The NY Times’ New Editor: I Take This Paper as Gospel

Posted on Jun 4 2011 - 1:00am by Harrison

Jill Abramson: Taking the Fail Mantle to the next level.

Once, in a galaxy long, long ago I subscribed to the New York Times.  5 days per week I would read their paper mainly because of the reputation and also because when I lived in Paris I read the International Herald Tribune to which the New York Times contributed stories.

Even though I discontinued my subscription many years ago, I still follow that paper’s fall into uselessness with interest.  Current editor, Bill Keller, has been sacked and replaced with Jill Abramson who has been “overseeing the newsroom” according to the NY Times article.

Here’s why she’ll take up the “Fail” mantle from Kellor:

“In my house growing up, The Times substituted for religion,” she said. “If The Times said it, it was the absolute truth.”

And her statement illustrates exactly why people involved with the NY Times make sure it will fail… it really is their religion and thus often blinds believers from reason.

Note… since I wrote this article the Liberals at the NY Times have removed this quote from their website.

The NY Times is losing money, losing subscribers, their business ventures have been failures, and they took out a   loan from Carlos Slim, paying exorbitant interest just so they could stay in business.

When I was a subscriber to the NY Times I wouldn’t sit around all day with an International House cappuccino and take every word as gospel, but I would largely trust what I was reading.

Of course, anybody working for the NY Times is going to buy into the whole “paper of record” thing.  And Ms. Abramson’s testimony about the NY Times taking the place of religion in her family’s house pretty much explains the entire problem with most journolists today… they accept their dogmas and don’t question everything (despite the Liberal bumper stickers urging people to “Question Authority”).

How can the New York Times be such an authority on everything if they never published a review for Atlas Shrugged Part 1?  Every dinky art house film ever made can be found in their movie section but not Atlas Shrugged Part 1.  Isn’t that odd?


Reader Joe Markowitz pointed out the Times did review Atlas Shrugged, Part 1 but we note it appeared two weeks after the film opened whereas every film they review appears either a few days before opening day or opening day itself.

Oh, wait, that movie was funded by Conservatives and was largely ignored by Liberal Hollywood (and the New York Times).

Isn’t that interesting?

We can say the Times doesn’t have any authority left and is an insignificant, soiled rag but there are still people who read it, take it as gospel, and reinforce their beliefs based upon what is printed on its pages.

26 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. jonapope June 4, 2011 at 5:54 AM -

    You know I don’t think that replacing Jesus with the New York Times is all that radical. One purports to save your soul the other…well at least they provide the news of the day.
    jonapope recently posted..A Final Thought

    • Harrison June 4, 2011 at 6:41 PM -

      We all have our cross to bear I guess.

  2. Jack Camwell June 4, 2011 at 6:19 AM -

    You raise a good issue when you bring up the whole “question authority,” thing. That whole notion comes from a misunderstanding (on their part) of the idea of authority. To them, authority is anyone that tells them what to do, particularly anyone who tries to keep them from doing whatever they want to do.

    They don’t realize that “authority,” is any person, institution, or source that claims to have legitimacy in some arena, whether it be law and order, politics, or in this case journalism.

    When the Times weirdoes claim that they are absolute truth, or that they are where one should go to get their news because of the legitimacy of their reporting, they are claiming to be an authority. People don’t really understand what authority is, however, so they don’t even realize that they should question it. How can you question authority when you don’t even know what is considered to be an authority?

    Excellent and thought provoking article Harrison. You got my philosophical juices flowing, which is good, because I’m hanging out with some friends of mine that, shall we say lean to the left a little bit. And they love talking politics with me =)
    Jack Camwell recently posted..Former Colombian leader thinks we should decriminalize drugs hmm

    • Harrison June 4, 2011 at 6:40 PM -

      “Consent to be governed” comes to mind. Authority derives from the people so question yourself? Why would a Liberal want to do that?

  3. Matt June 4, 2011 at 11:25 AM -

    Lol, talk about a false god! They can’t even report the news (or not), without lying.
    Matt recently posted..It’s “Unexpected” Time Again- Unemployment Up- Job Creation far Below Expectations

    • Harrison June 4, 2011 at 6:41 PM -

      “All the news that’s shit we print” should be their motto.

