NYT Editors new take on test drive

NYT Editors new take on test drive

prash.saka | 18 février 2013

Ok, what is the main point in this article? What is she trying to relay? That Broder is just being a Broder?

torst1 | 18 février 2013

Well what could we expect? The editor certainly does go a long way to make sure there will be no needs for legal actions against the Mr. Broder. The editors surely does not agree with him yet states that Mr. Musk and Tesla has used their datalogs to discredit Broder.

After that initial published article I believe every word from Musk was called for. Even though he might have a bigger then needed palette.

The editor try to make sure they still can keep Broder and her take on the article is wage, irresolute and in plain words a little cowardly.

eltonf | 18 février 2013

I would have liked it to be more in Tesla's favor but overall I'm happy with it. The editor easily could have sided fully with Broder and add fuel to the fire. Instead she did the responsible thing and tried to put the story to rest by admitting that Broder was at least a little bit careless without hurting his feelings or making her employer (NYT) look bad.

I also appreciate that she took a Tesla owner's response and added it verbatim to the article. I think that shows that proves that she was trying to be fair in her assessment.

jchangyy | 18 février 2013

Some of the comments to the article shows how DUMB the general population really is. What a bunch of dumbass &^&****^F%%.....

Hills | 18 février 2013

To me, the public editor's post also seems "diplomatic", or even timid. She does not really take a stand, but perhaps not taking a stand is wise to prolong one's career. Here is what her job function is according to NYT. The key to me is "The public editor works independently, outside of the reporting and editing structure of the newspaper"

About The Public Editor: Margaret Sullivan is the fifth public editor appointed by The New York Times. She writes about the Times and its journalism in a frequent blog – the Public Editor’s Journal — and in a twice-monthly print column in the Sunday Review section. The public editor’s office also handles questions and comments from readers and investigates matters of journalistic integrity. The public editor works independently, outside of the reporting and editing structure of the newspaper; her opinions are her own.

About Margaret Sullivan: Ms. Sullivan was editor and vice president of The Buffalo News before being named as Times public editor in September 2012. She was the first woman to serve as the editor and as the managing editor of The News, after working as a reporter and columnist there. As editor, Ms. Sullivan focused the paper’s reporting on poverty, economic development and inequities in public education, and established its first investigative team.
Ms. Sullivan was appointed to the Pulitzer Prize Board in 2011 and has been a juror four times, serving as the chairwoman of the distinguished commentary jury in 2006. She was elected twice as a director of the American Society of News Editors and has led its First Amendment committee.
A native of Lackawanna, N.Y., Ms. Sullivan is a graduate of Georgetown University and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, where she is a member of its Hall of Achievement.

L8MDL | 18 février 2013

Tweet from Soon Musk:

"Appreciate thoughtful @Sulliview article. Faith in @nytimes restored."

L8MDL | 18 février 2013

Da#n spell check = ELON !

jat | 18 février 2013

She is clearly just trying to put the matter behind them and move on.

wbrown01 | 18 février 2013

To say she does not want to address the issues raised in the released data will not put this to rest. I would give anything to be that fly on the wall. I would like to hear his response to each data point and how he explained each leg of the trip, that does match his version of events. Someone in those meeting with Broder had to say in affect if this happens again we will not have your back. There is no way everyone at the Times thinks he was not up to no good, no way.

Mel. | 18 février 2013

Sullivan belongs in politics. She could be the spokesperson for either Bush or Obama. No moral compass, everything is grey .. There is no right or wrong according to Margaret . The NYTimes is a newspaper that belongs in the old Soviet Union , dispensing mush to the masses.

shop | 18 février 2013

The quoted tesla user in the editors response had the right tack. With an EPA range of 265 and a distance of 200 miles to cover, you need to pay attention to range issues. The same applies in my gas powered car, if I had to cover 200 miles without a gas station, you can be sure I'd plan it out. Broder did not understand the basics of the car, and thus made many mistakes. Running out of range after making so many mistakes shouldn't be a surprise.

bradslee | 18 février 2013

As we say, fool me once shame on you and fool me twice shame on me. I think the purpose of her article is still another way to defend Broder and to blame Tesla though not as direct attack as what Broder did. In my opinion, she and Broder are in the same camp and continue the way of Brodering.

GLO | 18 février 2013

She came up short here and it's clear in her article that she knows he lied to the public (and pssibly to her) but can't quite admit it as it proves the point that organizations such as the NYT can't be trusted.

L8MDL | 18 février 2013

"as it proves the point that organizations such as the NYT can't be trusted.

Well, duh!

RedShift | 18 février 2013

I am not reinstating my subscription after reading this.

Sounds like a politician talking.

