Wednesday, June 15, 2005

A Letter to the Public Editor, New York Times

Dear Public Editor,

As I was reading the New York Times today, I found the rather captivating headline "Studies Rebut Earlier Report on Pledges of Virginity" and was enticed into reading the associated article. Imagine my bemusement then, when I discover that the so-called "studies" were (a) undertaken by that conservative bastion of independence The Heritage Foundation with an obvious conflict of interest, (b) were not peer-reviewed by any members of the academic community, (c) flatly contradicted results published in a reputable journal, and (d) indulged in laughable calumny against the authors of the earlier study.

I suppose even The New York Times cannot always resist the tabloid urge to go after sensational headlines -- never mind the credibility of the facts -- but what I found mindblowing was that the article failed to provide even the slightest background on the funding source for the "research", The Heritage Foundation. Perhaps The Times expects its readers to have read the previous day's editorial "Next Generation of Conservatives (By the Dormful)" that supplied the aforementioned background?

Prasanna Ganesan.


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