The New York Times

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Posted by r2d2 04/22/2009 @ 06:15

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News headlines
Mum and Pup and Me - New York Times
Thanks to Christopher Buckley (April 26) for “outing” the inner landscape of middle-aged orphans through his poignant and funny portrayal of his relationship with his parents near the end of their lives. His appraisal of “Mum and Pup” was cleareyed and...
National Briefing | West California: County Settles Suit on Suicide - New York Times
By AP Santa Clara County has agreed to settle a federal lawsuit for $1 million in the suicide of a former University of California, Berkeley, student known as the Naked Guy, while he was in jail. The mother of the man, Luis A. Martinez,...
Sports Briefing | Skiing After 3-Week Coma, Albrecht Wants to Race - New York Times
By AP Daniel Albrecht of Switzerland left an Austrian hospital saying he wants to return to top-level racing after a crash that left him comatose for three weeks. Albrecht, 25, spoke to reporters for the first time since he had brain and lung injuries...
Can a Few Drinks a Day Lead to Alcoholism? - New York Times
By Mark Willenbring, MD Tony Cenicola/The New York Times Exceeding “recommended limits” may or may not presage a drinking problem. This week, Personal Health columnist Jane Brody writes on the Rethinking Drinking program at the National Institute on...
National Briefing | South Florida: Sentence in Charter Boat Deaths - New York Times
By AP A judge in Miami sentenced a former security guard to five consecutive life prison sentences plus 85 years for taking part in the 2007 hijacking of the Joe Cool charter boat and the killings at sea of its captain, his wife and two crew members....
Industrial Production Rises Slightly in China - New York Times
By BETTINA WASSENER HONG KONG — Industrial production in China rose less than expected in April, the latest reminder that while the country's economy is on a relatively firm footing, the pace of growth is unlikely to bounce back to the levels seen in...
Far-Away Places Move Close, Very Close - New York Times
By CLAUDIA LA ROCCO The La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival is a three-plus week smorgasbord of samplers, wide-ranging in style as well as quality. While you sometimes hunger for a more rigorous curatorial eye, it is also nice to be surprised by the...
Cleaning Up Toxic Waste - New York Times
The Supreme Court's decision should be considered a call to action for Congress to restore the “polluter pays” fee that used to finance the cleanup of the nation's worst toxic waste sites. When Congress enacted the Superfund law in the 1980s,...
'Rodeo Drive' in Greenwich Shows Vacancies - New York Times
By MOINA NOOR AS the owner of Betteridge Jewelers, a fixture on Greenwich Avenue since 1897, Terry Betteridge has seen stores come and go on the avenue over the years. “New stores come to town and think that rich people are going to throw money at them...
A Chili Sauce to Crow About - New York Times
BY THE BARREL OR BOTTLE David Tran's sriracha sauce in a market in San Gabriel, Calif. By JOHN T. EDGE David Tran, foreground above, with his son, William, at the Huy Fong Foods warehouse in Rosemead, Calif. AFTER-HOURS calls to Huy Fong Foods,...

The New York Times

The Times Square Building, The New York Times' headquarters from 1913 to 2007

The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded in 1851 and published in New York City. The largest metropolitan newspaper in the United States, "The Gray Lady"—named for its staid appearance and style—is regarded as a national newspaper of record. The Times is owned by The New York Times Company, which publishes 18 other newspapers, including the International Herald Tribune and The Boston Globe. The company's chairman is Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., whose family has controlled the paper since 1896.

The paper's motto, as printed in the upper left-hand corner of the front page, is "All the News That's Fit to Print." It is organized into sections: News, Opinions, Business, Arts, Science, Sports, Style, and Features. The Times stayed with the eight-column format for several years after most papers switched to six columns, and it was one of the last newspapers to adopt color photography. The Times has won 101 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization. Its website is one of the most popular, receiving over 14 million visitors in August 2008.

We shall be Conservative, in all cases where we think Conservatism essential to the public good;—and we shall be Radical in everything which may seem to us to require radical treatment and radical reform. We do not believe that everything in Society is either exactly right or exactly wrong;—what is good we desire to preserve and improve;—what is evil, to exterminate, or reform.

The paper changed its name to The New York Times in 1857. The newspaper was originally published every day but Sunday, but during the Civil War the Times, along with other major dailies, started publishing Sunday issues. The paper's influence grew during 1870–71 when it published a series of exposés of Boss Tweed that led to the end of the Tweed Ring's domination of New York's City Hall. In the 1880s, the Times transitioned from supporting Republican candidates to becoming politically independent; in 1884, the paper supported Democrat Grover Cleveland in his first presidential election. While this move hurt the Times's readership, the paper regained most of its lost ground within a few years.

