Jyllandsposten wins Mohammed cartoon libel
Newspapers still don't get it

The curse of free papers

They have been accused of everything from depleting Finnish forests to draining the budgets of European renovation departments. Now free papers are being blamed for causing subway track flooding in New York. The New York Sun reports that a recent investigation task force from the Metropolitan Transport Authority has found it was the city's free papers, and not neglect of track maintenace as previously asserted, that contributed to creating a crippling subway flood September 8, 2004, which affected 15 subway lines.


There are several things I find inauspicious about this 'survey'.

First of all, it's carried out by the Metropolitan Transport Authority - the very people who don't want to take the blame for their failure to govern track maintenance properly. Seconfly, even if free-sheets are rsponsible for congestions on the subway, doesn't that have to do with general track maintenance anyway?

Just in case the MTA is unaware of what the verb maintain means, here's a dictionary definition:

1. to keep in existence or continuance; preserve; retain: to maintain good relations with neighboring countries.
2. to keep in an appropriate condition, operation, or force; keep unimpaired: to maintain order; to maintain public highways.
3. to keep in a specified state, position, etc.: to maintain a correct posture; to maintain good health.

Presumably cleaning newspapers off the railways qualifies as "to keep in an appropriate condition, operation" - and hence qualifies as track maintenance?

Last of all, the report's messanger is none other than The New York Sun - a paid-for newspaper!

You're spot on Daniel. The explanation did strike me as rather bizarre, but was too busy there and then to blog more about it.

I've just got your name from skype.
Are u a journalist ?

Thanks & regards

Yes, I'm a journalist. If you click the link that says 'click here to read more' under About (second item under my picture) you can read more about my background.

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