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Journalistic Fraud: How The New York Times Distorts the News and Why It Can No Longer Be Trusted Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 14, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: WND Books; First Edition edition (August 14, 2003)
  • ISBN-10: 0785261044
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785261049
  • ASIN: B000685KVK
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,591,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bob Kohn is an attorney and seasoned executive with experience in both the entertainment and high-tech industries.  He is currently the vice chairman of the board of Borland Software Corp. and chairman of Laugh.com, a comedy record label.  A former associate attorney at a prominent Beverly Hills entertainment law firm, Kohn served as associate editor of the Entertainment Law Reporter.  Kohn also co-authored with his father the legal treatise, Kohn on Music Licensing, hailed by USA Today as the "bible of legal issues in the music world." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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149 of 162 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on August 8, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The full subtitle of JOURNALISTIC FRAUD is "How the New York Times Distorts the News and Why It Can No Longer Be Trusted." This is not, as one might expect, a 312-page treatise concerning the Jayson Blair fiasco and how it brought disgrace upon the New York Times, though certainly Bob Kohn could easily have done such a treatment. As Kohn notes near the end of JOURNALISTIC FRAUD, the Blair scandal actually deflects attention from the real scandal at the Times, which is its practice of passing opinion as straight news. What JOURNALISTIC FRAUD is, however, is a thorough, point-by-point analysis of the journalistic mechanisms by which the so-called, self-styled "Newspaper of Record" (a term that, incidentally, is a marketing ploy, nothing more) permits its editorial viewpoint to distort its news coverage.
A couple of decades ago a major weekly magazine used to proudly advertise that within its pages, "Fact is presented as fact, and opinion is signed as opinion." It wasn't true then and it isn't true now, but the magazine in question was at least savvy enough to know that the appearance of fairness and objectivity is important. This standard was the rock upon which the Times built its reputation. The Times's editorial page has always leaned, if not fallen, leftward. Fair enough. That is the function, the reason for existence, of the editorial page of any newspaper: to present the viewpoint of the editors. Once upon a time, however, an effort was made to keep the editorial pink ink from seeping through to the rest of the Times. Kohn notes that Arthur Hays Sulzberger, who shepherded the Times to the reputation of respectability that it is currently squandering, wrote in the 1950s that "...no matter how we view the world, our responsibility lies in reporting accurately that which happens.
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57 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Edward K. Jones on August 26, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Kohn hits the nail on the head about the New York Times. Being from the Midwest, I never realized that the Times had such far-reaching influence. With over 650 media outlets that subscribe to their news wire service, their news bias is picked up and run in the majority of daily newspapers throughout the U.S., including my daily newspaper. It is frightening to see how, over the years, they have expanded their editorializing from the editorial and commentary pages to the front page -- which should be used exclusively for reporting, not editorializing. His succinct and popular writing style makes this a quick and enjoyable read.
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88 of 98 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Spady on October 3, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The New York Times must loath readers like Bob Kohn. He doesn't read just the headlines and the leads, he reads entire articles. Not only does he read the entire article, he analyzes what he has read. His analysis has led him to a conclusion similar to that of many faithful Times readers: the newspaper of record is editorializing under the guise of hard news. But, where most of us make the observation and grumble, Mr. Kohn has written a book, and a convincing one at that. The bonus is that a conscientious reader can use Kohn's analysis when reading any newspaper, whether far left, far right or moderate. Kohn is very clear about several points right up front -- and reiterates them throughout: 1) he is a dedicated NYT reader, 2) he has no objection to the NYT, or any newspaper, editorializing on the Op-Ed pages or in articles that are clearly marked "analysis" but heartily objects to editorializing in articles that purport to be hard news and 3) he believes -- and makes a good case to back his belief -- that the NYT has strayed far from its founding principles to "give the news impartially, without fear or favor, regardless of party, sect or interests involved."
As the first step in his analysis, Kohn takes the reader through the basics of hard news writing and objectivity. Then, using quotes from NYT articles, he demonstrates how a writer can introduce subjectivity (i.e., opinion) through manipulation of the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How of a hard news article. From there, he explores various other techniques, including misleading headlines, distorted leads, burying information at the end of an article or "below the fold" and polls -- always using NYT quotes as illustration. He is convincing. Actually, he is very convincing.
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By SJ Port on September 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The tone of this book is not inflammatory, unlike some others of the same genre from both sides (Al Franken's ".Liars." being a notable example). So if you're a liberal you should be able to get through it without taking a chainsaw to it. Both conservatives and liberals will learn things they might have been unaware of before, and certainly will never read the NY Times the same way again.
Mr. Kohn takes the basic tenets of journalism - who, what, when, where, why and how -- and applies them to specific and numerous examples of headlines and articles from the Times. In many cases, even without his narrative, it is obvious that these basic principles were ignored. Indeed, he helps the argument along further by imbuing this omissions with sinister motivations. One could initially write this off as the whinings of a right-wing conspiracy, but there are really too many examples, with too much impartial evidentiary support, to trivialize the author's possible agenda.
In a best case scenario, if the NYT did indeed commit accidental errors in its practice of journalism, that in itself calls to question the quality of the "nation's newspaper".
As a conservative, I was less angry than saddened that such an eggregious and overwhelming abuse of power has been practiced for the last generation.
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