The Times was acquired by Adolph Ochs, publisher of The Chattanooga Times, in 1896. The following year, he coined the paper's slogan, "All The News That's Fit To Print"; this was a jab at competing papers such as the New York World and the New York Journal American which were known for lurid yellow journalism. Under his guidance, The New York Times achieved international scope, circulation, and reputation. In 1904, the Times received the first on-the-spot wireless transmission from a naval battle, a report of the destruction of the Russian fleet at the Battle of Port Arthur in the Yellow Sea from the press-boat Haimun during the Russo-Japanese war. In 1910, the first air delivery of the Times to Philadelphia began. The Times' first trans-Atlantic delivery to London occurred in 1919. In 1920, a "4 A.M. Airplane Edition" was sent by plane to Chicago so it could be in the hands of Republican convention delegates by evening.

In the 1940s, the paper extended its breadth and reach. The crossword began appearing regularly in 1942, and the fashion section in 1946. The Times began an international edition in 1946. The international edition stopped publishing in 1967, when it joined the owners of the New York Herald Tribune and The Washington Post to publish the International Herald Tribune in Paris. The paper bought a classical radio station (WQXR) in 1946. In addition to owning WQXR, the newspaper also formerly owned its AM sister, WQEW (1560 AM). The classical music format was simulcast on both frequencies until the early 1990s, when the big-band and standards music format of WNEW-AM (now WBBR) moved from 1130 AM to 1560. The AM station changed its call letters from WQXR to WQEW. By the beginning of the 21st century, the Times was leasing WQEW to ABC Radio for its Radio Disney format, which continues on 1560 AM. Disney became the owner of WQEW in 2007.

The Times had a separate television guide from 1988 to 2006, and was the last major newspaper to outsource its television guide's editorial to a syndication service such as Tribune Media Services, which compiled the guide's TV grids. Theatrical and movie listings were based on the opinions of Times critics and edited by former film critic Howard Thompson from the section's inception in 1988 until a year before his death in 2002, then by Lawrence Van Gelder, Gene Rondinaro, Tim Sastrowardoyo, Neil Genzlinger, and Anita Gates.

The New York Times trails in circulation only to USA Today and The Wall Street Journal. The newspaper is owned by The New York Times Company, in which descendants of Adolph Ochs, principally the Sulzberger family, maintain a dominant role. In March 2007, the paper reported a circulation of 1,120,420 copies on weekdays and 1,627,062 copies on Sundays. In the New York City metropolitan area, the paper costs $1.50 Monday through Saturday and $4 on Sunday. Elsewhere the Sunday edition costs $5. New home delivery subscribers receive a discount. The Times has won 98 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper.

In addition to its New York City headquarters, the Times has 16 news bureaus in New York State, 11 national news bureaus and 26 foreign news bureaus. At the end of 2005 it had approximately 350 full time reporters and 40 photographers, in addition to hundreds of freelance contributors. In 2006, The New York Times Co. laid off 500 employees (about 4% of its workforce), among them 45 in the Times newsroom, in common with a general trend among print news media. The New York Times reduced its page width to 12 inches (300 mm) from 13.5 inches (340 mm) on August 6, 2007, adopting the width that has become the US newspaper industry standard.

The newspaper's first building was located at 113 Nassau Street in New York City. In 1854, it moved to 138 Nassau Street, and in 1858 it moved to 41 Park Row, making it the first newspaper in New York City housed in a building built specifically for its use. The paper moved its headquarters to 1475 Broadway in 1904, in an area called Long Acre Square, which was renamed to Times Square. The top of the building is the site of the New Year's Eve tradition of lowering a lighted ball, which was started by the paper (though there has been a time ball at London's Greenwich Observatory since 1833, and another at the United States Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. since 1845). The building is also notable for its electronic news ticker, where headlines crawled around the outside of the building. It is still in use, but is not operated by the Times. After nine years in Times Square, an Annex was built at 229 West 43rd Street. After several expansions, it became the company's headquarters in 1913, and the building on Broadway was sold in 1961. Until June 2007, The Times, from which Times Square gets its name, was published at offices at West 43rd Street; the paper stopped printing papers there on June 15, 1997.

The newspaper remained there until June, 2007, when it moved three blocks south to 620 Eighth Avenue between West 40th and 41st Streets, in Manhattan. The new headquarters for the newspaper, The New York Times Building, is a skyscraper designed by Renzo Piano.

