June 10, 2003


According to Harold Evans, the right-wingers who despise the New York Times donít even read the newspaper:

The news of the double resignation has caused rejoicing among the more paranoid circles of the right, who have never read the Times and never will but know in their hearts that it represents all that is rotten about the left. They associate it with the cultural excesses of the long-gone '60s, the ignominious American retreat from Vietnam, the eight years of Clintonism, the reluctance to take every word of George W. as gospel.

Harold hasnít met these people and never will but knows in his heart what they believe.

Some on the right believe this nonsense even when they read the paper, since they take the opinions in the editorial and opinion pages as representative of the whole paper. This is a misunderstanding of the subtle relationships in The New York Times.

Subtle. Gotcha.

Posted by Tim Blair at June 10, 2003 10:55 AM

One wonders if the communards of the Fairfax press are starting to feel a little nervous about their own position, in the wake of the NYT scandals.

Posted by: Indole Ring at June 10, 2003 at 11:07 AM

Hell, I subscribe to the NYT and even a dope like me can figure out that the Raines era marked a decided lean to the left. Pronounced. Over-bearing.

This blowhard needs to read the thing himself. The Paper of Record has way too many scratches to be taken seriously anymore. They needed a new needle.

(to extend the metaphor past all credulity)

Your pal,


Posted by: bob at June 10, 2003 at 11:22 AM

It's not nice to point at the funny man, Tim. Hard to resist when he's such a luminescent buffoon, though.

Posted by: Harry at June 10, 2003 at 11:23 AM

So, as long as it is subtle, bias is ok?

Posted by: charles austin at June 10, 2003 at 11:38 AM

N.b. I'd be more likely to associate the Left with America's ignominious ENTRY into Vietnam. But amid the rest of this malarkey, why bother with the red pencil?

Posted by: Harry at June 10, 2003 at 12:45 PM

But, Tim, isn't your opening sentence as much of a straw man as the paragraph you quote. Evans builds a straw man by choosing those of the critics to the Times who are easiest to lampoon, and you build one by pretending that Evans is trying to characterise ALL right-wing critics of the Times in the same way.

Posted by: Mork at June 10, 2003 at 01:17 PM

Talking about bia in newpapers - here is my letter to the Brisbane Courier Mail:

To: The Courier Mail

10 June 2003

I refer to an article in the Courier Mail on Sat 7 June 2002 “Critics up in arms over weapons of mass distraction” by your senior National Affairs Editor Peter Charlton. He closes the piece by way of emphasis with a quote from US Assistant Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz seeming to confirm that the recent war was all about oil.

He did not say that. This is a quote that was taken so far out of context that it qualifies as deliberate deception. The UK Guardian newspaper which published this, retracted their story and admitted their lie on their front page on June 5, well before Charlton’s article was published.

It is amazing and disgraceful, that the Courier Mail has used the same misquote that the Guardian tried to use to smear Wolfowitz and the United States, several days after its retraction. If you seek to maintain any professional standards, I expect that your newspaper will also apologise.


Posted by: Chris Hall at June 10, 2003 at 01:28 PM

I read the New York Times once about ten years ago, but it became so disagreeable I had to stop.

(with apologies to Sir Winston)

Posted by: Kim du Toit at June 10, 2003 at 02:29 PM

I will accept your apology, but please be more original in future.

Posted by: Winston Churchill at June 10, 2003 at 02:36 PM

Actually, it is hard to read any US newspaper without a healthy dose of the NYT being included. It seems smometimes as if half the stories in the Palm Beach Post are reprints from the NYT.

Posted by: Rick Caird at June 10, 2003 at 10:57 PM

If you take a look at our local excuses for newspapers (www.freep.com and www.detnews.com) you will see why I subscribe to the NYT--besides, they have good crossword puzzles.

But under Raines they really abandoned even a pretense that the news pages were not seen as extensions of the editorial page. And who says they don't have funny pages? Recently Bob Herbert condemned our national "racial addiction" and the insertion of race into any possible news story.
And before that, Paul Krugman wrote a column condemning nepotism and the use of family names for political advancement and didn't even mention the word "Kennedy."

Posted by: Alex Bensky at June 10, 2003 at 11:05 PM