Thursday, May 27, 2004

October 2004 marks the twentieth anniversary of former San Francisco Mayor Dianne Feinstein to shutter gay bathhouses here.

As far as I know, San Francisco was the only U.S. city to outlaw bathhouses for gay men.

In my opinion, it's time to reopen gay bathhouses here and allow adult men the right to sexual privacy in commercial venues, by providing private rooms with doors.

After all, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year invalidating state prohibitions on consensual sodomy should permit gay men in San Francisco the right to engage in such sexual activity in bathhouses, without the prying eyes of the "nanny state" watching.

Let's end the practice of allowing the sex police to monitor gay sex clubs and reopen San Francisco's bathhouses.

Two thumbs up to the Canadian lawyer quoted in this story saying the (gay) public deserves the right to be left alone in Canadian bathhouses; an idea that should spread to San Francisco.

Michael Petrelis

Thu, May 27, 2004
Judge rules police OK to raid gay bathhouse

Cops did nothing wrong when they raided a gay bathhouse, a judge ruled yesterday in admitting evidence police found at the scene. Provincial court Judge Terry Semenuk agreed with Crown prosecutor Dave Torske that police had a reasonable suspicion to conduct their investigation.

Defence lawyer John Bascom had sought to have evidence gathered by police during a December 2002, raid of Goliath's excluded.

Bascom said police acted on anonymous tips and had no credible information any criminal activity was taking place at the 17 Ave. S.W. business.

"Members of the public have a right to be left alone," Bascom said during his submissions last month.

He said police should have used more sensitivity in pursuing an investigation at a gay bathhouse and should have called in the force's liaison officer with the gay community.

But, Semenuk agreed with Torske, who submitted police often act on anonymous tips such as through Crime Stoppers.

Three men are charged with keeping a common bawdy house while a fourth is charged with owning, or permitting a common bawdy house.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Rima Calderon
Director, Corporate Communications
The Washington Post
1150 15th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20017

Dear Ms. Calderon:

Public records available from the Federal Election Commission show you donated $250 on March 26, 2004, to the John Kerry for President Committee for his primary races. [1]

Since you are neither an editor nor a reporter for the Washington Post, there is no chance that your financial support of Kerry could in any way influence coverage of his bid for the White House.

However, because you are the director of corporate communications for the paper, I wonder if your contribution violates any Washington Post policies regarding donations from non-editorial employees to political candidates. [2]

Does your donation to Kerry's presidential campaign committee breach any Washington Post company guidelines?

A prompt reply is requested.


Michael Petrelis
San Francisco, CA
Ph: 415-621-6267

1. PoliticalMoneyLine
2. Washington Post Company

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Arthur Sulzberger Jr.
The New York Times
New York, NY

Dear Mr. Sulzberger,

The Times over the years has paid special attention to HIV and AIDS issues in San Francisco. Often, the paper has reported on increases of new full-blown AIDS cases and at the height of the epidemic, the high number of deaths due to AIDS.

Today I wish to bring to your attention the dramatic plummeting of AIDS deaths here, as documented in the San Francisco Department of Public Health's quarterly AIDS surveillance reports, especially the first quarter summaries, which I hope are of keen interest to Times editors and reporters.

Here are the numbers of first quarter AIDS deaths for the past eight years:

2004 = 8
2003 = 37
2002 = 23
2001 = 56
2000 = 30
1999 = 52
1998 = 48
1997 = 87
[1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]

As you can see, for the first time in almost a decade, the number of deaths from AIDS in San Francisco has fallen into the single-digits.

This positive development of people with AIDS apparently living longer is something the Times and other media outlets should report on.

It's not just the first quarter surveillance reports that show steep drops of AIDS deaths, but also the annual mortality statistics continue to spiral downward.

The reasons behind the declining AIDS death rate should be explored by both reporters and officials at the San Francisco health department.

Are less people with AIDS dying because of drugs to control the disease and the opportunistic infections associated with it? Could the drop be due to less people contracting HIV? Maybe fewer HIV positive persons are progressing to full-blown AIDS status?

And let's not rule out other factors, such as alternative healing practices, that play an important part in keeping AIDS patients alive.

I'd send this email directly to your science editor, Rick Flaste, but can't since he doesn't have a public email address, so ask that you share this with him.

In my opinion, now is the perfect time for the Times to examine and report on San Francisco's current HIV infection rate, number of AIDS cases, and AIDS mortality figures.


Michael Petrelis
San Francisco, CA

1. 2004 1st quarter report
2. 2003 1st quarter report
3. 2002 1st quarter report
4. 2001 1st quarter report
5. 2000 1st quarter report
6. 1999 1st quarter report
7. March 1998 report; Not on line
8. March 1997 report; Not on line
(See Table 9 in each report.)

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Dear Friends:

The horrific murder of Nick Berg has been difficult for me to process, not just as a queer AIDS activist against the U.S. war in Iraq, but also simply as an American citizen who wants peace, justice and human rights to prevail everywhere.

I simply can't fathom the barbarity that led to Berg's death, or any justification for it.

Yesterday, I looked at ten stills from the videotape of Berg's murder and was disturbed at what I saw, but I couldn't take my eyes off the images. The only frame of reference for me with which to eye the stills was Pasolini's final film, "Salo."

Today, I met up with my friend Clinton Fein in the Castro and when the subject of the videotape came up, he said he found it on the web last night and posted the entire tape on his site,

I thought I would be able to witness this heinous act all the way through, but I couldn't make it past the part where the masked man who towered over Berg, reading the statement, begins slicing Berg's neck.

Honestly, it seemed to me if I could sit all the way through "Salo," at age 20, no less, then surely I'd be able to watch this videotape. I was wrong.

Also yesterday, Andrew Sullivan posted the following on his blog:

"WHERE IS THE WEBSITE? The mainstream media is driving me bonkers. They keep referring to an al Qaeda website that carries the video of the beheading of Nick Berg. But they won't tell us the name of the website! Not only will they not show what al Qaeda really is, they won't even allow us to know how to find it. If anyone out there has a link, please let me know. We can get around the Washington Post, which has a 'slideshow' of American abuse but won't even provide a link to the horrors perpetrated by the enemy."

Here's the link he, and maybe others, are looking for:

Share it with others, who may be strong enough to watch the entire videotape.

If you're thinking of visitng Fein's web site and viewing the videotape, be forewarned: It is as gruesome and agonizing as everything you've heard.

Michael Petrelis
San Francisco, CA

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Dear Mr. Sulzberger,

You're welcome. I've snail mailed a hard copy of my email regarding San Francisco's current HIV infection rate to the Times' acting science editor, Mr. Richard Flaste. Hopefully he'll assign a reporter to investigate and report on HIV infection trends in San Francisco.

Michael Petrelis
- -

Forwarded Message:
Subj: Re: San Francisco's current HIV rate: NYT says ??
Date: 5/11/2004 1:25:57 AM Central Daylight Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)

Dear Mr. Petrelis,

Thank you for this e-mail, which I will pass on to our editors for consideration.

Arthur Sulzberger, Jr.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Arthur Sulzberger Jr.
The New York Times
New York, NY

Dear Mr. Sulzberger:

The New York Times reported on July 1, 2000, that San Francisco was in the midst of a dramatic rise of new HIV infections, with future new infections climbing from 600 up to 900 annually, possibly sparking a wave of thousands of new transmissions in other U.S. cities. [1]

The basis for this dire prediction, called a “sub-Saharan level of transmission” by Dr. Willi McFarland in a June 30, 2000, story in the San Francisco Chronicle, was use of STARHS, Serologic Testing Algorithm for Recent HIV Seroconversion, which was not approved at the time by the Food and Drug Administration, and still hasn't received the agency's approval. [2, 3]

The ominous alarms in the SF Chronicle article were echoed breathlessly in a gloomy July 1, 2000, Times article, written by Lawrence K. Altman, M.D., which reported on the investigational use of STARHS by the Department of Public Health in San Francisco, which “apparently is the only city that has applied the testing strategy in a series of years so as to detect trends” of new HIV infections.

