The conclusion to draw from both from the Hampton execution and our experience now is that despite the awareness of many outstanding, honest and decent journalists working within it, we are required to the media as an institution with great skepticism at best and as a simple enemy at worst.
That doesn't mean, however, that we should ignore it as some have suggested, resigning ourselves to developing and ultimately relying entirely on our own internal resources for the dissemination of information relevant to us. Rather, while we are building our own communication networks, we should be actively looking for ways to undermine the establishment media's credibility and authority taking advantage of whatever opportunities which present themselves for us to do so.
As most reading this know, the smear referred to above occurred last week when the New York Times ran on its front page a story claiming the existence of a DNA link connecting OWS to the 1994 murder of a Julliard student. This was likely concocted by the NYPD, dutifully circulated by the Times and then retracted by them the next day. While the Times' reporting as fact a brazen and transparent lie might make us angry and defensive, we should cool down long enough to recognize it as an opportunity to go on the offense.
The way to do that is to pressure the Times to issue an apology, the objective of the letter here. While this might seem a modest objective, it is more ambitious than appears at first sight. That's because the Times, as do all elite institutions hates to apologize doing so only very rarely and grudgingly. Their resistance is based on their recognizing that they must be perceived by their readers as above reproach for them to maintain their journalistic authority and for this to be convertible into into major political influence. Each apology demonstrates, in one instance, they are little better than the vulgar propagandists which they routinely deride, the 21st Century domestic variant of Soviet organs Pravda or Isvestia. Once this perception is becomes widespread and their bias is seen as systemic their effectiveness in their institutional function is seriously degraded.
Insofar as there is a potential for a complete collapse of their credibility exists, they will need to think seriously when the NYPD (or for that matter, the State or Defense Department) requests their service in circulating lies and/or smears which have the potential, if and when they are exposed, of subjecting them to shame and ridicule.