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NYT Keeps Readers In The Dark

Via Meadia has been watching the New York Times‘ coverage of the Wisconsin recall race with some bemusement. The race is of vital importance for anybody who wants to understand where the country is headed this year. The bill restricting public employee union collective bargaining rights set off a huge uproar, polarized Wisconsin politics, ignited a furious resistance and a series of recall elections — climaxing with the current attempt to unseat Governor Scott Walker.

NYT readers, like many other Americans, are interested in the race. The issues stir deep passions on both sides of the aisle. Outside money has poured into the state as conservative advocacy groups and high profile donors rushed to support Governor Walker and his allies. Similarly, organized labor and some serious liberal donors have pulled out all the stops to notch up a win in this high profile contest between liberal and conservative ideas.

That the Times takes sides in this contest neither surprises nor disturbs the Via Meadia team. We know the Times is a liberal newspaper (often a very good one) whose readers are primarily liberal and want the news reported and analyzed from that point of view. The paper doesn’t try to hide this from readers and its editors, reporters and proprietors are doing nothing wrong in producing a paper of this kind.

It is only to be expected that the Times would embrace the recall movement and follow the popular mobilization in support of the public sector unions in loving and even lavish detail. But the Gray Lady’s Wisconsin coverage has gone way beyond the journalism of engagement, a venerable and honorable practice. It has gone into the journalism of denial. For the last few weeks it has gone well beyond telling the story from the point of view that it and its readers share; it is concealing facts that its readers need to know.

Take this new magazine feature piece: a Brobdingnagian seven page weeper lamenting the political divisiveness ushered in, the article claims, by a Walker administration bent on bringing partisan conflict to the peaceful and civil people of Wisconsin. The Times accuses Walker of using outside money and shady legislative tactics to push through a radical agenda to rob workers of their rights, undo gun control laws and “dismantle public education.”

So far, so good. Let us stipulate that in the view of the Times, Scott Walker is a skunk and a cad. And let us stipulate that everything bad in Wisconsin, all the ill feeling and all the turmoil is entirely because this sinister enemy of all that is noble and good has been riding roughshod over every decent principle in public life.

But what Times readers will not learn from this piece is that the skunk is winning.  Walker is overwhelmingly favored to win on June 5, with polls consistently giving him a significant lead over his opponent. In seven pages of focused, detailed coverage of the politics of the Wisconsin race, the piece has no room for this simple yet somehow telling detail.

The Times knows very well that Walker is kicking butt in Wisconsin. Blogger Nate Silver tells readers exactly this at his NYT blog 538.  (Gibbon buried the more salacious details about the scandalous lives of the Roman emperors in untranslated Latin footnotes; the Times puts unpalatable facts in blogs where the more sensitive readers seldom look.)

It isn’t just that recent Times articles about Wisconsin have studiously tiptoed around the opinion polls that point to a solid Walker lead. Dan Kaufman’s weeper doesn’t give readers any idea why anybody in Wisconsin supports Walker or why even the Democrats now accept that the public supports Walker’s union legislation and aren’t making an issue of it in the campaign.

The bruised feelings, the sadness and the anger of Walker’s opponents are given plenty of air time, and we learn much from Mr. Kaufman about why the governor’s opponents think he deserves to be recalled. But we don’t learn anything at all, really, about why people support him — or why so many of them are furious with the unions and their supporters. In an article about the bitter political divisiveness consuming Wisconsin, we learn nothing about the actual nature of the divide.

Again, the Times doesn’t need to treat the two sides as equal. It can sneer at what it considers to be the fallacies and inconsistencies of Walker’s opponents all it wants. But if it wants to tell readers why Wisconsin is divided, it needs to at least refer to the ideas and the perceptions, foolish and mistaken though they may be, of those who passionately support the governor.

Kaufman’s agitprop misses much of the rest of the “divisiveness” in Wisconsin. There’s nothing about the allegations of violence, intimidation and lawlessness that Walker supporters have made against his opponents. There’s nothing about the controversies over state workers getting phony doctors’ notes to take ‘sick’ days rather than personal or vacation days to protest against the Walker law. Again, he is free to excuse this conduct as justified or raise doubts that it happened — but you can’t write about divisiveness while ignoring the controversies that have made people so angry.

