NY Times

What were the editors of the New York Times thinking? The national “paper of record” suffered a huge self-inflicted blow to its reputation on Oct. 17 when it published a story that basically accused Israel of committing a war crime in Gaza City.

The initial report blamed an Israeli airstrike for an explosion at a Gaza City hospital, where many civilian Palestinians had taken refuge, that left “hundreds of people dead or injured.”

In running the story, the NYT threw the journalism textbook out the window. It shattered basic tenets of journalism, such as verifying information and relying on reliable sources.

The Times based its initial story on claims by Hamas government officials, who saw a golden PR opportunity to gain worldwide support by fingering Israel for the attack.

Israel, which had denied any role in the carnage, said a misfired rocket by Islamic Jihad caused the explosion. US officials echoed that assessment.

The Times updated its initial coverage to include the dispute over who was responsible for the attack and noted that the death toll may be lower than the “hundreds of dead or injured” that was initially reported.

But the damage was already done.

The paper ran an editors’ note on Oct. 23 that acknowledged that the explosion coverage left readers with an incorrect impression about what was known and how credible the account was.

The editors’ wrote: “Given the sensitive nature of the news during a widening conflict, and the prominent promotion it received, Times editors should have taken more care with the initial presentation, and been more explicit about what information could be verified.” Ya, think!

Since the Times sets the tone of the nation’s news coverage, the Gaza hospital coverage deals a major blow to the media’s already low standing in the US.

Gallup reports that only 32 percent of Americans trust media “a great deal” or a “fair amount” to cover stories in a full, fair and accurate way. That ties Gallup’s lowest reading, which was recorded in 2016.

One wonders if the NYT can’t cover a big story like the Gaza hospital explosion in a full, fair and accurate way, what chance is there that other news outlets—with far fewer resources than the Times—will get things right?

Meet the Pied Piper of the Big Apple. Take a bow, Mayor Eric Adams. He can take some credit as New York slipped a notch to No. 3 on America’s “rattiest cities” list compiled by Orkin, pest control company.

Los Angeles, which was No. 3 last year, supplanted New York as the second rattiest city, while Chicago held the top spot for the ninth consecutive year. The rats just love Chicago’s deep dish pizza.

Orkin based its survey of new rodent treatments in residential and commercial buildings from Sept. 1, 2022 to Aug. 31, 2023.

Adams is super-fixated on rats. NYC has fined its embattled leader four times since December for rat infestation fines at his row house in Bedford-Stuyvesant that he rents to tenants. He also designed a special rat trap during his time as Brooklyn’s Borough President.

Adams in April went nuclear on rats, declaring them NYC’s “Public Enemy No. 1” and naming Kathleen Corradi, who is not a “rodentologist,” the city’s first “rat czar.”

Her claim to fame: the former elementary school teacher developed a zero waste food program for the Dept. of Education that led to a drop in the number of rats in schools.

You can bet Adams is cheering on his director of rodent mitigation as she works to get NYC off Orkin’s Top 5 rattiest cities list.

Watch out, Washington and San Francisco.

Dylan, who? Bud Light, seeking to forever eradicate the memory of its partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, has signed a multiyear sponsorship with the UFC, mixed martial arts league.

How’s that for a tough guy image? Kid Rock, who used Bud Light cans for target practice, would approve of the UFC link-up. Unfortunately for phony baloney Kid, he was later caught drinking the Bud swill.

Beginning Jan. 1, Bud Light becomes the “official beer partner” of the UFC. Bloomberg reported that the transaction is the UFC's biggest-ever sponsorship, topping the $175M crypto.com deal.

Dana White, UFC CEO, said the sponsorship came about because Bud Light and parent Anheuser-Busch are “very aligned with our values and what the UFC brand stands for.” Does that mean that Bud Light and A-B are aligned with beating the living daylights out of somebody?

Bud Light does exact a measure of revenge. It takes over the UFC sponsorship from Modelo.

The Mexican brew took over Bud Light’s position as America’s top-selling beer in the aftermath of the Mulvaney brouhaha.

One wonders if Dylan likes Modelo.