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Speak No Bias: The Times Only Concedes ‘Insufficient Tuned-in-ness’

The New York Times comes up with more excuses for its failures. Everything but the B-word, of course.

by
Jennifer Rubin

Bio

September 29, 2009 - 12:18 am
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Could liberal bias be at play at the Gray Lady? Hoyt dutifully reports:

Jill Abramson, the managing editor for news, agreed with me that the paper was “slow off the mark,” and blamed “insufficient tuned-in-ness to the issues that are dominating Fox News and talk radio.” She and Bill Keller, the executive editor, said last week that they would now assign an editor to monitor opinion media and brief them frequently on bubbling controversies. Keller declined to identify the editor, saying he wanted to spare that person “a bombardment of e-mails and excoriation in the blogosphere.”

Despite what the critics think, Abramson said the problem was not liberal bias.

So the Times isn’t going to actually cover news unfavorable to Obama; it’s going to monitor others that do. And that’s not bias. Got it?

What is missing in all of this is any indication that because the Times doesn’t cover bad-news-for-Obama stories the paper is misleading its readers. There is nary a hint that its “analysis” pieces (i.e., the op-eds on the front page) are flawed because they omit storylines unfavorable to the side for which the Times is rooting. Hoyt never would suggest that because the Times studiously refused during the campaign to cover Obama’s radical associations that the voters received a false portrait of precisely who they were electing.

Indeed, with the departure from the pages of the Times of Bill Kristol — who in his once-a-week column would sneak in a bit of news here and there that the Times readers would otherwise have been unaware of, causing untold confusion at breakfast tables on the Upper West Side (“Reverend Who?”) — the Times acts as a perfectly sealed bubble for the Left elites. They can peruse its pages with no mention of Republican health care plans. (Republicans don’t have ideas, you know.) They can enjoy the ludicrously oversampled polls which mask Obama’s plummeting popularity. They can be reassured that town hall attendees are kooks and crackpots. It is pure bliss for the liberal readers.

It’s not news, of course. News is the complete picture of the world’s events, not a carefully sliced and diced version of it. Hoyt’s not going to get into all that because the public editor isn’t paid by the public but by the Times. And they have to keep up appearances. “All the news that’s fit to print,” they say. Unfortunately, Hoyt never tells us that the Times has long ago determined that what’s fit to print is whatever brings assurance and comfort to its liberal staff and equally liberal readership.

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Jennifer Rubin blogs at the Washington Post.
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