Sunday, August 26, 2012

Bigotry at The New York Times


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Outgoing New York Times public editor Arthur Brisbane is getting a lot of attention for his final column in that role,  in which he concedes what is obvious to any unbiased observer:

"Across the paper’s many departments, though, so many share a kind of political and cultural progressivism — for lack of a better term — that this worldview virtually bleeds through the fabric of The Times... As a result, developments like the Occupy movement and gay marriage seem almost to erupt in The Times, overloved and undermanaged, more like causes than news subjects."

Brisbane also allows that this is "a phenomenon... that is more easily recognized from without than from within."Which assertion was immediately validated by the criticism of the Times' executive editor Jill Abramson:

"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."

It actually wasn't a sweeping conclusion so much as a qualified one, in which Brisbane carefully distinguished trendy leftist causes from the way the Times reports, say, sports scores. Although the Times' sports section is hardly a stranger to trendy leftist causes, such as the annual crusade to shame Augusta over its recently ended men-only membership policy. The Times is going to have to replace an awful lot of column inches in coming years now that they've been deprived of that pet issue.

Anyway, sweeping, qualified, what's the difference? It's not as though one expects the executive editor of the New York Times to demonstrate a facility with the English language or anything. Not as long as her political and cultural progressivism meet the Times' standards.

Yet the Times' particular brand of political and cultural progressivism does embrace its share of bigotries. Just the day before Brisbane's article appeared, the Times devoted scarce op-ed space to a piece (highlighted by Ann Althouse) that questioned whether we really need quite so much diversity:

"White people live longer, are healthier and are far less likely to commit a violent offense. If blacks were cars, who would buy the model that doesn’t last as long, is given to lethal incidents and ends up impounded more often?"

I confess, I altered the above quote, which didn't argue that whites are superior to blacks, but that women are superior to men.

Which, at The New York Times, makes it OK.


  1. Their mistake is that they believe they are middle-of-the-road on most issues. They support gay marriage, abortion, Democrats and a host of other liberal policies, yet they think that is the centrist position. It's no wonder they brand a typical conservative position as "extremist" or "far right." Their jumping off point is skewed left and they don't recognize it.

  2. All through 16 or more years of school, kids are inculcated with the notion that progressivism / liberalism is the normal perspective on all things cultural and political. It's actually a testimony to intellectual curiosity and strength of character when people end up conservative.

  3. I confess, I altered the above quote, which didn't argue that whites are superior to blacks, but that women are superior to men.

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