Ed Driscoll

That's Why They Call It The Left Coast

Charles Johnson spots a San Francisco Chronicle article praising a new book written by a self-described Bay Area Marxist-Leninist. And last month, we linked, in fairly short succession, to an L.A. Times article glorifying Sunset Hall, a Los Angeles retirement home for elderly communists and a worshipful editorial on North Korea.

It’s just fascinating watching newspapers let the mask slip these days. It’s happened in the past of course: the New York Times’ Walter Duranty whitewashed Stalin’s show trials and his collectivist farming famines out of his coverage–and won a Pulitzer in the process. And the Grey Lady’s obit of Stalin is practically necrophilia with a typewriter.

But for the most part, most big city newspapers have, historically, kept this sort of stuff to a minimum, so as not to risk offending a diverse readership. It’s curious that articles like those in the Chronicle and L.A. Times keep popping up recently. I can only think that part of the reason is to taunt and tweak bloggers and Bush voters a little bit–or simply to appeal to newspapers’ dwindling core audiences as those who don’t buy into the left’s take on history go elsewhere. Or maybe it’s just to keep spirits up in a newsroom that can be a bit gloomy at times.

But geez, talk about revealing your inner self. I mean, I don’t lose a whole lot of sleep when a newspaperman tells me that FDR’s New Deal programs were the perfect tonic for the Depression–even if in reality, they merely dragged it on and prolonged it until World War II jump-started the American economy. I don’t mind the press praising LBJ’s Texas-sized equivalents thirty years later, even if they did little to actually end, as it was called back in the 1960s, “the War on Poverty”.

I’m just surprised at how far the press has been willing to let it all hang out there recently–of course, based on how they covered the presidential election last year, I probably shouldn’t be.

Update: Speaking of the L.A. Times, Patterico catches them selectively editing Reuters wire copy to, as he says, “remove critical facts supporting the U.S. position on an important international issue”–the shooting by US soldiers in Iraq of a car bearing Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena.