Friday, September 16, 2011

Franklin Center Files Complaint Against NYT Gas Reporter

The multiple censures of the NYT gas reporter by the NYT Public Editor may be just the start of accountability for him.  The Ben Franklin Center has filed a letter complaint with Phillip Corbett, the NYT Standards Editor, the internal management figure charged with enforcing NYT standards for reporting.

Go to

The letter is 8 pages long, about as long as one of the NYT gas reporter stories, and details the numerous violations of NYT reporting standards. It is a must read.

The Standards Editor is part of the management supervision of reporters at the NYT, unlike the Public Editor that serves as an ombudsman for readers and cannot discipline reporters directly.

Despite the multiple censures of his reporting by the NYT Public Editor, Cornell University has invited the NYT Gas Reporter to deliver a lecture on gas drilling in October. 

As NJ might say, Professor Howarth and the NYT gas reporter, "Perfect Together."


  1. Good to see them taking it to the NYT gas reporter. The Ponzi scheme articles were terrible, but I thought the radioactivity article was the worst. It was equally dishonest, terribly sourced and really scared a lot of good people who deserve better.

    I like the word they use: dissemble. I kind of thought that I knew what it meant but I looked it up and the definition I found is "Conceal one's true motives, feelings, or beliefs"

    That is exactly what is going on here. These are advocacy pieces disguised as news that are designed to confuse rather than inform and (first and foremost?) promote the career of the reporter. It has worked very well until now.

  2. To underline your point, the NYT gas reporter has never gone back and told his readers strongly, clearly that the water at the tap and the water in the stream in Pa have now been proven multiple times to meet all safe drinking water standards for radionuclides. He wrote one story that touched on an early test and clouded up for him the "bad news" revealed by the tests by mixing the test result with other items in the same story. He never reported on the Pennsylvania American Water Company results of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority results. The results were too radioactive to his credibility to print.

    The NYT Gas Reporter is now a celebrity. My refusal to use his name is a futile effort to prevent that. So much reporting has been corrupted by so many forces. But one of the forces is that reporter's themselves have figured out that the path to riches is to become a celebrity-reporter. He is invited onto radio shows and to give lectures at prestigious universities like Cornell. You are right that it has worked out well for him.

  3. Doesn't anyone notice that all of the bad stuff promised by Propublica, Gasland and the NYT never seems to happen in any significant way? Where has anyone been poisoned by frack chemicals? Where is the water radioactive due to waste water? Who has died or been made sick due to fracking? Where have water withdrawals caused a problem? Where is the actual evidence that this is a Ponzi scheme?

    Lots of conjecture but no real evidence to support these allegations.