There is No "Straight News" Anymore

The New York Times, once very careful about mixing news and opinion, is now an overtly partisan newspaper

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I've been reading the New York Times since fifth grade, and the quirks I've noticed over the years have been interesting. For example, until I saw that someone referred in print to Russell Baker as a "humorist," I had no idea his columns were supposed to be funny, though I had stopped reading them years earlier because they were so dull.

Anyway, the Times always had a liberal bias in its news pages, but the bias was almost entirely in what was covered and how it was covered. The stories themselves were written and edited in a careful, nonpartisan way. At some point, the Times starting to run "news analysis," which gave reporters an opportunity to shade things the way they saw them, but the readers at least knew in advance these weren't straight news stories.

Things have been slipping ever since the 2008 presidential campaign, when for the first time I thought the tone of coverage made it clear which side the reporters were on. Nevertheless, it was relatively subtle, and even during the Trump-Clinton campaign, with passions obviously very high, the Times was still a world away from NPR, whose reporting seethed with Trump-loathing.

Since 2016, the Times has faced a revolt from its staff regarding neutrality, as they believe that the Times should have gone full resistance against Trump, and its failure to do so bears responsibility for Trump's election. It's been a downhill spiral ever since, including widely reported internal meetings in which the staff made clear that it doesn't believe in "objective journalism."

All that said, after reading the Times off and on for over forty years, I did a double-take when I read this in a straight reporting story (not an op-ed, not even a "news analysis"):

The fact that an outsider like Mr. Mellon has emerged as one of the few supporters willing to be so generous illustrates a surprising problem for the president: his struggle to attract and retain a reliable stable of millionaires and billionaires willing to write seven-figure checks, despite his takeover of the Republican Party and a policy agenda that largely serves the interests of America's ultrawealthy.

This is the sort of overt opinion-stating in a news story that must have an earlier generation of news editors rolling in their graves. In one sentence, three separate opinions are expressed: (1) Implicitly but clearly, that one would expect very rich people to donate money based on what serves the interests of very rich people, not on whatever other values or opinions they might have; (2) That Trump caters to the super-rich, and not just here and there, but "largely"; and (3)That these policies in fact in practice largely serve the super-rich's interests, which contains two sub-opinions (a) that what's benefiting the super-rich isn't benefiting the rest of America; and (b) that whatever unnamed policies Trump is pursuing to help the super-rich is in fact largely serving their interests. On (b), surely some progressives would argue that Trump's tax cuts or whatever are bankrupting the country and that this will hurt all Americans in the long-run by eventually creating a budget crisis, which will in turn hurt everyone, but perhaps disproportionately those who benefit from stable capital markets, i.e., investors with large portfolios.

The sort of people who tend to big fans of the New York Times used to chortle at Fox News overtly biased news coverage. It turns out that their favorite paper is using it as a model.

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  1. It’s almost as if treating everything that’s not expressly illegal as OK is not a healthy way to run a society…

    1. Do you see a difference between opinion and news?

      1. Not in the mainstream fake news outlets.

        1. Fox News started this. A few years back, I lamented that the rest of the news media seemed to give up on even a pretense of objective reporting and just go full bias. Remember, Fox News was the Benghazi channel for three years straight in an attempt to harm the presumptive Democratic nominee in 2016.

          The bias isn’t the veracity of the facts. It’s the choice of stories to harp on day after day.

          And now they are all Fox Newses.

          1. Those noble liberal journolister’s are just helpless victims of the evil Fox News!

          2. Fox News didn’t start this. Look back at U.S. newspapers historically, especially in the first half of the 20th Century. The TV coverage of Kennedy was hagiographic, and Walter Cronkite almost singlehandedly changed sentiment about the Vietnam War. I don’t follow U.K. media, but I’d guess the tabloids weren’t brimming with opinion-free coverage until the U.K. equivalent of Fox came along.

          3. Do you think that “Special Report with Bret Baier” or “FOX News Sunday with Chris Wallace” fail to do objective reporting? I think we can all agree that Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity are opinion shows but they never claimed otherwise.

            Remember, Fox News was the Benghazi channel for three years straight in an attempt to harm the presumptive Democratic nominee in 2016.

            This was exactly the view of the Democrats on special Benghazi committee. They called this whole thing a partisan witch hunt to bring down Clinton’s presidential run. You present that as the conclusion clearly demanded by the facts. Others, however, believed that the following issues needed to be examined.

