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Ed Driscoll

Coloring the News

May 24th, 2011 - 6:01 am

A headline from the New York Times yesterday asked, “Is Anti-White Bias a Problem?”

Hmmm; let’s ask the head Timesman what he thinks:

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.”

I guess that answers the Times’ question — evidently, anti-white bias isn’t much of a problem as far as the Gray Lady itself is concerned.

Update: In Gray Lady Down, Bill McGowan (whose earlier book supplied this post’s headline) writes:

Others bristled at the generally antagonistic atmosphere [in the Times’ offices], which Peter Boyer, a former Timesman, described in a 1991 Esquire article as “moderate white men should die.” Boyer left the Times to become a staff writer at the New Yorker. Other accomplished midcareer Timesmen left too, taking with them vital experience, institutional memory and a special old-fashioned Times sensibility and culture. Rubbing salt into some of the old guard’s wounds, [Timesman Max Frankel], backed by Sulzberger, virtually admitted that the commitment to diversity made double standards acceptable. At a forum at Columbia University, Frankel conceded that it would be difficult to fire a black woman, even if she were less good than another candidate.

Which dovetails well with a legendary Freudian slip on the topic by Howell Raines, the Times’ former editor:

“This campaign has made our staff better and, more importantly, more diverse.”

Emphasis on the key words in the sentence mine; emphasis on feelings over a quality finished product, Pinch’s.

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