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Should Conservatives Give The New York Times a Break?
Townhall.com ^ | 8/6/05 | Mark Tapscott

Posted on 08/06/2005 2:11:28 PM PDT by wagglebee

Thanks to a virtual blackout by his fellow editors elsewhere in the media, odds are good that you haven’t heard or read that Executive Editor Bill Keller of The New York Times recently capitulated in the debate over bias in America’s newspaper of record.

Keller’s capitulation came in a lengthy memo he distributed in the Times’ newsroom in May as a response to an updating of a massive report by a committee appointed in the wake of the Jayson Blair scandal to recommend measures to restore the gray lady’s credibility.

In a section of the memo headed “The News/Opinion Divide,” Keller conceded that "even sophisticated readers of The New York Times sometimes find it hard to distinguish between news coverage and commentary in our pages." The Times will always carry both news and opinion, but, Keller argued, “we should make the distinction as clear as possible.”

Think about those statements for a moment. Here we have the top man in the newsroom at the nation’s most important daily – the newspaper that more than any other sets the mainstream print and broadcast media’s agenda – essentially conceding what countless critics have argued for years. Thus we see a storied institution admitting its need to rededicate itself to achieving a standard previously claimed as the daily norm of performance.

Not only that, but Keller also conceded one of the major problems facing the Times in the aftermath of the Blair scandal is the cultural isolation that marks the paper’s newsroom. To counter that isolation, Keller encouraged his colleagues to undertake "a concerted effort to stretch beyond our predominantly urban, culturally liberal orientation, to cover the full range of our national conversation."

To drive the point home, Keller also noted that "our news coverage needs to embrace unorthodox views and contrarian opinions and to portray lives both more radical and more conservative than those most of us experience. We need to listen carefully to colleagues who are at home in realms that are not familiar to most of us."

Again, think about those words. Critics have charged for years that the Times newsroom is out of step with the majority of the country because the editorial staff represents but a small atypical slice of American demographics and opinion. That narrowness in turn has handicapped the daily’s ability to identify, assess and credibly report much of the news deemed important by the rest of the nation. Now Keller says it’s time for the newsroom to get in touch with the rest of America.

A significant part of the effort to reach out to the rest of the nation concerns the Times’ ability to understand the one-third of Americans who identify themselves as religious conservatives (i.e. evangelicals and fundamentalists of all stripes, plus conservative Catholics and Orthodox Jews).

To that end, Keller encouraged the daily newsroom staff to listen to colleagues working on the Times’ magazine for lessons “about portraying religious conservatives in an interesting and three-dimensional way.” He also warned about “the misuse of [the phrase] ‘religious fundamentalists’ to describe religious conservatives.”

Perhaps Keller would be willing to host an internal editorial seminar featuring Christian journalists like David Neff of Christianity Today, Christian philosophers like Nancy Pearcey and Christian bloggers like Joe Carter of Evangelical Outpost to explain the lay of the religious conservative land?

So how should long-suffering critics of the Times react to Keller’s words and actions? Much of the commentary on the Right side of the Blogosphere has been rather predictably negative, snarky or sarcastic, or some combination thereof. I believe that approach is mistaken.

How about instead we offer Keller encouragement and praise for ‘fessing up’ to serious problems of longstanding and for putting his own career and prestige on the line in making the effort to deal with those problems in a systematic and reasonable way?

It wouldn’t hurt, either, for Times critics on the Right to show some patience because changing an entrenched culture like that of a newsroom isn’t going to happen overnight, nor will it occur without some unexpectedly abbreviated careers and a surplus of discontent bred by an inability or refusal to change.

There will certainly be times when Keller and his newsroom allies will wonder if it’s really worth the effort. A good word from those who have been on the outside critically looking in may be the difference between throwing in the towel and fighting the good fight another day. I say give the man a break. And some encouragement.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: jaysonblair; leftistmedia; liberalmedia; lyingmedia; mediabias; newyorktimes; nyt
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In a section of the memo headed “The News/Opinion Divide,” Keller conceded that "even sophisticated readers of The New York Times sometimes find it hard to distinguish between news coverage and commentary in our pages."