With the fourth year of the anniversary of Altman’s pessimistic story soon upon us, I chose to spend part of my May Day this year pulling all the pertinent documents in my possession from the San Francisco health department pertaining to HIV antibody infection rates for the past several years, and examining them again with one question in mind: What is the current HIV rate of infection in San Francisco?

I have four sets of data to consider in answering the question. Some of the publicly available data from SF DPH is confusing and sometimes wildly inconsistent, but it is the best HIV epidemiology and surveillance that money from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can buy. All I’ve done is try to connect the many dots of conflicting HIV data from an astutely political local health agency, one that flexes considerable media muscle.

These are the four subsets of data from the SF DPH that I analyzed:

(A) Recent STARHS testing statistics from the city’s primary testing clinic.

Starting in January 2002, the health department’s monthly STD summary began to include the number of STARHS antibody tests administered at the municipal clinic.

“We have added a table showing HIV testing at City Clinic [the main HIV testing site in the city,] and the number of patients who test positive. Since December 2001, patients have been offered a second test that shows HIV infections within the past six months if their HIV test is positive. HIV-positive patients who are also positive for the second test [STARHS,] are listed in Table 2 as ‘recent positives,’” explained an editorial note in the January 2002 STD report.

The year-end figures for 2002 show 2432 HIV antibody tests performed, of which 103 were positive, and of those one hundred three positive results, 40 were classified as recent positives, using the STARHS method.

Numbers for 2003 reveal that 2776 antibody tests were conducted, with 109 positive for HIV, and of that number, 41 were found to be recent positives using STARHS.

So the number of tests rose, as did total number of positive test results, along with recent positives.

Still, the number of STARHS-identified recent positives is statistically stable, and in the middle double-digit range.

The STARHS data was omitted from the January 2004 monthly STD summary, without explanation, and is no longer a part of the summary, which is, of course, an unfortunate development for members of the public who wish to track such important data. [4, 5]

(B) The city’s annual HIV/AIDS epidemiology summaries.


Since California law does not require names reporting of people testing HIV antibody positive, HIV infection rates for San Francisco are an educated guess by epidemiologists.

This means the annual HIV/AIDS summaries don’t provide precise HIV incidence rates.

The 1998 report says, based on many factors, that, “An estimated 15,249 San Francisco are living with HIV and 499 will acquire HIV each year.”

No numbers of antibody tests performed or HIV-positive test results are mentioned.

However, in order to arrive at this estimate, DPH’s report took into account the status of sodomy, anti-discrimination and domestic partnership laws, dating back to 1990. What effect, if any, these laws may have on determining San Francisco’s HIV transmission rate is unclear from the report.


This year’s summary contained some HIV incidence data, gathered through blinded testing at the city’s primary site for STD testing.

“Between 1989 and 1998 the prevalence of HIV infection among MSM (including MSM IDU) declined from 55% in 1989 to 20% in 1998.

“However, during the same period the incidence of HIV infection among MSM fluctuated (range 4.3 – 10.4% per year) but remained statistically stable,” the summary noted.

“However, the relatively stable rate of new HIV infections suggests that current prevention strategies may be effective at holding HIV transmission rates stable but not effective enough to result in a further decrease in the rate of new infection,” researchers cautioned.


The summary for this year documented that “the incidence and prevalence of HIV increased from 1997 to 1998 and again in 1999. This last year the incidence of HIV among MSM was 4.2% per year and the prevalence was 5.0%.”

A chart accompanying that statement illustrates that the incidence rate for 1999 was 4.2%, up from 2.2% the previous year.

Data was collected from anonymous HIV testing sites throughout the city.


The report highlights the fact that this was the year DPH’s anonymous testing facilities began using STARHS.

“In general, there has been an increase in HIV prevalence and incidence among MSM seeking anonymous HIV testing in recent years. This increase is corroborated by recent rises in sexual risk behavior and sexually transmitted diseases in the city. Data from 2000 (available from January to September only) suggest that HIV incidence may have leveled off from that observed in 1999. However, the estimate, 3.9% per year, is still statistically significantly higher than 1996 to 1998. Findings remain to be confirmed with complete data for 2000 and 2001,” said the report.

Interesting that the researchers mention that the 3.9% figure for 2000 is indeed numerically higher than from 1996 to 1998, while they fail to note how it’s also a drop from 1999, when the figure was 4.2%.

It's almost as if the researchers cannot acknowledge any suggestion of a decrease, since attention is only called to cherry-picked data showing a rise.


Comparable data from anonymous HIV testing sites is missing from the most current annual summary. [6, 7, 8, 9]

(C) HIV tests and positive results statistics, from the annual CDC-funded Counseling, Testing, Referral and Partner Counseling Referral Services report, which are culled from anonymous and confidential testing sites in the city.

Two caveats regarding the data are worth keeping in mind. The number of tests performed does not equal number of people of tested, and positive test results do not represent unduplicated or new HIV antibody infections.


Number of tests = 25,871
No. HIV positive = 950
% HIV positive = 3.0%


Number of tests = 27,267
No. HIV positive = 913
% HIV positive = 3.3%


Number of tests = 25,006
No. HIV positive = 748
% HIV positive = 3.0%


Number of tests = 19,091
No. HIV positive = 699
% HIV positive = 3.7%

[10, 11, 12]

(D) A 2004 syphilis and HIV study conducted by SF DPH, funded by CDC.

An abstract from the Trends in Primary and Secondary Syphilis and HIV Seroincidence among Men Who Have Sex With Men in San Francisco, 1998-2002, study was presented at the February 2004 Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections Conference, by Dr. K. Buchacz, a CDC researcher.

These are the key points:

“Background: Syphilis facilitates the acquisition and transmission of HIV infection. To explore whether the current syphilis epidemic has been associated with increases in HIV incidence in San Francisco, we examined trends in HIV incidence in men who have sex with men (MSM) in 2 HIV testing populations and rates of primary and secondary syphilis among an estimated 50,782 MSM in the city from 1998 through 2002.

“Methods: We reviewed city sexually transmitted disease (STD) morbidity data. We determined HIV incidence by applying a sensitive/less sensitive testing algorithm to HIV-seropositive blood samples of MSM seeking HIV testing at the San Francisco City STD Clinic (SFCC) and at anonymous testing sites of the AIDS Health Project (AHP).

“Results: Primary and secondary syphilis rates increased more than 1000% from 1998 to 2002 (Table). HIV incidence was highest in 1999 and then tended to decline through 2002 at both sites (c2 test for trend, p = 0.13 for AHP, p = 0.36 for SFCC). At SFCC, however, HIV incidence was elevated in 2002 compared with 2001 (p = 0.12).

“Conclusions: To date, we detected no marked increases in HIV incidence among MSM in 2 HIV-testing populations, concurrent with the syphilis outbreak in San Francisco. However, changes over time in characteristics and volume of MSM testing in these 2 settings may distort possible inferences about HIV incidence trends among all MSM in San Francisco. Integrated HIV/STD prevention programs for MSM in San Francisco are needed to stop the spread of syphilis and potential increases in HIV infections.” [13]

What impresses me most about the conclusions is the remarkable detection of “no marked increases” among the gay community, over a four-year period, in a study that involved over 50,000 men. That the researchers say “potential increases in HIV infections” more than hints at how the alarming predictions reported in the New York Times almost four years ago have not been borne out.

I think it’s time for the New York Times to investigate and report on the current state of apparently leveling or declining HIV transmissions in San Francisco.

Michael Petrelis

1. New York Times story
2. San Francisco Chronicle article
4. S.F. DPH monthly STD summary
5. S.F. DPH monthly STD summary
6. S.F. DPH annual HIV/AIDS report, 1999
7. S.F. DPH annual HIV/AIDS report, 2000
8. S.F. DPH annual HIV/AIDS report, 2001
9. S.F. DPH annual HIV/AIDS report, 2002
10. CTR/PCRS report, 1999
11. CTR/PCRS, 2000
12. CTR/PCRS, 2002
13. CDC/S.F. DPH study on syphilis and HIV infection rates

Friday, May 07, 2004

Subj: Your e-mail of April 25 Concerning D. Lee
Date: 5/7/2004 11:09:52 AM Central Daylight Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)

Dear Mr. Petrelis,

In answer to your e-mailed letter of April 25, here are the facts of
Denny Lee's connection with The New York Times.

