Unlike 2004, when then-New York Times ombudsman Daniel Okrent admitted that his paper tilted to the left, I haven’t given much thought to the admission this weekend by his successor, Arthur Brisbane — on the way out the door, naturally — that his paper “bleeds” progressivism. (Like safe; goes to Power Line.) We all know he’s merely confirming the obvious, and if the Times seems like a middle-of-the-road paper to you, nothing I can write is going to convince you otherwise. But then, I doubt few people who think of the Times of eschewing bias are spending much time in the starboard half of the Blogosphere anyhow.
But as Ed Morrissey writes at Hot Air, it was fun watching executive editor Jill Abramson squirm in response to Brisbane:
As if on cue, executive editor Jill Abramson responded to Brisbane by suggesting that he wasn’t one of them anyway:
Times executive editor Jill Abramson says she disagrees with Brisbane’s “sweeping conclusions.”
“In our newsroom we are always conscious that the way we view an issue in New York is not necessarily the way it is viewed in the rest of the country or world. I disagree with Mr. Brisbane’s sweeping conclusions,” Abramson told POLITICO Saturday night.
“I agree with another past public editor, Dan Okrent, and my predecessor as executive editor, Bill Keller, that in covering some social and cultural issues, the Times sometimes reflects its urban and cosmopolitan base,” she continued. “But I also often quote, including in talks with Mr. Brisbane, another executive editor, Abe Rosenthal, who wanted to be remembered for keeping ‘the paper straight.’ That’s essential.”
It is essential, but clearly they’re not succeeding at it. They’re also not too keen on criticism, and Abramson’s defense is laughable. A bunch of us editors sat around the table and all agree that we’re doing it right, except for Brisbane, who clearly isn’t in the know. If anyone needed to read Brisbane’s words on humility, it’s Abramson — and I wouldn’t be surprised if Brisbane wrote them specifically for Abramson herself.
There’s a similar great moment in delusional thinking, at both CNN, and the L.A. Times, which “reports” this whopper. Did the journalist who wrote it and the editors who let it go out read it with a straight face?
Staffers argue that it is CNN’s refusal to “take sides” — in contrast to the sharp partisanship in the Fox and MSNBC nightly lineups — that lends the network its value during a highly charged presidential contest. “I actually don’t think most Americans want to be told how to vote,” said Sam Feist, CNN’s Washington bureau chief.