That's because the every page of the paper is full of lies!

Critics have charged for years that the Times newsroom is out of step with the majority of the country because the editorial staff represents but a small atypical slice of American demographics and opinion.

I'll go a step further, the Old Gray Whore is actually on the side of America's enemies.

1 posted on 08/06/2005 2:11:29 PM PDT by wagglebee
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To: wagglebee

"Should Conservatives Give The New York Times a Break?"

NO


2 posted on 08/06/2005 2:13:02 PM PDT by Indy Pendance
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To: wagglebee

No. Next question?


3 posted on 08/06/2005 2:14:56 PM PDT by Tax-chick (Liberals: Too stupid to realize Dick Cheney is the real Dark Lord.)
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To: wagglebee

The first step is admitting you have a problem.


4 posted on 08/06/2005 2:15:18 PM PDT by Originalist (Clarence Thomas for Chief Justice!!)
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To: wagglebee
"Should Conservatives Give The New York Times a Break?"

Certainly.

Both legs and a shoulder should do nicely.

5 posted on 08/06/2005 2:15:36 PM PDT by SAJ (`)
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To: wagglebee
What an absurd article.

It plays into the conservative "Why can't we all just get along?" attitude.

The NYT is liberal because the Sulzberger family which OWNS the NTY is. It will continue to be so, until the publisher "Pinch" Sulzberger changes his views.

To believe otherwise, is to be naive.
6 posted on 08/06/2005 2:15:53 PM PDT by rcocean (Copyright is theft and loved by Hollywood socialists)
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To: Indy Pendance
"Should Conservatives Give The New York Times a Break?"

BWAHAHAHA!

7 posted on 08/06/2005 2:15:53 PM PDT by GVnana
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To: wagglebee
It wouldn’t hurt, either, for Times critics on the Right to show some patience because changing an entrenched culture like that of a newsroom isn’t going to happen overnight, nor will it occur without some unexpectedly abbreviated careers and a surplus of discontent bred by an inability or refusal to change.

It certainly would change overnight if half of the current staff was fired and replaced with conservatives.

8 posted on 08/06/2005 2:16:21 PM PDT by peyton randolph (Warning! It is illegal to fatwah a camel in all 50 states)
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To: wagglebee

Hmmm... NO!!


9 posted on 08/06/2005 2:17:30 PM PDT by newzjunkey (Choose LIFE. Circumcision = Barbarism. It's HIS body; what about HIS right to choose?)
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To: Indy Pendance
"Should Conservatives Give The New York Times a Break?"

NO

I'm a conservative and I hope they do go broke.

10 posted on 08/06/2005 2:18:09 PM PDT by evad ( PC KILLS..and so do liberal judges.)
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To: Indy Pendance

How about absolutely NOT?


11 posted on 08/06/2005 2:18:09 PM PDT by MamaB (mom to an angel)
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To: wagglebee

I find their newfound honesty in self-evaluation refreshing.

however, they shall have no "break" from me until they earn it.

talk is cheap.


12 posted on 08/06/2005 2:18:15 PM PDT by King Prout (and the Clinton Legacy continues: like Herpes, it is a gift that keeps on giving.)
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To: wagglebee
"I'll go a step further, the Old Gray Whore is actually on the side of America's enemies."

Good call!
13 posted on 08/06/2005 2:18:15 PM PDT by Shawndell Green (Mecca delenda est!)
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To: wagglebee

Sure. I'll cut them some slack. Give Ben Stein, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter just half of the opinion page and we've got a deal. :o)


14 posted on 08/06/2005 2:19:35 PM PDT by Liberty Valance ( Howdy!)
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To: wagglebee

Personally I think all "big media" people should do an internship in small towns in flyover country. Their attitudes would change if the had to face the people they insult on a regular basis.


