Tuesday, October 21, 2008

NYT Public Editor Thinks That The Paper He Works For Has No Bias....

Yeah, I know... Try to catch your breath....

Clark Hoyt, "public editor" of the New York Times, weighs in once again on the topic of journalistic bias--and, once again, finds it to be nonexistent:

Throughout this election season, most of the thousands of messages I have received about Times news coverage have alleged bias--bias in headlines, photo selections, word choices, what the newspaper chooses to write about and what it ignores, what it puts on Page 1 and what it puts inside. Most of the complaints, but by no means all of them, have come from the right. Nobody acknowledges the possibility that, because of their own biases, they could be reading more, or less, than was intended into an article, a headline or a picture. Many go a step beyond alleging mere bias to accuse The Times of operating from a conscious agenda to help one candidate and destroy the other.

Hoyt has a point: One's own political biases do predispose one to find bias in the media (and elsewhere). We've certainly had instances in which we've thought we identified liberal bias in the media but were ultimately persuaded we had been mistaken.

But Hoyt's exhortation to his readers would be more persuasive if he applied it to himself. Somehow, although he often criticizes the Times on other grounds, he always absolves it of the charge of political bias. Could this reflect his own bias, whether political or professional?

Yep.. No bias in a paper that refuses to report our successes in Iraq; all while putting Abu Ghraib on the front page for 5 months. The same paper that put the photo of a soldier as he lay dying in Iraq before his family had been notified.

I guess Hoyt thinks that we all live in Bizarro World....


H/T: (WSJ)

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