Mr. Lee is a freelance contributor, not an employee. He has written
nearly 450 bylined articles for us since August 1999. Most of them
were for the Neighborhood Report pages of our City section; more
Mr. Lee has switched to writing for the Escapes section. In virtually
every case, Mr. Lee's articles were nonspot and prepared under
conditions that allowed close consultation with his editors and
supervision by them. He has
performed excellently for us.

Mr. Lee's résumé, submitted before he began writing for us, showed
that his past employers included the American Civil Liberties Union
(ACLU) and Lambda Legal, the gay civil rights organization. He has
worked for them during the time he has contributed articles to The
Times. One of Mr. Lee's articles mentioned Lambda Legal. Six of them
mentioned either the ACLU or its New York affiliate. In none of those
cases did Mr.
Lee's editors feel that he had a potential conflict that would have
barred him from writing or required a disclosure of his past

We will continue to make those decisions case by case.

Mr. Lee's background and his connection with The Times have nothing in
common with those of Dr. Lawrence K. Altman. In Dr. Altman's case, we
have already explained that we see no conflicts of interest or
violations of our Ethical Journalism guidelines.


Catherine Mathis
VP, Corporate Communications
The New York Times Company
212-556-1981 (office)
917-593-7425 (cell)
Forwarded Message:

Date: 5/7/2004 2:14:52 PM Central Daylight Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)

Dear Bobby,

Thank you very much.

I didn't post Michael's contacts at the Times. I've included them below:

>Catherine Mathis
>VP, Corporate Communications
>The New York Times Company
>212-556-1981 (office)
>917-593-7425 (cell)

Arthur Sulzberger Jr.;

Sulzberger, I believe, is the
Chairman of the Board.

Again, thank you for your support in this endeavor.

Warm regards,
Mary Elizabeth


At 11:42 5/7/2004, you wrote:
>Dear Mary Elisabeth,
>I passed your message on to our gaypoz group in the hopes that among our
>subscribers there may be some who hold The New York Times stock and will
>support Mr. Petrelis.
>I have also passed this information on to a friend who is an Executive
>at CBS Entertainment and is/was the Chair of the AIDS Service center in
>Pasadena, California.
>He may also know folks who are stockholders in The New York Times. He
>may own stock himself!
>I shall also pass this information on to friends at my own Anglican
>parish, St. Bartholomew's, Park Avenue and 51st Street, New York.
>Thanks for you good work!
>Robert K Armstrong
>New York City
>List Administrator and member of the Board of Directors
>Positive Lists, Inc.

>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Mary Elizabeth"
>To: "aids"
>Sent: Friday, 07 May, 2004 13:26
> > For the past 12 years AEGiS has tried unsuccessfully to obtain the
>right to
> > reproduce, archive, and disseminate New York Times staff-produced
> > relating to the AIDS-pandemic.
> >
> > This past month AEGiS received a vote of confidence from Michael
> > when he attended a New York Times stockholder's meeting to protest
>lack of
> > corporate accountability.

From the transcript of the meeting:
> >
> > "MR. PETRELIS: Finally, an issue very dear to me, because I had to
> > the money to buy stock in this Company and borrow the money to come
>here. I
> > can't afford to buy former AIDS and HIV stories on The Times's
>Website. I
> > go to a Website called Aegis.[org]. It's run by a Catholic nun in
> > California, and The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, all
> > their HIV/AIDS stories available to her for free, especially for AIDS
> > patients like me who are on Social Security disability who can't
>afford the
> > fee, if you want an old story from The Times. I've had some problems
> > Times's AIDS stories, but for the history of the AIDS epidemic, The
> > should make the stories available to us. We should be able to look
> > fee at stories by Gina Kolata, for example. So please, consider making
> > AIDS archives available to Sister Mary Elizabeth for free.
> >
> > "CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: We will indeed, and we will get back to you on
> > other questions you posed, as I promised we would when we were
> >
> > "MR. PETRELIS: So you'll e-mail me?
> >
> > "CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: Yes, we'll get you something. As you know, it's
> > a busy day. I have your e-mail in my queue, I printed it out and we'll
> > back to you."[snip]

> >
> > The approach taken by Michael Petrelis was, indeed, novel. He had
> > purchased a small amount of stock in the New York Times, giving him a
> > at the annual stockholder's meeting.
> >
> > Within hours of reading about Michael's action, another stock holder
> > asking that due consideration be given to his request, and that the
> > due grant permission to AEGiS.
> >
> > If you own stock in the New York Times, I urge you to write to the
> > president, and ask him to grant Mr. Petrelis request. If you know
> > that holds stock in the Times, ask them to write.
> >
> > Together, we CAN, make a difference!
Forwarded Message:
Subj: Re: Donating New York Times staff-produced HIV/AIDS-related articles to AEGiS
Date: 5/7/2004 11:13:35 AM Central Daylight Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)

Dear Mr. Clark,

Thank you for your e-mail. This is something Mr. Petrelis has proposed.
We will take a look at it and see what can be done. It may take a bit of
time to review but I will respond.


Catherine Mathis
VP, Corporate Communications
The New York Times Company
212-556-1981 (office)
917-593-7425 (cell)
Forwarded Message:
Subj: Donating New York Times staff-produced HIV/AIDS-related articles to AEGiS
Date: 5/6/2004 1:14:07 AM Central Daylight Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)

May 6, 2004

Catherine Mathis
The New York Times
VP of Corporate Communication
New York City, NY

Dear Ms. Mathis:

I read in the minutes of your recent board meeting that Mr. Michael
Petrelis had asked Chairman Sulzberger to consider donating New York Times
staff-produced HIV/AIDS-related articles to the AIDS Education Global
Information System (AEGiS) -

I instructed my broker to purchase stock in the NY Times, just prior to
closing of the NYSE, today, and by this time tomorrow I should be a
stockholder in the Times. I did this so that I could better support Mr.
Petrelis' request.

AEGiS, in the past fifteen years, has become the definitive web site for
information on the AIDS-pandemic. AEGiS was the first U.S.-based
organization to be nominated to UNESCO's "Memory of the World"
programme. This happened because their database is considered the most
comprehensive AIDS knowledge-base on the planet.

News organizations, including, but not limited to, Agence France Presse,
the Associated Press, Bangkok Post, BBC, Business Wire, Chicago Tribune,
Integrated Regional Information Network, Inter Presse Service, Los Angeles
Times, Mail & Guardian (Johannesburg), New Vision (Uganda), PRNewswire,
Reuters, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, Sunday Times
(Johannesburg), US Information Service, United Press International, and the
Wall Street Journal have all granted AEGiS permission to reproduce,
archive, and disseminate their staff-produced HIV/AIDS-related articles
covering the period 1980 to the present and future.

Many of these organizations have provided free electronic news feeds;
others require AEGiS staff to visit their sites daily to clip the
news. Some of these organizations have asked nothing in return, while
others have requested an annual letter confirming their "in-kind" donation.
AEGiS is a 501c(3) tax-exempt educational and charitable corporation.

This has allowed AEGiS to not only fully-index the news, but they have also
been able to cross-reference the articles, so as to provide a comprehensive
history of the pandemic.

Although I am not a PWA, I have been a supporter of AEGiS's humanitarian
efforts since its inception. Sister Mary Elizabeth, the founder, is my

I urge the New York Times to support Mr. Petrelis' request, by providing
copies of all previous Times staff-produced HIV/AIDS-related articles to
AEGiS, on CDROM, along with either an e-mail news feed or permission to
clip the articles from the on-line version, along with written permission
to reproduce, archive, and disseminate free of charge to all in need via
the AEGiS web site at

Thank you for your consideration. I hope the Times will do the right
thing, and support AEGiS's humanitarian work.