Read the piece and see for yourself.  It is long, exhaustive and deeply misleading. This goes beyond bias; it is the most foolish and self-defeating propaganda. If you want to know why liberals are so frequently surprised by events that other people saw coming, why so many well educated and well meaning people are so pathetically clueless about American politics and American culture — read this piece.

If there were an anti-Pulitzer Prize for the worst journalism of the year — this would be a contender.


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  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    “Read the piece and see for yourself.”

    Why bother? The leftist cocoon is a well known phenomenon, and is unlikely to end as long as the vast majority of newsrooms are filled with leftists. Here is a recent article that explains things:

  • Rhodium Heart

    Excellent analysis of the NYT’s lack of analysis, but shhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Let them sleep blissfully in their cocoon of cluelessness.

  • Gene

    I can’t be so forgiving of the NYT’s positioning on the political spectrum. If I can grant the journalism-lovers’ contention that the press has a special place and special responsibility in the world, then mindless partisanship on the part of any newspaper, especially one that claims the NYT’s role in the world, is a sin, and a damn serious one. Its fealty must be above all to reality, to truth, and only secondarily to political tempers. We constantly see “studies” suggesting that political conservatism is something akin to mental illness; I would argue that hyperpartisanship is, instead, the mental illness.

  • Tom Gates

    Good article except I take exception to your point that the NYT admits it is a left to left center publication. It does no such thing as its editors are constantly blathering that it is objective in its coverage of all issues and takes no political slant. They always compare themselves to right wing Fox. For us who watch the slow destruction of the the “Gray lady”it is really quite pathetic.

  • vanderleun

    “We know the Times is a liberal newspaper (often a very good one)…”

    That’s the touching kind of belief certain intellectuals like to hold and keep holding right up until the moment their hear the blade start to plunge downward in the tracks above their heads in the guillotine.

    Jacobins love this kind of belief. It keeps everyone so wonderfully passive.

  • dave.s.

    Well, Pajamas Media is giving just such a prize, and they have named it after Walter Duranty of the NYT!

  • Corlyss

    “We know the Times is a liberal newspaper (often a very good one) . . . ”

    That’s an oxymoronic characterization. As your article amply illustrates, what that really means is advocacy journalism on steroids and primarily “lying for justice.” Omitting significant events of relevance because reporting on them would “damage the viewpoint they support” is a form of lying, as any good Catholic will tell you.

    A lying press is no handmaiden of Freedom. It is a collaborator with anti-democratic and tyrannical forces.

  • Corlyss

    “Blogger Nate Silver tells readers exactly this at his NYT blog 538. (Gibbon buried the more salacious details about the scandalous lives of the Roman emperors in untranslated Latin footnotes; the Times puts unpalatable facts in blogs where the more sensitive readers seldom look.)”

    Psephology and polling fans follow Silver’s blog because, despite the fact that he was “discovered” by that odious leftwing propagandist Markos Moulitsas, he does highly respectable work and calls ’em like his data reveals ’em.

  • vanderleun

    Exactly so, Corlyss. Why our host, regardless of his vast intellectual powers, cannot decolonize his mind in this regard is a mystery, but one that is, I guess, understandable.

  • Alex Scipio

    The NYT is Baghdad Bob & there are no tanks in the city.

  • Ken Marks

    If you acknowledge that the NY Times sees the news through a liberal lens, then you are acknowledging that it is biased. You’ve just shown how it has mishandled the Wisconsin recall fiasco. How then can you trust anything it says about anything?

  • gmonsen

    I had just read Kauman’s piece and came to the same conclusions. Romney’s win will be a stunning upset to grey lady readers. Who could have seen this coming? Only James Carville, apparently.

  • K Scott

    The Times coverage is hiding the fact that there is a way out of the financial mess which liberal overspending has created – a way that does not require attacking the weak, a way pioneered by Walker. Walker returned power to local communities by limiting union power. This return of power to the local taxpayers resulted in a whole variety of different solutions to the problems of balancing budgets at the local level across Wisconsin. In all cases there was a mix of increasing the amounts paid into health insurance and pension funds, rebidding contracts (for budget items like health insurance and school lunches),and rearranging work schedules as a result of a new freedom from onerous state regulations that often promoted featherbedding. (Walker repealed 400 regulations restricting the power of local communities to organize work schedules or contract with low bidders.) But all communities balanced their budgets with very few layoffs except in Milwaukee and a few other placed which maintained power in the hands of the unions. There were no changes there and so the loss of state aid led to layoffs for 300 teachers in Milwaukee. That didn’t need to happen – see the rest of Wisconsin but the teacher’s unions preferred harming the schools to giving power back to the community and fixing the budget while saving jobs. Anyone who chooses the union way will see the same happen – the weak to the wall is the truth about the liberal/ union way in this time and the Times is hiding this truth.