The paper's involvement in a 1964 libel case helped bring one of the key United States Supreme Court decisions supporting freedom of the press, New York Times Co. v. Sullivan. In it, the United States Supreme Court established the "actual malice" standard for press reports about public officials or public figures to be considered defamatory or libelous. The malice standard requires the plaintiff in a defamation or libel case prove the publisher of the statement knew the statement was false or acted in reckless disregard of its truth or falsity. Because of the high burden of proof on the plaintiff, and difficulty in proving what is inside a person's head, such cases by public figures rarely succeed.

In 1971, the Pentagon Papers, a secret United States Department of Defense history of the United States' political and military involvement in the Vietnam War from 1945 to 1971, were given ("leaked") to Neil Sheehan of The New York Times by former State Department official Daniel Ellsberg, with his friend Anthony Russo assisting in copying them. The Times began publishing excerpts as a series of articles on June 13. Controversy and lawsuits followed. The papers revealed, among other things, that the government had deliberately expanded its role in the war by conducting air strikes over Laos, raids along the coast of North Vietnam, and offensive actions taken by U.S. Marines well before the public was told about the actions, and while President Lyndon B. Johnson had been promising not to expand the war. The document increased the credibility gap for the U.S. government, and hurt efforts by the Nixon administration to fight the on-going war.

When the Times began publishing its series, President Richard Nixon became incensed. His words to National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger included "people have gotta be put to the torch for this sort of thing..." and "let's get the son-of-a-bitch in jail." After failing to get the Times to stop publishing, Attorney General John Mitchell and President Nixon obtained a federal court injunction that the Times cease publication of excerpts. The newspaper appealed and the case began working through the court system. On June 18, 1971, The Washington Post began publishing its own series. Ben Bagdikian, a Post editor, had obtained portions of the papers from Ellsberg. That day the Post received a call from the Assistant Attorney General, William Rehnquist, asking them to stop publishing. When the Post refused, the U.S. Justice Department sought another injunction. The U.S. District court judge refused, and the government appealed. On June 26, 1971 the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take both cases, merging them into New York Times Co. v. United States 403 US 713. On June 30, 1971 the Supreme Court held in a 6–3 decision that the injunctions were unconstitutional prior restraints and that the government had not met the burden of proof required. The justices wrote nine separate opinions, disagreeing on significant substantive issues. While it was generally seen as a victory for those who claim the First Amendment enshrines an absolute right to free speech, many felt it a lukewarm victory, offering little protection for future publishers when claims of national security were at stake.

The Ochs-Sulzberger family, one of the United States' newspaper dynasties, has owned The Times since 1896. After the publisher went public in the 1960s, the family continued to exert control through its ownership of the vast majority of Class B voting shares. Class A shareholders cannot vote on many important matters relating to the company, while Class B shareholders can vote on all matters. Dual-class structures caught on in the mid-20th century as families such as the Grahams of the Washington Post Company sought to gain access to public capital without losing control. Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal, had a similar structure and was controlled by the Bancroft family; the company was later bought by the News Corporation in 2007.

Major Class A shareholders, as of December 31, 2006, included the Sulzberger family (19 percent), T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. (14.99 percent), Private Capital Management Inc. (9.34 percent), MFS Investment Management (8.28 percent) and Morgan Stanley Investment Management Inc. (7.15 percent). The Ochs-Sulzberger family trust controls roughly 88 percent of the company's class B shares. Any alteration to the dual-class structure must be ratified by six of eight directors who sit on the board of the Ochs-Sulzberger family trust. The Trust board members are Daniel H. Cohen, James M. Cohen, Lynn G. Dolnick, Susan W. Dryfoos, Michael Golden, Eric M. A. Lax, Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr. and Cathy J. Sulzberger.

The company's dual-class ownership structure has deterred outside investors from pushing for change in Ochs-Sulzberger control. As of 2008 Two hedge funds, Harbinger Capital and Firebrand Partners, bought 19 percent of The Times. On September 10, 2008, it was reported that Carlos Slim, one of the world's wealthiest men, had acquired a 6.4 percent stake for $120 million. These moves put pressure on the company, whose advertising and circulation have faltered recently, to improve its return to shareholders. The downturn in print advertising sales has recently spread to the Internet, and the recent acquisitions of Times Company stock might put increasing pressure on the family to sell or take the company private to escape Wall Street's attention. The newspaper is currently over one billion dollars in debt.

In a footnote to the current building transaction, Bloomberg reported that The NYT Co. sold "its former headquarters to Tishman Speyer Properties LP for $175 million in 2004. Tishman Speyer later sold the building to Africa Israel Investments Ltd. for $525 million." The older building is now known as Times Square Building.

