Factual Reckoning: Nikole Hannah-Jones

Contrary to New York Times Magazine reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones, the controversy surrounding her quest for tenure at the University of North Carolina (UNC) has nothing whatsoever to do with gender or race discrimination.

Hannah-Jones went on national television Tuesday to decline UNC’s begrudging offer of tenure, and to announce she has accepted another tenure offer, at the historically black institution, Howard University.

She said she couldn’t work at UNC because the trustees subjected her to gender and race discrimination by demonstrating reluctance to grant her tenure.

But that’s not what this is really about.


Hannah-Jones was the editor of the 1619 Project, which claimed to “reframe” America’s history to define the nation’s “true founding” as one rooted in slavery rather than liberty.

Hannah-Jones, and the NYT refuse to acknowledge that the central premise of the 2019 project in Hannah- Jones lead essay is indisputably wrong. She wrote:

 “One critical reason that the colonists declared their independence from Britain was because they wanted to protect the institution of slavery in the colonies, which had produced tremendous wealth.”

This is false.

Continue reading “Factual Reckoning: Nikole Hannah-Jones”

The New York Times ‘1619 Project’ Vilified By The Right And Left

The 1619 Project was published last year by the New York Times to “reframe” American history by placing slavery at its central driving core.

However, the deeply flawed project is making history in another context – it is bringing together opponents from the right and left who contend the project was a deliberate mischaracterization of American history.

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative group that promotes traditional American values, and the International Committee of World Socialists, which fights for economic equality of the working class, are pushing back against a free The 1619 Project curriculum being distributed by the NYT and The Pulitzer Center to schools around the country.

(Yes, despite central gaping errors and significant retrenchment by the NYT, both public and in secret, the series won a Pulitzer Prize, heretofore a crowning achievement in journalism.)

In the forward of a new book, David North, chair of the Socialist Party in the U.S., calls The 1619 Project “unprincipled,” “a grotesque distortion” and “a combination of shoddy journalism, careless and dishonest research, and a false, politically-motivated narrative.”

North says the project undermines the “unity of the broad mass of Americans in their common struggle against conditions of social inequality and exploitation.”

Continue reading “The New York Times ‘1619 Project’ Vilified By The Right And Left”

Journalism Ethics Group Silent About Biggest Controversy in Years

What does The Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership at Poynter Institute for Media Studies, founded in 2019 to advance ethical standards in the media, have to say about the on-going controversy regarding The 1619 Project?

It has been silent, even though this is the single biggest controversy involving journalism ethics in many years.

The center on Wednesday ran a story on its web site that promised a “deeper look” into the controversy surrounding The 1619 Project. The story regurgitated some clashing viewpoints without taking the obvious step of interpreting the issues in the context of journalism ethics. The Poynter Institute earlier ran a story lauding The 1619 Project as a “phenomenal piece of journalism.”

Historians and journalists have criticized falsehoods and apparent ethical lapses in the NYT series, which commemorated the 400th anniversary of slaves arriving in America. Among other things:

  • The series is based on the demonstrably false premise that a primary reason America fought the Revolutionary War was to perpetuate slavery. This, after the NYT’s own expert argued vigorously the proposition was false.
  • The NYT refused to make corrections, instead issuing a begrudging “clarification” that “some” columnists primarily fought to defend slavery, without supporting that claim.
  • Quillette disclosed the NYT made stealth edits to the project in response to fierce criticism. The series claimed that 1619, not 1776, was America’s “true founding.” That passage has disappeared without announcement or correction.
  • The series editor, Nikole Hannah Jones, was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary by a seven-member jury panel that included a NYT editorial writer and despite the fact a major premise of her essay was incorrect.
Continue reading “Journalism Ethics Group Silent About Biggest Controversy in Years”

The Master Servant Rule Is Challenged At Starbucks, New York Times

Since the 1800s, American workers have been subject to the so-called “employment at will” doctrine, which basically holds that employers reign supreme in the workplace.

Under the employment at will doctrine, workers can be fired for any reason that does not violate a law or important public policy. Unscrupulous employers have used the policy to fire workers who have demanded their rights. The doctrine is based on an obscure 1877  treatist written iby an Albany attorney called the “Master and Servant” rule. 

  In recent weeks, however, social media and the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement have shaken the employment at will doctrine to its core. 

Staffers who support BLM  have forced their employers to change fundamental policies – including workers at two large American companies, The New York Times and Starbucks – with breathtaking speed. Continue reading “The Master Servant Rule Is Challenged At Starbucks, New York Times”