The New York Times Company has paid $114,000 and apologized to the prime minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, for an article that included that country in a discussion of Asian family political dynasties, reports Reuters.
The article has been taken down from the Web site of the Times's International Herald Tribune, but a copy is available here, along with a nifty photo illustration of a kangaroo court, apparently intended as commentary on the rule of law in Singapore.
The offending article apparently breached the contributor's earlier agreement "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."
You'd think that the Times Company, of all places, given all the Sulzbergers, Goldens, and Dolnicks working there, would know better than to suggest that Lee Hsien Loong achieved his position on the basis of anything other than merit. That said, a family-run business is one thing, a family-run country, another.