‘Times’ and NYPD ratchet up P.R. war, plus: David Carr on Mike Daisey, and the ‘State of the Media’

AP photographer Stephanie Keith, frustrated by police. (SOBPhotography)
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Yesterday afternoon, the N.Y.P.D.'s public information office fired off a press release attacking The New York Times for a Sunday editorial that blasted the department's clandestine Muslim surveillance program, its handling of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations last fall, and its controversial stop-and-frisk policy.

"Since 9/11, courts have broadened the Police Department’s investigative authority in the vital interest of protecting the city from terrorist attack," the editorial concluded. "The department should not interpret that as a license to run roughshod over the Constitution."

"The New York Times is wrong in claiming in an editorial that the NYPD overstepped constitutional guarantees in protecting New Yorkers from violent crime and terrorism," department brass fired back in a press release that was longer than the editorial itself. "The Times continues to ignore the fact that the NYPD operates under a judicial federal accord in protecting New Yorkers against terrorism. The Police Department also lawfully stops and questions individuals acting suspiciously and, in doing so, has dramatically reduced murders in the city's most violent-prone neighborhoods."

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In another editorial earlier this month, the Times responded to reports that have been appearing in the Associated Press since August detailing the surveillance program, arguing in an editorial that the mayor and the police commissioner "did not provide for sufficiently strong supervision of this formidable and far-flung intelligence operation — to check the well-known tendency of all such agencies, operating in secrecy and under murky rules, to abuse their powers."

The Times also has been at the forefront of a coalition of local news outlets that have written several letters to N.Y.P.D. spokesman Paul Browne complaining of police treatment of the press during protests organized by the Occupy movement. The NYPD has acknowledged more than one instance in which officers reacted improperly to journalists covering protests, including one instance in which Times photographer Robert Stolarik was obstructed by an officer while taking photographs at a demonstration at the World Financial Center in December.

In other news...

The annual State of the News Media report from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism is out today. [journalism.org]

The founder of C-SPAN has stepped down as the network's chief executive. [The New York Times]

David Carr offers his take on Mike Daisey's deception of "This American Life," and gets a quote from Jayson Blair in the process. [The New York Times]

Bill Keller: "If Iraq taught us nothing else, it should have taught us this: Before you deploy the troops, deploy the fact-checkers." [The New York Times]

The Occupy movement is getting its own news site. [Off the Bus]

Fareed Zakaria is hosting quarterly specials for CNN. [TV Newser]

Two British journalists working for Iranian media have been freed in Libya. [A.P.]

New Nielsen ratings. [Media Decoder]

Daytime lineup shift at Fox Business Network. [InvestorPlace]