Edwin F. Clark
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Catherine Mathis
The New York Times
VP of Corporate Communication

Dear Ms. Mathis:

Thanks for FedEx'ing a paper copy of the transcript of the New York Times' shareholders meeting, held on April 13.

As a shareholder and reader, I am disappointed the Times will not post the transcript on its web site.

I write today to ask you and Arthur Sulzberger Jr. to reconsider the decision to make the transcript available only to those who contact you and request a copy.

It's my belief that corporate transparency and accountability require such a document be widely shared with shareholders, the public and, of course, readers of the Times.

In any event, I have scanned and OCR'ed pages 14 through 38, and they're now available on my blog.

I have not posted pages 1 through 13 since they are Mr. Sulzberger's prepared remarks to the meeting, which included introduction of the directors and officers of the company and his review of financial matters to shareholders, with a few comments about select editorial matters.

If anyone wants those pages, they can contact you at

I look forward to your prompt reply.


Michael Petrelis

cc: Arthur Sulzberger Jr.; asulz@nytimes

[Excerpt of the transcript of the April 13 New York Times shareholders meeting at the New Amersterdam Theater. For a copy of the full transcript, contact Catherine Mathis at]

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: Thank you for your kind attention, and now for the business of this meeting. Let me say at the outset that we will conclude at 11:30 so everyone can get on with the rest of his or her day.

There are three proposals to be voted on by stockholders. I would like you to hold on to any questions you may have until I have outlined them for you. After that we will be happy to answer questions on these items. There will be another, more general Q&A period later in the program.

The first matter to be voted on is the election of 15 directors, five to be elected by the Class A stockholders and 10 by the Class B stockholders, as set forth in the proxy

The second proposal is to adopt a new Non-Employee Directors' Stock Incentive Plan, also as described in the proxy statement.

The third proposal is to ratify the selection of Deloitte & Touche LLP, independent auditors, as auditors for the fiscal year ending December 26, 2004.

The holders of Class A and Class B shares will vote separately for the election of directors. Stockholders holding either Class A or Class B shares are entitled to vote on
Proposals 2 and 3.

I would have asked now if there were any questions on these proposals, but I am actually going to do something a little different. I will recognize Mrs. Evelyn Y. Davis. She has asked me to bring her on early; she has another annual meeting to attend. Let me ask Evelyn to ask her questions and then we will come back.

MRS. EVELYN Y. DAVIS, stockholder: I am editor of Highlights and Lowlights of The Watergate in Washington, recently a panel member at the Securities and Exchange Commission Roundtable on "Director Improvement" or whatever it is. I'm sure you've all seen my op-ed piece on this issue in USA Today on March 29. However, I think the
directors should know that The New York Times has had very prejudicial reporting on this very important issue. It is the most important issue in my 40 years of going to annual meetings, where large shareholders are trying to keep small stockholders out of the proxy process and want to have all the stuff for themselves. This has been well covered by The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, USA Today, AP, Reuters and everybody else. However, The New York Times has only had the views of my competitors. Over and over again this Nell Minow and Sarah Teslik. I was thrown a little bone last October while they have been eating the chicken. This is outrageous. I think you should get a new SEC reporter to replace this prejudicial reporter. I'll tell you something: This whole thing will not get anywhere anyhow, because they don't know like I do-and I'm taking the part of the companies here-that this proposal is going too far. If people want to elect an independent director through the proxy statement, that's going too far. It will never go through to the SEC. The companies will take it to court, hopefully to the Supreme Court. It will never go through. Yet while all these publications have it, I'd like to know why The New York Times was consistently prejudicial in this. I brought this to your attention, yet no balanced viewpoints were presented on this at all. The Board should know this. This is absolutely outrageous. Why this Nell Minow and Sarah Teslik, every week you see their names in The Times. These same reporters could have called me for much better quotes. There was another thing just last Sunday in The New York Times in an article about companies meeting in difficult-to-reach locations and directors not attending. It was 1, Evelyn Y. Davis, who made the stink about this last year at the Morgan Stanley meeting in suburban Chicago. Yet the reporter, Patrick McGeehan, gave me no credit for this at all. And now the director, Phil Purcell, finally said he's doing this.

I think The New York Times should be doing something about these companies meeting at the same time. I have evidence that this is a conspiracy. Yesterday I received three calls from The Bank of New York employees who were at the meeting when everybody was laughing and said, "Evelyn can't be at the meeting, we're at the same time as The New York Times," and they were laughing. They told me they were laughing at the chairman who was so afraid of a little woman like me. They said, "Please, Mrs. Davis. Do come to our meeting." This is outrageous. There is also a very large shareholder, and I would be glad to give you the name of the large shareholder.

American Standard is also meeting on this same day as Citigroup next week; however, I heard about this and called Phil Purcell. To his credit after my complaint, instead of meeting at 9 in the morning, he is meeting at I 1. At least one has a chance to go there. I have seen them trying this over the years. This should be something The New York Times is writing about extensively. Other companies like Comcast, and he is on the board of The Bank of New York, is going to a different date this year. Believe you me, I will be there wherever my friend Brian Roberts will be. Some of the things he does are all right, but some are not. AT&T has changed it. All these thing The New York Times should really do a big story on this. I would be glad to supply you with the names.

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: Thank you. I think we have your point, Evelyn.

MRS. DAVIS: What about this stuff about this Nell Minow and Sarah Teslik. Every week they are in there a couple of times and my views are not heard.

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: We have a new Executive Editor who clearly needs some training.

MRS. DAVIS: Bill Keller has not returned my phone calls. Maybe we should get Howell Raines back. He always talked to me and always returned my phone calls. Like I said to you before, I am not going to lower myself and go into this Blair situation. There are people like that in every newspaper and I'm not going to lower myself to comment on this.

However, I want to make very sure we will not have any more use of anonymous sources in newspapers, in any newspaper. Most of it is fiction, or else a reporter can
disguise his or her own viewpoints in that. This is outrageous and should be discontinued-not only at The New York Times, but at all other newspapers.

The other thing: When we have this directors stock option plan, I am against it. I have a new resolution at Citigroup next week, which hasn't had notice from The New York Times, at least not yet, on this Sallie Krawchek getting $30 million, more than most CEOs. If you wait long enough, Arthur, you will get her pay. The New York Times hasn't made any notice of that when they had articles on executive compensation. I stated in the resolution that I have never seen such an outrageous pay package before. She's getting twice as much in stock options as the new CEO, Chuck Prince. Yet there have not been any comments on that.

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: Evelyn, I'm going to have to-

MRS. DAVIS: Just a moment. You talked for 45 minutes.

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: Actually only 28 minutes, and you're not going to match me, Evelyn. I will ask you, now. We will move on. I will cut the mike off in a second.

MRS. DAVIS: Darling, then you'll be stuck with me for the whole meeting.

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: Then take a seat.

MRS. DAVIS: I have one more comment.

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: We will take one more comment, Evelyn.

MRS. DAVIS: With the News Corporation now going into New York, is there any concern about this and what is The New York Times Corporation doing as preventative measures on this?

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: No, we have no concern about News Corp. officially moving to New York. They have been fundamentally based here for a number of years and we see no reason to change our strategy now. Evelyn, thank you for your comments. [Applause]

I will go back to our original plan. We talked about the three proposals. Are there any questions on these three proposals in particular?

MR. HARRY KORBA, stockholder: I want to air some comments, but I don't want to go around in circles. I get tired of hearing Mrs. Davis going around in circles. First of all, my name for the record is Harry Korba from Yonkers, New York, the fourth-largest city in the State of New York. Chairman Sulzberger, Jr., I'm very happy and honored this morning to be present at the 108th Annual Meeting of Stockholders of The New York Times Company.

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: It wouldn't be the same without you, sir.

MR. KORBA: This is my 16th out of the last 19 annual meetings of this Corporation, which I had the pleasure and honor of attending in person this morning.

