Mindless Green Flackery at the Times
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  • Russell

    Tell us how you really feel?

  • Cheves

    WRM: I’ve been reading you for years, and I have never, ever seen you anything close to this [annoyed]. Wow! Went and read the piece, and you’re right. It felt like reading an NGO’s monthly report on how awesomely it’s doing and, ya know, how

  • David

    Too funny! Sounds likes excerpts from a college alumni mag extolling the PC business exploits of one of its graduates. As an alum of Wesleyan, I know whereof I speak.

  • vanderleun

    “Only an idiot or a propagandist would write such a piece; it is hard to see how any editor would put it in print.”

    You know, for a smart man Prof. Mead your dumbth when it comes to the agenda of the Times certainly runs deep. You’d think that by this time you’d start to catch on.

  • Randy

    We’ll have to send this NYT article to Taranto at the Wall Street Journal. Kirk Johnson is now competing with Thomas Friedman for Worst Writer in the English Language.

  • Luke Lea
  • James Jones

    “I only hope the beer in the green zones is made in unionized microbreweries that use organic, fair trade hops.”

    Thanks, Professor Mead. Now I’m going to go get a towel and clean up the non-fair trade coffee I spewed when I started laughing uncontrollably.

  • nadine

    “Something had to go badly wrong at the Times for a piece this bad to see the light of day.”

    Something’s been going badly wrong at the Times since Howell Raines’ advocacy-editorship started in 2001. Before that, the Times was a liberal paper. Since that, the Times has been turning into The Guardian on the Hudson.

    Did you just notice? In that case, you must have missed the 53 articles on that Master’s Club in Atlanta admitting women, the 30 days straight of front page Abu Ghraib reporting, using the story to club GW Bush into the ground, the heavy breathing on John McCain’s supposed long-ago affair, the spiking of coverage of John Edwards’ current affair, etc, and so on and so forth. Not to mention that Jayson Blair affair.

    The worst thing about it is that the Times still wields an outsize influence on the MSM, a legacy from the days when it was the paper of record.

  • BillH

    So much bubbling going on. Wonder if the Ft. Collins model is the source of all these bubbles I keep hearing about (.com, housing, student loan…). May apply for a Federal grant to study the possibility.

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    As a seeker of Truth, I have learned to focus my attention on websites like, Drudgereport, Instapundit, RealClearPolitics, and ViaMedia. News sources which don’t set my BS Detector to ringing and screaming so loudly that I can’t hear myself think. Utterly biased advocacy organs that camouflage themselves as news sources like the NY Times, MSNBC, etc… are a waste of time for those with scientific method calibrated Truthdars, and BS Detectors.

  • I too have been wondering for some time why WRM continues to get his “news” from the NYT.

    The WSJ recently made us an offer we couldn’t refuse, but after reading it again for a month, I am thinking we should have stuck with the more succinct more costly IBD.

    Neither of which is a clear window on reality, just a less nuanced view of those in power. Some balance comes with the honest advocacy at The Nation, e.g., http://www.thenation.com/article/164497/capitalism-vs-climate

    This can be balanced by step back in the other direction to the not so open advocacy at the City Journal of the Manhattan Institute, e.g. http://www.city-journal.org/2011/21_4_california-jobs.html

    And all of that can be checked to some degree at http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=SourceWatch

    In short, one virtual village never sustains far-seeing citizen even those of WRM’s caliber!

  • Kris

    And here I thought I’d have to become an intern myself in order to get this kind of vituperative derision.

    By the way, with phrases like “That planners might have otherwise emerged,” one would certainly hope that no editor was involved.

  • John Burke

    “Democratized by necessity, the process led to goals that went beyond the predictable safe streets and commerce that planners might have otherwise emerged.”

    Can a process lead? Do planners emerge? Is this sentence even English.

    Alas, the “writer” of the sentence is not some stringer whose one-off piece got past an editor. Kirk Johnson has dozens of by-lined stories in the Times (not just the IHT) in the past several months alone. He seems to be based in Denver and covers stories out of a swath of western states with a marked concentration on environmental features.

    Apart from its squishy goo “content,” the Ft. Collins
    piece is also practically unreadable.

    I am not as surprised as Mead, though. In recent years, the Times has become such a comfy nest of like-minded ideologues that Times insiders no longer require much of each other beyond conformity to the collective line. It is a long way from the well-written, rigorously edited liberal paper of Abe Rosenthal and Max Frankel.

  • Kris

    Unlike certain prestigious publications, I do not have the benefit of “layers of editors,” so allow me to clarify my previous comment (#12). When I wrote “I thought I’d have to become an intern myself in order to get this kind of vituperative derision,” I meant to say that as an intern, I might draft this kind of prose, and thus “get this” published on Via Meadia. It was not my intention to imply that WRM treats his interns abusively.

    The mouse that clicked on the previous “Post Comment” is being flogged.

    • Walter Russell Mead

      @Kris: VM would never think of treating interns abusively. We sometimes treat them sternly, it is true, but that is for their own good.

  • Kris

    [email protected]: Treat them sternly, and beat them when they sneezes [sic].

  • “I.H.T Special Report” IHT stands for International Herald Tribune. A search on google shows a whole series of these articles about green projects and attitudes. Topics like “Business of Green: Soy Substitute Edges Its Way Into European Meals,” and “Winemakers Rising to Climate Challenge.”

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