Editor & Publisher has posted three letters responding to E&P’s coverage of the award given to Jim Boyd, deputy editorial page editor of the Star Tribune. All three letters are critical of E&P’s fawning introduction, of the award to Boyd or of Boyd’s speech:
E&P’s headline skews reality in a revealing way: “Standing Up to ‘Pushback’ on the Editorial Page.” “Pushback?” Nah. Boyd is not “standing up” to anything, let along “pushback.” Rather he refutes his critics’ irrefutable facts with bile and bullying untruths. While he is entitled to his opinions, he is not entitled to his facts.
Boyd claims not to be a partisan bombthrower. Bizarre. Inky facts belie his bogus claim. Savvy conservatives, including the bloggers at Time ‘s top-rated weblog, PowerLine, know him to be an over-the-top, angry, fiery, usually fact-challenged spokesman. Says one, he could wrote DNC’s truth-twisting talking points which, in real life, are recycled with regularity on his editorial pages.
It is no accident Boyd’s Star Tribune is described by The Wall Street Journal’s John Fund as “one of the most left-wing newspapers in the nation.” One look at its editorials, its “institutional voice,” proves the tag is richly deserved. Boyd, along with a stable of ardent liberals on the editorial board, make that so. Diversity of opinion is a rarity there. Ex-U.S. Senator Rudy Boschwitz (R-MN) observed it makes their editorial meetings short and sweet, such is total agreement.
E&P’s deck for “Shoptalk” asserts incorrectly that Boyd “describes the protest” of his liberal slants. Look again. Not so. Not a word about the hefty substance of the reader protests, only antipathy toward them.
Of the dark art of smear Boyd is past master. He hurls ad homimen smears with the best of the left, in a class with Dowd and Ivins on their better days. The truth-telling fellas at PowerLineblog “harass” him, he says, without explanation, but it’s more than that. PowerLine in excruciating detail deconstructs Boyd’s flights of partisan fancy. In short, they make him look foolish. My oh my, how that must irritate this part-time demagogue in the almighty press.
Boyd’s antipathy for all things remotely conservative results in spewing vile stuff, not reasoned argument. His “exhaustive research [and] a willingness to tell truth to power,” as the loony tunes award citation claims, is a crock. It fails the giggle test among legions who do not share in Boyd’s leftist fantasyland.
Shame on the American Academy of Diplomacy for getting it so wrong, so ironically wrong, about Boyd, painting him as a mythic heroic figure in journalism, when he is clearly a blight on that trade, a poster boy for partisan flackery. Like Dan Rather, he is a purveyor of falsehoods when it suits his partisan purposes.
It is a sad day when Jim Boyd is given an award for non-partisanship. Editorial writing is part of journalism. Americans know that editorials are not news and are more likely to be the results of the political leanings of the editors. Distortions, half-truths, omissions and lies fill editorial and opinion pages each morning, yet are constitutionally protected.
A majority of Americans shake their heads at the editorials written in their newspaper, but it is an agreement with the newspaper and subscriber that these editorials are bias. Journalism has sunk to a new low to try to fool readers that a liberal, left-wing editorial writer like Jim Boyd is a non-partisan. There is praise for everyone who speaks “truth to power” against the Republicans in power, but when honest, hardworking Americans use their only outlet (the Internet) to speak “truth to power” against journalists, editorial writers, and television personalities, they are called “harassers”.
The condescending, victimized, nasty tone of Jim Boyd towards the freedom of speech exercised by people who disagree with him is symbolic of the decline of the mainstream media. Americans do not consider the MSM the final word in truth, in fact, it seems each day the lies and partisanship of the supposed truth-tellers are exposed. When you have the next big symposium on why readership is declining, let topic #1 be the treatment of dissent by editorial writers. The Internet is the better mousetrap: it was created out of necessity because the first mousetrap, the MSM, failed miserably.
Hampton Cove, Ala.
Why I left the Strib
Mr. Boyd: You will find my name among the legions of former subscribers to your paper. My wife misses your coupons but, regardless, we persevere because we cannot in good conscience lend financial support to a publication which begins from the assumption that America is wrong.
Your acceptance speech for you award was an interesting study in rhetoric. It’s a funny thing about the Left. They devise all these awards and give them to each other as a measure of their ideological purity.
Purity notwithstanding, when your paper becomes a community Shopper you will be able to point at the radical religious right and proclaim they killed you.
It will be a self-inflicted wound. If you cannot find a way to temper your editorial biases you will continue to lose market share. I would share my comments with you for retaining market share but they would be so contrary to your instincts that you would show me the door.
I won’t waste my time. I’ll continue to get my news from cable, talk radio and the Internet — where both sides of the argument are laid out for circumspection.
A former subscriber,
We noted Boyd’s award last night in “Boydot thanks the Academy.” In his speech, Boyd states that he has been harassed by us and other bloggers over the past three years. Last night I wrote asking him what he is talking about. For what it’s worth, we’re still waiting for Boydot.