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NEWS: Major public radio stations in Los Angeles, DC, Chicago, Seattle, Dallas, Pittsburgh etc send joint protest to NYT in fallout over collapse of "Caliphate" series. They cite "troubling" actions of "The Daily" host Michael Barbaro & presence of producer Andy Mills. /con't
237 replies and sub-replies as of Jan 14 2021

2/ "The Daily" runs on public radio stations around the country as a news program, distributed by American Public Media. Station officials: "We feel Barbaro's actions are in direct conflict with our ethical guidelines and they call his general credibility into question."/ con't
The Daily & the limited run Caliphate, had been very bright spots for the NYT as it looked to expand revenue beyond its phenomenally successful digital pay subscription business. Baquet said NYT's leaders had failed to pay sufficient attention to rigors of journalism in audio.
As reported by NPR, Barbaro had interviewed exec editor Dean Baquet about severe reporting lapses in Caliphate. Barbaro did not disclose in interview that the team that created Caliphate came from the Daily, including his fiancée, the executive producer of Caliphate. / con't
The letter also noted Barbaro pressured other journalists (at least 5 by my count) to pull back public criticism and to temper their language: "We... place tremendous value on the fact that our journalism is free from journalism of any kind.... This is our ethical compass."
In addition, the letter noted that Caliphate host Rukmini Callimachi had been reassigned, while producer Andy Mills, her on-air sidekick and reporting partner, co-hosted the very next episode of the Daily after the heart of the series was retracted. /con't
The letter noted that women have come forward from Mills' time at WNYC and also during his stint at the NYT and complained of degrading and entitled behavior toward female colleagues. Story to follow, with reax from NYT when available.
Tweak: The list currently includes Lehigh Valley, PA tho not the dominant public radio station in Pittsburgh
How about WCPN Ideastream in Cleveland?
The Daily has been very deceptive at times. They did an episode right after the first anti-lockdown protest in Michigan. Half the episode was with the governor, the other half with an average "protester." turns out the protester was an active GOP member.
I stopped regularly listening after they never issued a correction or clarification.
Lehigh Valley is near Philly, not Pittsburgh.
I'm pretty sure you didn't mean to type "our journalism is free of journalism of any kind." :-) Curses on Twitter for not having any kind of editing options.
Lehigh Valley is about as far from Pittsburgh as you can get and still be in PA.
My Catholic grandmother taught me never to pile on, so as awful as Barbaro has been since the beginning of that terrible podcast, I’ll patiently wait until all the evidence is in.
Are there threats of pulling the Daily off these stations at this point?
The Lehigh Valley is on the opposite side of the state from Pittsburgh
Dean Baquet seems a mess on editorial policy and oversight.
lost me with his sycophantic/sham interview of Scott Pruitt the former head of the @EPA. Since then I have been skeptical of everything he does. @nytimes
As a Lehigh Valley resident, I can confirm that the Pittsburg NPR station is not at all dominant, likely due to it being ~250 miles away.
Yeah, it's on the other side of the state.
David, is this quote correct? "We... place tremendous value on the fact that our journalism is free from journalism of any kind.... This is our ethical compass."
No - you're right. My bad. tried to do 2 corrective tweets - a hazard of late night reporting & tweeting.
Kinda loses some steam when the admonishment is itself riddled with errors. Lehigh and Pitt are on opposite sides of the state for one....
Ugh...I am so upset with this story. I love the “Daily.”
can you share the full text of the letter?
wemple beat me to it
Here's a look at a letter to the New York Times from the Public Radio Program Directors Assn. It criticizes the Times for recent actions surrounding its move to retract key portions of the 2018 podcast series "Caliphate."
Opposite ends of the state of PA... Lehigh Valley is a bit over an hour north ish of Philly.
FAIR! Apologies. Tweeting while reporting. Always a danger.
I have never been more excited for someone to go away.