Hills | 18 février 2013

I am no media expert, nor NYT expert. It seems a "public editor" has no real power, thus she does not or will not take the risk to offend. Reading between the lines, she did not exactly defend Broder, which is about as good as can be hoped for. Did any powerful NYT executive speak?

riceuguy | 18 février 2013

Though far from an ideal response, remember that the NYT had no obligation to respond at all. Even this timid response is a big win for Tesla from a PR perspective, and the whole debacle generated a ton of publicity for Tesla (both bad and good). The NYT has far greater reach (and especially with prospective Tesla customers) than many publications that have given rave reviews, so any improvement in their disposition is critical, and this is a step in the right direction. I for one am happy they didn't just try to let the whole thing fade away and appreciate that they at least conceded some points.

Brian H | 18 février 2013

Yup, like virtually all those officially charged with enforcing "integrity", job security is their real bottom line. Any actual finding of managerial malfeasance is a quick ticket to the door. Examples are myriad.

Mark K | 18 février 2013

Repost of Letter to the Editor

Dear Margaret,

Detail should not obscure truth or substance.

There are two simple truths here:

1. EV's are not the same as gas cars.

2. Mr. Broder provoked the failure he advertised.

Gross observation of behavior often reveals the underlying truth. We would not for example, conclude that O.J. Simpson sped toward the border with cash and a gun because aggrieved husbands normally do this.

Any dispassionate review of Mr. Broder's choices would suggest that he actively sought to provoke the failure. It is not necessary to dig into minutiae to see this. It is self-evident.

By his own account, after observing a surprising charge loss overnight, he declined further charge, and departed with half the range required for his destination. This choice betrays his intent.

Through a bit of sleight of hand in his follow-up piece, he indirectly lays responsibility for his own choice at the feet of the car's maker. Would we blame Ford when we run out of gas by driving without refueling?

To report on the large overnight charge loss in the cold is totally appropriate, and newsworthy. To leave when he was keenly aware there was insufficient fuel is a deliberate choice. To suggest this was an inescapable choice compelled by a machine or a telephone assistant is ludicrous. He is a grown-up who can read a fuel gauge.

Margaret, we are grateful that you have been looking into this. Please look deeper into the behavior of the man. To chalk this up as merely poor judgement by the author is a stretch. An experienced journalist who was in fact focused on the subject of charging and range would not normally be oblivious to the very subject he is writing about.

EVs have different limitations from gas cars, and it is appropriate to inform readers about them. Given the facts, readers will decide for themselves whether any product will work for their needs. Coloring the facts is not necessary.

In summary terms, Mr. Broder's piece suggests the car could not have made that trip, when in fact it could. As the logs demonstrate, Mr. Broder himself could have readily done it, on that day and at that temperature, had he wanted to. He didn't.

Mr. Broder has not fessed up to this. The paper has now acknowlegded both the inaccuracies and lapses of judgement. What remains is to recognize the personal bias that regrettably made it through the NYT's editors gauntlet.

For Mr. Border to sell his creative editorial as fact is disingenuous, and a disservice to the public. The New York Times has long set many standards for excellence in journalism. It can certainly do better than this.

GeirT | 18 février 2013

I think the NYT response is as good as could be expected. Unless utter fraud proven they would never retract or fire Broder. She goes a long way however to say that the Broder report was dubious journalism. Of course she has to spice it up with counter arguments. Otherwise she would accuse Broder and that is a no go.
TM should be happy with this. The stock market too - something the 20th will prove that without a doubt.
So - dear friends lessons learned. No broderising.

Docrob | 19 février 2013

This is actually really quite a scathing response on Broders conduct. She is really not in a position to accuse Broder of malice intent as it is entirely unprovable and relies on pure speculation. But she did say he showed very poor judge,net in departing on a 62mile journey with only 31 miles of range showing, and she accused him of keeping downright sloppy notes which is a anther cutting accusation for a journalist. This article from a public editor is about as negative as she could really be under the circumstances.

Hogfighter | 19 février 2013

So....was this published in the paper? Or simply online? There's a big difference between the two.

defmonk | 19 février 2013

+1 @Docrob: 100% correct. However, it is somewhat disappointing that Ms. Sullivan did not address the apparent impropriety of Mr. Broder's prior beat (in oil and gas) as reviewer of an electric vehicle.

Shelmire | 19 février 2013

Boy, is she a master of vaguery and innuendo? She danced around the issue like Ginger Rogers. Facts cannot be disputed. She is trying to vilify Musk for providing data? Really?

I used to be a NYT fan, but am rethinking my position in the little red book I keep in my wallet.

Brian H | 19 février 2013

The $1.50 hit the article caused the stock has been reversed. 'Nuff said.

Mark K | 19 février 2013

Further post to the Times editor-

The core issue is not whether this car matches everyone's needs. No car will.

At issue is whether readers find it acceptable to manufacture circumstances to make a story, and whether personal opinion can be sold as news.

Whether critic or fanboy, all of us share an equal interest in truth.

We can make up our own minds if given facts that we can trust.

Great institutions are great because of what they stand for. They only fall when they are not alarmed by even the tiniest of cracks in their pillars.

DarrellH | 4 mars 2013

Although I appreciate that Margaret Sullivan tried to defuse the situation with what she wrote, it still makes the NYT look like a step below the Enquirer. I certainly don't waste my time reading it any longer.