You Call This a News Story?

The New York Post ran a story by Josh Saul claiming that Hynes may yet run in November on the Republican and Conservative party slots on the ballot. However, Hynes himself already renounced that option making it even harder for him to credibly return to the race. The story correctly states the Republican Party would like him to run. Of course they would, even though they expect him to lose, because it would slightly increase their turnout thereby improving their election odds in other races. But as a practical matter it is a non-starter. Mr. Saul’s editors got the story right with the headline they chose, “GOP wants Hynes to campaign to stay Brooklyn DA.” (emphasis by this author)

However, I am disappointed in the reporting further down in the article. Saul reports quotes that barely qualify as news; they are the predictable, if nonsensical, claims of self-interested politicians. Examples include:

“Crime is down. Murders are way down. Hynes has gotten the scum of the earth off the street,” said Brooklyn GOP state Sen. Marty Golden. “People woke up and were shocked Hynes lost the primary. People woke up and said, ‘This is not the change we wanted.’ Many Democrats felt bad they didn’t come out and vote for him. But they will in the general election.”

State Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long said Brooklynites he’s spoken to are in Hynes’ corner. “Many people will vote for Hynes on the Republican and Conservative lines,” Long said. “It’s not impossible that he could pull out a victory.”

Hynes’ allies point out that only about one in five registered Democrats voted in the primary.

When I look at these quotes, I see an unbalanced article. I am sure that Saul could have found non-partisan source who would have told him:

“This was exactly the change we were hoping for” said longtime Brooklyn Heights resident, Martha Anybody”

“I didn’t come out and vote”, said Sasha Ivshenksy, “but luckily I got the results I wanted.”

“”It is all but impossible for Hynes to win,” according to Democratic political campaign consultant John Doe “

“Professor of Political Science, Jane Doe, said, “Primary turnout of about 20% is pretty standard in anything but a presidential primary.””

I trust Saul and his editors to have accurately quoted their sources but find of them guilty of bias by negligence in not seeking out the competing reactions that would have made this, a very uninteresting but, much more accurate and informative story.

The final proof of the bias of the article was the next to the last paragraph:

The Hynes camp is troubled by a Post report last week that disgraced ex-Brooklyn Democratic Party boss Clarence Norman — whom the DA convicted for pay-to-play corruption in 2007 — helped Thompson and showed up to celebrate at the winner’s victory party, said Hynes’ campaign chairman’ Dennis Quirk.

There are so many things wrong with this paragraph as a report on Hynes’ motives and prospects of running or winning. For starters, there is the insinuation of pained reluctance by Dennis Quirk  who chaired four Hynes campaigns and is one of his biggest contributors.

Then there is the fact that the complainant, Dennis Quirk, is one of the most notoriously corrupt figures in NYC politics and has a daughter and two sons working for KCDA who in turn may very well be protecting their in-law, indicted, Gambino-lieutenant Joseph Lanni. In any event, when Thompson enters office, Quirk’s daughter is likely to be sacked if not at least demoted, as the person in charge of hiring. It is a position she got with no qualifications or experience and in no way matches the high level of qualifications of such appointees in the other four DA offices in New York City.

Yet we have the pot calling the kettle black and subliminally implying that Black is corrupt or unqualified.

Finally there is the most glaring omission of all, the NY Post’s own reporting on the Clarence Norman’s arrest which began with the headline “KOCH DAMNS DA OVER NORMAN.” The Daily News quoted Koch saying:

Beleaguered Brooklyn Democratic boss Clarence Norman is a victim of a persecution… [Hynes] came up with two cockamamie items that should have been referred to the Ethics Committee of the Assembly… And I’m no friend of Clarence Norman’s… There is probably not a single political issue he and I agree on.”

This was a politically motivated prosecution because Norman was fighting Hynes and his allies for control of the Brooklyn political machine. Hynes, in spite of his best efforts was defeated by three successive juries who acquitted Norman, but Hynes kept on pursuing different angles until he got a conviction on his fourth try.

At the end of the day, the article, while accurate in its details, is grossly uncritical and unbalanced in its evaluation of the motives of its sources. Naturally the Post did not report its own motives, hostility to Thompson, whose law firm has sued the Post for various offenses including discriminating against its employees.

I feel bad for Josh Saul,  an otherwise excellent reporter, who was forced to dish this nonsense. But stories like this will be critiqued by me and others, and they will damage the reputations of those who write them.

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3 thoughts on “You Call This a News Story?

  1. Does Quirk also have any ties to Irish mobsters? Manhattan DA Morgenthau indicted a bunch of them who were running the NYC construction industry as a cartel. Then something strange happened after he pulled down the major builders. He had said he was going after middlemen & suppliers next but nothing happened. They are guilty as sin but they were left unmolested (no pun intended). Could Morgenthau have been “gotten to” if Hynes felt threatened by too many Irishmen being taken down. Much of the cartel’s activity was also in Brooklyn.

    • Truther,

      You know the old saying: “If you have the facts on your side, pound away on the facts; if you have the law on your side, pound away at the law; if you have neither, just pound the table.”

      I presented a substantive argument based on analzying what was written and other facts that came from public record sources. Seems like your slogan in this case is to pound away on ad hominems. Sounds to me like you have neither facts nor logic on your side.

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