            • The State Department failed to protect U.S. diplomats in Libya.
            • The CIA missed warning signs.
            • The Defense Department failed to rescue Americans in time.
            • The Obama administration “stonewalled” the investigation.
            • A Clinton aide influenced the State Department’s review.

            You fault Bret Baier for failing to adopt the position of the Democrats but there appears to be room for disagreement here.

            1. LOL, still on the Benghazi train.

              COVID’s been fine though.

      2. Do you see a difference between opinion and lies?

        1. Not in the mainstream fake news outlets.

    2. That’s a fair statement of the English/American common law tradition (as opposed to the Napoleonic Code approach used by the rest of Europe where only those things that are expressly legal are okay). I don’t see how it has anything whatsoever to do with the article above, though.

  2. Maybe I’m less interested in giving them the benefit of the doubt, but I think newspapers and the media in general have been lefties ever since the New Deal and government expansion.

    News is that which gets attention. Before Huge Government, news was business, accidents, crime, and so on. Once Huge Government took over so much of daily life, news had a lot of new and permanent fertile ground — what should government do next? It was no longer a question of whether government should do things. I have long suspected that one reason Goldwater lost in 1964 was because he was the last major politician questioning government itself. Reagan made noise about that and paid the price, but he wasn’t particularly interested in carrying through. Republicans learned that lesson, and while Newt Gingrich may have made hay for a while against Clinton, the media was against him from the start, because he threatened their cash cow.

  3. Read foreign newspapers like the Straits Times or South China Morning Post. They’re not free of bias, but mostly they don’t care too much so their main motive is information.

    By contrast, the US news media hates you and actively wishes you harm. Only read them to get insight on enemy attitudes. Never read them for news.

    1. ” By contrast, the US news media hates you and actively wishes you harm. ”

      Sure . . . if you are a delusional, ignorant, anti-social, stale-thinking bigot.

      1. Bend over Rev, I want to check your tolerance.

    2. Lol. There’s actually a guy who is president who literally uses his words to actively wish people harm and states his disdain for people on a regular basis, but it’s the media reporting on it that is the one who wishes people harm and hates people. Trumpist media criticisms are pure projection. The whole Trumpist conservative movement is one massive exercise in projection. It’s incredible really.

      1. Racists and anti-semites have an identifiable characteristic: they’re obsessed haters, so every conversation about anything always comes back to the object of their obsessive hatred, even when no one else is talking about that.

        You guys keep bringing up Trump, even when no one is talking about Trump.

        Consider giving up your unhealthy obsession and rejoining the world outside the fever swamps. It’s a beautiful summer Saturday. Life isn’t about hating.

        1. It’s actually pouring rain. 🙂

          1. Rain would be a beautiful Sunday morning in the West and Southwest.

        2. Well when you characterize the media the way you did, it indicates you’re advocating Trumpism. And it’s interesting you bring up racism: is the media the ones bringing up incredibly unsubtle dog whistles about black people ruining suburbs? I don’t think so.

          I know life isn’t about hating. I’m always actively on here criticizing people’s belief in violence against other people. Can you say the same? I became left wing because I don’t hate. I don’t like violence. I don’t like bullies. There may be some violent left wing haters out there, but overall I think the philosophy is about acting with regard to other people’s well-being in all things. Their health, their economic security, their ability to participate in society as full members. American Trumpian Conservatism doesn’t care for any of that. It lacks basic empathy. It’s just about settling scores and hating on people. It’s constant denigration. Why can’t you see that?

          1. Seriously, we don’t all share your extreme, unhealthy obsession.

            1. I don’t think it’s extreme and unhealthy to be concerned about other people. Do you?

              1. I am not engaged in a conversation about the guy you can’t stop bringing up.

                Pointing fingers isn’t concern about other people.

                1. It is if there is a guy who is at best un-empathetic and indifferent and at worst is actively wishing people harm who is ostensibly in charge of other people’s well being. While you sit around pointing fingers at the people who merely report what that man says and does as the real evil.

                  1. You should look up wars Biden supported while you’re pretending to care about people. Maybe compare Biden wars to the least warlike President in at least 40 years.

                    But hey, who cares about people killed in wars anyway? Not the obsessed anti-Trump crowd.

