Posts Tagged ‘New York Times’

New York Times a sinking ship that can no longer aid Obama

by Liz Peek
As they head to the convention, anxious Republicans wonder, do Americans get it? Do they understand what is at stake? Will the liberal media prevail?
To which I say: not to worry! Americans are on top of the issues, and ahead of the curve. How can I be so certain? There are several data points, but let’s start with one that is especially gratifying – one that shows that the country no longer believes in the New York Times.
In a recent Pew poll, the legendary paper of record was voted less “believable” than ABC News, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, NBC news, and CBS News. What a comedown for the Grey Lady.
Not only is the paper considered less trustworthy than most others news organizations, the decline has been sharp. The average believability of the 13 news organizations reviewed was 56%; the Times came in at 49%. (The Wall Street Journal comes in at 58%, by comparison.) Whereas trust in all those outfits has dropped in recent years, the Times has fared worse than most. Since 2010, their rating has sunk from 58 to 49.
For a paper that boasts a proud heritage and certainly a devoted following among liberals, this should be worrisome. Indeed, in his “farewell column” published this past weekend, Public Editor Arthur Brisbane, essentially the paper’s ombudsman, took the Times to task, saying that its “political and cultural progressivism…virtually bleeds through the fabric of The Times.” He describes the paper as a “hive on Eighth Avenue…shaped by a culture of like minds” – a uni-view that he suggests is more visible from the outside than the inside. That may or may not be correct, but for sure, Americans have taken note.
Americans are on top of the issues, and ahead of the curve. How can I be so certain? There are several data points, but let’s start with one that is especially gratifying – one that shows that the country no longer believes in the New York Times.

For the Obama White House, this disaffection with our leading newspaper should be something of a heads-up. If the Times acts as a virtual mouthpiece for the administration, and people do not find it credible, what does that say about the president?
It is not only 63% of Republicans that judge the Times lacking in credibility, it is also 56% of independents. Among those same independents, only 45% consider the Wall Street Journal unreliable.
The Times’ performance is nearly identical to that of Fox News, which is widely considered right-leaning. While neither organization is likely to welcome such pigeon-holing, branding the Times a partisan mouthpiece would surely have been more controversial in the past.
For someone who grew up in a Republican household that nonetheless considered the Times an essential part of our intellectual diet, the paper’s increasing bias over the past decade has been breathtaking.
The carefully placed articles that laud the president’s security chops (pieces that have now landed the White House in hot water for information leaks) and those that incessantly remind Americans that Mitt Romney is a MORMON and a wealthy one to boot – the reporting has become as one-sided as the sledge-hammer editorials and over-the-top op-eds. (Does anyone really consider one-note Paul Krugman, who never met a government spending hike he didn’t like, a deep thinker?)
An article that appeared last week is typical of the paper’s embarrassing slide. The online headline claims “In Poll, Obama is Given Trust Over Medicare.” The piece states that the Romney-Ryan approach to reining in our most threatening entitlement program is “deeply unpopular” in Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin. The authors point out that Medicare is the third-most important issue to likely voters in those critical states, and say polls show the GOP team not winning the debate on that subject. It is only after 6 paragraphs that other findings of the same polls are revealed – namely that since Ryan came on board, presumably bringing Medicare to the fore, President Obama’s six-point lead over Romney in Wisconsin and Florida has evaporated. The race in those states is now too close to call – despite what the Times claims is “the risk Mr. Romney took when he chose Mr. Ryan to be his running mate.” A risk, apparently, worth taking.
Does the Times care? When the paper’s Managing Editor Dean Baquet reveals that Obama and Romney campaign officials are reviewing and exercising veto control over their coverage, does the Grey Lady blush?
Frank Rich, writing in his final column for the paper, probably reflected the sentiment of his former colleagues when he wrote, “The Times is our essential news organization, and more so now than ever, when so many others have dwindled in size, ambition and scope.” Many people would agree with that assessment. Does it still hold true if the paper is not believable?
The public has caught onto the biased New York Times, but that’s not the only reason for optimism. Consider the (unlikely) election of Scott Brown in sapphire-blue Massachusetts and the thumping handed the president in the 2010 election. Remember the Wisconsin win of incumbent Governor Scott Walker who survived a recall election despite a veritable tidal wave of money and support from organized labor. The pundits anticipated none of these upheavals.
Remember, too, the persistent skepticism about ObamaCare? Mr. Obama has now given dozens – perhaps even hundreds – of speeches in favor of his health care bill, and has spent millions on ads touting the law’s advantages. Notwithstanding this onslaught, Americans are as opposed as ever.
Really, it is extraordinary – and it is promising. Our country understands that you can’t offer free health care to 31 million people and not have it deepen our deficits. They understand that taking $716 billion from Medicare cannot leave our seniors with the care they have counted on.
This is a tight race. The president remains popular personally, despite the unpopular nature of his policies. I have every faith that come November policy will out, and that Americans will vote for the good of the country; I believe they get it.
Liz Peek is a contributor. She is a financial columnist who also writes for The Fiscal Times. For more visit