Now some valid questions on the subject of the 15 directors, which we are voting upon at the present time. The 3 1 -page proxy statement dated March 2, 2004 on page 18, it states: "Fiscal December 28, 2003, seven director meeting held, up from six director meetings in fiscal December 29, 2002. These six director meetings in fiscal 2002 were all held at the corporate headquarters at 229 West 43rd Street. Chairman Sulzberger, Jr., where were these seven director meetings in fiscal 2003 held?

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: At the same location.

MR. KORBA: Question number 2, Chairman Sulzberger, Jr. As one of the 9,741 Class A stockholders as of January 30, 2004, 1 want to make some comments. Number 1: I'm very happy to see now that when the vote is in on behalf of these 15 directors, that The New York Times Company will have on its board five female directors.

Comment number 2 is this, and I want to extend my congratulations when I read your Letter to the Stockholders, which contained two to eight pages and also the I O-K annual report. The thing that actually baffles me, Chairman Sulzberger, Jr., I notice you had some very fine colored photographs of employees who are involved with this Corporation. I'm anxious to fmd out who the gentleman was who didn't have the courtesy to put down the names of these people who appear in these colored photographs. I think it was awful rude on his part to omit the names of these individuals.

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: I take your point. They all do in fact work for The New York Times Company in a variety of roles. Think of them as Everyperson. They were stand-ins for all our employees and that is why we did not identify them specifically. We will take this thought into account next year.

MR. KORBA: I want to extend a fine compliment. I see this Company in February of this year appointed a young lady by the name of Janet L. Robinson, 53 years of age, as Chief Operating Officer.

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: You had to fit that in, didn't you?

MR. KORBA: I also see that at the end of the year she will become the President and
Chief Executive Officer, succeeding a very fine gentleman by the name of Russell T.
Lewis, 56 years of age. [Applause]

The last comment in reference to the directors is this, and it's a very serious question. It relates to the price of the common stock. If any other stockholders want to make a comment about this after, first let me make my comments. Last year before this annual meeting was held on Tuesday morning, April 15, 2003, which was tax day, the Class A common stock closed on the New York Stock Exchange at $46.49. Yesterday it closed on the New York Stock Exchange at $46.73. So in the span of 12 months, the Class A common stock has risen 24 cents.

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: We'll take it. Thank you, sir.

Are there any more on just the three issues we have to vote on? Remember, we will have a general Q&A session in a moment.


CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: Seeing none, may I have a formal motion from the floor to nominate the Class A directors?

MR. STUART STOLLER, stockholder: I nominate Raul E. Cesan, William E. Kennard, Thomas Middelhoff, Henry B. Schacht and Donald M. Stewart for election as Class A directors for the coming year.

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: May I have a second?

MS. CATHERINE MATHIS, stockholder: I second the motion.

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: May I have a motion to elect the Class B directors?

MR. JAMES C. LESSERSOHN, stockholder: I nominate John F. Akers, Brenda C. Bames, Jacqueline H. Dryfoos, Michael Golden, Russell T. Lewis, David E. Liddle, Ellen R. Marram, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., Cathy J. Sulzberger and Doreen A. Toben for election as Class B directors for the coming year.

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: May I have a second?

MR. R. ANTHONY BENTEN, stockholder: I second the motion.


CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: Thank you. May I have a motion from the floor to move the adoption of proposal number 2 relating to the adoption of a new Non-Employee Directors' Stock Incentive Plan?

MS. ANN KRAUS, stockholder: Mr. Chairman, I move that the resolution relating to proposal number 2 be adopted by the stockholders.


MR. STOLLER: I second the motion.


May I have a motion from the floor to move the adoption of proposal number 3 relating to the appointment of Deloitte & Touche as auditors?

MR. BENTEN: Mr. Chairman, I move that the resolution relating to proposal number 3 be adopted by the stockholders.


MS. MATHIS: I second the motion.


MR. KORBA: On the subject of Deloitte & Touche, LLP, which is listed on page 31 of the 32-page proxy statement. Number one, Chairman Sulzberger, Jr., I want to compliment the management for seeing fit to put down what you paid this firm for their services for fiscal 2003, which was $1.929 million, which was up roughly $240,000 from fiscal 2002. My next comment, Chain-nan Sulzberger, Jr., is this. In reference to this audit fmn, Deloitte & Touche, LLP, I see it's been doing the business for this Company since 1939, so you are talking about being involved with this corporation for 65 years. I think it would be appropriate now if the Board of Directors would see fit to change this audit group. I am not saying they have made any kind of boo-boos, but I think to have the same audit firm for 65 years, it is about time to make a change.

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: Thank you. We do discuss this with some regularity at the Audit Committee. Certainly given the new laws and SEC regulations, we felt this was not a good time to change horses in midstream. But I promise we do look at this and take this issue seriously.

MR. KORBA: My last comment relates to a very serious question. In reference to December 28, 2003, how many full-time lawyers did The New York Times Company have on its payroll and how did it compare with December 29, 2002?

MR. SOLOMON B. WATSON IV, Senior Vice President and General Counsel: We had 10 full-time lawyers, the same as the year before.

Will the inspectors of election distribute ballots now? If you have already submitted your proxy, you need not vote by ballot. Please raise your hands if you require a ballot. [Pause] We will get those to you right now. Does everyone who needs a ballot have one? [Pause]

I now declare the polls closed and direct the ballots be picked up when they are filled out by the inspectors of election.


CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: While the inspectors of election are tabulating the votes I will take the opportunity to respond now to any general questions or comments about the business operations of the Company. Again, please use the microphones on the aisle. I will give this first to anybody who has not had a chance to speak.

MR. CLIFF KINCAID, proxy: Mr. Chairman, my name is Cliff Kincaid. I'm editor of the "Accuracy in Media" report. I appreciate this opportunity to be here. When I had my tape recorder confiscated on the way in, I thought perhaps you were having Antonin Scalia as a guest speaker-

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: We should be so lucky.

MR. KINCAID: -but I know you wouldn't permit that. I am assured we will get a transcript of this, because it is enlightening and revealing.

We have several questions. I will wait on the Jayson Blair question until later. Have you read his book, by the way?


MR. KINCAID: Do you have any plans to look at or read his book?


MR. KINCAID: Let's start off before that with another question, having to do with The Times's ventures into other media, including television. We've been fascinated by the fact that you own a television station in Oklahoma City, KFOR. A very brave, courageous
investigative reporter was working down there by the name of Jayna -Davis, who has now published a book. I have it in my hand. It's titled The Third Terrorist: The Middle East Connection to the Oklahoma City Bombing. She did several stories for that KFOR television station in Oklahoma City about just that-a Middle Eastern connection to the Oklahoma City bombing. And yet even though you own this station and she did these stories for that station, we have found only one tiny little paragraph in one story that was carried back on February 29 in a story by Ralph Blumenthal noting her work on this issue, and the fact, according to the story, that Jayna Davis has long maintained she has uncovered ties between Mr. McVeigh and Mr. Nichols, and Iraqi soldiers operating undercover in the United States, and that she gave this information to the FBI without adequate follow-up.

We are here on a day when the war in Iraq is continuing with discussions, investigations and hearings into what happened before 9/1 1. Here you have one of your own news organizations with a reporter who has now written a book, and not only has the book not been reviewed by The New York Times, but she is given only one tiny paragraph.

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: I take your point.

MR. KINCAID: Don't you think this subject deserves more attention from The New York Times?

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: I don't know the author or the book. I'll certainly look into it.

MR. KINCAID: How will you look into that?

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: I'll talk to our editor. I have lunch with him tomorrow.

MR. KINCAID. You will, excellent. Thank you very much.

MR. MICHAEL PETRELIS, stockholder: Good morning. My name is Michael Petrelis.

I'm a gay man who has come from San Francisco because I am now a shareholder in the
Company. I have here a memo I have sent to Mr. Sulzberger that I have copies I would like to give to the board and anyone else who would like one. I'm asking for 10 particulars of deep concern to me to be considered. I will only go over a few of them, because you have the memo, Mr. Sulzberger.

