July 29, 2015
Toxic lies in new Kitty Genovese movie start in its title: ’37’
Even the New York Times admits they screwed up, but play down how their sensational reporting needlessly traumatized (and libeled by proxy) countless Americans:
Whether the classic account of the murder is factually true has been disputed for years. The disturbing article in The New York Times at the time (“37 Who Saw Murder Didn’t Call the Police”) got the probable number of witnesses wrong, among other facts. Some people did call the police; at least one neighbor comforted the victim as she died. But over the years, Kitty Genovese has become more than a true-crime statistic. She’s attained the status of a myth aswirl in urban dread.
As Instapundit noted about how the Times got the original (deeply flawed) story:
Insider Timesman lunches with police bigshot, publishes version of story that lets police off the hook, does incalculable damage to national psyche. All in a day’s work…
Ed Driscoll added this, also via the Times:
It was a gruesome story that made perfect tabloid fodder, but soon it became much more. Mr. Rosenthal, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who would go on to become the executive editor of The New York Times, was then a new and ambitious metropolitan editor for the paper who happened to be having lunch with the police commissioner 10 days after the crime. The commissioner mentioned that 38 people had witnessed the murder, and yet no one had come to Ms. Genovese’s aid or called the police.
Mr. Rosenthal quickly mapped out a series of articles centered around a tale of community callousness, and then followed in June with his quick-turnaround book, published by McGraw-Hill. National and international interest in the issue spiked, and soon the Kitty Genovese case became a sociological phenomenon studied intensely for clues to behavioral indifference.
In the years since, however, as court records have been examined and witnesses reinterviewed, some facts of both the coverage and the book have been challenged on many fronts, including the element at the center of the indictment: 38 silent witnesses. Yet none of the weighty counter-evidence was acknowledged when Mr. Rosenthal’s book was reissued in digital form by Melville — raising questions of what, if any, obligation a publisher has to account for updated versions of events featured in nonfiction titles. Dennis Johnson, the publisher of Melville House, said he knew about the controversy but decided to stand behind Mr. Rosenthal’s account. “There are, notably, works of fraud where revising or withdrawing the book is possible or even recommended, but this is not one of those cases,” he said. “This is a matter of historical record. This is a reprint of reporting done for The New York Times by one the great journalists of the 20th century. We understand there are people taking issue with it, but this is not something we think needs to be corrected.”
Anyway, back to today’s piece — some unintentional ironic humour that the Times just, you know, is gonna leave there m’kay? bye:
Some of the neighbors complained about the nighttime shooting. “They made a lot of noise,” said Stanley Finkelstein, who was watching the shoot with his wife, Beverly. The couple lived on Austin Street at the time of the murder. The evening that the killing was re-enacted, “one of our neighbors was up all night,” he said.
The actress Christina Brucato, who plays Kitty Genovese, confirmed that filming did become loud. “I felt bad,” she said. “They said I couldn’t go all out, but really, it was terrifying. I couldn’t help but let out some screams.”