New York Times' Disgrace Deepens
The New York Times had another in a string of embarrassing moments this weekend, part of a steep descent for the "paper of record," much like that of President Obama's approval numbers. And neither seems to have bottomed yet. In reality, the Times' latest disaster is quite closely related to the Obama approval ratings free fall.
"The specter of government-sponsored, forced euthanasia was raised as early as Nov. 23, just weeks after the election and long before any legislation had been drafted, by an outlet decidedly opposed to Mr. Obama, The Washington Times."
"We don't begrudge any news organization the right to report on issues important to its readership. But it is wrong, inaccurate, irresponsible and insulting for the New York Times to brand an entire newspaper as "decidedly opposed" to President Obama because of the voice of its editorial pages. Nothing can be further from the truth when it comes to our newsroom. Our news pages have no agenda except to accurately and fairly cover the news, including that made by the administration. When I took over as Executive Editor I asked that the editorial and opinion pages be taken out from under my leadership so that there could be a bright line between opinion and news within the daily operation of the newspaper. If the New York Times had paid the courtesy of calling us for fair comment before publishing this morning, we could have reminded them of that. But they didn't even practice that basic tenet of journalism.Let's look at the facts. On the morning of the Inauguration, our newspaper's front page featured an essay by President Obama, the only newspaper in America to do so. Last Sunday, our newspaper accurately described the week of victories President Obama had in Congress. This morning -- the very day the New York Times besmirched our newsroom unfairly -- we featured a front-page interview with White House health care adviser Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel in which he explained the evolution of his thinking on health care rationing. Those are the hallmarks of a newsroom doing factual and fair reporting. I challenge the New York Times to prove otherwise."
"An article on Friday about the origins of the FALSE RUMOR that President Obama's health care proposals would create government-sponsored panels to decide which patients were worthy of living referred imprecisely to the stance of The Washington Times, which shortly after the election published an editorial comparing some positions of the incoming administration to the euthanasia policies of the Third Reich. In describing the newspaper as "an outlet decidedly opposed to Mr. Obama," the article was referring to its opinion pages, not to its news pages."
One other interesting aspect of the latest Times fiasco is the lead author of the death panel story: Jim Rutenberg. There is perhaps no other Times "news writer" who has proven himself so willing and able to prostrate himself in service to the political agenda of the New York Times. Rutenberg was the lead author for another front page New York Times whopper in 2008 -- a fake story that slimed John McCain, insinuating that he had an affair with lobbyist Vicki Iselin, and was no more than your basic Congressional influence peddler.
Had the Times been interested in a Presidential candidate in 2008 who was an adulterer, fathered an illegitimate child, lied about the circumstances repeatedly, may have broken the law, and proved to be one of the great hypocrites of our time, it could have sent in its investigative army to examine the rumors circulating around John Edwards. But of course, it chose not to. After all, Edwards is a Democrat, and was peddling his dedication to impoverished Americans.
Had the Washington Times published an article examining the liberal, pro-Obama bias in the news pages of the New York Times, it could have been a very long piece. And no correction would have been required in the next day's paper.
It is not just the rapid growth of online news alternatives that is destroying newspapers. The New York Times was once the most respected paper in America. Now it has become a paper in service to an agenda and a political party. Is it any wonder why people look elsewhere for news?
Richard Baehr is chief political correspondent of American Thinker.