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Is The New York Times Fair And Balanced?

The New York Times public editor Daniel Okrent asks Is The New York Times a Liberal Newspaper?

Right out of the gate he admits the answer is, "Of course." You can just tell this is going to be worth a closer read...

After cataloging the ingrained institutional liberalism the apparently infects every section of the paper (not just the Op-Ed page), Okrent wonders how the unbalanced reporting plays in Peoria.

Newspapers have the right to decide what's important and what's not. But their editors must also expect that some readers will think: "This does not represent me or my interests. In fact, it represents my enemy." So is it any wonder that the offended or befuddled reader might consider everything else in the paper - including, say, campaign coverage - suspicious as well?
If you've been reading their coverage you know the answer is "Yes," but Okrent never quite manages to say that. He indicates that he will be studying the campaign coverage in August while on vacation.

There's lots of other juicy details in the article, but his attack on the "paper of record" claim is spot on.

Six years ago, the ownership of this sophisticated New York institution decided to make it a truly national paper. Today, only 50 percent of The Times's readership resides in metropolitan New York, but the paper's heart, mind and habits remain embedded here. You can take the paper out of the city, but without an effort to take the city and all its attendant provocations, experiments and attitudes out of the paper, readers with a different worldview will find The Times an alien beast.
It's good to see that The Times has outed itself as a partisan paper; perhaps coming out of the closet will force Times reporters and editors to rethink injecting their own politics into their reporting.

So in answer to my initial question, by The Times own admission, the paper is anything but fair and balanced.


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Comments (3)

Now- What good goes it do m... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Now- What good goes it do me to get up at 3AM to blog this is you stayed up till 2AM?

;-)

It was so late I had a hard... (Below threshold)

It was so late I had a hard time coming to a conclusion as to the meaning of the piece, except for "well no shit Sherlock"...

The NY Times is about as 'f... (Below threshold)

The NY Times is about as 'fair and balanced' as Fox News is. The problem isn't the bias (in either case). The problem is that they pretend to be unbiased.

To use a foreign example... I have no problems reading the Guardian, which makes no pretense about its bias. I have no problems with the Telegraph, which also makes no pretense about its bias. I do have a problem with the BBC, which is supposed to be 'neutral'.




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