On January 19, 2009, the Times Co. announced that it had accepted a $250 million loan from Slim. Slim will receive a 14 percent interest rate and warrants that are convertible into Times Company shares on the loan. He has lost tens of millions on his original equity investment. Under the new financial arrangement, the equity stake could grow to 17 percent, though he will receive no representation on the company’s board and no shares with special voting rights. Bankers representing The Times approached Mr. Slim with the investment opportunity, Slim advisers say. Those bankers, at the firm SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, had first approached The Times with the idea of a deal with Mr. Slim, said a Times spokeswoman, Catherine Mathis. The loan will help ease the company's immediate cash flow problems, which have been reported to include a $400 million credit-line maturity in May. The notes have a six year maturity. The company's continuing financial problems and Slim's ongoing interest, as evidenced by his two interventions in the course of five months, has led to speculation that he might be contemplating an outright takeover of the Times Company.

On January 28, 2009, The New York Times itself ran an op-ed piece by David Swensen, the author of Pioneering Portfolio Management and chief investment officer at Yale, and Michael Schmidt, a financial analyst at Yale, entitled "News You Can Endow." The column took note of the challenging financial circumstances of the nation's newspapers, and proposed "another option: Turn them into nonprofit, endowed institutions — like colleges and universities." In the face of the impact of digital, Internet distribution of news, the change would "free from the strictures of an obsolete business model and offer them a permanent place in society." Steve Coll of The New Yorker and, previously, the Washington Post, responded to the idea, as did the Post's Howard Kurtz and, in opposition, Slate's Jack Shafer.

On February 19, 2009, The NYT Co. suspended its common share dividends (both classes of stock) completely, having already cut it by 74% to 6 cents per share in November, 2008. It was the first elimination of the dividend in four decades as a publicly traded company, and saved an additional $34 million per year. The NYT Co. laid off 100 employees on March 26, 2009 and cut salaries for the rest of 2009 by 5 percent.

This newspaper is organized in three sections including the magazine.

Some sections, such as Metro, are only found in the editions of the paper distributed in the Tri-State Area and not in the national or Washington, D.C. editions. Aside from a weekly roundup of reprints of editorial cartoons from other newspapers, the Times does not have its own staff editorial cartoonist, nor does it feature a comics page or Sunday comics section. In September 2008, the Times announced that it will be combining certain sections effective October 6, 2008, in editions printed in the New York metropolitan area. The changes will fold the Metro Section into the main International / National news section and combine Sports and Business (except Saturday through Monday, when Sports will still be printed as a standalone section). This change also included having the name of the Metro section be called New York outside of the Tri-State Area. The presses used by the Times allow four sections to be printed simultaneously; as the paper had included more than four sections all days except Saturday, the sections had to be printed separately in an early press run and collated together. The changes will allow the Times to print in four sections Monday through Wednesday, in addition to Saturday. The Times' announcement stated that the number of news pages and employee positions will remain unchanged, with the paper realizing cost savings by cutting overtime expenses.

When referring to people, the Times generally uses honorifics, rather than unadorned last names (except in the sports pages, Book Review and Magazine). The newspaper's headlines tend to be verbose, and, for major stories, come with subheadings giving further details, although it is moving away from this style. It stayed with an eight-column format until September 1976, years after other papers had switched to six, and it was one of the last newspapers to adopt color photography, with the first color photograph on the front page appearing on October 16, 1997. In the absence of a major headline, the day's most important story generally appears in the top-right hand column, on the main page. The typefaces used for the headlines are custom variations of Cheltenham. The running text is set at 8.7 point Imperial.

Joining a roster of other major American newspapers in recent years, including USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, The New York Times announced on July 18, 2006, that it would be narrowing the size of its paper by one and a half inches. In an era of dwindling circulation and significant advertising revenue losses for most print versions of American newspapers, the move, which was also announced would result in a five percent reduction in news coverage, would have a target savings of $12 million a year for the paper. The change from the traditional 54-inches broadsheet style to a more compact 48-inch web width was addressed by both Executive Editor Bill Keller and The New York Times President Scott Heekin-Canedy in memos to the staff. Keller defended the "more reader-friendly" move indicating that in cutting out the "flabby or redundant prose in longer pieces" the reduction would make for a better paper. Similarly, Keller confronted the challenges of covering news with "less room" by proposing more "rigorous editing" and promised an ongoing commitment to "hard-hitting, ground-breaking journalism". The official change went in to effect on August 6, 2007.

