Monday, March 29, 2010

The New York Times Pays Damages To Singapore Powerhouses

The Business Insider, via Gawker, notes:

The New York Times just paid $114,000 and apologized to the Singaporean prime minister for possibly implying that he got his job because his dad had the same job.

More startling is the news that the New York Times agreed not to imply that in exchange for some unspecified benefit—presumably access to the prime minister. The specific infraction? Apparently an International Herald Tribune writer referred to the Lee family as a 'political dynasty.'

Is this really a surprise? It sounds, to you and me, like a stupid thing to get ones panties in a bunch over. But -- we cannot fail to note -- The Times is like the community newsletter to those grim masters-of-the-Universe types. "Political dynasty" is, to someone now looking after their legacy, a probable loss of what the japanese call: "Face." Lee Kuan Yew is the "Statesman's Statesman" among the foreign policy elite crowd. He is sort of like Shakespeare or Nabokov to writers among the type of person that softly chuckles while reading Niccolo Machiavelli. Clearly, when you are rolling with that crowd intellectually, dark shit might go down. And the Gray Lady doesn't shit where it eats. As the old saw goes: What do you give an 800-lb gorilla? Anything it wants ...

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