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

Sunday, June 24th, 2007

Working title: Nina Planck, spanked.

Photo via Art Freak

———- Forwarded message ———-
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. 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. 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. 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:

(More below the fold…)

DawnWatch: Responses to "Death by Veganism" — 5/21-5/23/07

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

If you’re interested in reading more veg*n responses to the insipid “Death by Veganism” missive, do check out…

May 23, 2007 Vegan Outreach e-Newsletter:: An Irresponsible Attack

The Veg Blog┬╗ Blog Archive ┬╗ Standing on a Shaky Planck

isachandra: Meat Eating Parents Starve Baby!

FYI, you can always keep up to date with my reading list via delicious: http://del.icio.us/easyvegan. You know, just in case I don’t already pass along enough reading material.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: DawnWatch – news [at] dawnwatch.com
Date: May 24, 2007 3:39 PM
Subject: DawnWatch: Responses to “Death by Veganism” — 5/21-5/23/07

Most of us have heard about the sad case of Crown Shakur, a baby born three months premature, whose parents starved him to death on a diet of only soy milk and apple juice. Unfortunately, we have also heard that his parents are vegan, as that has been announced in every headline about the case. If the boy had starved on cows’ milk and apple juice (as a premature baby might, if not given human breast milk or formula) I doubt the headlines would have announced “Omnivores convicted of Manslaughter.”

The worst headline, garnering the most attention and thereby heading up the most emailed story of the day, was the “Death by Veganism.” That phrase headlined food author Nina Planck’s rant on the Monday, May 21, New York Times editorial page. The page editors, not the author, are responsible for op-ed headlines, and Planck’s article, while including some misleading statements against the vegan diet, did not quite match the headline. The article wasn’t 100% bad (only 95%) — it did include some important points about B12 and Omega 3s. But contrary to Planck’s claims, some of the world’s most renowned doctors (including the late Dr Benjamin Spock in the last edition of his book before his death) recommend vegan diets for children as far superior to standard diets.

I did not rush to send Planck’s article out on DawnWatch as I knew it was being responded to widely and competently from within the vegetarian community. Today, along with the article, I can share six letters that appeared yesterday in response to it, four of them commenting positively on vegan diets. Below them I will share a particularly strong column from a non-vegan food writer who was appalled by Planck’s piece.

First, a brief overview and link to Monday’s “Death by Veganism” New York Times op-ed:

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