The New York Times printed an advertisement on its first page on January 6, 2009, breaking tradition at the paper. The advertisement for CBS was in color and was the entire width of the page. The newspaper promised it would only place first-page advertisements on the lower half of the page.

The Times has had a strong presence on the Web since 1995, and has been ranked one of the top Web sites. Accessing some articles requires registration, though this can be bypassed by using a link generator or in some cases through Times RSS feeds. The website had 555 million pageviews in March 2005. The domain attracted at least 146 million visitors annually by 2008 according to a study. The Times website ranks 59th by number of unique visitors, with over 14 million unique visitors in August 2008.

The Times Reader is a digital version of the Times. It was created via a collaboration between the newspaper and Microsoft. Times Reader takes the principles of print journalism and applies them to the technique of online reporting. Times Reader uses a series of technologies developed by Microsoft and their Windows Presentation Foundation team. It was announced in Seattle in April 2006 by Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., Bill Gates, and Tom Bodkin. The Times is also the first newspaper to offer a video game as part of its editorial content, Food Import Folly by Persuasive Games.

Communication with its Russian readers is a special project of The New York Times launched at February 2008, guided by Clifford J. Levy. Some NYT articles covering the broad spectrum of political and social topics in Russia are being translated into Russian and offered for attention of Russia's bloggers in the NYT community blog. After that, selected responses of Russian bloggers are being translated into English and published at The New York Times site among comments from English readers.

The paper has often been accused of giving too little or too much coverage to events for reasons not related to objective journalism. Before and during World War II, the newspaper downplayed the Third Reich targeting of Jews for genocide, in part because the publisher, who was Jewish, feared the taint of taking on any "Jewish cause". During the war, Times journalist William L. Laurence was “on the payroll of the War Department." Another serious charge is the accusation that the Times, through its coverage of the Soviet Union by correspondent Walter Duranty, helped cover up the Ukrainian famine of the 1930s.

Jayson Blair was a Times reporter who was forced to resign from the newspaper in May 2003, after he was caught plagiarizing and fabricating elements of his stories. Some critics contended that Blair's race was a major factor in the Times' initial reluctance to fire him. Reporter Judith Miller retired after criticisms that her reporting of the lead-up to the Iraq war was factually inaccurate and overtly favorable to the Bush administration's position, for which the Times was forced to apologize. One of Miller's prime sources was Ahmed Chalabi, who after US occupation became the interim oil minister of Iraq and is now head of the Iraqi services committee. However, reporter Michael R. Gordon, who shared byline credit with Miller on some of the early Iraq stories, continues to report on military affairs for the Times.

The Times has been variously described as having a liberal bias or described as being a liberal newspaper, or of having a conservative bias on certain issues or by some writers.

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a progressive media criticism organization, has accused The New York Times of following the "Reagan administration's PR strategy" in the 1980s by "emphasizing liberal repressive measures in Nicaragua and downplaying or ignoring more serious human rights abuses elsewhere in Central America" (namely in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, countries with governments backed by the Reagan administration).

According to a 2007 survey by Rasmussen Reports of public perceptions of major media outlets, 40% believe the Times has a liberal slant and 11% believe it has a conservative slant. In December 2004 a University of California, Los Angeles study gave the Times a score of 73.7 on a 100 point scale, with 0 being most conservative and 100 being most liberal. The validity of the study has been questioned by various organizations, including the liberal media watchdog group Media Matters for America. In mid-2004, the newspaper's then public editor (ombudsman), Daniel Okrent, wrote a piece in which he concluded that the Times did have a liberal bias in coverage of certain social issues such as gay marriage. He claimed that this bias reflected the paper's cosmopolitanism, which arose naturally from its roots as a hometown paper of New York City. Okrent did not comment at length on the issue of bias in coverage of "hard news," such as fiscal policy, foreign policy, or civil liberties, but did state that the paper's coverage of the Iraq war was insufficiently critical of the George W. Bush administration. Recently, The New York Times has been accused of adopting a distinctly pro-Israel position in its reporting on the Israeli invasion of Gaza. In past years, however, the Times has also been accused of having a persistent anti-Israel bias.

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The New York Times crossword puzzle

The New York Times crossword puzzle is a daily puzzle found in The New York Times and online at the paper's website. It is also syndicated to over 300 other newspapers and journals. The puzzle is created by various freelance writers and is edited by Will Shortz. The puzzle becomes increasingly difficult throughout the week, with the easiest puzzle on Monday and the most difficult puzzle on Friday or Saturday. The larger Sunday crossword, which appears in The New York Times Magazine, is an icon in American culture; it is typically intended to be as difficult as a Thursday puzzle. The standard daily crossword is 15 squares x 15 squares, while the Sunday crossword measures either 21 squares x 21 squares or 23 x 23 (a special set of 25 x 25 Sunday puzzles, with two sets of clues—easy and hard—was published in 1999 to commemorate the upcoming millennium).

