Thursday, June 10, 2004

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Gotta run

Blogging will be light the next couple of days, as I'll be attending/presenting at the Council on Foreign Relations National Meeting. I'm bringing the wi-fi, but this meeting is an all-day affair, and blogging is not an accepted social practice at CFR meetings.... yet.

Last year, Howell Raines resigned while I was en route -- I wonder if something big will happen this time around.....

posted by Dan on 06.10.04 at 09:27 AM


In retrospect, was Howell Raines having resigned, a big happening? I mean, what has changed, edtorially at the Times? Have they ceased being the fact challanged leftst cheerleader they were under Howell Raines? A quick glance at their recent stories and editorials seems to suggest nothing, in fact, has changed.

posted by: Bithead on 06.10.04 at 09:27 AM [permalink]

No kidding. If that's the standard for big happenings, Dan, you should be aware that the Braves are thinking of moving Chipper Jones to first base to keep his bat in the lineup while he works through his hamstring problems. Maybe they'll hold off until you get back from the CFR conference, but you never know.

posted by: Zathras on 06.10.04 at 09:27 AM [permalink]

Hopefully, someone higher up will resign this time around.

posted by: goethean on 06.10.04 at 09:27 AM [permalink]

"Hopefully, someone higher up will resign this time around."

Look, let’s be honest, here. Sulzberger himself is the biggest problem, and that situation doesn’t look to change very soon.

Sulzberger has always held the conviction that journalism is about 'helping people' (as HE alone defines 'helping) and building what he and the remainder of the rabid left considers a better society. If you think this isn’t the prevailing nonsense in the news world today, ask anyone coming out of journalism schools why THEY’RE doing what they’re doing, and they’ll tell you ‘to make a difference’, not to "report the news". Simply and fairly reporting the news, and perhaps offering an even-handed comment on it, is too dull an assignment, for those on this ‘great mission’.

Once again, the Times shows up as the largest example of this kind of bias inducement. This is not something that’s just cropped up since Raines took over the ummm... errr…… reins. (Yeah, I know... sorry) It's not likely to disappear unless the ownership of the Times changes, or Suzberger's attitudes change... neither of which seems likely at least in the shorter term.

Blair was simply the one who happened to get caught at doing his job, what the ownership wanted, as were Raines and Boyd. And Raines and Boyd at least were true beleivers in the leftist mantra.

Raines: “Reagan couldn’t tie his shoelaces if his life depended on it.”

To give you an idea how prevailing this bias is, try this one: Ever notice how it used to be ‘newsman’, and now it’s “journalist”? The
Times has been at the lead of that ill-advised rush away from "newsman'. Why is this important? Time to refer to my trusty 1956 edition of Barnhart’s dictionary….

”Newsman” is listed as : “A man who gathers, reports, or edits news”;

Journalist is listed as someone who keeps a journal, whereas a journal is listed as “The writings of what someone sees or thinks.” A subtle
change, but enough of one to allow for partisanship without the overt appearance of it.

Is it any wonder why the country moved to the left
as we moved from "Newsman" to "Journalist"? All part of the 'greater mission'.

Consider the move prioer to the current editor, reinstating Lelyveld, follwoing Raines' departure. That seemed to me at the time designed to maintain status quo particularly as regards this “mission”... which ironiclly enough has little if anything to do with being an actual NEWS paper.

Another exampleof 'the leftist mission at all costs: Moron Dowd still has a job at the Times, last I looked.

posted by: Bithead on 06.10.04 at 09:27 AM [permalink]

"Is it any wonder why the country moved to the left as we moved from "Newsman" to "Journalist"? All part of the 'greater mission'."

