New York Times apologizes to Lee Kuan Yew

24Mar10

Once again the New York Times is forced to grovel over an article by Philip Bowring:

In 1994, Philip Bowring, a contributor to the International Herald Tribune’s op-ed page, agreed as part of an undertaking with the leaders of the government of Singapore that he would not say or imply that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had attained his position through nepotism practiced by his father Lee Kuan Yew. In a February 15, 2010, article, Mr. Bowring nonetheless included these two men in a list of Asian political dynasties, which may have been understood by readers to infer that the younger Mr. Lee did not achieve his position through merit. We wish to state clearly that this inference was not intended. We apologize to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong for any distress or embarrassment caused by any breach of the undertaking and the article.

The New York Times appears to have pulled the original, but it’s still available (among other places) herePhilip Bowring, who also worked for the now defunct Far Eastern Economic Review, has butted heads with the Singapore government many times, and his original August 2, 1994 editorial that led to the lawsuit is still on the NYT’s site here:

The Claims About ‘Asian’ Values Don’t Usually Bear Scrutiny



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