The New Clarion

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Dancing With The Ones Who Brung Them

January 9th, 2009 by dismuke · 7 Comments · Culture

I guess the ongoing financial implosion at The New York Times and its desperation to gain revenue wherever it can has gotten to the point that, in order to pick up a few more subscribers from its core audience, it no longer even pretends to be something other than a cheerleading Democratic Party version of Pravda. 

In my mail this morning, I received the following solicitation.  After I got over the initial shock – well, I wanted to throw up. 

New York Times solicitation 1 

For those who cannot view the image, it features a photo of Obama on a black background with white lettering “DON’T MISS HISTORY IN THE MAKING November 4 was just the beginning.”

Just the beginning?   Of what?  Whatever it is they have in mind, I can assure you it is quite dreadful.  

Even I wouldn’t have suspected that the Times would stoop so low in such an explicit manner. 

This is a publication that has the nerve to go around suggesting that it is credible, “objective,” non-biased and somehow a cut above all other American newspapers. 

Here is the flip side of the solicitation:

New York Times Solicitation Side 2

This side is on white background with black text:  “IN THESE MOMENTOUS TIMES there is no better way to stay on top of all the historic moments yet to come than by subscribing to the nation’s most honored newspaper.”

Honored? By whom and for what?  Walter Duranty’s Pulitzer? 

On the right hand side is an image of spread out newspaper sections.  The top section has the headline “OBAMA Racial Barrier Falls In Decisive Victory.” One of the sections shows the cover of The New York Times Magazine featuring a photo of the Oval Office and an anti-Bush article “After The Imperial Presidency.” 

Lots of newspapers have an  editorial slant.  But I have never seen a mainstream daily newspaper be so explicitly slanted in its circulation efforts.   Perhaps they realize that, with all of the options now available on the Internet, nobody else other than liberals and Leftists would be interested enough in their product to actually pay for it.   And having to depend on convincing Leftists to pay for something – well, I suspect that would be a rather tough sell given that even affluent Leftists tend to be notorious for trying to get everybody else to pay for the the things they claim to value. 

I shed no tears for the decline and fall of this contemptible rag. 



7 Comments so far ↓

  • Inspector

    “I shed no tears for the decline and fall of this contemptible rag. ”

    Hear, hear! I could use the good news about now, what with… well, the first part of what you reported. And all the rest.

  • Burgess Laughlin

    What general newspaper would you suggest as superior?

    When I read general news (which is very seldom now), I do look at The New York Times. I learned from a lecture many years ago, given by journalist Peter Schwartz, that even the NYT can be an acceptable source of information if read properly. E.g., he showed his audience examples of articles that contained the most important information–at the end of the articles. Other newspapers had not provided such detailed information.

    I would very much like to have a superior alternative: objective, in-depth, general coverage.


  • Galileo Blogs

    I rang in the New Year by canceling my print subscriptions to both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. I still enjoy both papers but I find myself reading so much more free online news and commentary from other great sources. The value of these papers has correspondingly declined. Moreover, I can still get what I want from these papers from their free online editions.

    The New York Times is being torpedoed by the system it regularly derides. In their minds, now they have even more reasons to denounce capitalism. Watch them call for more subsidies such as their recently built skyscraper headquarters that they stole using eminent domain and New York taxpayers’ money. I hear they are under such financial duress that they plan to sell it, and pocket the money.

  • Galileo Blogs

    In response to Burgess, in my opinion the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal are the two best general newspapers in the country. Both papers feature in-depth, first-hand news reporting. The articles are well-written and informative.

    The New York Times shows its leftist slant on its editorial page in the same manner the Wall Street Journal shows its conservative slant on its editorial page.

    The Times’ choice of topics, placement in the paper, and length devoted to them does reveal its leftist bias. However, I still find its reporting quite informative and useful. It is not hard to see through the slant where it exists.

    As for the Journal, there are some great editorial writers, albeit the paper is way too conservative. My favorite is Mary Anastasia O’Grady, who does excellent first-hand reporting on Latin America from a moral, individual rights perspective. Her articles appear on the editorial page.

  • Burgess Laughlin

    > “However, I still find its [the Times’s] reporting quite informative and useful.”

    Yes, this is the point that Schwartz made in his detailed analysis of one NYT article, and I have it seen again and again in the NYT.

    For example, today there is an article about mostly “white” gang attacks on lone Hispanics in a small town in NY state. The article has a slant toward the critics of the police (who were supposedly unaware of a general problem), but the virtue of the article is that it provides plenty of interviews and other material.

    An objective reader can see that there may have been fault on both sides. Only now has the police department begun taking steps to examine the situation; on the other hand, many of the critics have admitted that the victims of the attacks in many cases did not even report the attacks. (Some feared harassment by immigration “authorities.”)

    In a well-written newspaper, an objective reader can construct an hypothesis from the (purported) facts presented–in spite of any slant by leftists or conservatives or other nonobjective people.