I've never previously heard of this theory. It gives me something to think about. I am,though, convinced that many of today's journalists are rabid liberals. In the past, those involved in reporting the news had to be far more subtle and polite. You could often even shame them into behaving themselves. The new breed could care less. Deconstructionist notions underpin their concept of truth. This inevitably results in an adversarial attitude towards the perceived enemy. More than a few, are openly hostile towards anyone even slightly to the right. Their number one goal seems to be pushing a leftist agenda. The culture must be changed. Being employed by a media outlet is a mere means to achieve that end.

posted by: David Thomson on 06.10.04 at 09:27 AM [permalink]

I should add an example of how rabid much of the media may have become. This morning the Los Angeles Times reported that Senator Kerry is leading President Bush by a six to seven point margin. A few pollsters are starting to come forward to claim that this poll is a total mess. Was this study done by the same polling organization which wrongly showed Arnold Schwarzenegger far behind in his race for governor? Only a few years ago a major news organization would take extra steps to insure that their published polling numbers were accurate. I now suspect that some editors might subconsciously care only about slamming the President today---and will nonchalantly deal with any possible errors in the undetermined future. Am I too cynical?

posted by: David Thomson on 06.10.04 at 09:27 AM [permalink]


posted by: Bithead on 06.10.04 at 09:27 AM [permalink]

I’m a liberal who was drafted into Vietnam, saw scared soldiers who couldn’t tell friendly from VC people and killed more than a few innocent bystanders. I learned in my gut, as Eisenhower did, that war is hell and wastes too many good men and resources (and women) to ever start a war. I’m just as unhappy with the NY Times as many of you seem to be, perhaps for different reasons. I think that the Times and WP simply echoed government announcements and propaganda about Iraq. The WP has broken free of that, but I’m not so sure about NYT. No doubt M Dowd and F Rich offend some of you, but they are no more biased than many of the WSJ editorial writers, and they write opinion columns, not news.
It’s actually difficult to “just report the news” because there is so much news and one has to decide what is important. I spend lotsa time in Latin America and I don’t feel that any US paper other than perhaps the Miami Herald covers Latin America in a remotely adequate manner. I agree that the LA Times (or other papers) shouldn’t put poll numbers on the front page- I hate polls even if they claim that my candidate is going to win.
I think that most reporters do vote Democratic, I know some who’ve been told by their bosses to write something about Reagan this week. Reagan was underestimated by most of the media. He’s not my favorite President, I think that his Central American actions were reprehensible, but he was not a monolithic or one-dimensional President. The theory that Reagan brought down the Soviet Union by forcing its excessive military spending to spiral out of control doesn’t fit with his 1987 agreement with the Soviets to ban medium- and short-range nuclear missiles. If forcing them to deploy more weapons made them neglect consumer goods and social problems, then letting them deploy fewer weapons, and divert the savings into the consumer economy, would have had an opposite effect. Most Republicans seem to have viewed that treaty as a betrayal. Most 1988 GOP Presidential hopefuls certainly opposed it. However, Conservatives in this “all Reagan all the time week” ignore or forget that decision. This week's long Wall Street Journal Reagan editorial said nothing about that unusual treaty. Instead it praised his "willingness to walk away from Reykjavik and at other times from an arms control process that had become an article of blind faith among U.S. elites."
I say that anyone who uses the word “elite” or “neo-con” is lazy, and that there are some issues which can be usefully discussed between reasonable liberals and conservatives. There are a lot of problems out there.

posted by: anciano on 06.10.04 at 09:27 AM [permalink]

“I learned in my gut, as Eisenhower did, that war is hell and wastes too many good men and resources (and women) to ever start a war.”

Eisenhower also strongly believed that war is sometimes necessary---and gave the order to invade Normandy on D-Day. He was not a pacifist. Did you prefer victory for the Nazis? The war in Iraq has saved countless lives. This country now has a chance to become affluent and democratic. We Americans are also safer when nihilistic Islamism and Baathist ideology are defeated in the region. Alas, I sense that you are severely disappointed the Iraqi situation is vastly improving. Do you prefer defeat? You also mentioned Vietnam. Were you ever upset that the news media deceived our citizens into believing that we were losing?

posted by: David Thomson on 06.10.04 at 09:27 AM [permalink]

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