversary of Catherine "Kitty" Genovese's tragic death.

On March 13, 1964, she was "was raped and killed in two separate late-night attacks near her home in Kew Gardens, Queens. Police found that at least 38 people had seen the attacks or heard Genovese scream, but no one intervened and just one woman called the police," according to the New York Times.

Media reports from the incident indicate more harrowing details:

From the Times: "Twice their chatter and the sudden glow of their bedroom lights interrupted him and frightened him off. Each time he returned, sought her out, and stabbed her again. Not one person telephoned the police during the assault; one witness called after the woman was dead."

More reports eventually revealed that neighbors' alleged apathy was over-stated: A lot of them didn't call the cops because they just didn't know what was happening.

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WaPo Investigation Finds $300 Million in Earmarks Redirected by Congress for Pet Pork Projects

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A new, investigative report from the Washington Post reveals that congressmen have diverted, in total, nearly $300 million in congressional earmarks to projects that benefit them or their families directly. These projects included:

  • Funding to widen a 1.5-mile stretch of road near property belonging to a Texas representative's family.
  • A $100 million renovation of a downtown Tuscaloosa area near a senator's commercial office building.
  • A $486,000 bike lane near a Michigan representative's home.

Earmarks (sometimes referred to as "pork spending") are nothing new. Many congressmen often point to the amount of federal money they bring to their home states as proof that they serve their constituents well -- one senator is so proud of pork spending that he actually voluntarily refers to himself as the "King of Pork"! Politicians have been using them for years to bring federal money to their home states, under rules which are loose at best.

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GMA Won't Pay Botox Mom Now That Botox Mom Is a Liar

Ethics are a fascinating thing. While it was okay for ABC News to pay $10,000 for a story -- or, more specifically, to pay $10,000 as a licensing fee for photos given part-and-parcel with an "exclusive" Good Morning America interview with Kerry Campbell, or "Botox Mom" -- it is not okay to pay $10,000 post-interview, once that story is proven to be fake. ABC had "agreed to pay a $10,000 licensing fee to a U.K. freelancer for the pictures, but obviously in light of everything that's happened, zero money has been sent that way," said ABC News spokesman Jeffrey Schneider to The Hollywood Reporter.

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Lap-Dancing Strippers Perform at Extra-Credit Business Ethics Symposium

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The past few months have brought a wave of collegiate indiscretions. There was the incident at Northwestern in which two people demonstrated the use of a device called the "fucksaw" in front of a human sexuality class. There was the roof-sex incident at USC. And now, a professor at Lasalle University, Jack Rappaport, is in the news for bringing three strippers to his business ethics class, where they allegedly danced around the room and gave what people outside of business ethics class might call "lap dances."

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Schools Making Sure Students Attend Class With GPS Tracking

Students cutting class is something that has existed ever since school was invented. But the Anaheim Union High School District school district is enacting a plan to get their kids in line. According to the Orange County Register, "seventh- and eighth-graders with four unexcused absences or more this school year are assigned to carry a hand-held GPS device about the size of a cell phone."

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Charlie Rangel Taking Donations to Backpay His Ethics Lawyers

If you feel bad for poor, censured Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel, good news: he's taking donations again -- this time to pay the lawyers who failed him in his ethics trial. The House ethics committee (the same one that convicted him) just approved the creation of a fund to help pay his legal defense bills.

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David Paterson Will Have to Pay $62,125 for Those "Free" World Series Tickets

Outgoing New York Governor David Paterson, who leaves office on December 31, has been fined $62,125 by the state ethics commission for the complimentary 2009 Yankees World Series tickets he "solicited, accepted, and received." (He used the tickets for himself, two aides, his teenage son, and his son's friend). The five tickets each had a face value of $425 -- which means Paterson will be out $60,000 for this "conflict of interest." Paterson claimed he always meant to pay for the tickets, but his staff said differently. [via NYT]

Charlie Rangel's Ethics Censure: Record-Breaking, Utterly Meaningless.

Various news outlets are reporting that House of Representatives members have voted to censure an active member "for the first time in nearly 30 years" -- New York City's own Rep. Charles Rangel -- for the slew of ethics violations he was convicted of last month. The House, which voted 333-79 in favor of censure, apparently forewent Rangel's last-minute pleas for the less serious punishment of "reprimand." Rangel remains employed as a member of the American government. [SH]

Censure for Charlie Rangel, House Ethics Committee Says (Liveblog)

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Congressman Charlie Rangel of New York's 15th congressional district, who was recently re-elected, was found guilty of 11 ethics violations on Tuesday. The House Ethics Committee is currently holding a hearing by which they'll hand down his punishment. There have been some pretty harsh words for Rangel so far: "Mr. Rangel can no longer blame anyone other than himself for the position he finds himself in.... Mr. Rangel should only look into the mirror if he wants to know who to blame."

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