  4. KP June 4, 2011 at 7:24 PM -

    I am sure the writers at the NY Times are good people; but in some cases have stopped thinking outside their own box. It can happen to any of us in business, while raising kids or considering political stratgey. Then we mature and realize there may be room for debate. The lack od debate is what is most frustrating to me.

    The golden boy at the Times is Krugman. He has little tolerance. As I posted on another blog:

    “Let’s put it this way,” Krugman says when describing the difference between his old classmate at Harvard Larry Summers and himself. “When things go crazy, my instinct is to go radical on policy, and Larry’s is to be a little more cautious.” Summers, in return, took aim at Krugman as “the guy in the bleachers who always demands the fake kick, the triple-reverse, the long bomb, or the big trade,” without ever getting in the game.

  5. Joe Markowitz June 5, 2011 at 1:41 AM -

    It’s interesting that you think the reason the New York Times is in financial trouble has to do with liberal bias or taking themselves too seriously; and has nothing to do with the decline of advertising revenue which is being experienced by all newspapers, left, right and center.

    I know Jill Abramson, and she is a smart cookie. The fact that the New York Times was treated as a quasi-religious institution in her house growing up (as it was in my house growing up) will have nothing to do with her success or failure. The Times people understand the challenges they face in making their business model work in these changing times, and all of us should hope that they get it right. Because if they can do it, there is hope for all newspapers.
    Joe Markowitz recently posted..Jobs

    • Harrison June 5, 2011 at 8:51 AM -

      Joe, people are dropping their subscriptions while the Wall Street Journal has seen the opposite. That is why the NY Times is going down the toilet. I do not but their paper anymore because of their bias and I’m not the only one.

      • Joe Markowitz June 5, 2011 at 9:57 AM -

        People are dropping their subscriptions because they can read it for free online. I don’t have the figures handy, but I think that more people are reading the New York Times now than ever. Circulation of the print edition has declined, as is true for almost all newspapers. The Wall Street Journal I believe did see a slight increase in print circulation, but that may be because it was charging just as much for its online edition. Interestingly, it is now going toward a more free model. The New York Times, meanwhile is experimenting with a new model where everyone will be able to read 20 articles a month for free but for more than that, people will have to subscribe.

        It is in the interests of everyone, especially bloggers, that mainstream journalism of every kind should survive and thrive, and that means the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal and every other kind of good journalism. It’s fine for you to disagree with the New York Times’ editorial policies if you want, but you should still be rooting for the success of traditional journalism.

        By the way, here is the Times review of Atlas Shrugged:
        Joe Markowitz recently posted..Jobs

        • Harrison June 5, 2011 at 10:08 AM -

          Thanks for the movie review link Joe. What is very odd is that the review appeared 2 weeks after the film opened which is why I could not find the review prior to seeing the movie.

          The only films the NY Times does not review prior to their opening are those that do not show critics’ screenings and, even then, the review usually appears the day after the film opens.


          I do not want to see biased, slanted journolism flourish, which the Times practices. It is too bad that paper is so badly written because they could be much better.

        • KP June 5, 2011 at 8:34 PM -

          I agree, it is in the interest of everyone that print mainstream journalism — and that left leaning journalism — like the NY Times — survives. As a kid I grew up reading the LA Times, the SF Chronicle and the local paper in Santa Barbara. The New Yorker Magazine was always on the table. Most of us would agree those represented the middle to left news and opinion in the 60s and 70s.

          Today I subscribe to the San Diego Union Tribune and the WSJ. I seek out liberal and progressive opinion with due diligence and through a duty to stay informed on the internet, blogs, personal e-mail, face to face discussion and via television.

          When these sources are inflammatory, or, over time, show a lack of objectivity, I move them out of my life; gently, because we never know where life will lead us. I do the same with the conservative sources of opinion and news.

    • KP June 5, 2011 at 8:49 PM -

      Being a smart cookie — or even genius — has less to do with political success than some would like to think. Is the NY Times in it to win it politically or make money? If it is the second, she may do an adequate job. There are enough people who like a certain type of music that will listen. If she wants to expand her audience — the NY Times needs to change their play list.

      • Harrison June 5, 2011 at 9:07 PM -

        I would read more opinions from the Left if only I could find some that weren’t ranting, unbalanced, and factually incorrect.