“Seeking to restore faith” via something very like an act of self-pardon—not a great look for Barbaro and @nytimes
You properly disclose it, but there is a touch of irony that, like Barbaro, your partner is in the podcast business, and might stand to benefit from cutting “The Daily” down a notch.
And because that was disclosed, you are able to make the critique, without diving into page 6 or the like. I think that is an important distinction.
At the very end of the second article on the topic….
I'm not trying to be sassy here, just don't have the time to look right now. Is that a different spot than where the disclosures are usually printed in NPR write-ups?
Your comment made me look at the first article …and it wasn’t there, even at the bottom. Or in the tweet storm. One should be extra transparent in this case. (I mainly pointed it out cause it’s wry humor, but now I think it’s a compounded error.)
I agree extra transparency is important. I read the first article (12/18) and the themes I found were: ignoring pieces of the story that didn't line up for a scoop (the podcast), & after pressure a retraction. 2nd article (12/24) theme: Barbaro asked others not to be too hard 1/2
On them (others including Folkenflik), Barbaro has a clear conflict of interest (personal relationship with producer). I think the conflict of interest becomes relevant in the second article. That's my take tho. Your comment made me read again, so thanks!
Think you forgot to add ‘and on a personal note, I have a tremendous h*rdon for The Daily’s audience.’ If NPR was weighed down by any more unselfaware lefty editorializing in its daily rotation (cough @NPRinskeep) it might knock the earth off its orbit. But you know...preach
And here's where they crossed the line --- "Even when confronting some of [his contradictory statements], the reporting and producing team sought ways to show his story could still turn out to be true." ---
What a great read. At least this time the reporter wasn’t trying to start a war.
Here's a look at a letter to the New York Times from the Public Radio Program Directors Assn. It criticizes the Times for recent actions surrounding its move to retract key portions of the 2018 podcast series "Caliphate."
Great reporting. Hope you and @ErikWemple keep at it. NYT needs to answer this criticism and would just ignore the tweets from women without the heft of your organizations and your own persistence. Thank you for your service.
Why am I not surprised about this the most
How does his sexism jive with Callimachi’s role in this? She was the big name behind the series, right?
CORRECTING TYPO "We... place tremendous value on the fact that our journalism is free from influence of any kind.... This is our ethical compass."
Very funny typo considering the context
I liked it better the first way. 😉
Thanks for your reporting! Working for NPR is my dream job!!! Love y’all.
Thank you for correcting. The other version equaled fake news.
influence? what about the influence of the nyt? or whoever conducts the journalism. there is no such thing as unbiased journalism, only known-bias journalism, and pretending otherwise only leaves the person doing it blind to their own weaknesses
are they not influenced by the facts? Of course they are. Then why only the facts of the present? Of course they're also influenced by the facts of the past. How did they learn these facts, and why did they learn some facts and not others? This is also bias.
If I woke up every day and saw the sun come up and then I wrote in the NYT that the sun will come up tomorrow, then if I woke up every day and saw republicans lie, why should I not also write that? But clearly it's "biased".
That makes more sense.
For a moment there it seemed like they accidentally said the quiet part out loud Instead, it was simply @davidfolkenflik having a Freudian slip 🤣
Thanks for the correction, though the tweet with the typo gave me a much-needed laugh!!
See correcting typo on this passage -
Correcting below tweet Public radio stations protest to NYT over "The Daily" host Barbaro's efforts to pressure journalists on Caliphate disaster: "We... place tremendous value on the fact that our journalism is free from influence of any kind.... This is our ethical compass."
“[O]ur journalism is free from journalism of any kind” remains a damn good quote, if not entirely accurate.
Thank you. I thought I was having a mini stroke.
Is this a typo?
"We... place tremendous value on the fact that our journalism is free from journalism of any kind.... " Wait, what? Is there a wrong word in here somewhere?
And the papers editorial staff suppressed the significant number of complaints about the series and the journalist.. never printing letters to the editor, ignoring a complaint by @MESA_1966, and only now correcting the record many things went wrong in this case
Baquet’s judgment has been bad on many previous occasions. He has deeply tarnished the standing of the Times. He needs to go.