The top item is I see a need for a reporter's disclosure page section on The New York Times's Website. We readers must know about outside activities on the part of the editorial staff. In particular, your chief medical reporter, Dr. Lawrence K. Altman, has numerous current outside activities that the general reader does not know about. In particular I am concerned about his connections with the Center for Disease Control, and I don't mean decades ago, I mean currently. He is an advisor to the National Foundation for the CDC, a nonprofit organization. I want readers to know about his connections, not just with the CDC, but also the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Science, the University of California, the NYU Medical Center, the Josiah Macy Foundation and the Merck Manual.

Another point is I would like The Times on its Website to disclose all the Federal Election Commission records for editorial staff since 1980, showing donations made by editorial folks at The Times to political candidates and causes.

My two final points are, I would like The New York Times on its Website for The Neediest Cases Fund and The New York Times Foundation to post the IRS 990 forms. Currently neither Website publishes the IRS 990 forms, and I think donors and readers have to know about these forms, that they are publicly available, not just on other Websites but to anyone who wants these IRS 990s.

Finally, an issue very dear to me, because I had to borrow the money to buy stock in this Company and borrow the money to come here. I can't afford to buy former AIDS and HIV stories on The Times's Website. I go to a Website called It's run by a Roman Catholic nun in California, and The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, all make their HIV/AIDS stories available to her for free, especially for AIDS patients like me who are on Social Security disability who can't afford the fee, if you want an old story from The Times. I've had some problems with Times's AIDS stories, but for the history of the AIDS epidemic, The Times should make the stories available to us. We should be able to look without fee at stories by Gina Kolata, for example. So please, consider making the AIDS archives available to Sister Mary Elizabeth for free.

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: We will indeed, and we will get back to you on those other questions you posed, as I promised we would when we were talking.

MR. PETRELIS: So you'll e-mail me?

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: Yes, we'll get you something. As you know, it's been a busy day. I have your e-mail in my queue, I printed it out and we'll get back to you.

MR. MARCO SUPRUN, stockholder: Mr. Chairman, distinguished board, distinguished shareholders, first of all I would like to extend my thanks for your stewardship in the last year. I'm a new shareholder. I'm also the son of Holodomor survivor. The Holodomor was a famine-genocide that occurred for roughly 20 years, as recent documents are showing, in the Soviet Union, particularly in the Ukraine. Last year a campaign was started to revoke the Walter Duranty Pulitzer Prize. The Pulitzer Prize was awarded for reporting ostensibly that the famine did not occur. I would like to formally propose that the board willingly reject or return the Pulitzer, and that perhaps, if failing to do so, the shareholders consider this as a formal vote. It is time that the memory of ten million people who perished under Soviet communism be honored in that way and perhaps provide space to have the Holodomor survivors, the famine/genocide survivors, tell their stories. In the same way that on today's date, April 13, 1945, President FDR passed away and it is rather ironic we have this meeting today. In 1944 Victor Kravchenko, who was in charge of purchasing for the Soviet government, defected from Washington to New York, came to The New York Times, and The New York Times upheld his plight to show us Stalin and what the communist system did to the people of the former Soviet Union. I simply ask that this year we consider willingly returning the Pulitzer and atone for this mistake. Thank you.

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: Thank you. Just to take this a little further, this is about the Walter Duranty Pulitzer Prize. The Pulitzer board spent a year looking into this issue. We left it to them -They made a decision not to take the Pulitzer back and that was their decision. They did that for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the Pulitzer was given to Mr. Duranty prior to his coverage of this issue.

We have, however, voluntarily adapted the Pulitzer picture to put in a very lengthy explanation about Mr. Duranty's extraordinary flaws in his coverage. We want to use this as an historical moment, so as people go down the hallway where our Pulitzers are hung, they will read in depth that while Mr. Duranty won a Pulitzer prior to this, his coverage of it was awful, and they will read why. We are taking it seriously, but it wasn't our decision to make.


CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: I have just been advised that the inspectors of election are ready to report on the voting. Let me take one second to hear from them, and then I will come back to you. Thank you.

INSPECTOR OF ELECTION: Mr. Chairman, before giving you the vote we will now give you the formal report on stockholders represented at this meeting. This report, which will be filed with the Secretary of the Company, indicates that the holders of record of 129,097,584 shares of Class A common stock out of a total number of 149,415,182 shares, and the holders of record 793,105 shares of Class B common stock out of a total of 840,316 shares, are represented at this meeting in person or by proxy.

We have canvassed the votes cast at this meeting on the three proposals and the results on each are as follows: Each Class A director received at least 124,861,415 votes and each Class B director received at least 792,905 votes.

Proposal number 2 to adopt a new Non-Employee Directors' Stock Incentive Plan passed with 68,489,583 shares of Class A votes in favor, and 781,314 Class B votes in favor.

Proposal number 3 to ratify the selection of auditors passed with 126,514,968 Class A votes in favor and 792,881 Class B votes in favor.

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: Thank you. I declare that the persons named in proposal 1 have been elected as directors--congratulations to all of you and Doreen, welcome to our board-and that proposals 2 and 3 have been duly adopted. The inspectors of election are directed to file their report on the results of the voting on these three proposals with the Secretary of the Company.


CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: Now we will take questions until 11:30 a.m.

MR. BARRY BRENNER, stockholder: My name is Barry Brenner, I've been in the newspaper industry for a little over 45 years basically delivering your products. I've only attended six of your annual meetings. I attend basically to bring back to the people I work with some information about what's happening. Their main concern seems to be, and in some regard it's documented, at present 47 percent of your daily circulation is out of town and 51 percent of your Sunday is out of town. A lot of these guys have been around for quite some time and they would like to see some sort of department set up to have a better relationship with them in knowing what's happening. We can only go by the results we see in either movement of operation and consolidating shops, reduction in our orders, condensing of routes. Basically there is some personal fear as to where we are all going.

I have met in the past with a couple of the union officials as well as part of your management staff, and there were times in the past with Lance and not too far back with Russ, about setting up somebody-maybe Janet will bail us out-in setting up something. Not that "Mary was moved to the billing department," or "Mary Jones just gave birth," but someone who can give us a little insight as well as receive some information from your employees. The union I belong to only represents a little less than 10 percent of your total employment. We really don't have a handle on where we're going.

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: Thank you for asking that question; it's a very thoughtful one.

MR. BRENNER: I just have one more question. I finally got some sort of response to the question I had asked last year, which in part was what I just asked you. The second question was kind of off the wall, but I did get an answer. It was satisfying when an answer arrived; however, nothing was really done. I don't want anybody to take this personally, but it's to Rhonda. It concerns the fact that some of your employees, primarily myself that I can document, are up to six-last year it was five-annual reports. It was suggested that my concern was well taken and it would be looked into. I don't know if I concluded with which direction I wanted it to go, but I was hoping you'd get down to about one or two catalogs and saving the Company some money.

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: Yes, that is a continuing concern of ours and we are working on this. Rhonda, would you like to say anything about this?

MR. RHONDA BRAUER, Corporate Secretary and Senior Counsel: I apologize for these deliveries and we will follow up with you. Every year we try to improve.

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: We do work hard on this.

To get back to your first question, Scott Heekin-Canedy, the head of the business side of 7he New York Times, is here. He had a chance to hear this question and we can try to find a way to address it, either in TimesTalk or perhaps in some of the other communication devices we now use. I want to assure you our commitment is to build our circulation in this city. We are not interested in building circulation outside of New York at the expense of New York. One of the biggest challenges the management team has put in front of the new management team of The New York Times, both on the management and business sides, is to find ways to strengthen our circulation New York City and in the suburbs. This is one of the two most critical issues we are facing this year.

MR. BRENNER: There seems to be a definite commitment on the part of a number of your employees to possibly show you ways of doing that. Yet if we have nobody to talk to, it goes.

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: We'll work on that, I promise.

MR. ANDY HUM, proxy: Andy Hum from The Gay City News. Earlier this year The Times fired a stringer named Jay Blotcher ostensibly because he had been a spokesperson for the AIDS advocacy group ACT UP about 15 years ago. For the benefit of aspiring journalists, what advocacy activities in their youth ought they avoid to be ever considered for Times employment?

