Seldom has a historically highly regarded icon fallen as swiftly as has The NY Times. For so long it was the paper of record but more recently it has become merely a print version of Think Progress or Media Matters, just another arm of the Democrat National Committee or the official publication of the Hillary 2016 campaign.
At the Washington Times, Joseph Curl asks
What has happened to the New York Times?
On Sunday, we got the answer, from none other than Paul Krugman, an op-ed columnist at the paper. “I think Christie was the one guy that really scared them for 2016,” he said of Democrats. “I mean, Christie is in a no-win situation, even if there isn’t any smoking gun.”
A no-win situation, even without evidence. Just a claim of evidence, Mr. Krugman implied, was enough.
So, in the end, The Times ran a thin story with an unsubstantiated claim of “evidence” directly linking Mr. Christie to the lane closures because it didn’t need a “smoking gun” — or any evidence at all. The allegation alone was enough to put the governor in a “no-win situation.”
“Could we have made this more clear? Yes,” The Times reporter who wrote the piece, Kate Zernike, said Sunday on CNN. “Did we make it more clear? Yes.” And all those changes, softening the lede, the headline? “That’s a typical newspaper process,” she said.
No, it’s the typical newspaper process for a rag on Grub Street, where hack writers churn out stories light on facts and heavy on innuendo. Which, in 2014, now includes The New York Times.
Well, the Times finally ran a correction. James Taranto:
So, other than that the story was accurate? Not quite. Evidence exists tying reporter Kate Zernike to having erred. We borrowed that awkward language from the letter that led her report, which was written by Wildstein’s lawyer, Alan Zegas, to Darrell Buchbinder, general counsel of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
(For readers who are new to the story or need a refresher: The Port Authority, which runs the George Washington Bridge, engineered a traffic jam there last September after being urged to do so by Christie administration officials. Christie denies having known of the traffic scheme before last month.)
Zernike quotes the Zegas letter as asserting that “evidence exists . . . tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference.” The final version of her piece–the one that appeared in Saturday’s paper and is now online–quotes the “evidence exists” language in its lead.
But that’s not how it was originally written. The Puffington Host has a screen shot of the lead from the story’s first version, posted online Friday afternoon: “The former Port Authority official who personally oversaw the lane closings on the George Washington Bridge in the scandal now swirling around Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey said on Friday that the governor knew about the lane closings when they were happening, and that he had evidence to prove it.”
You can see what happened here. Zernike (or perhaps her editor) didn’t pay close enough attention to Zegas’s weaselly wording. She got the impression one imagines he intended to convey–and it was a journalistically attractive impression. “He had evidence to prove it” is a more compelling claim than “evidence exists.”
Do read it all.
The NY Times did its best to whitewash the Benghazi debacle to smooth Hillary Clinton’s coronation.
Today we learn that Obamacare will cost the country millions of jobs. The NY Times says that’s a good thing:
The Congressional Budget Office estimated on Tuesday that the Affordable Care Act will reduce the number of full-time workers by 2.5 million over the next decade. That is mostly a good thing, a liberating result of the law. Of course, Republicans immediately tried to brand the findings as “devastating” and stark evidence of President Obama’s health care reform as a failure and a job killer. It is no such thing.
The report estimated that — thanks to an increase in insurance coverage under the act and the availability of subsidies to help pay the premiums — many workers who felt obliged to stay in a job that provided health benefits would now be able to leave those jobs or choose to work fewer hours than they otherwise would have. In other words, the report is about the choices workers can make when they are no longer tethered to an employer because of health benefits. The cumulative effect on the labor supply is the equivalent of 2.5 million fewer full-time workers by 2024.
There is unrest growing at the Times. It appears that the editorial board failed to inform the reporters that the Times was joining the Democrat Party and they’re not happy about their integrity being reduced to tatters.
Reporters in The New York Times newsroom deeply resent the paper’s editorial page, and the dissent has “reached the boiling point,” the New York Observer reports Tuesday.
It’s not an ideological dispute, the Observer says, but rather the sense that the paper’s editorials and columns are boring, ineffectual, poorly written and poorly read. The story was based on interviews with more than two dozen current and former Times staffers, mostly on condition of anonymity out of fear of editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal.
Rosenthal was described as a petty tyrant, and lazy in his supervision of an opinion staff that is widely seen outside the newsroom as the voice of the Left-wing establishment.
But many saved their most pointed criticism for foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman, noting that his writing in recent years has been widely parodied and ridiculed.
Be sure to read all of that as well.
Celebration of this decline would be inappropriate. It is a sad event. There was a time I would read every bit of the Times seeking to be informed. It has been transformed into a throwaway rag, highly partisan and biased. It’s embarrassing for everyone.
It is still the paper of record- if you seek only the record of left wing opinion.
As a proper and trusted news source, it’s gone.