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Ed Driscoll

No Matter How Cynical You Get, it is Impossible to Keep Up

February 1st, 2011 - 6:46 pm

Now is the time at Ed Driscoll.com when we juxtapose!

Not long ago, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., the 41-year old publisher of the New York Times, was greeting people at a party in the Metropolitan Museum when a dignified older man confronted him. He told Sulzberger that he was unhappy about the jazzy, irreverent new “Styles of the Times” Sunday section. “It’s very”—the man—paused—“un-Times-ian”

“Thank you,” Sulzberger replied. He later told a crowd of people that alienating older white male readers means “we’re doing something right.”

New York magazine, November 16th, 1992.

I think the effect of Fox News on American public life has been to create a level of cynicism about the news in general. It has contributed to the sense that they are all just out there with a political agenda, but Fox is just more overt about it. And I think that’s unhealthy.

Bill Keller, the New York Times executive editor, yesterday.

Keller added:

We have had a lot of talk since the Gabby Giffords attempted murder about civility in our national discourse, and I make no connection between the guy who shot those people in Tucson and the national discourse. But it is true that the national discourse is more polarized and strident than it has been in the past, and to some extent, I would lay that at the feet of Rupert Murdoch.

Keller may not make any connection between “the guy who shot those people in Tucson and the national discourse,” now, but his paper newspaper sure did from the very moment the story broke. As their ombudsman wrote a week later to whitewash his paper’s rush to smear the right, “To be fair, there were some good reasons to steer the coverage initially in this direction.”

(Concept via SDA; headline via Lily Tomlin.)

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