the Life of Zim

10th August
written by dzimney

It seems over the past decade there has been a increasingly disappointing decline in the quality of the news organizations of the United States. Maybe it started with the popularity of reality tv. Or maybe corporate america just hit that breaking point of flooding into every outlet available. Or maybe I was just ignorant to the whole thing and am just now realizing how crooked this world is.

It seems that most major news sources like Fox News, MSNBC and CNN have started spending most of their energy reporting anything that can stir up a group, regardless of credibility or relevance. In fact, I find it hard to even call them “news”. In my opinion C-SPAN is really the only credible cable new source around. And I get it. C-SPAN is boring as hell. And most people don’t watch it because of that.

I’m really struggling here not to go off on a tangent of all the shit that any news source has covered over the last decade or two, from OJ Simpson to Monica Lewinsky to Tiger Woods. Somehow the “tabloids” have made their way into the “main stream” and it’s bullshit. Credible sources and hearsay are interchangeable and titles like ‘opinion’ and ‘news’ are overlooked. No one reads the fine print anymore. If it’s spoken on tv or read from a news paper it’s seen as fact. In short, we as Americans have gotten way too into the habit of serving the lowest common denominator. And the lowest common denominator around here is pretty fucking pathetic.

Enter the New York Times.

I’ve known that the cable and even local news networks have been crap for some time, but for some reason I’ve assumed that print was still fairly credible. And in general I still believe that to be true. Which is why I was so disappointed by this article from the New York Times. If you notice, the word could is used in each of the first seven sentences of the article. One fact the article did get right is that Google and Verizon (one of the nation’s largest ISPs) are talking to each other about what to do about Net Neutrality. However, rather than factually reporting what the two companies have been discussing, the article goes into what the two companies could be discussing or rather what the result of their discussions could be. The first sentence states that the two Internet giants are “nearing an agreement that could allow Verizon to speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content’s creators are willing to pay for the privilege.” It does say why the author might think this could happen, it just says that it could. The New York Times and Edward Wyatt don’t really know anything about the specifics of the discussions between Google and Verizon, but they saw fit to publish some possibilities.

Immediately upon reading this article I was questioning it’s credibility. Since it’s inception, Google has been an amazingly strong proponent of an open and free Internet. Something at the essence of Net Neutrality. Probably because of this, the uproar over this accusation has been incredible. People and organizations have been up in arms over Google apparent slide into an evil empire. I’ve received emails from numerous organizations like and Color of Change asking to sign petitions against Google. People like to have something to bitch about and the whole thing got blown way out of proportion.

The New York Times article was very inadvertently accusing Google of going against it’s informal corporate moto of Don’t Be Evil. Immediately after the publication of the article both Verizon and Google refuted the article’s claims. And more recently Google has published a statement describing a joint proposal from Google and Verizon on Net Neutrality. Furthermore they’ve published a Legislative Framework Proposal that will be submitted to Congress on Net Neutrality. The statement and proposal are everything you would hope to expect from a company that “does no evil.”

In short, the accusations made by the New York Times are all completely false.

I’m feeling rather unsatisfied with this rant. Probably because there’s so much to this story and even more to the greater issue. I get that opinion is opinion and often tech articles point to speculation, but especially after witnessing the aftermath of this New York Times article, I believe it was simply irresponsible journalism (if you can call it that). The article should never have been published and the New York Times and Edward Wyatt should make an effort to correct the damage that was done to both Google and Verizon.

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