  • Sherlock

    All that union money wasted on this recall. I wonder how the union membership feels about this? Wait, the american prospect says barret is going to win, as they beg for money to keep spewing liberal propaganda. But Wisconsin voters are seeing and feeling the results of Gov. Walker’s governing power, and they know he is right.

  • Paul Fraker

    I read the article and sent this email to the author: “Mr. Kaufman, I wonder how you could write an article as detailed as yours and not address the fundamental issue of public-employee collective bargaining. As has been noted elsewhere many times, a system whereby the legislature negotiates salary and benefits with workers whose unions can donate large amounts of mandatory member dues to those very same legislators is fraught with moral hazard. One has only to look at the excellent work your Times colleagues have done on other states’ fiscal crises to understand the gravity of this conflict of interest.”

  • WRA13

    We know the Times is a liberal newspaper (often a very good one) whose readers are primarily liberal and want the news reported and analyzed from that point of view.

    Where do we begin?
    I find it difficult to even consider The Times a newspaper. They do not analyze and report news from a liberal point of view. What they do is make it up as they go along, leaving out anything that doesn’t reinforce liberal dogma. That is not reporting folks, that’s propaganda. Pravda and Granma have nothing on these guys.

  • Zoe

    I have to agree with Gene. Aren’t they taught ethics in journalism their first year of college? Aren’t they taught to be fair and unbiased? I think the bigger problem, the underlying problem, is that most journall programs are run by the left wing’s intellectually elite. Most of our colleges and universities are bastions of liberalism. The notion of a free press that is fair and balanced has been thrown out the window.

  • Doug Santo

    A few quibbles:

    “We know the Times is a liberal newspaper (often a very good one)…”

    Replace “often” with “occasionally”.

    “The paper doesn’t try to hide this from readers…”

    Replace “doesn’t” with “does”.

    The paper does try to deny that it has a liberal bias. The editors, reporters and proprietors attempt to hide this fact all the time. I agree that they are doing nothing wrong in producing a paper of this kind. Readers can decide for themselves the value of such an institution.

    Doug Santo
    Pasadena, CA

  • Maggie

    Money talks and bull…. walks. Cancel your subscription, this rag is going broke anyway so hurry them along.

  • daveugber

    down is up, and up is down…we are witnessing the destruction of america…the truth no longer matters to the left…the times, as well as a large majority of printed/television media, have exchanged honor and just reporting for the promotion of a freedomless ideology that crushes individualism and advances secular economic/social/political slavery…the next six months will be ugly and violent, since the left seeks to divide americans along racial and economic lines…the uneducated, urban youth will revolt as the liberal media continues to foment these divisions, and since the african-american population has a large percentage of violent members, this will translate into more and more destruction, chaos and thoughtless violence…the zimmerman trial will be the first explosion that will rock the foundations of american cities…

  • Johnno

    Seriously, I love reading the leftist weepers. I find myself watching MSNBC incessantly, and spend more of my time reading the Daily Beast and Salon than the Weekly Standard.

    I love it because their arguments are easily dismantled, and the above referenced journals let me step all over their “facts” and their delicate sensibilities with jack boots, which I find deeply satisfying.

    The NYT, on the other hand, has a gestapo like sensor which screens all comments to their articles. They screen not just for the usual profanity, threats, etc, but also for conformity of opinion. The reason the NYT comments section reads as if they have a highly liberal reader base is because all comments, no matter how well worded, that do not have conformity of liberal thought never make it to digital print.

    It is for this specific reason that I don’t even bother clicking through to any NYTimes articles. Why bother? What I am going to get there is one sided. predictable, and boring. Looking at their failing earnings, apparently I am not the only one who feels this way.

  • Charles R. Williams

    “How then can you trust anything it says about anything?”

