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Thursday, October 20, 2005

More tough times for The New York Times: Another liberal icon in decline

What happens when radical liberals turn a once-respected newspaper into a partisan propaganda sheet?

Readers stop believing what the newspaper prints. Readers stop reading the newspaper.

Here’s a recap of what’s been going on at The New York Times:

* New York Times announces 500 job cuts

* New York Times profit drops 52%

* New York Times image tarnished by Miller case

And all this follows the Jayson Blair fiasco that exposed the New York Times’ growing credibility problem. And without credibility, all you’ve got to sell is the rantings of left-wing nutjobs like Frank Rich, Maureen Dowd and Paul Krugman. Who’s going to pay for their incoherent ramblings?

The news Wednesday that the New York Times Company reported a 52 percent decline in earnings for the quarter that ended Sept. 25, 2005, is another nail in the liberal newspaper’s coffin.

Readers are voting with their subscriptions and advertising dollars. They’re running away from the New York Times in droves.

The New York Times’ sister paper, The Boston Globe, is in even worse financial shape. Maybe John and Teresa Heinz can float them a lone in return for the knee-jerk endorsement last year.

I've written about the slow death of The New York Times several times in the past year. My most recent column (from July 17, 2005) appears below:

Stop the press! New York Times admits liberal bias

Dan Rather tried to swing the 2004 presidential election to John Kerry using faked memos about President Bush’s National Guard service. Rather paid the price for his failed scheme when he was forced out as anchor of the "CBS Evening News" and the show where he broke the memo story — "60 Minutes II" — was canceled.

The New York Times tried something similar. Remember the front-page stories on the Iraqi weapons depot that was looted supposedly while U.S. forces were guarding it? That "scoop" was part of a campaign of biased reporting at the Times to tip the election to Kerry. It failed, but nobody lost their job at the New York Times as a result of the "missing weapons" hoax. It looked like the newspaper would get away with spewing its leftist propaganda.

Should it matter to you what happens at the New York Times? Yes. The New York Times and the radical left have formed an unholy alliance. The newspaper legitimizes the left’s extremist agenda and gives the Democratic Party a platform to contaminate the nation’s political system. The Times is an anti-Republican propaganda machine in the guise of a news source. And the influence doesn’t stop with the New York Times’ declining readership base. The Times’ parent company owns many other newspapers across the country and those papers use the same stories written by New York Times’ reporters, exposing millions of Americans to biased reporting.

Eight months after the phony weapons story was published (and obediently repeated by other major newspapers, CNN and the evening news broadcasts on all three major networks), a remarkable report was released detailing a pattern of biased reporting at the New York Times. The report never made the front-page of the Times, but you can track it down on the Internet with a little detective work.

On the surface, the internal memo on the "newsroom culture" at the New York Times appears innocuous. But read the report carefully, get past the buzzwords and you come away with a startling conclusion. The New York Times’ own reporters and editors acknowledge the newspaper has shown favoritism toward radical liberal causes and the Democratic politicians behind them.

The newspaper’s Credibility Committee (is that an inside joke?) consisted of 19 veteran news people at the paper who spent eight months investigating a variety of concerns about the newspaper. The committee urged the newspaper’s top brass to implement changes to address "an impression of one-sidedness" in the newspaper’s pages. "The goal is not only to avoid appearing one-sided but also to find ways to present more contrarian and unexpected viewpoints in our news pages."

In other words, forget the New York Times’ motto of "All the News That’s Fit to Print." It’s more like "What Our Radical Liberal Readers Want to Hear Today." A bad habit at the New York Times (and many other liberal newspapers in big cities) is inserting opinion into news stories and running opinion pieces on the front page trying to pass them off as objective news stories.

Another recommendation the committee made is to hold regular seminars so reporters can learn how to cover "emotionally charged" topics in a "neutral way." If a reporter has gotten to the New York Times and doesn’t know how to remain objective, there’s a serious problem with the newspaper’s hiring practices. The Credibility Committee wants the top editors to routinely look for "lapses that look like favoritism" in the pages of the New York Times and share those blunders with the rest of the staff.

The best line in the committee’s report is, "Our news coverage needs to embrace unorthodox views and contrarian opinions." By "unorthodox" and "contrarian," the Times staffers are referring to such unusual people as Republicans, conservatives, moderate Democrats, persons who believe in God and regularly attend a church or synagogue, heterosexuals and anyone who support U.S. troops in a time of war.

The smoking gun comes on page 14 of the 16-page report when the committee says, "In part because the Time’s editorial page is clearly liberal, the news pages do need to make more effort not to seem monolithic." The fact that the New York Times hasn’t endorsed a Republican president since Abraham Lincoln should be a tip-off that the editorial pages lean radical left, but the key word in that sentence is "monolithic." What the Credibility Committee is saying is that the newspaper lacks credibility because its news coverage is just as biased as its editorial page.

The committee wants management to bring some "diversity" to the newsroom, but the committee isn’t talking about hiring more minority reporters and editors. For the insular New York Times, "diversity" can be achieved by recruiting what the committee puts as "talented journalists who happen to have military experience, who know rural America first hand, who are at home in different faiths." In other words, everybody working at the New York Times hates the military, doesn’t believe in God, came from a snobby Ivy League school and is a card-carrying member of the ACLU.

Do you suppose that fact may have something to do with how biased the news is inside the pages of the New York Times?

E-mail at tphyrillas@pottsmerc.com

1 comment:

Helix6 said...

You know, I really feel that this kind of diatribe should be challenged. But upon rereading it, I realized that the entrenched bias, shallow thinking, and journalistic dishonesty displayed by this article would render any such effort futile. I can't believe I actually spent the time to read this article twice.