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A Christian Business in the Left's Crosshairs February 2, 2011 By Michelle Malkin
Here’s a modest proposal for liberals who say they support job creation: Stop smearing successful, law-abiding private companies whose values don’t comport with yours. I’m looking at you, New York Times.

Chick-fil-A is an American success story. Founded by Georgian entrepreneur Truett Cathy in 1946, the family-owned chicken-sandwich chain is one of the country’s largest fast-food businesses. It employs some 50,000 workers across the country at 1,500 outlets in nearly 40 states and the District of Columbia. The company generates more than $2 billion in revenue and serves millions of happy customers with trademark Southern hospitality.

So, what’s the problem? Well, Chick-fil-A is run by devout Christians who believe in strong marriages, devoted families and the highest standards of character for their workers. The restaurant chain’s official corporate mission is to “glorify God” and “enrich the lives of everyone we touch.” The company’s community service initiatives, funded through its WinShape Foundation, support foster care, scholarship, summer camp and marriage enrichment programs. On Sunday, all Chick-fil-A stores close so workers can spend the day at worship and rest.

For the left, these Biblically based corporate principles constitute high social justice crimes and misdemeanors. Democrats are always ready to invoke religion to support their big government, taxpayer-funded initiatives (Obamacare, illegal alien amnesty, increased education spending and FCC regulatory expansion, for starters).

But when an independent company — thriving on its own merits in the marketplace — wears its soul on its sleeve, suddenly it’s a theocratic crisis.

Over the past month, several progressive activist blogs have waged an ugly war against Chick-fil-A. The company’s alleged atrocity: One of its independent outlets in Pennsylvania donated some sandwiches and brownies to a marriage seminar run by the Pennsylvania Family Institute, which happens to oppose same-sex marriage.

In the name of tolerance, the anti-Chick-fil-A hawks sneered at the company’s main product as “Jesus Chicken,” derided its no-Sunday work policy and attacked its operators as “anti-gay.” Michael Jones, who describes himself as having “worked in the field of human rights communications for a decade, most recently for Harvard Law School,” launched an online petition drive at “demanding” that the company disavow “extreme anti-gay groups.” Facebook users dutifully organized witch hunts against the company on college campuses.

Over the weekend, New York Times reporter Kim Severson gave the Chick-fil-A bashers a coveted Sunday A-section megaphone — repeatedly parroting the “Chick-fil-A is anti-gay” slur and raising fears of “evangelical Christianity’s muscle flexing” with only the thinnest veneer of journalistic objectivity. Severson, you see, is an openly gay advocate of same-sex marriage equality herself and the former vice-president of the identity politics-mongering National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association.

In a bitter op-ed on gay marriage laws not changing quickly enough, she asserted: “I don’t want the crumbs. I want the whole cake.” Severson has voiced complaints about her social and economic status as an unwed lesbian with a partner and child in several media publications.

None of this was disclosed in Severson’s advocacy journalism hit job on Chick-fil-A. But therein lies the unofficial motto of The Gray Lady: All the ideological conflicts of interest unfit to print.

Progressive groups are gloating over Chick-fil-A’s public relations troubles exacerbated by the nation’s politicized paper of record. This is not because they care about winning hearts and minds over gay rights or marriage policy, but because their core objective is to marginalize political opponents and chill Christian philanthropy and activism. The fearsome “muscle flexing” isn’t being done by innocent job-creators selling chicken sandwiches and waffle fries. It’s being done by the hysterical bullies trying to drive them off of college grounds and out of their neighborhoods in the name of “human rights.”

