We Reveal Another New York Times Scandal!

The VDARE.COM policy regarding the New York Times is well defined: when we get our shots, we take them.

The Times has been arrogant and unbending toward immigration reformers for years. [Peter Brimelow says: ah, the Wall Street Journal is worse!] So whenever we can humiliate the once great New York Times—and that is today's mission—then let the fun begin.

Recently, the Gray Lady has reeled from one scandalous journalistic failure to another.

To wit:


  • Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Bragg quit following a heated dispute with Executive Editor Howell Raines about his failure to attribute work done by a stringer, J. Wes Yoder on a June 2002 story "An Oyster and a Way of Life, Both at Risk." [Pay archive free version]


  • In a flap unrelated to journalism but still delivering the Times a black-eye, reporter Chris Hedges gave a rambling commencement speech at Rockford College in Illinois that was vehemently anti-Bush, anti-Iraq War. After the crowd booed and hissed Hedges with some of the irate storming the stage, the mike was finally cut.

The latest New York Times disgrace, which VDARE.COM reveals today, is how unethically it handled a sensitive reporting assignment about impact of the H-1B/L-1 visas on American workers.

The story, titled "Special Visa's Use for Tech Workers is Challenged," (May 30) was written by Katie Hafner and an intern from Dartmouth College, Daniel Preysman.

But Preysman is not just any intern. His father, Vladimir Preysman, is the C.E.O. of Datasweep, a San Jose-based company that employs, according to the database Rob Sanchez maintains at www.zazona.com, eight H-1B visa holders. Their salaries range from $55,000 to $100,000.

That is not all about Daniel Preysman. By plugging "Preysman family Daniel" into Google, I learned that the aspiring journalist is the beneficiary of a trust set up from an Oni Systems Corp stock sale. Sources suggest that Oni Systems at one time employed Daniel's mother, Irene.

Oni Systems uses plenty of H-1Bs. The company applied for 135 Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) for software engineers at $60,000 a piece, a salary well below existing market levels.

If you guessed that there is little likelihood of fair reporting about H-1B issues from an inexperienced intern whose family has a vested interest keeping the visas rolling, then you are correct. The story's thrust is clearly exculpatory.

When I called University of California at Davis Professor Norm Matloff—a leading critic of the H-1B visa program—he said, "One would think that one does not assign a story about a controversial software industry hiring practice to the son of one of the CEO of a software company, especially in wake of the recent ethics scandals at the Times. Yet that is exactly what the Times did."

Matloff found the story sadly misleading. For example, regarding the "legality" of staffing American companies with H-1B visa holders, Hafner and Preysman wrote:

"The legal questions, however, remain murky. Steve Yale-Loehr, who teaches immigration law at Cornell, said that strictly speaking, what these companies are doing is legal, though perhaps not what Congress intended. However, Mr. Yale-Loehr added, 'If Congress is upset about this, then Congress will act on it.''

But Yale-Loehr is only an Adjunct Professor at Cornell. His full-time job is practicing immigration law at True, Walsh and Miller, LLP in Ithaca, New York.

Yale-Loehr is also an active H-1B lobbyist who has presented testimony to Congress on behalf of the American Immigration Lawyer's Association. He knows—better than anyone—that the AILA heavily influences Congress to increase the number of visas issued annually.

Hafner and Preysman love to quote immigration lawyers. Thus Daryl Buffenstein, [send him email] general counsel for the American Immigration Lawyers Association is allowed to claim

" Even if this brouhaha [American worker job loss] is about a real problem, I think when you look at the number of workers involved, it is a totally insignificant drop in a massive labor market."

This is an outrageous and unsupportable statement. Anyone who watches CNN Moneyline with Lou Dobbs knows better:

I wanted ask the New York Times editors about the wisdom of assigning a delicate story to an inexperienced reporter whose family has profited by using H-1B visa holders.

But efforts to reach them failed—as such efforts always do.

Although I wasn't able to reach the Times, the newspaper has left no doubts about its enthusiasm for the H-1B visa with a June 1st Op-ed ("Why Ban Offshore Services?" by Arjun Saxena and Douglas Lavin) and a story ("Fees from Visas Now Train Americans" by Anthony De Palma).

Saxena and Lavin are consultants at Inductis , a multinational (offices in New York, New Jersey, and New Delhi) company which specializes in "matching demand for labor with supply on a global scale." Moving American jobs overseas, that is.

Matloff described the Op-ed as written by two "industry people with a blatant vested interest." And the story, according to Matloff, represents "industry lobbyists basically getting a free political advertisement in the Times that masquerades as a news article."

The Times' failure to report professionally is no surprise. Officially, the Times has standards. See the "New York Times: Code of Conduct":

"To avoid such conflicts, staff members may not write about, edit material about or make news judgments about people to whom they are related by blood or marriage or with whom they have close personal relationships."

But unofficially, the Times does what it wants. And that includes letting family shills co-author important news stories that affect the lives of wage earning Americans.

The Preysman matter may represent a new low for the New York Times.

And that, given what has gone on lately, is quite a statement.

Joe Guzzardi [email him], an instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.