NYT’s “Coy” Iran Coverage?

From Time’s James Poniewozik, via Twitter:

Is it just me or does nytimes #iranelection coverage seem strangely coy? As if reluctant to directly say protestors believe vote stolen.

Granted, this is a tweet (insta-thought, shorthand), but in the case of Iran coverage, as well as more generally, I think I’d prefer “coy” —or at least cautious — when assigning motives to thousands of people in crowds. Around here, phrases like “protesters believe” (or “pro-life demonstrators believe” or “Soccer Moms believe”) raise red flags. I’ll take the Times’s “huge demonstrations against last week’s election results” over something less “coy.” (Yeah, plenty of the protesters likely do “believe the vote was stolen.” But probably some protesters are there because they’re frustrated their guy didn’t emerge the victor, regardless of whether they believe there was widespread election fraud or election fraud at all, or because they’re frustrated more generally, or because they never miss a protest or….) But, if you fancy the less “coy,” the Times’s The Lede blog can show you plenty of that.

A side-note: Bill Keller’s Tehran-datelined byline is back in today’s New York Times, above a piece labeled “Executive Editor’s” “Reporter’s Notebook,” a piece which at least one person in our office praised and at least two (me, for one) found, if well-written and containing nuggets of interest (like, actual, if very vaguely-sourced, information on happenings outside of Tehran), also, at times… tonally inappropriate (tone-deaf? or at least tone-hard-of-hearing?). Having a ball over here! Talking to —and joking about — the crazy-driving Iranian people!

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.