                    1. Don’t you ever accuse me of pretending to care about people. I do. Just because Trump hasn’t started any wars (not that he hasn’t threatened to) doesn’t make him a person who cares about people. He said “it is what it is” to pandemic deaths. He actively encourages police to be violent to others. He has praised violent acts by others. He never condemns the violence of dictators.

                      Unfortunately, I am left with little choice when it comes to American politicians. They all are military obsessed and support war in one way or the other. But at least one will try to care about people dying in America in the here and doesn’t want them to die in poverty or from lack of access to healthcare and won’t praise the regime of a guy who poisons people or starves his own people.

                      So again. Don’t accuse me of pretending.

                    2. When people choose rhetoric over historical performance, it’s hard to take them seriously.

                    3. Rhetoric matters. If you don’t believe me, read about Rwanda.

                    4. Rhetorical people rhetorically thank you for your position of caring about them then.

                      Real living, breathing people … Nevermind. Change the subject. Point fingers because [rhetorical justification goes here]. Congratulate self.

                    5. Ben,

                      Let’s be real. You don’t care about people either. Just admit it.

                    6. Changes the subject. Points fingers. Rhetorical question asked.

                      No answer will be forthcoming because none of this is in any way about me.

                      It’s a good sign that you’re able to talk about something besides you know who.

                  2. Your stated concerns are outside the power of the federal government to address. I think I see why your writing is so confused

                    1. I’m not confused. You are. Your narrow view of the role of the federal government is not accepted by most people. I mean if COVID was as bad as the Black Death would you still say the federal government had no role?

                    2. I can’t speak for iowantwo but I will agree that if COVID was as bad as bubonic plague, then no the federal government still would not have a large role in it. That “narrow role of the federal government” is pretty clearly spelled out in the US Constitution. For someone who claims to be a “Law” talking guy, your apparent ignorance on the matter is disturbing.

                    3. Actually, I got an A in Con Law. And Leg Reg. And Admin Law. And in Environmental Law. So I’m pretty sure I know about the role of the federal government. And FWIW, SCOTUS apparently agrees with me as they haven’t struck down any federal health agency as beyond the scope of the Constitution. The US Public Health Service traces its roots to the eighteenth century. We’ve had a surgeon general for 150 years. Saying that the federal government has no role in public health is absurd. If you think I’m wrong, put your money where your mouth is and get the NIH, CDC, HHS and the Surgeon General declared unconstitutional. I’ll wait with baited breath.

          2. If you had an empathy for your fellow man, the last thing you would be agitating for is government run monopolies who fail man over and over and over again.

            You people have as much empathy as you do sense.

            1. I have empathy which is why I don’t want my fellow man at the mercy of a profit centered insurance model which privileges wealth over people’s health and livelihood. How can you be empathetic but permit people to go into massive debt just to stay alive? Or permit something like a lifetime cap? Or not covering people because of a genetic condition? Or rescinding a policy when someone is sick? How could an empathetic person endorse that. Because that’s the system you appear to want. Your position is, and always has been: “I got mine, fuck you.” And you’re proud of it.

              1. The people you want to control the system are the ones who created the system you hate and control a majority of it already.

                Good one, dude.

                1. Democrats created private health insurance? That’s a new one.

                  1. The people in government directly spend a majority of our healthcare dollars and heavily control the rest.

                    You seem to think health insurance is in some sort of wild west vacuum.

            2. Nothing says empathy like the intention to seize an industry.

              Except maybe ignoring the fact that your plan to seize the industry is doomed because about half the public would never trust the other half to get anywhere near their health care and might be willing to fight a war to protect it.

              1. Wow: the empathetic man brings a subtle call to violence. And why would you be willing to fight a war (ie kill and maim people) in defense of a system that is designed to price people out of life saving care? Is that because of your empathy or because you care about people?

                1. There’s no way people are just going to stand by peacefully while people like you seize the health care industry.

                  People are protective of their health care. Patients are not going to let you make their health care decisions for them. Doctors and nurses and researchers are protective of their jobs. They’re not going to quietly agree to their pay being cut in half by totalitarians.

                  No one wants to fight a war, we just want people like you to back off and let us live our lives and make our own choices. If you won’t, we must defend ourselves.

                  The last time someone tried to meddle with Americans’ health care, it led to a decade-long electoral backlash. Why didn’t you learn from that?

