FORTUNE -- Slipping back into a lazy editorial stance that it rode last year all the way to a Pulitzer Prize, the New York Times has crafted a front page story about the growing problem of cellphone thefts that manages to shift the blame from the thieves who steal them to the carriers that subsidize them and the manufacturers that make them -- singling out Apple (AAPL) in particular.
The piece in Thursday's paper -- Cellphone Thefts Grow, but the Industry Looks the Other Way -- leads with an anecdote about an iPhone snatched in the Bronx and never recovered. Within five paragraphs the authors -- Brian X. Chen and Malia Wollan -- have taken readers to a meeting with Apple:
George Gascón, San Francisco's district attorney, says handset makers like Apple should be exploring new technologies that could help prevent theft. In March, he said, he met with an Apple executive, Michael Foulkes, who handles its government relations, to discuss how the company could improve its antitheft technology. But he left the meeting, he said, with no promise that Apple was working to do so.
He added, "Unlike other types of crimes, this is a crime that could be easily fixed with a technological solution."
A few problems with this thesis:
The Times piece doesn't say so, but the reason iPhones are favored by thieves is they hold their resale value better than competing smartphones.
The New York Post reported in February that Apple was working with a special team at the New York Police Department assigned to track down stolen iPhones. When the NYPD provides Apple with a unique identifier, the company tries to locate it -- something it can often do even if the owner hasn't installed Find My Phone.
Somehow that bit didn't make it into the Times' story.
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