Rising to the challenge

In yesterday’s Bleat Lileks the Great responds to Hugh Hewitt’s assignment to the Northern Alliance of Blogs to comment on the leaked John Carroll/Los Angeles Times memo.
HINDROCKET adds: My take on this memo is different from Lileks’. I think the memo is really quite astounding. The Los Angeles Times has long been regarded as one of the nation’s most liberal, and most obviously biased, papers. It really appears that Carroll, for whatever reason, wants to change that reputation. Just look at what he says:
“The reason I’m sending this note to all section editors is that I want everyone to understand how serious I am about purging all political bias from our coverage. We may happen to live in a political atmosphere that is suffused with liberal values (and is unreflective of the nation as a whole), but we are not going to push a liberal agenda in the news pages of the Times.”
Carroll’s acknowledgement that the world inhabited by L.A. Times reporters is “a political atmosphere that is suffused with liberal values,” and one that is “unreflective of the nation as a whole,” is an unprecedented major media admission, as far as I know. As is his admission that the Times has, at least on occasion, “push[ed] a liberal agenda in the news pages.”
And the frankness of Carroll’s criticism is striking; at one point he quotes his reporter’s article and says, “Seldom will you read a cheaper shot than this.” That is a pretty remarkable thing for an editor to say about his own newspaper. It remains to be seen what effect Carroll’s effort will have on the quality of the Times’ writing, but there is no reason not to be pleased at his admission that the liberal consensus prevailing in the Times’ newsroom has corrupted that paper’s reporting.

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