Skip to comments.Should Conservatives Give The New York Times a Break?
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 havent heard or read that Executive Editor Bill Keller of The New York Times recently capitulated in the debate over bias in Americas newspaper of record.
Kellers 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 ladys 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 nations most important daily the newspaper that more than any other sets the mainstream print and broadcast medias 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 papers 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 dailys ability to identify, assess and credibly report much of the news deemed important by the rest of the nation. Now Keller says its 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 Kellers 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 wouldnt hurt, either, for Times critics on the Right to show some patience because changing an entrenched culture like that of a newsroom isnt 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 its 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.
I respect action, not empty words.
The paper covered up both, and the family should rot in hell.
Is Keller or the NYT's even *aware* that Malkin & Powerline have been kicking their butts all over the internet for the last few weeks?
How did they fix you up?
Cast it or plate and screw's.
Their attitudes wouldn't change. They think they're too smart to learn anything from us lowly rubes & they would be too busy expending their energy in trying to get us to adopt their world view to listen. Someone needs to create a 12 step kind of program for them. Then the problem comes with trying to come up with enough people they respect to do their intervention or they won't realize they need the program, specially since most of the people they associate with are akin to a drunks bar buddies.
Buying your local paper is usually just another contribution to the DNC.
The NYTimes is beyond help.
That's NOT gonna do it!
Oddly, non-sophisticated readers can easily tell there isn't any distinguishing difference between the two.
Ever since the Sulzbergers sold their souls to Felix Dherzinsky and became Joe Stalin's paper of record in 1930s. The Times "newsroom" has been a cesspool of useful idiots and fellow travelers busy sucking up to their masters, at every opportunity. Even with the fall of the Soviet Union, old habits die hard.
I commented last night on the fact that the New York Times has yet to run a single word on the Air America scandal. I gently surmised that this might have something to do with the paper's biases, or, perhaps, the fact that investigating Air America would require work--you know, actual investigation--as opposed to merely quoting Democratic Party officials.
It turns out that I wronged the Times, and I apologize for underestimating the paper's investigative capability. It turns out that the Times is still capable of investigating wrongdoing. In fact, it has been busily investigating John Roberts' children, aged five and four.
I can't add much to what Drudge and Michelle Malkin have written. The Times admits that it has been checking into the adoption of Roberts' children, as Drudge reported. As usual, the Times denounces Drudge, but doesn't identify anything he wrote which is incorrect. Worst of all, the paper describes its investigation into the Roberts children's adoptions as "initial inquiries" which "detected nothing irregular about the adoptions." Apparently the investigation came up dry and was suspended.
The Times explained further that "We report extensively on the life and career of any nominee or candidate for high public office," implying that checking into "irregularities" in adoptions is something they do for "any nominee or candidate for high public office." I really wonder about that. I'd be curious to know when the Times last investigated the "regularity" of an adoption by a Democratic office-seeker.
In any event, now that the Times' investigation into John Roberts' four and five year old children has fizzled out and been abandoned, can they free up some resources to start checking into Air America's financial chicanery?
UPDATE: Brit Hume reports:
The New York Times (search) has been asking lawyers who specialize in adoption cases for advice on how to get into the sealed court records on Supreme Court nominee John Roberts' two adopted children.
Sources familiar with the matter told FOX News that at least one lawyer turned the Times down flat, saying that any effort to pry into adoption case records, which are always sealed, would be reprehensible.
Post 73: Powerline just disemboweled the NY Slimes with a straight razor.
And Malkin (who never seems to sleep):
Number of NY Times articles mentioning Air America since March 2004: 59
Number of NY Times articles mentioning the Air Enron scandal: 0
It seems we're not the only ones monitoring the MSM's near-total blackout of Air America's financial shenanigans. New York Times ombudsman Byron Calame (email@example.com) is "closely watching" the Air America story and how it is handled by the paper, according to an e-mail sent by Mr. Calame's assistant to a Power Line reader.
Fortunately, plenty of others are covering the story while the Times twiddles its thumbs. The latest:
Investor's Business Daily
New York Post
Hugh Hewitt (Hugh's new Daily Standard column is here).
Leon H. at Macho Nachos has a follow up on Air America and legal matters
Scrappleface spoofs: "Air America Hires Dan Rather as Scandal Spokesman"
The New York Sun's David Lombino is undoubtedly digging further.
And, of course, Brian Maloney at the Radio Equalizer remains the first and last stop for news and analysis.
The conclusion of Hugh's Daily Standard column today is worth repeating:
We know a lot about the medications Rush Limbaugh has taken.
We know a great deal about Bill O'Reilly's troubles.
But thus far we don't know much about how Al Franken got paid the big bucks last year, when all of the mainstream media seemed to be cheering his debut.
Last month, the Times's executive editor, Bill Keller, trumpeted the newspaper's new committment to "to stretch beyond our predominantly urban, culturally liberal orientation, to cover the full range of our national conversation."
Exactly, whatever happened to diversity in the workplace
This comment no doubt has encouraged any number of NYT reporters to begin writing a series of articles examining such varied personalities as Mao Tse-tung, Karl Marx, and Fidel Castro.
The moral equivalency stated in the article suggests that conservative viewpoints are just as deserving as liberal viewpoints. No conservative should ascribe to such nonsense. So-called "conservative" viewpoints are rational and correct and liberal viewpoints are irrational and incorrect.
The only outcome for which conservatives should hope is that the NYT suffers an embarassing bankruptcy, laying off their undeserving and unemployable staff, and refunding subscription and advertising money.
Sometimes it is best to "crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women!" Should be fun.
a break?!?! Not just no, HELL NO!
The NYT should cease all publication.
Its history of pandering to the left has long abdicated its right to continue.
There is only one problem with your final statement, based on some of the humor here, most of the staffers have no "their women". Lamnantations of their girly men does not have the same ring.
Seriously though, you are right you can not save or redeme the NYT. It has to be eliminated and shut down PERMANENTLY.
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