15 posted on 08/06/2005 2:19:37 PM PDT by cripplecreek (If you must obey your party, may your chains rest lightly upon your shoulders.)
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To: wagglebee
It wouldn’t hurt, either, for Times critics on the Right to show some patience because changing an entrenched culture like that of a newsroom isn’t going to happen overnight

Sorry, I refuse to be patient with these jerks. I'd like to see every single one of them in the unemployment line.

16 posted on 08/06/2005 2:20:01 PM PDT by Libertarian444
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To: wagglebee

As everybody knows, making speeches (or writing memos) about improvements is frequently considered as an equivalent substitute for the improvements themselves. Thus no credit should be given, or still more patience shown, until the actual improvements have been made. And these would have to include a wholesale importation of right-wingers, both as journalists and as editorial staff, for their existing lefties are not correctable, unless with a 2x4.


17 posted on 08/06/2005 2:21:08 PM PDT by GSlob
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To: wagglebee

I pray for the day when this evil lying deceitful propaganda rag has a circulation has collapsed to zero.


18 posted on 08/06/2005 2:22:29 PM PDT by FormerACLUmember
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To: wagglebee
I'll give them a break. They can have this broken left leg. Past that, no, they can get no other breaks from me.


19 posted on 08/06/2005 2:22:30 PM PDT by rdb3 (I once had a handle on life, but I broke it.)
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To: Indy Pendance

As we would say in the old neighborhood, "You want the arm or the leg?"


20 posted on 08/06/2005 2:23:01 PM PDT by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: wagglebee
How about instead we offer Keller encouragement and praise for ‘fessing up’ to serious problems of longstanding and for putting his own career and prestige on the line in making the effort to deal with those problems in a systematic and reasonable way?

On their Op-Ed page recently they've hired a neoconservative (David Brooks) and a libertarian conservative (John Tierney). But they still can't bring themselves to hire a social conservative. That is the most important wing of revitalized modern American conservatism, but it is the one that to NYT readers and writers sounds most like it comes from outer space. Reaching out will never be serious until they hire writers who, for example, are arguing passionately to Times readers that abortion on demand is wrong.

Globalization and Getting Along.

21 posted on 08/06/2005 2:23:33 PM PDT by untenured (http://futureuncertain.blogspot.com)
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To: wagglebee
Should conservatives give the New York Times a break?

Absolutely not. Let the free market decide. The New York Post is increasing circulation, while the NY Times is in decline. They will either learn or continue to lose market share. That's the perfect way to let this play out. Same thing with the Washington Post and the Boston Globe.

22 posted on 08/06/2005 2:24:26 PM PDT by DuckFan4ever (Why doesn't everyone hate Hillary as much as I do?)
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To: wagglebee

For the damage they do to this country on a daily basis? Propagandists. NEVER!


23 posted on 08/06/2005 2:26:28 PM PDT by PGalt
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To: wagglebee
He also warned about “the misuse of [the phrase] ‘religious fundamentalists’ to describe religious conservatives.”


"Guys, I've been thinkin' this over. Let's stop using the N-Word and let's come up with a brand new slur."

24 posted on 08/06/2005 2:26:31 PM PDT by Polybius
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To: rcocean

You got it in one. Property rights plus free speech produce liberal newspapers.

You are free to start your own, if you've got a couple billion sitting around.


25 posted on 08/06/2005 2:26:43 PM PDT by proxy_user
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To: wagglebee

The NYT is now running a national ad campaign to try and hock their paper, cause apparently, they want it to be "America's paper", they're even running ads here.

If they want it to be "America's paper" then they need to start hiring conservative journalists to their staff to balance out the liberal bias that it currently has


26 posted on 08/06/2005 2:28:20 PM PDT by AzaleaCity5691 (The enemy lies in the heart of Gadsden)
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To: wagglebee
It wouldn’t hurt, either, for Times critics on the Right to show some patience...

They don't call the Times the "Grey Lady" for nothing. It's been a liberal rag for decades, and it will continue to be until Hell freezes over.

27 posted on 08/06/2005 2:28:32 PM PDT by Brilliant
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To: doug from upland; wagglebee

Maybe Doug can come with a catchy rewrite of "You deserve a break today!"