📮This is a long thread🪡. So far, I’ve read, Liked, Retweeted, & Bookmarked🔖 up to here. • BUT I LOVE REPORTING & EXPLANATION LIKE THIS, and I THANK YOU😎! I’ll be back! • You keep it up, ya hear! —— @_jonasblum @KBAndersen @ElayneBoosler
Correction? "We... place tremendous value on the fact that our journalism is free from journalism of any kind.... This is our ethical compass."
Proven by letting Judith Miller lie the US public into an illegal war.
You don't need Dr. Freud: this is the more accurate statement than the corrected one.
Wow to all if this. How are journalistic standards so stringent for some yet so elastic for others?I mean, I know, but it still continues to boggle my mind.
This sucks. He seemed (from his voice!) like a good guy.
Freudian slip
Admittedly not familiar w/what’s going on here, but I’m a little confused by this statement. Could anyone help explain?
lol this is a great Freudian slip
100 percent on me - tried to correct two ways in thread. hazards of late night reporting/tweeting
No I get it! It was just a funny slip up
David, to nitpick -- I assume your quote from the letter, saying "...our journlism is free from journalism of any kind ..." is INCORRECT. Otherwise, great story.
Yes 100 percent my bad in tweet - tried corrective tweets Got it right in story
Typo, let’s hope. But funny.
Journalism “free from journalism”? Did they mean to say “bias”?
Can't help but notice that Baquet didn't insist on this disclosure either
Wow. Listening to that interview, it certainly wasn’t made clear that Barbaro had *any* relationship with Caliphate.
Tonight on Cincinnati public radio, rather than a conversation on our current national crisis we had a discussion about bus schedules.
I need to read up on this topic to find out exactly what all has happened, but I will say this about Barbaro and the Daily... I always considered it a pretty decent show, but I tuned it in the other night and he. was. just. talking. like. this. Was so annoying, had to switch off
And the 'hunhs' and 'hmms' drive me insane.
I mean, he’s never been what I’d call “great” in the mic, but is it just me or has he gotten progressively worse over time?
I don't think he's gotten worse, but maybe you are just becoming more aware of his presentation style? You know that whole 'once you've seen it you can't unsee it' phenomena.
He says them with obvious sarcasm and contempt, but tries to package them as genuine curiosity. It is transparent to anyone with half a brain.
Same here. I never listen to that show because his vocal delivery is so fake and the content isn't great. He sounds like an adult version of Frankie Muniz in #MalcolmInTheMiddle. He sounds like an overly precocious child, over-acting every line in a school play. Super annoying
"Here's what else you need toknowtoday." Every. Single. Episode.
I know nothing about this but I unsubscribed to the The Daily long ago because Barbaro is the worst interviewer He just let liar spew lies and said "thanks" and signed off
APM/MPR just can't seem to get out of its own way these days.
I have so appreciated your reporting on this matter, David. Thank you. Truly.
Thank you for this reporting! 🙏
Who cares... the country is burning
That's the best time to keep your eyes on the conmen and the looters
Underrated tweet.
They probably had him do the Baquet interview because he is by far their best audio interviewer. He probably did not mention his fiancé bc he did not expect it would influence his ability to do the interview. Did it?? ... I don’t know, there are more imp issues than this ...
Media had lied and not allowed views for years , social media and newspapers like the New York Times and fox have destroyed minds , causing the #civilwar🇺🇸2
Sounds like I need a new daily news podcast.
i switched from the daily to what a day a year ago and it's VASTLY improved my mornings!
I love crooked media. Thanks so much for the suggestion!
Thank you for putting it so clearly and succinctly! It really helped me catch up! I knew there was a retraction but got lost after that... #work
Is the content of the letter available to view?
Here's a look at a letter to the New York Times from the Public Radio Program Directors Assn. It criticizes the Times for recent actions surrounding its move to retract key portions of the 2018 podcast series "Caliphate."