    Not everything is political.

  • DeanO

    Just look at the NYT stock price over the years….I make money every month shorting NYT stock. Their liberal reporting is killing them…and they could care less because they dont care about profits its the cause…the cause of spreading liberal agenda. Even Carlos Slim and George Soros cant save this paper. Its a disaster.

  • No Lawyers

    An interesting aspect of the NYT is how they shut off comments on articles. Don’t want the people to discuss too much and actually think and make up their own minds with new perspective.

  • JohnR22

    I have to laugh. Imagine the surprise when NY Times readers find out that Walker wins easily on June 5th. Of course….they won’t read this in the NY Times as I’m sure they’ll make no mention at all of the election results (perhaps a one paragraph item in the entertainment section).

  • Marshfielder

    I live in Wisconsin and I stand with Scott Walker. Earlier this a.m., I slogged through the entire NYT story by Dan Kaufman. What a sloppy conglomeration of cliches, buzzwords and predictable inferences: pristine rivers, tribal rights, open-pit mining, the Wisconsin Idea, billionaire conservative donors, ALEC, Karl Rove, Trayvon Martin, Shell Oil, the Patriot Act, John Boehner, Aldo Leopold, out-of-state money, conceal-and-carry-law, dismantling public education, opposing climate-change initiatives, nationwide demonization of public employees, and on and on. Not an inkling of why so many of us support Walker, and how fed up we are with the relentless attacks by his opponents. What a relief to read WRM’s methodical takedown of this epic of non-reporting. Thank you for your logic, sanity, judgment and clarity. I can’t wait for Wisconsin’s “silent majority” to vindicate Walker in the June 5 vote. Sadly, I doubt that a Walker victory will be the final chapter in this bitter saga. To be continued…

  • Lorenz Gude

    @Johnno 21
    I treat the times the same way. Maybe read 1 in 20 articles, and those with distrust. I have no problem recognizing honest coverage in the Times. John Burns reported well from Bagdhad all through the war but soon worked out that the anti Bush headlines atop his weiting were being added in NY. I used him as one of my sources recognizing that he worked for an organization that was much more interested in defeating President Bush than defeating al Qaeda. Journalism prof Jeff Jarvis put it something like this on a TWIG podcast of MSM journalists: they just don’t get it. They still think they are curating the news for thier audience, but they are just another node on the network.

  • Scott

    You provide an example of extreme bias via omission. I have an example of bias via commission.

    Just to be clear, what I’m about to say did not occur on the opinion side of the paper. We all know how grossly irresponsible Paul Krugman was when he used his NYT blog to falsely suggest Republicans deserved to be blamed within less than two hours after the shooting based on absolutely nothing except his wishes and fantasies that Republicans were responsible.

    No, this was actual reporting. Journalism.

    So when the first hard news story from the NYT was published about the Gabby Giffords shooting, the NYT reporters, I think there were two given credit for the piece, stuck to the relevant facts: who, what, where, when. All well and good. Perfectly objective, neutral, and unbiased — until the final paragraph.

    Then in the final paragraph the reporters decided to inform readers that about a year prior to the shooting, Sarah Palin’s PAC had created a political strategy map highlighting several Congressional Districts held by Democrats which Palin believed were vulnerable to defeat. And Gabby Gifford’s district was on the map. But because whoever created the year old map for Palin designated the vulnerable districts with a rifle scope “cross hair” symbol, it somehow became newsworthy to the Gifford shooting.

    It was an insidious way to make readers subconsciously link Sarah Palin to the awful tragedy. If they’d said in the final paragraph that the sun had risen in the east that morning it would have been just as relevant as saying Sarah Palin created a strategy map a year earlier using rifle scope symbols.

  • Trebor Noslem

    Dunno where I saw it, but it fits: “all the news that fits, they print”. I long ago gave up of the NYT because they abandoned fairness and objectivity. Yes, we’ve had a partisan press since the Founding, but never one so partisan that they abandon their obligation to objectively report the facts. Partisanship is for the editorial pages, not the news pages, which the NYT and its ilk seem somehow to have forgotten

  • Frank

    Ny Times is a pathetic liberal rag…..ultra left wing non sense garbage no one want to read.