Of course the Break the NY Slimes deserves is the constant breaking by conservatives when the Slimes does its bashing of our side via lies spun as news.


28 posted on 08/06/2005 2:30:15 PM PDT by Grampa Dave (The civilized world must win WW IV/the Final Crusade and destroy Jihadism!)
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To: wagglebee
I'll go a step further, the Old Gray Whore is actually on the side of America's enemies.

In the face of overwhelming evidence, it is hard not to wholeheartedly agree with this statement.

29 posted on 08/06/2005 2:31:12 PM PDT by Obadiah
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To: wagglebee

November
Fox-trot
Whiskey

(NFW)


30 posted on 08/06/2005 2:31:13 PM PDT by roaddog727 (The marginal propensity to save is 1 minus the marginal propensity to consume.)
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To: wagglebee
Much of the commentary on the Right side of the Blogosphere has been rather predictably negative, snarky or sarcastic, or some combination thereof

Jim Robinson: As a conservative site, Free Republic is pro-God, pro-life, pro-family, pro-Constitution, pro-Bill of Rights, pro-gun, pro-limited government, pro-private property rights, pro-limited taxes, pro-capitalism, pro-national defense, pro-freedom, and-pro America. The NYT is none of that and more, e. g., negative, snarky, sarcastic, etc., etc., when it bloviates endlessly promoting socialism in our country..
31 posted on 08/06/2005 2:31:19 PM PDT by gpapa (Voice of reason from the left coast)
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To: wagglebee

When the NYT starts telling the truth ~ maybe.

Actions speak louder than words!

Be Ever Vigilant!


32 posted on 08/06/2005 2:31:59 PM PDT by blackie (Be Well~Be Armed~Be Safe~Molon Labe!)
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To: wagglebee

The NYT disgusts me. They have put themselves where they find themselves today. No credibility, no respect, and no subscribers. And now they want understanding and tolerance from the public. We just aren't *sophisticated enough to distinguish between news coverage and commentary*. One man's sophistication is another man's tripe. I KNOW when I'm reading tripe. The New York Time's UP.


33 posted on 08/06/2005 2:32:18 PM PDT by small voice in the wilderness (Quick, act casual. If they sense scorn and ridicule, they'll flee..)
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To: wagglebee
I believe in staying on top until they drop!


34 posted on 08/06/2005 2:33:52 PM PDT by rlmorel ("Innocence seldom utters outraged shrieks. Guilt does." Whittaker Chambers)
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To: wagglebee
How about instead we offer Keller encouragement and praise for ‘fessing up’ to serious problems of longstanding and for putting his own career and prestige on the line in making the effort to deal with those problems in a systematic and reasonable way?

How about Keller acknowledging the FACT that the only reason he wrote this damn memo is because the NY Times readership has plummeted so drastically that he's trying to salvage what he can to hold onto as many subscribers as possible?

Nice try, but a two year old can figure out that the Jason Blair scandal didn't "do in" the NY Times. It's the daily onslaught of obnoxious biased reporting that has been going on for years. Not only have the snarky libs escalated their biased tones, they have gotten down right unbearable to read. Unless Keller fires most print reporters and replaces them with ones not educated in the most liberal universities, nothing will change.

Personally, I'm hope to watch the Gray Lady die a very slow death.

35 posted on 08/06/2005 2:35:39 PM PDT by demkicker (A skunk sat on a stump; the stump thunk the skunk stunk; the skunk thunk the stump stunk.)
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To: wagglebee


36 posted on 08/06/2005 2:36:33 PM PDT by crazyhorse691 ( Heaven on Earth is where the nearest Starbucks is 60 miles away.)
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To: small voice in the wilderness

Unfortunately, there are millions who might subscribe to the NYT.

Personally, I prefer the free interchange of ideas and information on Free Republic with many people to the static, lonely indoctrination that takes place in a vacuum when people get their news from Television or Newspapers.