Thank you David
Did those stations syndicate The Daily or Caliphate? What's their connection to NYT?
Does the list include Portland/OPB?
Can we get a TLDR on this story?
Reading this thread, and im a bit lost as well. So barbaro allegedly covered up lazy journalism???
Yeah, if that's it.... Maybe I don't understand journalistic integrity but that seems like a very very small thing to be this upset about.
He covered up lazy journalism because the lazy was perpetrated by his fiancée and he pressured others not to criticize. Seems egregious to me.
I get it's unethical, but why egregious? Why won't nyt fire him, or do they not think this is serious? Why is so much time being spent on this?
This is how people (mainly on the right) point to the NYT and other organizations and say “see, I told you, they’re untrustworthy, they have no credibility or integrity, you can’t believe what they say.” In the news media, trust and credibility is everything.
I’m with you on this...
It’s not like he covered up his fiance making a hash out of reporting, I dunno, the Pantone colors of the year. (It’s 4am, run with it.) Caliphate was positioned as an investigation into radicalization to ISIL—something like that affects public perception, which affects policy.
Fact-checking isn’t perfect (I work as one and have list of mistakes to flagellate myself with), but being duped by a long con and THEN trying to bury it, partly by trying to manipulate other reporters by to stop discussing it. saying reporting on it was “hurting feelings”? 🤨
Did you listen to caliphate? They noted discrepancies in the story. Lazy journalism seems like a mischaracterization.
The subject never even went to Syria. So in reality there was no story to pursue but lie for the clicks. Dramatized documentary storytelling has no place in journalism.
The primary journalistic issue also being that he did this while publicly reporting on the affair, i.e. he covered tainted journalism with tainted journalism
As reported by NPR, Barbaro had interviewed exec editor Dean Baquet about severe reporting lapses in Caliphate. Barbaro did not disclose in interview that the team that created Caliphate came from the Daily, including his fiancée, the executive producer of Caliphate. / con't
Not heeding the new information that contradicts a story goes against the SPJ code of Ethics. Specifically, the taking of responsibility for the accuracy of their work and gathering, updating and correcting information throughout the life of the story.
SPJ Code of Ethics - Society of Professional Journalists
Members of the Society of Professional Journalists believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. The duty of the journalist is to further those ends by seeking truth and providing a fair and comprehensive account of events and issues.
I’m also a bit lost but came away with the same impression. I absolutely love The Daily and Michael Barbaro 😢
Your TLDR: "Caliphate" relied on a bad source. Barbaro did an interview with a Times exec about it, but without revealing his own personal connections to the series, like that the EP is his fiance. Stations/listeners are pissed.
TLDR: The situation with Barbaro has become dangerous and unacceptable.
Aha! A story with clear heroes and a true villain! If NPR could ever repeat the trick when discussing national politics, we might just save the republic.
Y'all need to like this tweet right god damn now.
Touché mon amie!
Humanity is not a Hollywood movie. We all have the capacity of being villains or heroes to various degrees. This story demonstrates it. Every journalist should report with that in mind and not be asked to assign these roles.
Those are fair points, but may I respectfully suggest you may have misread the tone of the tweet and have misidentified its target, which is NPR's consistent abdication of the journalistic commitment to truth on the alter of lazy "both-siderism".
Yeah, the whole bit about not letting journalism in their journalism is their ethical core? 🤔 NPR has some fantastic content, but they’re incredibly guilty of a very “white male is the default neutral reality journalism should aspire to” mentality in much of their work.
The Daily has always been bad, maybe now it and Barbaro will go away
have you been following this?
Such an interesting move 🤔🤔
Okay so does the WaPo have a good short podcast without troublesome people in charge?
Try Vox's "Today, Explained" or NPR's "It's Been A Minute"
"Today, Explained" rules.
IBAM is lame.
The Insurance Broker's Association of Manitoba?