  • EJM

    When Scott Walker does win the recall election, what are the NY Times’ readers of Kaufman’s article to think, except that the election was ‘stolen’ and the noble will of the people was subverted again by Koch Brothers’ money and Faux News disinformation? And don’t forget racism. Irradicable racism so permeates American society that not even unlikely Wisconsin hides hordes of secret Bull Conners cleverly hiding their racism behind the code word of reigning in union excesses.

    Such paranoia and surreal distortion of reality is more than a set of political doctrines, and more like a mental illness.

  • http://AOL Jim Christensen

    Here is a little tidbit about my experience with the NYT.

    I’m a huge crossword puzzle fan. The NYT does have a great puzzle and an associated blog. It is not cheap. Membership is around $40.00 a year, depending on how it is purchased.

    Since I go to the Times for the puzzle everyday, I started reading some of the NYT articles. I was aware that the publication was decidedly left-leaning, but I did not think they would go so far as to purposely refuse to publish a well written and civil opinion on article blogs.

    At first, I thought it was some kind of cyber-error, but after having lost several maximum word count posts, I became suspicious.

    I started saving my posts to my computer “clipboard”, so that they could be resubmitted easily. It was then I realized that my posts were being censored for no other reason than my political viewpoint.

    Obviously, I don’t post there anymore. It’s really a waste of time anyway. Most NYT readers are so steeped in their Liberal mindset, that trying to offer them a different perspective is a complete was of time. They like their church and their choir. They feel no need to abandon either one,for something as silly as a different point of view.

  • valwayne

    What the NYT has done regarding the WI story is certainly journalistic malpractice, but that’s hardly new at the NYT. I think the Washington Post’s absurd story about a teenage Gov Romney snipping the hair of another long haired teenager over 45 years ago in 1965 deserves the journalism malpractice award of the year. It will get worse. Both the NYT and the WP are full memebers of Obama’s reelection team and they will stop at nothing to help Obama or damage Romney. Before we get to Nov both will give us much more reason to award them the journalism malpractice award of the century! Bet on it!

  • Ellen K

    One of the most telling moments of internet video occurred when a young upstate New York Occupy protester was confronted by a small group of seniors who had escaped from the bad old days of the USSR. To the student’s credit, he listen as the speaker educated him as to the similarities to old style communism and Occupy and to the benefits of American exceptionalism. He also educated the kid on the reality of what Israel has endured vs. what the NYT wants its readers to believe about that issue. Of course, this is counter to what the NYT wants to distribute so they bury stories like this instead choosing to celebrate latter day hippies and grad students who expect the 75% of America who don’t have degrees to support them. Make no mistake, for all the Left’s assertions that this is about race, this election is about our socioeconomic future. NYT writers know this, which is why they seldom report anything other than the cooked data from the White House on banking, unemployment or inflation.

  • Mike

    “The greatest triumphs of propaganda have been accomplished, not by doing something, but by refraining from doing. Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence from truth. By simply not mentioning certain subjects, …. totalitarian propagandists have influenced opinion much more effectively than they could have done by the most eloquent denunciations, the most compelling of logical rebuttals.” This quote by Aldous Huxley from his Introduction to the 1946 edition of Brave New World

  • Mkelley

    You could do a lot worse than shorting these left-wing, big city newspapers:

  • SemDuvida

    This is precisely the reason that I stopped reading NY Times ans Wapo. They do not provide the opposite view for the sake of balance. There is no point in reading an article that is all one-sided as you gain notjing from it.

  • Hypernonpartisan

    #21, Johnno, says: “The reason the NYT comments section reads as if they have a highly liberal reader base is because all comments, no matter how well worded, that do not have conformity of liberal thought never make it to digital print.”

    I have found the same thing. The most hilarious was when they censored my response to a public editor piece acknowledging bias.

  • Campesino

    You’ve just shown how it has mishandled the Wisconsin recall fiasco. How then can you trust anything it says about anything?


    Due to the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect – quote from the late Michael Crichton:

    Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.
    In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.”
    ― Michael Crichton

  • Campesino

    I started saving my posts to my computer “clipboard”, so that they could be resubmitted easily. It was then I realized that my posts were being censored for no other reason than my political viewpoint.


