Once upon a time in a universe far far away, the New York Times was known as “the newspaper of record.” They purported to report “All the News That’s Fit to Print.” That was never true — like all such outlets it was written by humans, ergo biased — but it was a tiny bit more accurate than today, even with notorious contributors like Stalin-apologist Walter Duranty and Castro-apologist Herbert Matthews. The late Abe Rosenthal at least made an effort.
Now the paper is little more than a left-wing propaganda sheet — and not a very good one, notwithstanding its seemingly unbreakable and unremitting influence on the mainstream media who still check the Times before they check themselves.
These days the paper almost feels run by idiots. Certainly banking on Trump-Russia collusion as their main story for two years is not a sign of intelligence. It was an obvious absurdity from the beginning, promulgated by lies, largely published, wittingly or unwittingly, by the NYT. They even received Pulitzers for their prevarications, to the shame of both parties, the Pulitzer committee and the Times.
Then these supposed journalistic geniuses moved on to obstruction of justice in a case that had no crime. Pretty soon it will be revealed that the case itself was the crime. (In fact, it already has — some time ago.) Then what will they say?
Nothing. They are already on to Trump Is a Racist, blah-blah-blah. The transcript of their executive editor Dean Bacquet’s recent staff meeting published/pirated by Slate reads like a struggle meeting from the Chinese Cultural Revolution with some particularly juvenile Red Guards (recent Columbia Journalism grads, no doubt) calling for ever more revisionist (i. e. racist Republican) blood.
It’s hard to imagine an intelligent person not being nauseated by this drivel, but the conformity and resistance to personal change (almost outstripping their resistance to Trump) of today’s liberal/progressive know no bounds.
On the other hand, there’s Real Clear Politics. Every day they run links to the best op-eds on both sides of an argument without editorial comment. Imagine that. Not only that, they link what they deem the most important video appearances by politicians, pundits, etc., again on both sides without comment. Mirabile dictu, they trust us to figure things out for ourselves.
They also, as we all know, are the “go-to” place for political polling; the “Real Clear Politics average” has become ubiquitous across the ideological spectrum.
RCP has created a “just the facts” ambiance that everybody trusts. It’s a site I go to every day because it tells me what both sides are thinking, something we should all want to know. I don’t think we can find that anyplace else. The NYT should be envious. (Obviously, the comparison between a website and a newspaper is incomplete, but RCP at least starts from a place of relative even-handedness.)
Actually, back in the old days (2004), when Glenn Reynolds, Ed Driscoll and I and some others were putting together what became PJ Media (then Pajamas Media, as many know), it had been our intention that, despite our personal ideological predilections, PJM would be a site where both sides could reason together, impossible as that now seems. That went by the boards fairly quickly when the liberals demanded more money than the conservatives. (One of those libs — name redacted but you can guess! — was later involved with the promulgation of the Steele dossier.).
Nevertheless, despite also being conservatives themselves, RCP’s founders Tom Bevan and John McIntyre were able to pull it off via their linking system and their polling. They deserve big personal kudos and the gratitude of America. Seriously. They are what the Founding Fathers intended.
(FULL DISCLOSURE: I am often linked by RCP and, on occasion, have written for them. FULLER DISCLOSURE: Even if this were not true, my opinion would be the same.)