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: As you know, The Times went through some misery last year that caused us to undertake a conscientious review of our standards and practices. In keeping with that, our Metropolitan editor began a review of our stringer list to make sure our policies involving conflicts of interest were enforced. In some cases we ended the ties we had with stringers, people who work for The Times on a very occasional basis. Mr. Blotcher, whom you just mentioned, was one of them. It was not for his membership in an anti-AIDS organization, but because of his work as a press spokesman and a public relations consultant. His work was recent enough that we worry he is identified in the public mind as an advocate. We were not concerned about it in his earlier life; we are concerned about it now. We would have taken action if this organization that Mr. Blotcher was involved in had been the AARP, or the NRA. If you or Mr. Blotcher doesn't understand the reason for this action, then I'm sorry. But the reputation my colleagues and I are paid to protect is that of The New York Times and we will do so, even against the opposition of those who, willingly or not, would see us sully our name.

MR. HUM: You understand that every member of ACT UP was considered a spokesperson for the group.

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: You may want to re-think that if you want them to work for The New York Times.

HENRY J. STERN, stockholder: I've been a reader of The New York Times for over 60 years. I started during your very good coverage of World War 11. I've been a shareholder for the last 18 years. I think enormously of The Times as an institution.

My question is about your editorial policy. Now that you've become a national and world newspaper, your editorials have an effect that go far beyond New York City in presenting significant American public opinion to the world. You have a right to say whatever you wish, because this is a free press. But I question, for example, what is the diversity of opinion on your Editorial Board? In "diversity" I don't mean gender or ethnicity, because I'm certain that's there, looking at the platform, but diversity of ideas. Who is the Roger Starr on today's Editorial Board, for example?

The second question is, what standards do you follow in determining an editorial policy? I know you do extraordinary work in management and business policy, and you've recently significantly increased your fact-checking in the news part. The one part that hasn't been reviewed in this way are the editorials and the opinion columns. In some ways they don't meet the standard you have established for the rest of the paper. I want to suggest you look into this issue over the next year to see if it is perhaps more representative or more diverse or whatever you think should be done.

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: I will be happy to look into that further. We did make some senior management changes in the Editorial Board just recently. I want to assure you, however, that the op-ed columns and the Editorial Board are held to the same factual standards as are The New York Times reporters. Obviously they have opinions, and that is different. But our new public editor, Dan Okrent, has oversight for those pages. He has the ability to comment on our op-ed columns and how we handle mistakes. You have seen changes in that over the last few months. Indeed, just a day or two ago one of our columnists ran a correction at the bottom of her column. That's new. But I take your point and I'll look into it.

MR. STERN: In a serious way, and especially because of the increased global importance of The New York Times.

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: Thank you. And just so you know, we also have an Editorial Page editor of the International Herald Tribune, which has some similarity but also some differences from The New York Times.

MR. KINCAID: Mr. Chairman, you talked about the Pulitzer board not taking back the Duranty Pulitzer Prize, but isn't it a fact that you wrote the Pulitzer board before they made their decision, saying nothing would be served by revoking the Prize? You put pressure on that board to come to that decision, didn't you?

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: No, Sir. I made my opinion clear; I did not put pressure on that board.

MR. KINCAID: But you wrote a letter to that board, didn't you, exactly the way I described it?

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: Absolutely. I'm not arguing with your description. I'm arguing with the way you characterize it. Everyone has the right to express an opinion. It was an important subject; I expressed mine. If you recall, at the very end I said, "We will happily live with whatever decision you make," and I put that in the letter.

MR. KINCAID: So, Mr. Chairman, you keep up the photograph or portrait of Mr. Duranty in The Times Building. Naturally you ostracized Jayson Blair. But there are some things in his book that have yet to be addressed. He says in his book that at The Times everyone seemed to know about his drinking, even the Metro desk administrator, who was used to signing off on the frequent multi-hundred-dollar tabs from the bars. Life was turning into a big party on the corporate dime, says Mr. Blair. He goes on to say that "public relations executives would provide The Times reporters free theater tickets, free meals and drinks, and sometimes even sex for mentions in the newspaper." Now what have you done to get to the bottom of these allegations and resolve them?

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: If you choose to believe this gentleman, that's your problem. I do not believe him; he's a known liar. I believe the standards we have put into place in the newsroom and on the corporate side have strengthened our journalism, strengthened the way we operate, strengthened the way we relate to the outside world. Quite frankly, I am not interested, I am not interested, in what Jayson Blair has to say about anything. If you want to read that book, you go right ahead; but if that man told me it was raining outside today, I probably wouldn't bring my umbrella. Thank you.

SUSAN D. BIRN, stockholder: Would you believe what I said?

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: Probably not. [Laughter]

MS. BIRN: I have a few questions. On the Board of Directors, how many people are minorities?


MS. BIRN: Out of how many people?

MS. BRAUER: Currently out of 14 and 15 after today.

MS. BIRN: So it is about 20 percent? Also, how many employees died while on the job in the last 20 years for any reason or cause? I'd like to know. You won't have the answer today, but I would expect an answer in the mail. Please, no photos. It's very annoying. I did get a letter I believe from Mrs. Robinson, and I thank her very much for her reply from last year.

Also, I would like it known that probably the reason why the increase of outside circulation is for people who are looking for jobs, because that would be the proper age-the 40s, 50s and 30s, possibly the 20s. You are asking why you had an increase-that is probably why.

Last but not least, I would like to direct this to Mr. Golden. Mr. Golden, congratulations.

MR. MICHAEL GOLDEN, Vice Chairman and Publisher of the International Herald Tribune: Thank you.

MS. BIRN: The Herald Tribune has delivered its news in the foreign areas I have gone to in a very timely manner. Years ago, if you recall, I had made mention about that, that it was quite delayed. It has improved.

MR. GOLDEN: Thank you.

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: That is very kind of you.

MR. SUPRUN: Mr. Chairman, honorable members of the board and distinguished shareholders. In the name of my father, Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank you for taking the step you have in identifying the inaccuracies and as you said, "the horrible reporting" and lies Mr. Duranty wrote about. It is a step in the right direction, but it is only one step. There is a policy currently at The New York Times Company that doesn't allow outside visitors up to view the Pulitzer Prize in particular. It might be more appropriate to that step that has been taken to bring the Pulitzers down so the public can view them and you can extend that knowledge to the general public. I recently tried to take a picture for Professor Lubomyr Luciuk of the Ukrainian-Canadian Civil Liberties Association, who is publishing a book and wanted to give The New York Times the opportunity to show this photo and the captions you mentioned. Yet I was denied access.

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: I will get you a photo of that.

MR. SUPRUN: Second, I would also like to say to outline that, you mentioned just moments ago that part of your job is to defend the reputation of The New York Times. I submit to you that willingly abiding by the decision of the Pulitzer Committee, albeit they may be learned individuals, is somewhat unbefitting of this institution. I think if you showed the initiative under your leadership and willingly returned the Pulitzer, I think that would do much more for the reputation of The New York Times and for setting straight an historical wrong. I do implore you to take that action independently, and failing that again I would like to propose that to the shareholders perhaps at the next annual meeting. Thank you very much.


MR. KORBA: I want to ask you two easy questions, Chairman Sulzberger, Jr. Number one is this: This evening at 8:30 President Bush will hold his third prime-time press conference. Who will the reporter be from The New York Times at that press conference? CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: I don't know the answer, but I suspect it will be our White House Bureau Chief, Elisabeth Bumiller. But I don't know that for a fact.

MR. KORBA: My last comment is this. In reference to February 2002, this Company invested $75 million in New England Sports Network, which involves the franchise of the Boston Red Sox and the great ballpark called Fenway Park. This is my question: In reference to 2003, how much income did this Company receive from New England Sports Network?


