Friday, February 10, 2006

A Special Award: Worst Times Single Issue

Today's New York Times must surely go down in history as one of the most ideologically slanted single issues I have ever seen. It should be preserved in plastic, as it will be studied by historians in the future as a superb example of the humbling of a once-great newspaper.

The lead story, with a screaming three-line headline, is an exaggerated piece on a "scoop" revealing how the Bush administration reacted so terribly to Katrina.

Elsewhere on the front page is a rather murkily written story, which any competent editor would have stuck on the TV page, having something to do with a conservative official leaving the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Then we had a piece about how poor, innocent immigrants are being bullied and deported by nasty U.S. immigration officials.

Meanwhile, if you get beneath the Bush-bashing on page one, buried inside is an article that should have been on the front page -- how al Qaeda tried another Sept. 11-style attack on Los Angeles in 2002. Oh no, conservatives doing something or other at the CPB is much more important!

Note the syntax in the first paragraph of the Qaeda piece: "President Bush offered new information on Thursday about what he said was a foiled plot by Al Qaeda in 2002 to fly a hijacked airplane into..." etc. etc.

What "he said was"? How about simply saying, "what was"? I'm not being picky here, by the way. This wording, which was also used in the front-page blurb, is a deliberate and clumsy questioning of the president's credibility -- the kind of language one generally finds in articles on lawsuits but not in presidential accounts of attempted attacks on this country.

Well, what else do you expect? This once-great newspaper is, at its worst, a daily edition of Counterpunch. And today we were treated to the worst.

UPDATE: The National Review Online's media blogger, Stephen Spruiell, commented as follows (in a very nice pickup of this item):

"I think Mediacrity has spent too much time lately reading the NYT. Being able to spot issues of the New York Times that are more biased than others is like being able to tell individual squirrels apart."

Right analogy. Wrong rodent.

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