    I have noticed this as well. I have about a 60% success rate on making it through their censors

  • dgforbes

    I picked up Kaufman’s NYT piece and Mead’s blog back to back from RCP, not realising that the latter referred to the former which I started to read first.
    I baulked straightaway at Kaufman’s intro describing an obviously fabricated series (?) of dreams and wondered how he’d ever got this past his writing coach.
    Perhaps they think the lessons of Jayston don’t apply when a Democrat with an axe to grind is willing to stick his name on something.
    The next few paras were enough to indicate that the whole screed was going to be a boilerplate, partisan hit job on all thing GOP.
    So I didn’t read any further but before I hit the button to clear my screen, I checked whether reader comments were enabled.
    And, of course, they weren’t; a sure sign that the story was so fallibleto criticism and/or prejudiced that the paper wasn’t going to take any risks with questions about its motives or integrity.

  • Gino

    the only use I have for the NYT is for lining the bottom of my bird cages.

  • Yahzooman

    For decades the Left had a monopoly on big media. During the 60s, 70s, and 80s, whatever The New York Times, Washington Post, NBC, CBS, ABC and PBS/NPR reported, that was the story and the slant of the day.

    Aside from The Wall Street Journal and William F. Buckley, the right had no voice.

    But now the monopoly has been broken. The right has its voice.

    I would have thought that the old established types, like the NY Times, would have countered this threat by increasing its journalistic ethics. I had hoped that they would do even more thorough research and provide ever more sides to a story in an effort for honesty, fairness and balance. If they would have, these outlets would still be considered real sources of TRUSTED news.

    Of course, that is not what happened. The Times and others decided (in their insecure little world) to outdo Rush, to outscream Hannity, to smear Palin, to denounce Fox News, to out liberal MSNBC and to squander its decades of “mostly” solid reporting (albeit with a leftist taint). Today, the taint is an odor that makes one retch and turn away.

    It’s a shame. I used to enjoy reading The Times. As a former US Senate Press Secretary, I always looked forward to calls from Times reporters because it meant my guy would make national news. Now it would mean that he was sure to be set up and his quotes used against our position. It got so bad that I gave them the “60 Minutes” treatment. I didn’t even return their calls and always counseled my boss that it’s not worth it to work with them. We’d get a better shake at the WSJ or on Fox.

  • David

    So you’re saying that the NYT Times is concealing the fact that Walker will win by publishing the fact that Walker will win in an article by Nate Silver.

  • John Frary

    In my edition of the Decline and Fall, Gibbon put the really smutty stuff in Greek footnotes, presumably on the principle that vulgar people should not be exposed to vulgarity—something he reserved for refined and well-educated gentry.

    If the HBO and Showtime script-writers ever acquire literacy in the classical languages, we can expect every footnote to appear in some future historical drama, with detailed illustrations.

  • FreedomFan

    Thanks for yet another example of why the MSM is useless and bankrupt.

    NYT is chockablock with Leftist propagandists like dan kaufman who carry on in the same tradition as NYT reporter walter duranty, who covered up the Soviet Holodomor, thereby facilitating the mass murder of millions of innocents.

  • john werneken

    The voter sentiment shifted as the Frame shifted. Originally it was pretty even, Walker promoting partisan resolution of the budget, Democrats resisting. When the Democrats went on strike, it shifted enough to pass the laws: now the Democrats were obstructing. And the passion of the law’s opponents actually lessened their number, they over-reached.

    The Judicial election and the State Senator recalls showed a fairly even division slightly favoring Walker. What has happened since I think are two things: Wisconsin is tired of the Democratic agitation, and nothing dire seems to be attributable to Walker, and now he’s clearly winning.

    To draw any lesson but the old one, it’s how you frame the question, would be foolish.

  • Pete Kent

    I keep waiting for the day when shady Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim pulls his money from The Times and it finally goes belly up. Our body politic will be far better off without its wretched brand of so-called journalism.

    @petekent01 on Twitter

  • Altoonaaslan

    This column is not up to your usual standards. Perhaps your allowances for the Times’ bias are merely a rhetorical device. What you are overlooking is that everybody has an obligation to be honest. If one is a journalist, that means that one must make an honest effort to report the (admittedly elusive at times) truth. This country (and world, for that matter) is not going to make any headway on any of its serious problems until more people strive more seriously for the truth.