MR. RUSSELL T. LEWIS, President and Chief Executive Officer: The primary reason we purchased an interest in the New England sports ventures, which include both the cable channel, the Red Sox and Fenway Park, was to strengthen our brand presence in Boston. The Globe and the Red Sox are probably the two leading brands in Boston. As a result we've sold several million dollars' worth of advertising in combination, done joint marketing and joint promotional work together. You see The Boston Globe and names and logos advertised at Fenway Park when you go there. Those efforts are both profitable and on track.

In terms of the joint venture itself, we don't receive cash dividends from it, but when we do and we expect we will, they will be reported in our consolidated financial statements under "equity interests."

MR. KORBA: And my last comment, Chairman Sulzberger, relates to you. In reference to fiscal 2003, how many ball games did you have the honor of attending in person at Fenway Park?

MR. LEWIS: I substituted for the Chairman on at least five occasions.

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: The last ball game I went to was a couple of years ago. It bored me to tears. I just hate the game.

MR. PETRELIS: On the issue of advocacy by New York Times journalists, I certainly see Dr. Altman as an advocate for the CDC. Frequently he'll write AIDS or HIV-related stories about the CDC, and there are no voices from outside the Agency. There are no voices in his stories critical of the Center for Disease Control, especially related to HIV prevention. My question is, what is it going to take to get Dr. Altman and The Times to include voices critical of the CDC?

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: As you know, we reviewed Dr. Altman's activities. We have a new standards editor, Al Siegal, and he undertook that review. All the known outside activities by Larry Altman have been authorized by The Times. Dr. Altman's unpaid position on the NYU medical faculty and his membership on an Advisory Board of the CDC, which oversees a journalism education fellowship, are consistent with our guidelines. There are members of the AIDS community, and I'm sure you are one, who have for years made a target of Dr. Altman, which we frankly regard as killing the messenger, because they don't like some of the developments he reports on AIDS research.

MR. PETRELIS: Not true; we're just asking for outside voices not connected to the CDC. You are not addressing my question.

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: You interrupted me. We think Larry Altman is a great asset to The Times, in part because he is one of the only practicing physicians who works as a journalist and our readers benefit from that. We do have other voices working on CDC stories; it is not true it is just Larry Altman. I don't feel what you just said is fair.

MR. STERN. I see you are doing repeaters, so I venture to come forward.

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: We have eight more minutes.

MR. STERN: But I won't take them. I just wanted to commend you. One escapes me. That is what happens when you read The Times for 60 years. Now I remember. First, I think you were right in not returning the Pulitzer Prize for Walter Duranty, even though his reputation is flawed and his pieces were horrible. You don't rewrite history. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 and that is the point. It is more significant for you to have the Prize and then have the explanation than to simply have it vanish from the wall. That is like what the Soviet Union did when Lavrenti Beria was executed, they took him out of the great Soviet encyclopedia and put in a lengthy article on the Bering Sea, which was the next thing alphabetically, which the readers could paste in instead. That is definitely not historically correct, so you are right on that issue.

Another thing that is quite good is the crosswords. They are really good. Thirty years ago at The New York Post there was an argument between James Wexler and Dorothy Schiff about which was the most popular column in the paper. They conducted a survey to find out, and they found out the feature most read in The New York Post was the horoscope.

The New York Times does not have horoscopes and I'm not suggesting you do. I wonder if the role of the horoscope wouldn't be taken in recent years by the crossword puzzle. I see a lot of people doing them on the subway.

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: Thank you for saying that. Can I ask you a question?

How good are you on the Sunday puzzle?

MR. STERN: The Sunday is easy. The tough one is Friday, that is the worst. This Friday I was totally stumped. That is good, because it builds humility.


UNIDENTIFIED, stockholder: I wonder if the Board would review your position on either restoration or other help to the old building that was your historical first birthplace, important to your history and the history of New York.

CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: You are talking about the original building from 1851.

MR. SUPRUN: I do have to address the gentleman's concern about rewriting history. The New York Times has on numerous occasions taken space out of the newspaper to discredit Holocaust deniers. Walter Duranty denied that the famine genocide occurred. It is not airbrushing history in the same way the Stalinists did. It is correcting and proving to the world that Stalin and the communist regime engineered a manmade famine that lasted decades. As you well know, a famine is not a gas chamber. It cannot be turned on and off. The apex of the famine was from 1932 to 1933. It began much earlier and ended finally much later. It is not airbrushing history. There are Holodomor deniers, there are famine genocide deniers, just as there are Holocaust deniers. I doubt that The New York Times would ever allow a Holocaust denier who may have won a Pulitzer Prize to honor the hallway of The New York Times Company, let alone go without an explanation. Please, I implore you, that is the worst analogy you could possibly make.


CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: I will now entertain a motion that this meeting be adjourned.

MS. KRAUS: I move that the meeting be adjourned.

MR. STOLLER: I second the motion.



CHAIRMAN SULZBERGER: Opposed? [None] Thank you. This meeting is adjourned.

Saturday, May 01, 2004

May 1, 2004

Supervisor Sophie Maxwell
City Hall
San Francisco, CA

Re: Healthy Vagina Campaign

Dear Supervisor Maxwell:

The Department of Public Health's laudable Healthy Penis campaign to educate men about preventing sexually transmitted diseases has been underway for two years now, but I write today not about that campaign. [1]

My concern is that there is no comparable DPH Healthy Vagina effort targeting women at risk of contracting STDs. Simply put, the vagina just doesn't get the respect it deserves from DPH.

I would like to meet with you to discuss why I believe it's necessary for the city to begin a publicly funded Healthy Vagina social marketing campaign, equal to the Healthy Penis campaign.

The two things I wish to discuss are:

1. Persuading DPH to include female subcategories in the monthly gonorrhea table;

2. Directing DPH to create, design and implement a Healthy Vagina social marketing campaign, equal in funding levels and every other way to the Healthy Penis effort.

Frankly, creating campaigns only for men and the penis, without doing the same for women and the vagina, is scientific sexism at its worst, not just because it ignores the health needs of women, but because it unjustifiably renders women and the vagina invisible as part of the public health agenda, which shouldn't be allowed within our health department.

A prime example of the department engaging in discrimination against women can be found every month in the department's monthly STD report.

Table one of the report is for gonorrhea cases, including three subcategories for oral, penile and rectal cases for men. [2]

Yet, no such comparable data is provided for women.

Whatever the number of female gonorrhea cases is in a given month, the public should have that data in the monthly STD reports.

As you may know, the most recent annual STD summary for the City documents that a "small increase in gonorrhea during 2002 in San Francisco occurred in both males and females." [3]

The 2002 summary shows 366 female gonorrhea cases detected in 2001, with the number rising to 374 cases for 2002. [4]

Female early syphilis cases also jumped during this time, almost doubled, in fact. In 2001 the city had 6 cases, and in 2002, 11 cases were reported. [5]

These climbing cases of female syphilis and gonorrhea clearly show a demand for a Healthy Vagina campaign, as a needed component within an overall healthy female sexuality educational effort.

We must also take into account the fact that the latest annual STD report calls attention to race and gender specifics in the female gonorrhea numbers, which shows one more reason why such an effort is called for.

"The [gonorrhea] rate for African American women was 21 times greater than white women," was a finding in the 2002 report. [6]

For selected background information on two social marketing campaigns currently promoting healthy vagina agendas, one in the United Kingdom, and another in the United States, founded and run by African American women, follow the last two links listed below. [7, 8]

Our health department might consider incorporating elements of these vaginal health crusades into a successful San Francisco-specific Healthy Vagina campaign.

Please contact me at your earlier convenience to set up a time to meet and discuss these issues.


Michael Petrelis
San Francisco, CA
Ph: 415-621-6267

1. Healthy Penis
2. Monthly S.F. STD report
3. Annual S.F. STD report, Page 4
4. Annual S.F. STD report, Page 21
5. Annual S.F. STD report, Page 21
6. Annual S.F. STD report, Page 2
7. Vulval Health Awareness Campaign
8. African American Women Evolving

[This letter is addressed to Supervisor Sophie Maxwell, but is also being sent to the other Supervisors, with whom meetings are similarly sought.]