The New York Times vs. Nail Salons

The gray lady's inaccurate reporting wreaks havoc on an immigrant-dominated industry.


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In May 2015, The New York Times published a much-discussed two-part story claiming, among other things, that nail salon workers in New York State are routinely exploited—earning wages as low as $10 per day.

Immediately after the first article appeared, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) started a regulatory crackdown on nail salons. The result has been to wreak havoc on this immigrant-dominated industry and to close off employment opportunities for undocumented workers.

And the New York Times story that inspired Cuomo's crackdown broadly mischaracterized the nail salon industry. Manicurists are skilled employees whose labor is in high demand, and they have a good deal of bargaining power. Some of the men and women the Times reporter spoke with say she misquoted them or misrepresented their businesses.

Click above to watch a short documentary on the New York Times attack on the nail salon industry.

Click here to read the first of three articles dissecting the Times' coverage of nail salons and its consequences for the industry.

Click here to read the first article to point out problems in the gray lady's nail salon series written by former Times journalist Richard Bernstein.

Click here to read the article by New York Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan that came out in response to Bernstein's and Reason's reporting.

Written, shot, edited, and narrated by Jim Epstein.

About 11 minutes.

"I Am a Man Who Will Fight for Your Honor" by Chris Zabriskie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license. Source: Artist:

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