37 posted on 08/06/2005 2:37:06 PM PDT by rlmorel ("Innocence seldom utters outraged shrieks. Guilt does." Whittaker Chambers)
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To: Originalist

Mr. Kellar is not admiting he has a problem, other than one of presentation not substance. The only change he is looking for is one of appearance, the way Hillary wants to appear more "moderate".


38 posted on 08/06/2005 2:37:30 PM PDT by Wuli
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To: wagglebee

HA. It's not like they depend on my nickel for support while they get their act together. I'll give them my support when they earn it, not before.


39 posted on 08/06/2005 2:38:33 PM PDT by Generic_Login_1787
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To: wagglebee

I don't think having patience will do it. Look at the fact they are investigation Roberts' adoptions of two children. What has that to do with politics? Nothing, except they want to smear the man personally and don't care who they hurt to do it or what laws they break doing it.


40 posted on 08/06/2005 2:38:35 PM PDT by calex59 (If you have to take me apart to get me there, then I don't want to go!)
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To: wagglebee

What drivel. Just look at the way the NYT's *reporters* (not the editorial section) has censored their pages of anything to do with the Air America scandal.

NYT fluff pieces promoting Air America: 28
NYT pieces reporting the Air America scandal: 0


41 posted on 08/06/2005 2:39:11 PM PDT by Fenris6 (3 Purple Hearts in 4 months w/o missing a day of work? He's either John Rambo or a Fraud)
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To: Wuli
The New York Times is anti-American, anti-US military, anti NYC police, anti-Semitic, and pro-terrorist.

I never look at that rag anymore. They're history.

42 posted on 08/06/2005 2:40:37 PM PDT by katya8
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To: wagglebee; All

Somebody give me Keller's email at the Grey Whore.


43 posted on 08/06/2005 2:41:09 PM PDT by Fenris6 (3 Purple Hearts in 4 months w/o missing a day of work? He's either John Rambo or a Fraud)
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To: wagglebee

Like if the Dixie Chicks would apologize, I should buy their music? They are still the same chicks. No thanks.


44 posted on 08/06/2005 2:41:28 PM PDT by Mark (Proven scientific experiment: The NY Times flushes easily down the standard toilet.)
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To: wagglebee

Let the Times come clean on covering up the Holocaust.


45 posted on 08/06/2005 2:43:04 PM PDT by avile
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To: cripplecreek
"Personally I think all "big media" people should do an internship in small towns in flyover country"

Socialist small town newspaper editors have ways of getting around this too. They live in liberal safe havens several counties away. Even if the peasants become outraged enough, they can be assigned to another paper in the news group that generally owns them.

46 posted on 08/06/2005 2:43:09 PM PDT by labette (A living, breathing, constitution is the model of doublespeak.)
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To: wagglebee
Even the movie reviews in the Times bash Bush and the war in Iraq! I'm sticking to the WSJ for the morning commute and the New York Post for the ride home.

By the way, if the Times has changed, why haven't we seen a single article regarding the Boys and Girls Club loaning taxpayer's money to Air America?

47 posted on 08/06/2005 2:43:35 PM PDT by RedRover
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To: wagglebee
>"even sophisticated readers of The New York Times sometimes find it hard to distinguish between news coverage and commentary in our pages"

Sophist

soph·ist ( P ) Pronunciation Key (sof' ist)
n.

1 a. One skilled in elaborate and devious argumentation

48 posted on 08/06/2005 2:43:36 PM PDT by theFIRMbss
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To: wagglebee

They don't need a break.
All they have to do is start reporting fairly and people will stop slamming them.


49 posted on 08/06/2005 2:44:04 PM PDT by philetus (What goes around comes around)
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To: wagglebee
And ANOTHER thing.

There will certainly be times when Keller and his newsroom allies will wonder if it’s really worth the effort. A good word from those who have been on the outside critically looking in may be the difference between throwing in the towel and fighting the good fight another day.

Nobody talks a better game about principle than journalists. Look at the Times' own Judith Miller. If their commitment to fairness is so tepid that they need our encouragement to do the right thing, then the question is already answered.

50 posted on 08/06/2005 2:44:18 PM PDT by Generic_Login_1787
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