  • dismuke

    Regarding any alleged virtues of the Times – well, in my view they only make all that much worse, more dangerous and more contemptible. It is those very virtues that give credibility to its efforts that have made it little more than a propaganda organ for the Democratic Party and the Left.

    It is no really different than a sophisticated con-man who happens to be charming, witty, educated, smart, a fountain of knowledge about fascinating subjects and whose insightful commentary reflects a thorough familiarity with the Objectivist literature. Sure, he has all those wonderful “virtues” – but he is a scumbag. Indeed, it is those very virtues that give him credibility and the ability to pull con games off that he wouldn’t have if he were just some ignorant, obnoxious boor off the street. Same with the Times – it would be far more forgivable if it were just some third rate populist tabloid. And I would have no problem with it at all if it were completely HONEST and said OUTRIGHT that it was an explicit, advocacy-oriented publication.

    As for its alleged virtues – well, I grant that, at one time, the Times was one of the very few sources one could turn to in the USA for foreign news in any depth. Regional papers and television networks would only cover such stories if they had some sort impact on or widespread appeal in the USA. And they do cover stories in greater detail than other papers. The Internet, however, has largely obliterated any advantages it once had in those areas. I have no doubt that they have sincere and well-meaning journalists on staff who do not seek to use their work to proselytize and push agendas. But it is not the journalists who call the shots at a paper – it is the editors. And I suspect that its remaining virtues are largely the residual momentum of less corrupt past. In the past few years, they have been constantly called out on and forced to acknowledge gross inaccuracies – which they usually bury in a “corrections” column deep in the paper surrounded by minor errors such as typos and incorrectly described job titles etc. And there are stories that make the Left look bad that they either refuse to cover or grudgingly report in the most minimalistic way possible deep inside. When Dan Rather and CBS News attempted to throw a political election by reporting a dishonest story based on FORGED DOCUMENTS – well, readers of the New York Times did not find out about it until the scandal was WAY underway and they only saw fit to publish a brief, reluctant summary. When the failed Air America talk network debuted, the New York Times gave it lavish and prominent publicity as though it was MAJOR NEWS. When the network flopped both financially and in the ratings and in the ability to attract and retain affiliates – well, that apparently wasn’t news fit to print. And when it came out that the financially desperate network had been financed, in part, by a shady, illegal loan from a City of New York tax subsidized boys and girls club – well, one would think that, given the lavish attention that the Times gave to the network at its start, that would be big news. As usual, the Times was late to the game in even mentioning the story and covered it as though it was just one of many corrupt business transactions that take place in any big city which impact few beyond its immediate victims.

    Of course, the Times is not the only media outlet that behaves in such a manner – which is why I refer to today’s mainstream media as the Walter Duranty Media. The New York Times has never, in fact, abandoned Duranty’s agenda oriented approach – it is just that, with modern communications and rival news networks they have to be a bit more cautious in being able to get away with it.

    That is why I pretty much take anything the mainstream media says with a HUGE degree of skepticism. These people are Leftists – and Leftists don’t think twice about lying simply because FACTS and REALITY aren’t fully real to them anyway. To them, the ends justify the means – and that is the approach that the New York Times takes time and time again. And the rise of opposition media in recent years in the form of the blogosphere shows just how many stories of significance that the mainstream media DOES NOT cover or merely goes through the motions of covering when things have unfolded to the point it HAS to cover them.

  • dismuke

    Also, with regard to “slants” – ever noticed that if a story is 100% accurate and contains FACTS which are inconvenient to the Left – well, it is widely accepted to have a “conservative slant.”

    I hold that a Leftist slant is almost always the result of dishonesty or utter ignorance because the fundamental premises of the Left are thoroughly dishonest and at odds with reality.

    Of course, one can also accurately say the same about hardcore conservative premises as well. The problem is that, in today’s world, anything that is not Leftist is automatically considered “conservative” and thus people such as myself are grouped together by the Left with the very worst sorts of conservatives in a dastardly package deal.

    It is the Left that is the source and responsible for the popular terminology in today’s culture. And, of course, under their own terms, anyone who is NOT a Leftist must be some sort of backwards, uneducated bumpkin boor. I have never bought into that. Indeed, I have a very difficult time regarding as intellectually serious anyone who is a Leftist. In my book, they are on the same plane as Flat Earthers, advocates of Astrology and backwoods hicks who speak in tongues. To me, the only difference is they have a better vocabulary, eat at trendier restaurants and are far more pretentious, pompous and condescending. They are all frauds and phonies with dishonest agendas. So the pseudo-serious psudo-intellectual gloss of Leftist publications – well, I am not impressed any more than I am by watching Pat Robertson’s broadcast efforts. I tend to find Pat Robertson less nauseating simply because, unlike Leftists, he doesn’t pretend to be anything other than exactly what he is