  • RSQ

    Do you people ever get bored writing these repetive comments? What a drag. Why not just put a copy of Manufacturing Consent on the left hand side of your computer monitor, a picture of Palin (Sarah, not Michael) on the other and [vulgarity removed] to your “Mainstream Media” cliches? Pale, stale, and male probably best describes this demographic. Go play with your grandkids or ride your Harleys or whatever you old people do all day after you cash your social security checks. Old farts!

  • red

    Ok rsq. Have a nice nap in liberal cocoon land! We’ll rebuild the republic without your side help.

  • NewYawker

    “If you want to know why liberals are so frequently surprised by events that other people saw coming, why so many well educated and well meaning people are so pathetically clueless about American politics and American culture”…. That statement alone hits the nail on the head. As they sit in front of their TV and praise Keith Olbermann as a “great journalist”, while reading Eugene Robinsons’s weekly cheerleading effort, it is exactly that… a cocoon. In a center right leaning country. MSNBC unto itself is a super-PAC. Great quote.

  • Bob Acker

    “Read the piece and see for yourself. It is long, exhaustive and deeply misleading.”

    Well, Mr. Meade, make up your mind. That’s the kind of invitation I’m not too inclined to accept.

    But the real point is that the piece is not merely long, exhaustive and deeply misleading. It’s also futile. The voters in Wisconsin will not be swayed one iota by it. As far as I can see, the only effect of publishing it will be this: If, or perhaps when, Governor Walker stays in office, the Times readers will be surprised and let down. That’s it. Quite the accomplishment, all right.

  • Ari Tai

    PATCO part deux. Oh my.

    And Mr. Walker didn’t have anyone protecting his back the way Mr. Reagan did – where the President had Air Force assurance that their air-defense controllers could handle all or part of the commercial traffic as needed – which was regularly tested as part of civil defense drills.

  • AMR1960

    It’s easy to see what the NYT is trying to accomplish with these series of articles.

    It’s striving to create a propagandistic “Firewall” so as to quick-start Progressive opposition when these efforts show-up in other regions. It’s cynical agenda-driven Media at it’s very worst…

  • WVwidom

    The Times’ Wisconsin coverage is objective and informative, compared to MSNBC’s nutty babbling. Several of their commentators have said that Walker is insane. They seem to report less on Wisconsin lately, after losing the first recall elections and falling behind in recent polls, but they still have a few alternative reality stories most weeks.

  • Skep41

    The leftist media have become the Democrat’s worst enemy. The Wisconsin recall election shows what is happening in the country since the Dems broke cover in 2009 and proudly announced that they were no longer the ‘moderates’ they had pretended to be for decades. The anti-government rage grows as the failures of Obama and the Democrats become more stark but the elitists who read the NYT are told that things are going great and that while a few numbers have to be readjusted occasionally, statistically their agenda is a roaring success. The leftist media is responsible for the failure of Obama’s ‘War On Women’ ‘Private Equity’ and other recent PR disasters. The left doesnt understand that the usual cliches have been made worthless by Obama’s failures. Out in the real world, the world where politicians dont pretend to be Cherokees while they lecture us about ethics, people are hurting and they will flock to the polls in record numbers to make sure The Obama Depression ends.

  • http://aol tom madigan

    It never ceases to amaze me that the liberals spend so much time pushing their (dumb) agenda’s in spite of all the facts that deny their opinions. I am a big believer in education but the money their parents spent teaching them was wasted. Left to their own devices they would destroy this country in record time

  • barry1817

    And who cares anymore what the liberal rag the NY Times writes anymore.

    They are the sort of people that when Nixon or Reagan one in huge landslide victories were surprised because they don’t know anyone that would have voted for these men.

    and as to being a good paper, seems to me that they are on their last legs, when it costs more to buy their Sunday paper, than it does to buuy a share of their stock.

  • Pundit Pete

    The NYT and other liberal journalists engage in Journalistic Yoga: extreme logical contortion combined with peaceful dissociation from reality.

    See the story (satire)at Pundit Pete

  • J Baustian

    Because so much of the mainstream media follows the course set by the Times, it is dragging down all the rest. They’re all losing readership and viewership, as the public rejects their lies and distortions.

