For What It’s Worth

…here are my thoughts on the New York Times scandal. First, there has been a lot of debate about whether the Times’ commitment to “diversity” was part of the Jayson Blair problem. Howell Raines ended that debate when he said, after acknowledging his devotion to promoting racial diversity: “Does this mean I personally favoured Jayson? Not consciously. But you have a right to ask if I, as a white man from Alabama, with those convictions, gave him one chance too many by not stopping his appointment to the sniper team. When I look into my heart for the truth of that, the answer is yes.” It is hard to imagine a more self-condemning admission. Raines sees himself as a “white man from Alabama” whose duty it is to patronize blacks. The kindest thing one can say about this is that Raines is stuck in a time warp.
Second, the more fundamental point–and the one mostly absent from mainstream accounts of the controversy–is this: “Pinch” Sulzberger and Howell Raines are both hard-left fanatics. They made a decision, some time ago, to transform the New York Times from a newspaper into a partisan mouthpiece for leftism in all its varieties. For the editor and publisher who sponsor Paul Krugman and Maureen Dowd to profess that they are shocked–shocked!–to find that Times reporters are loose with facts is absurd. They are reaping what they sowed, and the end is nowhere near in sight.


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