Never heard it, I'll steer clear
hosts a great daily podcast for WaPo, called Post Reports... and is guaranteed not-troublesome 🙂
Albeit paid for by bezos
Yes! The Post Reports. It’s fabulous. It’s hosted by @martinepowers. If you want a investigative series that holds up - check out Canary by @AmyJBrittain. Also just stunning work.
Sure, anything by the richest man in the world should be free if controversy
Hey hey hey. *Second* richest.
Try Democracy Now! With Amy Goodman
No he said a good one.
Good means not picking and choosing only the facts that support your agenda to publish. So democracy now is probably better than most.
Thanks will listen and have listened to Can He Do That before!
I really appreciate The Daily 202 by James Hohman. It’s about 8-13 mins. There’s a longer “print” version you can subscribe to by email. James is moving to op-ed writing and will be replaced by a different guy I don’t know.
I'm glad to hear this. I have had to make alternate listening plans when The Daily is played on either @kcrw or @KPCC. Shame, as I really enjoyed the show before hearing about all the ick associated with this.
Thank you, David. Journalism is “rigorous” on public radio, as your reporting demonstrates, and anyone who didn’t fully appreciate that before will hopefully learn a lesson. You’ve also shined an Important light on gender inequality in our profession.
Thank you for putting this feeling into words.
I’m still not clear on what happened.
Goodness, I hope highly rated OPB Radio joined its companions from markets like Seattle.
The recent follow-up episode the editors released was just awful. One mention of Rukmini Callimachi, and the rest was just their own self-reflection and puffery.
In a word: Barbaro.
Uggh. This just seems so Gotham.
Also, "The Daily" kind of sucks.
And to think I wasted all that time listening to that podcast 🤬
The country is in crisis, on several different fronts. Actual crises. About some podcast or show, I can’t even...
Isn’t large sectors of the public embracing fringe news “sources” after losing faith in traditional media and news sources heavily related to the crisis?
Those who were prone to conspiracy theories in the first place are. Journalistically, Michael Barbaro & the New York Times won’t become Steve Bannon and Breitbarf over this. Those “losing faith” don’t even know who Barbaro is, and don’t read NYT. (They generally don’t read much.)
Seems to me identifying which news sources are reliable and which are not is one of the most important things citizens can do right now.
I get it, but integrity matters. All the time, but maybe especially now.
Very amazing reporting. Another great example of a reason to support your local station. Thank you!
The NYT has backed itself into a corner where it thinks it can't sanction sloppy or irresponsible work by its journalists without losing face. Whatever lessons they learned (or not) during the Jayson Blair flap have now been chucked in favor of loosey-goosey, feel-good advocacy.
Thank you for this reporting. I’m a Daily listener and listened to Caliphate w each episode release. I’d learned about the failure of NYT to do its due diligence on Chaudhry, but this is a far more thorough explantation. They failed in their responsibility to their audience.
I'm confused. What did this Barbaro guy do? Should I even care? I mean, he does do this annoying/smug "mmmmh" sound when he interviews people but other than that... is any of this news worthy??
Credibility is all that matters for respectable news organizations. If this were Fox News no one would care. But the NYT is held to a higher standard than tabloid journalism and because of that, it matters.
Pretty sure they've already lost their credibility with most people.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ maybe speak for yourself?
No. I speak for you.
That’s what I’ll always remember from Barbaro — his “homeless people frighten me” tweet. What a putz.
When #Barbaro posted that BS tweet about homeless people in NY subway stations, I posted a Q to him asking why he didn’t go out and report on the CONDITIONS that lead to the plight of those people. Guess what Mikie did next? He blocked me. I haven’t trusted his CHARACTER since☕️
That seems like an imminently reasonable complaint—especially given skyrocketing crime within the NYC subway system.
So you, like Mikey, think a person sleeping in public is "dangerous and unacceptable"?