Remember: These were the same tactics the left-wing mob used in California to intimidate supporters of the Proposition 8 traditional marriage initiative. Individual donors were put on an “Anti-Gay Black List.” Businesses who contributed money to the Prop. 8 campaign were besieged by fist-wielding protesters. The artistic director of the California Musical Theatre was forced to resign over his $1,000 donation.

Message: Associate with the wrong political cause and you will pay. So much for national “civility.”

The Newswatch Never Stops—Nor Should It

The Wall Street Journal


The idea that the time pressure of the digital age forces journalists to make errors would have seemed silly to the pioneers of broadcasting.
When the New York Times reported erroneously via its website on Jan. 8 that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was dead, two things followed quickly. The first was a much-needed correction. The second was a renewed assertion among some print journalists that nonstop, 24/7 reporting—driven by the Internet—is perilous for news providers and puts responsible reporting in jeopardy.

The Washington Post suffered similar embarrassment last June when its website reported that John Wooden had died, although at the time the legendary UCLA basketball coach remained alive. In the aftermath, one senior editor at the Post said the intense pressure of a never-ending deadline was “like walking on egg shells.”

All this fussing by newspaper folks as they wake up to demands of the digital era is rather quaint. The Internet has made real-time reporting more prevalent, but it certainly didn’t invent it.

All-news radio began in the early 1960s at stations like WAVA in Washington, D.C., and WINS in New York, where it was refined to become the nonstop reporting format that remains popular today. In 1980, media visionary Ted Turner launched CNN, and nonstop television news has been a vital part of American journalism ever since.

As it happened, the incorrect report about Rep. Giffords was actually generated by broadcasters at CNN and NPR and was simply picked up by the Times. But while managers at CNN and NPR fumed over the mistaken facts—as they should—print veterans seemed equally determined to fault the process.

At first glance, the headline on the Times’s own analysis of its coverage, “Time, the Enemy,” made me wonder if the newspaper had some sort of quarrel with Time magazine. I never imagined that the “enemy” was time itself. Arthur Brisbane, the paper’s public editor, wrote that elements of the Tucson coverage “illustrate how difficult it is in the current environment to be both timely and authoritative.”

Yet that has always been a challenge for journalists. Even publishing once per day, the New York Times, like The Wall Street Journal and most other papers, must regularly print corrections. Mistakes happen. Would there be fewer errors if newspapers came out weekly? Perhaps, but the extension of that argument is that the best way to avoid mistakes would be not to publish at all.

Parkinson’s Law states that, “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” Half a century ago the pioneers of all-news radio wondered about the converse: To what extent would the task of responsible reporting suffer as the time to accomplish it shrunk?

The answer lay in the definition of news itself. News is instantaneous. With the exception of the tree that falls in the empty forest, reporting begins at some level at the very moment that news happens. Professional journalists—whether print or electronic—are simply an extension of the process. All deadlines are artificial.

I recall going to work at the ABC Radio Network shortly after the company expanded from one newscast per hour to four; all of a sudden there was a deadline every 15 minutes. For many of us on the news desk this schedule was extremely difficult at first, because we felt that time had collapsed while the task of creating a finished five-minute newscast remained the same.

But colleagues working nearby at the all-news radio station were not similarly burdened. For them the pressure was removed, or at least sharply reduced, when there were no deadlines at all. On television, legendary coverage by Walter Cronkite and others during events such as the Kennedy assassination and the first moon walk—in the days before CNN and 24/7 TV news—demonstrated how deadlines could be measured by fact rather than time: Get it right and get it on. That was the schedule.

This is not to say that the power of the Internet to quickly disseminate errors is not cause for concern. Nor is the 24/7 news cycle an excuse for journalistic carelessness.

But the notion that nonstop news coverage is something new, some recent innovation developed as a product of the Internet and utilities such as Twitter, is bogus.

What newspaper editors could learn from broadcasters is that time need not be the enemy. It is integral to the very definition of news. Also, it waits for no journalist.

Mr. Funt is a writer and the long-time host of “Candid Camera” (

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