  • JWnTX

    Typical “shaping the battlefield” by the left. Wisconsin is gone. So instead of presenting it as a defeat for liberalism and Democratic policies, better to cast the people of Wisconsin as mean-spirited, ignorant fools, like they do the rest of the red states. It’s their m.o. and it’s how they keep the blue staters in line–casting a pall over any thinking that comes from red states and basically warning them that thinking for themselves creates a dangerous opening that all those mean, hateful, racist, homophobic thoughts can enter their neatly organized and maintained (by the NYT, of course) contrived, liberal reality.

  • Crash Bazbo

    We’ve come a long, long way from Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle.

    A moment I will never forget: my landlord at the time, a truly decent honest man, came to me with practically hat in hand. He worked for a plumbing/electrical union and needed the rent in week early.

    He’d been a union guy for 13 years; but his union was preparing a strike, and he was FORBIDDEN to work, and couldn’t even repair his own home. He practically had tears in his eyes and confessed they would ruin him if he dared to make as much as a dime until they said so.

    Woe to the apostates.

  • Orthodox

    Did you know the NYTimes removed the first reporter on the Duke Lacrosse scandal because he reported facts and saw the truth? Instead, they put in a reporter who hewed the ideological line and deceived their readers.

    I’ve also noticed is that liberals I run into keep calling the debt ceiling debate and deficit problem a Republican plot. I was thinking, they can’t be all bad at basic math, right? Now I’m thinking, maybe they just read the NYTimes. It’s funny to laugh at, but it’s bad when the establishment of the United States is consuming its own propaganda.

  • ewq21cxz

    This could be considered a serious article ONLY if the same writer would get so exercised about Fox News or the Washington Times who are no where near the bounds of main-stream journalism, nor put anywhere near the same effort into trying to balance as does the NYT on a regular basis. All the faux outrage and tsk-tsking on here about the journalistic standards of the NYT is completely laughable given the thundering silence about the 100% propaganda of the Washington Times or Fox News. Today the Washington Times teaser e-mail to readers contains seven articles. The lead? “Hawaii dupes Arizona sheriff’s team on Obama birth certificate”. That’s the lead story in the world today? I’m still waiting to read about your collective sense of outrage at the journalistic standards and priorities of that slimy publication. Anybody want to go first?

  • Michael Ard

    The NYT does INDEED try to hide its liberal bias. It has always claimed to practice objective journalism, in fact, it invented the concept. It does NOT self identify as a European-styled party newspaper. It ALWAYS leaves important facts out of stories that don’t fit its party line. No surprises here. What is funny about this post is the author seems to be just discovering this!

  • Jeremy

    “If there were an anti-Pulitzer Prize for the worst journalism of the year …”

    There is — See the Walter Duranty Prize
    for Journalistic Mendacity at

  • Doctor J

    I have to disagree with the 3rd sentence in the 3rd paragraph. The NYT has consistently told its readers and the world that it is a fair and balanced news organ, that it does not display political bias in its writing, and that it continues to claim that it is the newspaper “of record”.

    Until it admits its bias and seeks to correct it, it will be viewed by most Americans as too biased to be a reliable source for news.

  • JulianusRex

    I haven’t bought an issue of the Times in years. (I used to buy it frequently.) The news that Walker wins will come as a great surprise to their readers. A similar surprise will come in November.

  • bri

    Prof Mead continues to surprise with his refreshingly candid and often times insightful analysis.

  • Harry2248

    All you have to do to confirm what this article is all about is read the comments sections of most NYT opinion pieces. It is truly incredible how ill informed NYT readers are. I have commented many times in NYT articles with credible facts that oppose the premise of the article only to find that my comment was not allowed.

  • TXoldgeezer

    The pond scum Times is just acting like the pond scum Times. The more things change, the more they remaun the same.

  • Harris Meyer

    Walter, the NY Times reported three days ago that Walker is likely to win, so that shoots your whole thesis.

  • jnc

    “It can sneer at what it considers to be the fallacies and inconsistencies of Walker’s opponents all it wants.”

    I think you mean “Walker’s supporters”, no?


  • Lynne

    If you are going to call the NYT out for it’s liberal tendencies you really should own up loud and clear to your own uber conservative leanings! This is my first visit to your site, so after I read your article I looked over your entire site. It didn’t take more than 2 or 3 articles to see that you must be close family to Fox News

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