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A question for Margaret Sullivan, New York Times public editor, regarding David Brooks

Regarding David Brooks' son serving in the Israeli military, New York Times ombudsman (known at the Times as the "public editor") Margaret Sullivan writes:

"Mr. Brooks’s son is serving as a member of a foreign military force that has been involved in a serious international conflict – one that the columnist sometimes writes about and which has been very much in the news……. I do think that a one-time acknowledgement of this situation in print... is completely reasonable. This information is germane; and readers deserve to learn about it in the same place that his columns appear.

It's excellent that Sullivan is willing to acknowledge that Brooks' situation is a serious confict, particularly since this meant publicly disagreeing with Opinion Editor Andrew Rosenthal.

However, I find Sullivan's view that it requires only a "one-time acknowledgment"deeply perplexing. Since, as she states, "readers deserve to learn about this in the same place that Brooks' columns appear" why would it not be posted every time Brooks' writes about matters concerning Israel?

Obviously, many readers will not have seen that one posting, and for them it is just as germane and necessary as the first time it was posted. Brooks' conflict of interest should be divulged on all of his commentaries regarding Israel and its interests.

I've written her asking about this.

(The reality is that journalistic ethics codes suggest that the Times should take further action: he should not be allowed to comment on subject matter in which he has such a blatant conflict of interest, and he should be disciplined, possibly fired, for not revealing this conflict of interest to the Times.)

Posted on Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 09:15AM by Registered Commenter[Alison Weir | Comments Off

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