|Stanley photo courtesy of Gawker|
Numerous media outlets have already broken down how offensive and out of touch the article was, so I'm not going to go there. But what I want to talk about is how baffling it is that Alessandra Stanley is still employed at New York Times, a supposedly prestigious publication. After this Shonda Rhimes article, there is no doubt that its prestige is being questioned. After all, how can readers respect an entity that would publish an article based on an old racist stereotype and that keeps on payroll a writer who is referred to as "America's Wrongest Critic" by Gawker because of her inability to fact check. It appears that New York Times was just trolling, but did they really need to degrade themselves just for clickbait? It's annoying when people criticize publications such as TMZ for their salacious content, but TMZ does not posture like the New York Times does, nor does it tolerate factual inaccuracies.
Many may have not been aware of Stanley before the Rhimes article put her into the spotlight, but Stanley has a long history of being terrible at her job. In 2009, her appraisal of Walter Cronkite was riddled with so many glaring errors that Public Editor of the New York Times, Clark Hoyt, had to issue an explanation about what went wrong. Amazingly, Stanley was allowed to keep her job even though Hoyt said, "The short answer (to "how did this happen?") is that a television critic with a history of errors wrote hastily and failed to double-check her work, and editors who should have been vigilant were not."
Although Stanley is covering entertainment, it is amazing that New York Times has not fired her for her lack of professionalism as a journalist. Misspellings and mistakes happen, but her mistakes are ones that could have easily been avoided and the number of her errors are large. The blog, NYTPicker , which is written by journalism insiders, speculated in 2009 why the incompetent Stanley was able to keep her job, "Hoyt also neglects to mention Stanley's longstanding close ties to the NYT's power structure, especially her membership in a close-knit group of friends that includes managing editor Jill Abramson, columnist Maureen Dowd, and book critic Michiko Kakutani. Last winter, Dowd -- whose own recent plagiarism troubles were whitewashed by Hoyt and NYT management -- wrote a travel piece about a spa vacation in Florida she took with Stanley. Do those relationships contribute to Stanley's job security? They can't hurt." Who knows if NYTPicker's speculation is true. All I know is that I wish I could keep publicly fucking up on my job and never getting fired. Her ability to stay employed is actually quite remarkable.
Below are some of Stanley's most high-profile gaffes in chronological order:
|In 2005, Stanley falsely stated that Geraldo Rivera pushed a rescue worker out of the way to get a good camera shot during Hurricane Katrina coverage.|
|In 2012, Stanley was called out for her critique of the episode of Ann Curry's last day on NBC "Today" show. She was forced to admit that she saw the episode but didn't record it so she ended up just watching a highlight reel online.|
Sources for this article include:
- Why does NYT critic Alessandra Stanley get away with making so many errors? -- Sean Daly, Michelle Stark and Sharon Kennedy Wynne
- How did this happen? --Clark Hoyt
- NYT corrects 3 errors in Ann Curry Report, NBC Calls "Bad Journalism"--Sydney Smith
- The Wrongest Critic--John Cook
- Apparently Hack TV critic Alessandra Stanley is what passes for "intellectual heft" at NYT-Yikes! -- Ken of Down With Tyranny
- How Does Alessandra Stanley Get To Keep Her Job As TV Critic? That's One Question Clark Hoyt Neglects To Ask--NYTPicker
- Gawker --various writers
- Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong- Craig Silverman
Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong
Alessandra Stanley’s troubling history of error- See more at: http://www.cjr.org/behind_the_news/wrong_wrong_wrong_wrong_wrong.php?page=all#sthash.pfwQVEMm.dpuf