In reviewing the first four months of my blog, I have noted my tendency to pick on the New York Times. Why, you may ask? Even if you don’t care, read on and make me feel good:
- The Times is still the national newspaper of record and its articles end up in hundreds of other newspapers and on hundreds if not thousands of websites. Even in the age of radio demagoguery, that makes the Times one of the most influential voices in our various national dialogues. The Times is still one of the very few media that define the terms of our national conversations.
- The right-wing of the news media typically hold the Times up as the number one example of the liberal-leftist bend of the main stream news media. My analysis, however, consistently shows the New York Times as right of center, especially in ideological subtext.
- I’ve been reading the New York Times daily since before Barry Bonds, who shares my birthday, was born. Reading it over a cup of tea or coffee has been one of my morning rituals for decades. It saddens me to see the Times chase the right-wing as it has done over the past 10 years, and it saddens me to see its standards of journalism decline in both large ways (do you remember Judith Miller’s false evidence of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction?) and small ones (all of the pop science articles that are cluttering up the Tuesday “Science” section).
- Although I have picked it on occasion, the Wall Street Journal is inherently less interesting because you know where it stands on issues. The Wall Street Journal uses many propaganda tricks in its writing, especially in editorials, but you already know they are supporting conservative positions in economics and the right wing on values issues. The Times has a greater reputation for fairness and impartiality, but to a large degree that reputation is unearned.