Ed Driscoll

"Moody's May Downgrade New York Times Ratings"

The New York Times’ stock value has certainly taken a beating since 9/11 and the rise of the Blogosphere. (And from both sides: the left views the Times as not being leftwing enough, conservatives view it as the liberal newspaper its then-ombudsman declared it to be in 2004.)

Given the hits the Times’ equity prices have suffered, it seems consistent that the ratings on its debt should suffer as well.

In his interview with Hugh Hewitt yesterday, Mark Steyn said:

Well you know, one of the things I find, and I’m sure you do, too, you travel a lot around the country. And the thing about American newspapers in particular, but it’s also true of Canada and certain others, is that if you get off the plane at almost any airport on the continent, and you’ll pick up the local paper which will be a monopoly daily, published by Gannett or some other similar company, and it will just have like the world’s dullest comment page, the world’s dullest op-ed page. This is a great riveting time of war, and say what you like about crazy folks on left or right, but there’s a lot to say about it. And in fact, the newspapers, and their monopolies, have made them dull, and that’s the danger, I think, in much of the United States, that you want someone, whether you agree with him or not, that you want something that will be riveting and thought-provoking. And some of these guys have been just holding down prime op-ed real estate for decades. It’s amazing to me.

The Times has long been the model for other newspapers in America (not to mention network TV news as well). And unless they want to follow the Gray Lady into similar red ink territory, they’d be very wise to consider adopting a new tone to their coverage. Certainly, from the Howell Raines era until today, they can look to the Times as an example of what not to do.

Update: Welcome Michelle Malkin readers! If this is your first time here, please look around–we think you’ll find lots to enjoy. Meanwhile, the Professor lists more reasons for the Gray Lady to feel Kind of Blue.