While crosswords became popular in the early 1920s, it was not until 1942 that The New York Times (which initially regarded crosswords as frivolous, calling them "a primitive form of mental exercise") began running a crossword in its Sunday edition. The first puzzle, a Sunday, ran on February 15, 1942; the motivating impulse for the Times to finally run the puzzle (which took over 20 years despite the fact that its publisher, Arthur Hays Sulzberger, was a longtime crossword fan) appears to have been the bombing of Pearl Harbor; in a memo dated December 18, 1941, an editor conceded that the puzzle deserved space in the paper, considering what was happening elsewhere in the world and that readers might need something to occupy themselves during blackouts. The puzzle proved popular, and Sulzberger himself would author a Times puzzle before the year was out.. In 1950, the crossword became a daily feature. That first daily puzzle was published without an author line, and to this day the identity of the author of the first weekday Times crossword remains unknown. There have been four editors of the puzzle: Margaret Farrar, who edited the puzzle from its inception until 1969, Will Weng, former head of the Times's metropolitan copy desk, who edited the puzzle from 1969 to 1977, Eugene T. Maleska, who edited the puzzle until 1993, and the current editor, Will Shortz. Of the three former editors, Maleska held the position until his death. In addition to editing the Times crosswords, Shortz founded and runs the annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament as well as the World Puzzle Championship (where he remains captain of the US team), has published numerous books of crosswords, sudoku, and other puzzles, and serves as "Puzzlemaster" on the NPR show "Weekend Edition Sunday".

The popularity of the puzzle has grown over the years, until it came to be considered the most prestigious of the widely circulated crosswords in America; its popularity is attested to by the numerous celebrities and public figures who've publicly proclaimed their liking for the puzzle, including opera singer Beverly Sills, author Norman Mailer, baseball pitcher Mike Mussina, former President Bill Clinton, conductor Leonard Bernstein, TV host Jon Stewart and music duo the Indigo Girls.

The Times puzzles have been collected in hundreds of books over the years from various publishers, most notably Random House and St. Martin's Press, the current publisher of the series. In addition to their appearance in the printed newspaper, the Times puzzles also appear online at the paper's website, where they remain the only part of the paper's content for which users need to pay for online access (unless they already subscribe to the printed version of the paper for home delivery). In 2007, Majesco released The New York Times Crosswords game, a video game adaptation for the Nintendo DS handheld. The game includes over 1,000 Times crosswords from all days of the week. Various other forms of merchandise featuring the puzzle have been created over the years, including dedicated electronic crossword handhelds that just contain Times crosswords, as well as cookie jars, baseballs, coasters, mousepads, and other items.

A few crosswords have achieved notoriety beyond the community of crossword solvers. Perhaps the most famous is the November 5, 1996 puzzle by Jeremiah Farrell, published on the day of the U.S. presidental election, which has been featured in the movie Wordplay and the book The Crossword Obsession by Coral Amende, as well as discussed by Peter Jennings on ABC News, featured on CNN, and elsewhere. The two leading candidates that year were Bill Clinton and Bob Dole; in Farrell's puzzle one of the long clue/answer combinations read "Title for 39-Across tomorrow" = MISTER PRESIDENT. The remarkable feature of the puzzle is that 39-Across could be answered either CLINTON or BOB DOLE, and all the Down clues and answers that crossed it would work either way (e.g., "Black Halloween animal" could be either BAT or CAT depending on which answer you filled in at 39-Across; similarly "French 101 word" could equal LUI or OUI, etc.).

In another notable Times crossword, 27 year-old Bill Gottlieb proposed to his girlfriend, Emily Mindel, via the crossword puzzle of January 7, 1998, written by noted crossword constructor Bob Klahn. The answer to 14-Across, "Microsoft chief, to some" was BILLG, also Gottlieb's name and last initial. 20-Across, "1729 Jonathan Swift pamphlet", was A MODEST PROPOSAL. And 56-Across, "1992 Paula Abdul hit", was WILL YOU MARRY ME. She said yes. The puzzle attracted attention in the AP, an article in the Times itself, and elsewhere.

On May 7, 2007, former U.S. president Bill Clinton, a self-professed long-time fan of the Times crossword, collaborated with noted crossword constructor Cathy Millhauser on an online-only crossword in which Millhauser constructed the grid and Clinton wrote the clues. Shortz described the President's work as "laugh out loud" and noted that he as editor changed very little of Clinton's clues, which featured more wordplay than found in a standard puzzle.

The Times crossword of Thursday, April 2, 2009, by Brendan Emmett Quigley, featured theme answers that all ran the gamut of movie ratings--beginning with the kid-friendly "G" and finishing with adults-only "X" (which, however is now replaced with the less crossword-friendly NC-17 rating). The seven theme entries were GARY GYGAX, GRAND PRIX, GORE-TEX, GAG REFLEX, GUMMO MARX, GASOLINE TAX, and GENERATION X. In addition, the puzzle contained the clues/answers of "Weird Al Yankovic's '__ on Jeopardy'" = I LOST and "I'll take New York Times crossword for $200, __" = ALEX. What made the puzzle notable is that the prior night's episode of the US television show Jeopardy! featured video clues of Will Shortz for five of the theme answers (all but GARY GYGAX and GENERATION X) which the contestants attempted to answer during the course of the show.

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Criticism of The New York Times

In its long history, The New York Times has been the subject of criticism from a variety of sources. Some criticism has been aimed at the newspaper for its alleged liberal bias, while other criticism has been in response to controversial individual reporters.

In 2003, the Times admitted that Jayson Blair, one of its reporters, had committed repeated journalistic fraud over a span of several years. The general professionalism of the paper was questioned, though Blair immediately resigned following the incident. Questions of affirmative action in journalism were also raised, since Blair is black. The paper's top two editors – Howell Raines, the executive editor, and Gerald M. Boyd, managing editor – resigned their posts following the incident.

In October 2005, Times reporter Judith Miller was released from prison after 85 days, when she agreed to testify to Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald’s grand jury after receiving a personal waiver, both on the phone and in writing, of her earlier confidential source agreement with Lewis "Scooter" Libby. No other reporter whose testimony had been sought in the case had received such a direct and particularized release. Her incarceration has helped fuel an effort in Congress to enact a federal shield law, comparable to the state shield laws which protect reporters in 31 of the 50 states. After her second appearance before the grand jury, Miller was released from her contempt of court finding. Miller resigned from the paper on November 9, 2005.

On December 16, 2005, a New York Times article revealed that the Bush administration had ordered the National Security Agency (NSA) to intercept certain telephone conversations between suspected terrorists in the U.S. and those in other countries without first obtaining court warrants for the surveillance, apparently in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) and without the knowledge or consent of the Congress. A federal judge recently held that the plan revealed by the Times was unconstitutional, and hearings have been held on this issue in Congress. The article noted that reporters and editors at the Times had known about the intelligence-gathering program for approximately a year but had, at the request of White House officials, delayed publication to conduct additional reporting. The Justice Department has launched an investigation to determine the sources of the classified information obtained by the Times. The men who reported the stories, James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, won the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 2006.

Much controversy was caused when, on June 23, 2006, The Times (along with the Wall Street Journal , Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times ) revealed the existence of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program, a CIA/Department of Treasury scheme to access transactional database of the Brussels-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication ("SWIFT"). In September 2006, the Belgian government declared that the SWIFT dealings with U.S. government authorities were, in fact, a breach of Belgian and European privacy laws.

On December 22, 2006 at the request of the Bush Administration, the paper removed sections of an Op-Ed piece critical of the administration's policy towards Iran which contained publicly available information that Iran cooperated after the 9/11 attacks and offered to negotiate a diplomatic settlement in 2003.

On Monday, September 10, 2007, the Times ran a full-page advertisement for questioning the integrity of General David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, entitled “General Petraeus or General Betray Us?” The Times only charged, a liberal activist group, $65,000 for the advertisement that, according to public relations director Abbe Serphos, normally costs around $181,692, or roughly a 64% discount. Serphos declined to explain the discount.

Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis denied the rate charged indicated a political bias and said it was the paper's policy not to disclose the rate paid by any advertiser. "We do not distinguish the advertising rates based on the political content of the ad," Mathis told Reuters. "The advertising folks did not see the content of the ad before the rate was quoted," she said, adding that there were over 30 different categories of ads with varying rates. Mathis confirmed the open rate for an ad of that size and type was around $181,000. Among reasons for lower rates are advertisers buying in bulk or taking a standby rate, she said. "There are many instances when we have published opinion advertisements that run counter to the stance we take on our own editorial pages," she said.

