Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The New York Times Doesn't Know Jack About Rats

This morning, the New York Times reported on a new scientific study of the rats in New York's subway system. The article, while interesting, is riddled with inaccuracies!

Here are just a few of the mistakes I discovered! . . .

"City Hall is now aiming its technocratic lance at a problem so ancient as to predate the city itself: rats."

FALSE. The ancestors of most of the rats in New York were brought here on ships from Europe. They do not predate the city.

" . . . any New Yorker who has screamed at the sight of a hairy critter slinking along the tracks."

FALSE: No self-respecting New Yorker would scream at the sight of a rat on the tracks. If one did, he/she would be forced to leave town immediately.

"The legend of teeming rat cities tucked deep into subway tunnels is, in fact, a myth."

FALSE: Hahahahahahahaha! Fools.

"But befitting a creature that has evaded annihilation for centuries, officials found no obvious solutions [to the rat problem]."

FALSE: May I introduce you gentleman to a handy device known as the Reverse Pied Piper? Or perhaps you'd prefer a bottle of rat-repelling perfume?

“We’re no match for them, as far as I’m concerned. Man does not stand no chance.”

TRUE: Actually, men don't stand a chance against rats. Six delinquent girl geniuses? Absolutely.


Anonymous Hazel said...

"Man does not stand no chance"?!?!? Okay, really? My eight-year-old brother can spot double negatives! Grammar fail, as well.

10:19 AM  
Blogger The Golden Eagle said...

Of course it's GIRL genii that can hold their own against rats. Who else? :D

10:29 AM  
Blogger montana irregulars said...

wow the new york times made a ton of mistakes! maybe the person who wrote this needs attacked by rats to knock some sense into him/her.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Je Reve said...

Can't we just pick apart the inaccuracies of modern non-fiction to poke fun? I am really loving this post.

Oh, and the roving shrub really did rock my world. Thanks!

12:07 PM  
Blogger MushroomCloud said...

and that's why I read the Wall Street Journal.Honestly.

12:19 PM  
Blogger MysteryJellyfish said...

I want to find the guy who wrote that, and slap him silly. Fools!

12:26 PM  
Blogger Kiki Strike said...

MC: Does the WSJ have better rat reporting?

12:56 PM  
Blogger Kitty said...

lol XD

2:02 PM  
Anonymous Clare said...

You should write to the NY times about this and include a copy of Kiki Strike, so they can get the real story!

3:27 PM  
Anonymous EQ said...

Question: Who here agrees that certain rats may be smarter than certain humans?

NYT could use a good editor. "...does *not* stand *no* chance"? We're speaking English, ladies and jellyfish, not French. Double negatives are not correct. Kudos to Hazel for pointing it out!!!

It's not just NYC that has a rat problem. I saw one the size of a cat (no joke) run across our yard a couple months ago. They're gone now...or so the pest folks say.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Kiki Strike said...

EQ: I believe the double negative was part of a quote from someone interviewed for the story. It wasn't the reporter's fault.

4:13 PM  
Blogger MushroomCloud said...

I've never found an article on rats in the WSJ Kirsten, but then again, if I've never found one they're not mis-reporting! :) I much prefer waater shrews over rats any day. I once found one in my canoe. I named it Wally. I think it's still there. Wegot a new canoe so he's not bugging anyone! :)

8:02 PM  
Blogger Lioness said...

i used to have absolutely adorable pet rats. i think they r absolutely the best rodent pet.... which becomes a problem on my frequent trips 2 ny wher i start talkin 2 them and people look like they want to push me onto the subway trax... :) pleasant new yorkers!

8:07 PM  
Anonymous Kira said...

Wow, those people obviously never met the irregulars!
Just one question, though. Where is all of this rat information coming from? Is it a code or a hint about the next Kiki book??? Ooooh.... That'd be so cool!

8:51 PM  
Blogger Jin Ai said...

"No self-respecting New Yorker would scream at the sight of a rat on the tracks. If one did, he/she would be forced to leave town immediately."
I love the picture!

4:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I weep for the fate of the journalism industry. All we get is a "Man stands no chance against the rat menace of NYC?" Encouraging, folks. PUT A SPIN ON IT. Crude tricks like that aren't especially reserved for political buyouts, I don't see why people are so scared to use them for the common good.

And it's true, Man doesn't stand a chance. I was the sole Arachnid Assassin in my Biology Class that was 73% male and 97% athletic, and I'm a reasonably short, skinny white chick with no athletic potential whatsoever. Really.

Loved the dissection of the article's faults, by the way. Things like this keep the journalism industry humble!

11:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The legend of teeming rat cities tucked deep into subway tunnels is, in fact, a myth."
FALSE: Hahahahahahahaha! Fools.

So true! *highfive*

8:00 AM  
Anonymous 42 said...


5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HAHAHAH! I like the last on. And "man does not stand no chance" really? that guy needs to learn how to spell.... I know I'm harsh

7:26 AM  

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