Don't be daft. There are extremely aggressive panhandlers and all manner of criminals on the subway, a good number of them homeless. Virtually all subway crime could be curbed simply by enforcing vagrancy and turnstile-jumping laws. Examples are legion:…
🚨WANTED🚨for a Reckless Endangerment @ the Atlantic Ave 🚂 station #Brooklyn @NYPD78Pct @NYPDTransit on 11/22/20 @ 11:25 AM 💰Reward up to $2500🕶Seen Him? Know who he is? ☎️Call 1-800-577-TIPS or DM us! 📞Calls are CONFIDENTIAL! #yourcityYourcall @NYPDShea @NYPDDetectives @NY1
And if you think it's "humane" to let people live in subway stations, you're sadly mistaken. I'm all for individual liberties, but there are issues of both actual safety and an abuse of the commons.
Mikey posted a picture of a man who was asleep. How is that dangerous?
You're being deliberately obtuse. Allowing homeless to sleep in the subway both disincentivizes their getting treatment and introduces a significant criminal and mentally-ill element into a crowded public space. It's a tragedy of the commons, and your logic is what leads to this:
How is anything in those photos "dangerous" to others? It's what happens as social norms deteriorate and and law enforcement decreases enforcement. "Broken-windows" policing worked, remarkably well—but those gains are being reversed thanks to BLM, etc.
The situation he showed in his picture is not dangerous, and you're not convincing me otherwise.
Honestly, we don't know one way or the other—he could have just had his life threatened. No New Yorker tweets the MTA every time they see someone sleeping in a station or on a train—so my guess is there's more to it. Or the tweeter is incredibly lonely and bored.
In any case, he sounds like a major asshole.
“The daily” is awful. Barbaro repeats every inane step in a story with breathless wonder as if he’s digging deep but he’s just on the surface. Maybe the nyt can produce something less idiotic in the future.
This is important. Besides brief overviews in NPR, Barbarro’s reporting was the only in depth media I consumed regarding the Caliphate debacle. He completely informed my understanding of the situation. Downplayed, I would say, at least. Biased, too.
Barbaro has not infrequently shown his ass on Twitter in ways that suggest his respectable public image is lies
That was interesting . Once again, the cover up was worse than the original mistake. But I do like the Daily. There are so many great reporters who are interviewed and make the show.
Lots of calls in the UK for investigations into @BBCSounds @BBCRadio4 Podcast Mayday on James Le Mesurier, White Helmets and Syria, produced and presented by Chloe Hadjimatheou @chloehadj
Yes but the @BBC publicly funded via the Licence Fee, refuse to answer all the questions posed by @aaronjmate and @chloehadj has protected her Twitter account. The BBC is well known as UK’s State propaganda Broadcaster and it’s time they #ScrapTheLicenceFee
Yes, as the country is under attack from forces within the public needs more celebrity journalism. This is why I stopped listening to NPR. It is irrelevant.
(No comment)
Is @WBUR a signer? Have stopped listening to The Daily after hearing your reporting and how @mikiebarb treated @lourdesgnavarro and others aiming to uphold journalistic integrity. @nytimes excuses are shocking. Do they think this will just go away?
Yessss I've always hated "The Daily"
This is so disappointing! We just can’t have nice things.
Hhmmp (That reaction sound Barbaro makes.)
is it purely ego that drives this type of thing? it surely must be what sustains it.
I'm no BarbaroHead, FOR SURE, but I'd say it's more likely the NYT is especially sensitive to any actual fake news coming from them can lend to the otherwise bullshit fake news narrative.
seems like most of what they have said about the issue is calculated 2 downplay the truth, which is that they elevated a story they should have known was false for the advancement of their careers. Transparency! Also, "it's audio and therefore more difficult to check than print?"
Anything associated with the unfunny token Trevor Noah is destined to fail.
As long as you support trump you are as guilty as he is. If you love the US and free democracy don’t feed trump with air time.
Thank you for this reporting, David. I brought your story to the attention of our station's management, and they have since followed through as a signatory to the PRPD statement.
Thank you!! This full accounting and accountability in general will help see us through the adjustment to a better media environment for women, for truth, and for responsible ethics in journalism and reporting!