The New York Times is going crazy
The struggle between the newspaper’s classic liberals and the awakened left can no longer be ignored – and it is clear which side wins.
Conservatives have created a home industry over the years devoted to monitoring media bias in places like this New York Times. The formula is simple: find a former liberal journalist who has regretted his ways (or at least a right wing activist who knows his way around the press); Create a blog or TV segment with a catchy name (* TimesWatch *). Browse articles and transcripts for subtle examples of the left bias. Hit them on the screen; voila, instant outrage.
It’s a fun beat that I worked on myself once, although I’m worried about its future. Because at least with that TimesThere is no longer a need for a middleman. America’s filing paper has become manifestly and painfully ridiculous. No longer a rich, if clear Manhattan chronicle of the news Times Today it looks more like a Soviet satellite state written as a farce with purges and beliefs about thought crimes centered on Calliope music.
The most recent example of this is a controversy over seasoned Times Science reporter Donald McNeil, Jr. In 2019, McNeil represented the Times On a high school trip to Peru where one of the students asked him if a classmate should have been suspended at age 12 for using the N word in a video. In answering the question, McNeil himself voiced the bow. He also reportedly challenged other bright shibboleths, for example that cultural appropriation was harmful. Parents immediately complained and Times Editor Dean Baquet stepped in to investigate. He found that McNeil’s “statements were offensive and that he displayed extremely poor judgment, but that it did not appear to me that his intentions were hateful or malicious.” McNeil got out with a warning.
That is, until the Rent-a-Mob that the Times Charitable calls to “newsroom workers” got wind of what had happened. From the howling subregions of a Slack group chat came an angry letter signed by more than 150 Times Employees who accused Baquet of being too lenient towards McNeil. Signatories said they were “deeply disturbed” by the paper’s response and felt “disrespected” by McNeil. Then they coughed out what is perhaps the best description of postmodern American philosophical life I’ve seen: “What matters is how the victims feel about an act.” So said Socrates to Glaucon. Baquet was quick to abandon his deeply unreasonable position that decades of quality reporting should outweigh a single episode of insensitivity. McNeil was evicted. His witch trial is scheduled for next month.
Arches have apparently become a real challenge for the Gray Lady lately. Now to Taylor Lorenz, that TimesCulture reporter and glittering comet of Manhattan treasure, who recently accused entrepreneur Marc Andreessen of using what she prudently referred to as “the R-bow”. There was only one problem: Not only did Andreessen never use that word, the person who said it during a conversation on the social media app Clubhouse quoted the Reddit users behind the recent GameStop mayhem that broke out even as “the r-word revolution. “When this context came to light, Lorenz deleted her tweet. She still has to apologize to Andreessen, although she found the time Tweet praise For a “vegan burger from @gayburgerco ”(whose existence I personally find far more offensive than the R-word).
Then there is the only Nikole Hannah-Jones. The TimesThe mastermind behind the 1619 project was recently contacted by Washington Free Beacon Reporter Aaron Sibarium politely asking about the drama about McNeil and her own use of the N word in tweets. Hannah-Jones’ response was to dox Sibarium by tweeting a picture of his email that included his phone number. She later deleted the tweet in the middle of the night – she has experience with things like that – and a Times The spokeswoman said Free beacon that the phone number was booked by mistake. Except that Hannah-Jones had already done it confirmed the doxxing on Twitter after one of their sycophants commented on this. (Doxxing Free beacon Reporter seems to be de rigueur in the old media these days. CNN employee Asha Rangappa did the same to journalist Alex Nester last year.)
This is the mantra of the new awakening Times: compulsory empathy for abstract groups of victims, self-satisfied malice towards those who are perceived as offensive to them. And these are just examples from the past week. Flip the calendar back to 2020 and you will find the TimesDismissed his editorial page editor for daring to lead a controversial statement from a Republican senator. You find columnist Bari Weiss, who quit after being molested by left newsroom thugs on Slack and labeled a Nazi and a racist. You find a self-parodying essay by a media columnist who regrets the crime of once liking Andrew Sullivan. In the newsroom, you’ll find an obvious faction less interested in covering the world in all its diversity than beating up someone who can’t keep up with their uniform pencil mark on the wall.
I’m not saying any of this because I hate it Times;; just the opposite. I still read it every morning, glutton for punishment that I am, grumble and swear through the front page. For all silliness and inclination, she is Times At best, it still offers something essential: authentic and far-reaching journalism at a time when other newspapers are either closing or using clickbait and advertising. Its world is the best there is. Even his politics department often outperforms the competition without ever turning into one Politico-Style allusion machine. The TimesFor the most part, coverage of the Capitol uprising and its aftermath has struck a good balance between finding the rioter’s perspective and maintaining the objective horror of the day. And part of the investigative journalism was just unforgettable – a detailed account of the corrupt Iraqi government, for example, and a profile of post-Freddie Gray Baltimore.
These kinds of pieces make anyone who has ever been a journalist ask, “How?” As in: How did they penetrate the Iraqi state so deeply? How did they hold and distill an American city so effectively? This type of access and ability can seem like a dark art to those of us on the outside, and it’s become all too rare in journalism these days, less profitable than quick records of what’s trending on CrowdTangle. Therefore it is in everyone’s interest that the Times don’t fall awake. Because the internal conflict is not just between the old and the new left. It’s between curiosity and dogma, heterodoxy and orthodoxy, intoxicating truth and boring ideology. It’s between “A liberal is someone who can’t stand his own side in an argument” and those who don’t even think there should be an argument at all.
This first approach could lead to bias. Any conservative will tell you so much. But it’s still valuable and a hell of a lot better than the alternative.