Supposedly "shrouded in mystery" and built "presumably for some mysteriously bellicose purposes," (and "while Iran has tried to conceal its underground nuclear-related sites" -- I guess the NY Times had to get a lie about the nuclear issue in there too) the author proceeds to quote various US military officials suggesting that Iran was going to make some sort of "propaganda point" with the fake ship, and so the 5th Fleet rushed to "get ahead of the Iranians" by announcing it to the media...which proceeded to run with the "Iranian propaganda" story.
So the NY Times came out with a story about a "mysterious" Iranian mock-up of a US naval carrier.
the more obvious reason for the construction of such mock-ups --to make a movie -- is not even seriously considered by the NY Times. And, turns out that the US military apparently didn't know, and the NY Times couldn't be bothered to check, that Iran is in fact making a movie about the 1988 US shooting down of the Iranian Airbus.
The movie was announced in 2013, as al-Monitor states. http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/03/iran-movie-aircraft-crash-filming.html
I mean, if this isn't the most obvious example of the US media totally abrogating any semblence of objectivity and professionalism when dealing with Iran-related stories, I don't know what is.
But note that al-Monitor doesn't ask the obvious question: why is did US Navy and the NY Times so misrepresent this story? Are they incompetent, or just evil? Why did the US media run with the claims? Why didn't anyone bother checking it? What broader conclusions can we reach
about the state of the US media's coverage of Iran affairs?
Note that had the Iranian government promoted such bullshit in the media, al-Monitor would be hosting a march of "Iran experts" opining about it and reaching all sorts of broader conclusions about Iran, but don't expect any sort of self-analysis from the US media.
Oh, btw, who was actually promoting propaganda?