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Why Are Thousands of Chinese Nail Salon Owners Planning to Protest in Front of The New York Times This Morning?

Read Reason's investigative series to find out.

Nail Salon Industry Protest, October 6, 2015. |||According to organizers, thousands of Chinese nail salon owners will gather in front of The New York Times Company headquarters at 11a.m. today to protest a two-part "expose" of their industry.

The series, which appeared in the print edition of the paper on May 10 and 11, inspired Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) to enact regulatory changes that's making it harder for salon owners to do business in New York State.

It's the third protest in front of the Times building in two months. There will likely be more.

Here's why the protesters have a right to be angry with The New York Times: The paper's coverage broadly mischaracterized the nail salon industry, and it was filled with factual errors and misquotes. The series violated the standards of responsible journalism. It shouldn't have been published.

That's the conclusion of a three-part series, totaling about 8,000 words, which I've been working on for the past several weeks. It takes a careful look at the paper's coverage. The first installment appeared at Reason this morning, and parts two and three will go live over the next couple days.

Here's an excerpt:

If it hadn't had real-world consequences, the series—and subsequent attempt by Nir and her editors to parry criticism—wouldn't be worth such intense scrutiny. But the day after the first article appeared in the print edition of the Times, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) announced a new multi-agency task force to inspect nail salons. In August, Cuomo issued an emergency order mandating that salons purchase a new form of insurance called a "wage bond" so that if owners are discovered paying their employees less than the legally required wage, the workers have recourse to collect.

The rush to legislate based solely on the Times' shoddy reporting has hurt the industry. New nail salons, "which used to open every week in New York," have stopped appearing, according to Aiming Feng, an accountant and leading business advisor to nail shops.

Salons once provided a steady source of jobs for undocumented immigrants; now many owners say they'll hire only legal workers who've completed an occupational licensing program because they're afraid of getting in trouble.

Read the whole thing. And check back tomorrow for the next installment.

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  • ||

    a new multi-agency task force to inspect nail salons

    A jobs program for the state.

  • Lee G||

    This. Bureaucratic empire building.

  • Microaggressor||

    You can't make this shit up.

  • sarcasmic||

    Salons once provided a steady source of jobs for undocumented immigrants; now many owners say they'll hire only legal workers who've completed an occupational licensing program because they're afraid of getting in trouble.

    They're no longer stealing jobs from Americans. Mission accomplished.

  • MJGreen - Docile Citizen||

    New York is made a little greater again!

  • wareagle||

    my wife swears by Asian-run nail places. As an aside, how different would the govt narrative be it if these were, say, black-run or hispanic-run nail salons.

  • ||

    how different would the govt narrative be it if these were, say, black-run

    I vaguely recall that hair-braiding is being "regulated" lately.

  • Jordan||

    Who's responsible for all the donut shops and dry cleaners?

  • Scarecrow & WoodChipper Repair||

    Cops. The former is obvious. The latter is from all their pants-wetting whenever they see a dog.

  • widget||

    In August, Cuomo issued an emergency order mandating that salons purchase a new form of insurance called a "wage bond" so that if owners are discovered paying their employees less than the legally required wage, the workers have recourse to collect.

    There's no emergency in that but I agree with Governor Cuomo on this...on the Parapundit/Milton Friedman principle. In a welfare state a business will seek to privatize profits and socialize costs. Our gracious hosts, the brother Koch, are on board with this also. The libertarian solution is to dissolve the welfare state. But that won't happen! (I am OK with the welfare state to some extent, but that is not relevant here.) You have to deal with what is possible.

  • ||

    In a welfare state a business will seek to privatize profits and socialize costs.

    What costs would be socialized if these "wage bonds" were not required?

    By the way that is mighty white of you to be okay with the welfare state. I assume you are fine with me opting out?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    I do not come to this website to read long-form pieces; I come here to read short, snarky blog posts and add a few snarky comments of my own.

    Investigative journalism is stupid, and I don't like it, and I want it off my blog.

  • widget||

    The women begin to arrive just before 8 a.m., every day and without fail, until there are thickets of young Asian and Hispanic women on nearly every street corner along the main roads of Flushing, Queens.

    As if on cue, cavalcades of battered Ford Econoline vans grumble to the curbs, and the women jump in. It is the start of another workday for legions of New York City’s manicurists, who are hurtled to nail salons across three states. They will not return until late at night, after working 10- to 12-hour shifts, hunched over fingers and toes.

    It's a bit much for me.

  • ||

    The yellow prose?

  • widget||

    More succinct.

  • BiMonSciFiCon||

    "Read the whole thing."

    Who do you think I am! I demand a summary in 140 characters or less!

  • Robert||

    I love Jim Epstein's pieces here because he does so much research. Plus he covers the NY beat & he's a good guy all round.

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