Jeff Jarvis, a journalism professor who blogs on media at, said the key question for the Times was could any other political or advocacy group get the same rate under the same circumstances. "The quandary the Times gets stuck in is they don't want to admit you can buy an ad for that rate, no matter who you are," Jarvis said, noting that with print advertising revenues in newspapers generally decline offer big discounts.

On a more general note, Jarvis said U.S. papers should emulate their counterparts in Britain where, for example, The Guardian makes no effort to hide its liberal stance. "In the U.S., I would argue newspapers should be more transparent and open about the views taken ... and the (New York) Times is liberal," he said.

In their 2007 book Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustice of the Duke Lacrosse Case, KC Johnson and Stuart Taylor Jr. sharply criticize The New York Times for their editorial judgment and its effect on the case investigation. It claims that the original reports by Joe Drape tended to exonerate the accused players, which contradicted Times' editorial stance. This led to Drape's quick dismissal and replacement by Duff Wilson who took a pro prosecution stance.

The February 21, 2008 The New York Times published an article on John McCain's alleged relationship with lobbyist Vicki Iseman and other involvement with special interest groups. The article received a widespread criticism among both liberals and conservatives, McCain supporters and non-supporters as well as talk radio personalities. Robert S. Bennett, whom McCain had hired to represent him in this matter, defended McCain's character. Bennett, who was the special investigator during the Keating Five scandal that The Times revisited in the article, said that he fully investigated McCain back then and suggested to the Senate Ethics Committee to not pursue charges against McCain.

Former staffer to President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton campaigner Lanny Davis said the article "had no merit." Stating that he did not support McCain's bid for the White House, Davis, who had himself lobbied for the same cause Iseman lobbied McCain for, said that McCain only wrote a letter to the FCC to ask them to "act soon" and refused to write a letter that supported the sale of the television station the article talked about. Journalistic observers also criticized the article, albeit in a milder language. Tom Rosenstiel, the director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, suggested that the article does not make clear the nature of McCain's alleged "inappropriate" behavior: "The phrasing is just too vague." The article was later criticized by the White House and by several news organizations including the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board. Commentator Bill O'Reilly raised the question about why the paper had endorsed McCain on January 25, 2008 for the Republican nomination if they had information that alleged an inappropriate relationship. The Boston Globe, owned by the Times, declined to publish the story, choosing instead to run a version of the same story written by the competing Washington Post staff. That version focused almost exclusively on the pervasive presence of lobbyists in McCain's campaign and did not mention the sexual relationship that the Times article hinted at.

In September 2008, a McCain senior aide (Steven Schmidt) charged: "Whatever The New York Times once was, it is today not by any standard a journalistic organization. It is a pro-Obama advocacy organization that every day impugns the McCain campaign, attacks Sen. McCain, attacks Gov. Palin. ... Everything that is read in The New York Times that attacks this campaign should be evaluated by the American people from that perspective." Later in September 2008, The New York Times once again published an article on John McCain's ties to lobbyists, this time of the Indian gaming lobby. The authors state in the article, possibly in an attempt to minimize reactions similar to those created by the February 2008 article, that it was based on "70 interviews and thousands of pages of documents".

In December 2008, Iseman filed a US$27 million defamation lawsuit against The New York Times, alleging that the paper falsely communicated an illicit romantic relationship between her and McCain.

John F. Burns was awarded the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting citing "his courageous and thorough coverage of the destruction of Sarajevo and the barbarous killings in the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina." The book Media Cleansing detailed perceived flaws in his coverage, such as a feature interview with Bosnian Serb Army soldier Borislav Herak in which he confessed to numerous war crimes while in Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina custody. Herak was sentenced to death in a hasty and politicized trial conducted by a Bosniak military court. Two men Herak was convicted of murdering later turned up alive, and Herak maintains that his confessions, including the Times interview, was obtained under torture and drugging.

In summer 2004, The New York Times' then public editor or ombudsman, Daniel Okrent, wrote a piece with the title "Is The New York Times a Liberal Newspaper?". The piece started with the pithy summary: "Of course it is." His piece concluded that the Times did have a liberal bias in coverage of certain social issues, gay marriage being the example he used. He claimed that this bias reflected the paper's cosmopolitanism, which arose naturally from its roots as a hometown paper of New York City.

Okrent also noted that the paper's coverage of the Iraq war was, among other things, insufficiently critical of the George W. Bush administration.

As the paper notes, the Pubilc Editor's "opinions and conclusions are his own." Thus they may not be construed as the newspaper "admitting" that it is anything.

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Source : Wikipedia