        • KP June 5, 2011 at 9:54 PM -

          I understand the need for reasonable far Left opinion. I continue my search for any consistency. I would add that the far left feels the same way about the far right.

          Having said that, the left of center, the center and the right of center are fractured and need help. They need the kind of political direction that the far left and far right do not provide.

          The middle does not like war, 80% believe in God, most are furious at Wall Street bailouts, they are mad as hell at the national debt, they don’t want to pay more taxes, they like Medicare, they don’t like unions and think it is unfair that private sector pays for government pensions.

          If you try to sort this out you find the middle is a hybrid: part libertarian and part progressive. This is quite uncomfortable for them. Which side will reach out to the real majority — the center — and how?

          • Joe Markowitz June 5, 2011 at 11:54 PM -

            From your description, Kevin, it sounds like the middle is crazier than the left or the right. At least the right is consistent that they want to reduce taxes and reduce spending. And the left is consistent that they want to tax more and spend more. But the middle wants to keep their government benefits, and reduce taxes, and reduce the deficit. No wonder we can’t agree on a budget. There is no budget in the world that can let people have their cake and also eat it.
            Joe Markowitz recently posted..Jobs

            • Dean June 6, 2011 at 8:34 AM -

              What’s the old saying: “We talk like Jeffersonians but wish to be goverened like Hamiltonians.”

            • Harrison June 6, 2011 at 10:17 AM -

              …and we elect Benedict Arnolds.

  6. Dean June 6, 2011 at 8:33 AM -

    The case of elected city official corruption in Bell, CA exposed by the LA Times and the yeoman Watchdog work done by the San Diego Tribune are perfect examples of why we need a strong, robust 4th estate. Free-time bloggers like myself don’t have the time nor resources to do the extensive digging required to do stuff like that.

    That is why it remains so frustrating to see institutions like the NY Times abuse their responsibilities to the Republic with horribly slanted reporting let alone the bias shown by their editorial pieces.

    Favorite NY Times moment(s): Running those extremely metro-sexual ads on Tony Barnhart’s college football show on CBS’ college sports channel… between ads for Pro Bass Shop and a praise music album. Hilarious. Can’t say that “smart cookie” applies to their ad department.

  7. KP June 6, 2011 at 9:48 AM -

    You miss my point – just because you want something doesn’t mean you get it. If I talk to a range of people in the center they will disagree on many issues and agree on many others. They have strong, widely varied opinions. Exponentially more varied than the relatively small far left or far right who have it all figured out. Most of us don’t operate like when it comes to love, spirituality and politics. Why is this concept so difficult to grasp in politics. As a professional mediator you know this.

    You are correct about the budget. It cannot — at once — please the left, the right. But it parts of it can appeal to all of us. It doesn’t have to please everyone. It has to work. The answer is something different than what is being proposed by the left and right. You know where we are going: shrinking government (pleasing the right) and higher taxes (pleasing the left); at least for the short term.

  8. Joe Markowitz June 6, 2011 at 12:26 PM -

    If you want to know some of my beefs with the New York Times, they go back to the time of the run-up to the Iraq war, when the Times and a lot of other papers were much too accepting of the Bush administration’s claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, including the whole ridiculous aluminum tube episode. Some good reporting, such as was done in the Bell case, could have exposed that nonsense before it got repeated all over the place.

    And in my opinion, the Times hasn’t been all that kind to the Obama administration, and that probably goes back to the fact that they were supporting Hillary during the campaign, so there is always an element of sniping at Obama that goes on.

    But I still don’t think the paper’s biases have much to do with their financial problems. I agree with Dean. We desperately need professional journalists, whether or not we sometimes get frustrated with their biases. Everybody needs to figure out a way for them to survive.
    Joe Markowitz recently posted..Hot Air

    • Harrison June 6, 2011 at 1:14 PM -

      Joe, a majority of Democrats agreed, the French, the British… it wasn’t just one group. Also, Saddam said before he met the hangman that he did everything in his power to appear as if he had WMD because he didn’t think the U.S. would really do anything and he was more afraid of Iran.

      The NY Times has not been “hard” on the Obama administration by any stretch of the imagination.