The Times Admits The Truth

The New York Times comes straight out and admits the obvious: they are skewed to the left and out of touch with America. Daniel Okrent doesn’t mince any words about it:

I’ll get to the politics-and-policy issues this fall (I want to watch the campaign coverage before I conclude anything), but for now my concern is the flammable stuff that ignites the right. These are the social issues: gay rights, gun control, abortion and environmental regulation, among others. And if you think The Times plays it down the middle on any of them, you’ve been reading the paper with your eyes closed.

But if you’re examining the paper’s coverage of these subjects from a perspective that is neither urban nor Northeastern nor culturally seen-it-all; if you are among the groups The Times treats as strange objects to be examined on a laboratory slide (devout Catholics, gun owners, Orthodox Jews, Texans); if your value system wouldn’t wear well on a composite New York Times journalist, then a walk through this paper can make you feel you’re traveling in a strange and forbidding world.

Start with the editorial page, so thoroughly saturated in liberal theology that when it occasionally strays from that point of view the shocked yelps from the left overwhelm even the ceaseless rumble of disapproval from the right.

Well, this should be obvious to anyone who’s read the Times at all, but it’s somewhat shocking to see them go out and say it outright. The Times has always used lofty journalistic principles as a shield from criticism while at the same time slanting their reporting in violation of those principles. The Times is a cliquish Manhattan newspaper reflecting the “urbane” Manhattan worldview. It is a worldview that treats everything from the South Street Seaport to 120th St. as the fountain of all wisdom, and everything outside those narrow borders as suspect and odd. It’s a worldview that provides a Park Ave. façade for what amounts to an incredibly arrogant provincialism.

As they say, the first step is admitting you have a problem – we’ll see where the Times goes from here. Somehow, I have a feeling that this won’t change much – not even the collapse of the World Trade Center could pierce the Times thick ideological bubble.

UPDATE: Hmm… looks like the Times decided to take my advice afterall…

4 thoughts on “The Times Admits The Truth

  1. Jay: you are correct in that this admission needs to be followed by reform within the NY Times.

    While I won’t hold my breath for that to happen, the other question begged is just as meaningful: will those other media outlets that take their stories from the NY Times begin to seek out more balanced sources, or at the very least, admit to its consumers what the Times did?

    Again, I won’t hold my breath.

    However, at least now we have this as more admission of liberal media bias.

  2. It’s also interesting that the NY Times Co. has been underperforming other media companies…for instance, last week Gannett showed solid results, whereas NYT Co. showed weak results…

    Lo and behold…it does seem that when a company doesn’t listen to customers it suffers!

    I think perhaps the only way to beat the liberal media is through the pocketbook…we need to do things like boycott the NY Times, and avoid owning its stock…

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