DawnWatch: NY Times reprimanded by its public editor for "Death By Veganism" piece. 6/24/07

June 24th, 2007 9:47 pm by mad mags

Working title: Nina Planck, spanked.

Photo via Art Freak

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From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: Jun 24, 2007 7:53 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: NY Times reprimanded by its public editor for “Death By Veganism” piece. 6/24/07

All those who wrote to the New York Times protesting Nina Planck’s “Death by Veganism” op-ed (you’ll find the DawnWatch alert about it at http://tinyurl.com/2b3sp5) can give yourselves a big pat on the back game overnight. Your outcry was registered.

The New York Time’s current public editor is Clark Hoyt. The Times tells us, “Clark Hoyt is the readers’ representative. His opinions and conclusions are his own. His column will appear on Sundays at least twice monthly.”

According to Wikipedia, the New York Times established the position of Public Editor in response to the 2003 Jayson Blair scandal james bond filme downloaden kostenlos. Wikipedia explains “The job of the public editor is to supervise the implementation of proper journalism ethics at a newspaper, and to identify and examine critical errors or omissions, and to act as a liaison to the public. They do this primarily through a regular feature on a newspaper’s editorial page.”

The public editor’s column in the Sunday, June 24, New York Times is headed, “The Danger of the One-Sided Debate.” (Page WK14)

Hoyt tells us that two recent columns by guest contributors caused enormous reader outcries herunterladen. The most recent was by Ahmed Yousef, a spokesman for Hamas. Hoyt quotes a reader, who wrote that such a piece ”isn’t balanced journalism, it is more the dissemination of propaganda in the spirit of advocacy journalism.” While Hoyt did not agree with Yousef’s piece, he does contend:

“Op-ed pages should be open especially to controversial ideas, because that’s the way a free society decides what’s right and what’s wrong for itself. Good ideas prosper in the sunshine of healthy debate, and the bad ones wither. Left hidden out of sight and unchallenged, the bad ones can grow like poisonous mushrooms.”

He tells us that the editors, Rosenthal and Shipley, “said that, over time, they try to publish a variety of voices on the most important issues wie viel kann man auf netflix downloaden. Regular op-ed readers have seen a wide range of views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and have a lot of other information to help judge Yousef’s statements.”

But this is what Hoyt goes on to say about the publication of Nina Planck’s “Death by Veganism”:

“This wasn’t the case, however, with a May 21 op-ed by Nina Planck, an author who writes about food and nutrition. Sensationally headlined ‘Death by Veganism,’ Planck’s piece hit much closer to home than Yousef’s. It said in no uncertain terms that vegans — vegetarians who shun even eggs and dairy products — were endangering the health and even the lives of their children tomtom mydriveen. A former vegan herself, Planck said she had concluded ‘a vegan pregnancy was irresponsible. You cannot create and nourish a robust baby merely on foods from plants.’

“Her Exhibit A was a trial in Atlanta in which a vegan couple were convicted of murder, involuntary manslaughter and cruelty in the death of their 6-week-old son, who was fed mainly soy milk and apple juice and weighed only 3.5 pounds. The column set off a torrent of reader e-mail that is still coming in — much of it from vegans who send photos of their healthy children or complain bitterly of being harassed by friends and relatives using Planck’s column as proof that their diet is dangerous pinterest gratis downloaden.

“If there was another side, a legitimate argument that veganism isn’t harmful, Planck didn’t tell you — not her obligation, Rosenthal and Shipley say. But unlike the Middle East, The Times has not presented another view, or anything, on veganism on its op-ed pages for 16 years. There has been scant news coverage in the past five years.

“There is another side.

Rachelle Leesen, a clinical nutritionist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, told me that Planck’s article ‘was extremely inflammatory and full of misinformation.’ She and her colleague Brenda Waber pointed me to a 2003 paper by the American Dietetic Association, the nation’s largest organization for food and nutrition professionals. After reviewing the current science, the A.D.A., together with the Dietitians of Canada, declared, ‘Well-planned vegan and other types of vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence.’

“Planck said she was aware of the A.D.A.’s position but regarded it as ‘pandering’ to a politically active vegan community.

“I won’t rehash the scientific dispute in a case in which Planck has her experts and the A.D.A. paper cited more than 250 studies, but I think The Times owes its readers the other side, published on the op-ed page, not just in five letters to the editor that briefly took issue with her.

“I even question Planck’s Exhibit A, poor little Crown Shakur, who was so shriveled at his death that doctors could see the bones in his body. His death, she wrote, ‘may be largely due to ignorance. But it should prompt frank discussion about nutrition.’

“Maybe, if by nutrition you mean a discussion about whether you feed a baby anything at all.

“The prosecutor argued — and the jury believed — that Crown’s parents intentionally starved him to death. News coverage at the time said that the medical examiner, doctors at the hospital to which Crown’s body was taken and an expert nutritionist testified that the baby was not given enough food to survive, regardless of what the food was.

“Charles Boring, the Fulton County prosecutor who handled the case, told me it was ‘absolutely not’ about veganism. Planck and Shipley said they were aware of the prosecutor’s contention. Shipley said, ‘We were also aware, though, that the convicted couple continues to insist that they were trying to raise their infant on a vegan diet.’

“But the jury didn’t believe them, and leaving that out put Planck’s whole column on a shaky foundation.

“Op-ed pages are for debate, but if you get only one side, that’s not debate. And that’s not healthy.”

I have shared all Hoyt’s comments on Planck’s piece, but you can find the full column, including the Hamas piece discussion, on line at http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/24/opinion/24pubed.html.

I send a huge thank you to the vegan community for the “torrent of reader e-mail that is still coming in” to the Times. Today’s public editor’s stance is largely thanks to your efforts. Please send letters to the editor commending his stance and reiterating his call for a piece that presents the other side of the debate.

The New York Times editorial page takes letters at letters [at[ nytimes.com.

You can also send an appreciative note directly to Hoyt at public [at] nytimes.com.

Yours and the animals’,
Karen Dawn

(DawnWatch is an animal advocacy media watch that looks at animal issues in the media and facilitates one-click responses to the relevant media outlets. You can learn more about it, and sign up for alerts at http://www.DawnWatch.com. You may forward or reprint DawnWatch alerts if you do so unedited — leave DawnWatch in the title and include this parenthesized tag line. If somebody forwards DawnWatch alerts to you, which you enjoy, please help the list grow by signing up. It is free.)

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