Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The 'Trained Observers' Missed This One

Stephen Spruiell's splendid media blog in the National Review Online, following up on the Empty Suit's recent non-column, quotes the top editor of the New York Times, Bill Keller, on how the Times really feels about its readers: patronizing contempt.

The Times sets the agenda for the lowly, ignorant masses, in contrast to the unskilled, unethical and pesky bloggers, because its people are smarter, trained, skilled:

Keller pointed out that it cost the Times around $1.5 million to maintain a Baghdad bureau in 2004. (It cost one Times freelancer much more last month: He was murdered.) "This kind of civic labor can't be replaced by bloggers." The Times' assets: "A worldwide network of trained, skilled [observers] to witness events" and write about them, and "a rigorous set of standards. A journalism of verification," rather than of "assertion"...

... yadda yadda. The message is that the Times, like your mother or your doctor, knows better than the unskilled, the untrained, the amateurs. You wouldn't go to a barber to cut out your appendix, and you have to rely on the Times's brave, skilled, trained observers to let you know what is going on in the world.

Well now. Apparently there is an entire terror campaign that the trained observers of the New York Times (and most of the western media for that matter) systematically ignore. The victims are Hindu residents of Kashmir. For example, here is an atrocity that happened on Monday, well before the Times deadline, which the Times' trained, skilled reporters and editors didn't think worth mentioning.

According to an Indian newspaper, the Express:

In gruesome pre-dawn strikes, militants allegedly belonging to pro-Pak Hizbul Mujahideen outfit, killed ten members of two Hindu families by slitting their throats in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir today, police sources said here.

The Times's dedicated, skilled, trained cadre of reporters and editors missed, have missed, and will continue to miss, the terror war being committed by Islamic extremists against Hindus in Kashmir -- just as they miss any story that fails to fit into this once-great newspaper's Upper West Side worldview.

So please, Keller, spare us the platitudes.

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