                  If you care about someone getting health care, pay their health care bill for them. I don’t think you do.

                  1. Actually I have given people money to help with their medical needs before…so fuck off?

                  2. Right, because that’s how government health care has worked everywhere else.

                    I support national health care but I’m enough of a political realist to recognize it won’t happen tomorrow. Largely because of the scare stories your side keeps peddling. However, the long view is that we’re eventually going to have national health care. We almost got it during the Nixon administration. For all of its faults, Obamacare has gotten people used to the idea of government health care, which is a significant step forward, and the Republicans made no serious attempt to repeal it during the first two years of Trump’s term when they probably could have.

                    Once Democrats return to power, there will be a second step. Then a third. Then a fourth. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither was government health care.

                    And you’re right, a lot of Democrats lost their seats over it, but one of the reasons I’m a proud Democrat is Democrats’ willingness to do the right thing even if there’s a political price to be paid. Can you tell me the last time Republicans took a principled stand with full knowledge it would cost them an election? Funny, I can’t think of one either.

                    1. Over the course of 50 years? Maybe. Maybe not though.

                      You know there are tons of complaints about health care in every other country too, right? Systems involving humans have problems and people complain. It’s dumb to think some scheme will fix all the problems.

                      Why not just try to solve the problems for the 9% or so of people who don’t have coverage without meddling with everyone else’s health care?

                      Or actually create a benefit that helps everyone instead of stealing from one person to skim your share off the top and give whatever’s left out to reliable Dem voters?

                    2. Oh, I don’t think it will be 50 years. If I had to lay money on it, my bet would be more like 20, though I’m an old man so I’m not likely to live long enough to see if I’m right. Not only did the Republicans not repeal Obamacare but they’re now brazenly calling it Trumpcare, which should tell you something. Now that they’ve gotten used to the idea, people like the idea of government ensured health care.

                      And nobody is naive enough to think that a single scheme will solve all the problems. Any system run by humans will have problems. So does not having any system at all. So it’s a question of which problems do we want to have. And whether a single system will leave us better off than we are now, which is really my standard for any legislation: Does it leave us better off than we are now?

                      We currently have this crazy-quilt mish-mash that combines the worst of both possible worlds: The worst aspects of the free market, coupled with the worst aspects of government bureaucracy. Having a single payer system that takes in everyone would greatly streamline the process and would likely actually save money. In the US, we spend about 16% of our GDP on health care without insuring everybody; in Europe and Canada, they spend about 10% of their GDP on health care and do insure everybody. And my experience with European healthcare is that while it’s not perfect, neither is it the horror story that conservatives here claim. The claims about health care workers taking 50% pay cuts and people having to wait months to see a doctor are simply not true. Sure, there are anecdotes, but the plural of anecdote is not data, and you’ll occasionally get bad service under any system. Overall, it works.

                      What you don’t have there is HMO executives getting rich by cutting services. Our system works great if you’re an HMO bureaucrat getting a six figure bonus because you figured out how to cut services; not so much for the rest of us. And with Covid-19 threatening to bankrupt a lot of hospitals, it’s not even working so well for them at the moment. Now would be a fantastic time to have national health care.

                    3. Other reasons to have national health care is that since employers would no longer be expected to pay for health care, it would create new jobs. A lot of small businesses struggle to pay their employees’ health costs, and so it would amount to a huge cash infusion for those small businesses, which in turn would boost the economy.

                      Also, squabbles about religious employers not wanting to pay for birth control would go away.

                    4. Any system implemented now that provides care to more people will be more expensive, not less. No country ever went from expensive health care to substantially less expense health care.

                      Every Dem healthcare change I’ve seen advocated is based on a fantasy cost savings or a fantasy extreme taxation scheme. Sometimes both.

                    5. Oh, but we already do provide health care to everyone; just incredibly inefficiently. If you get cancer, or show up at the emergency room, and you don’t have health care, you’ll be taken care of, and the taxpayers will pick up the tab. Either directly or by a tax deduction to your medical care providers when they write off your bill and then take a tax deduction. We’re not barbarians; you’re not going to be allowed to die in the parking lot.

                      You are aware that people without insurance typically use the emergency room for primary care because it’s the only place they can get it, right?

              2. Actually let’s dig a little deeper into this war thing and how it aligns with morals. Who would you be willing to kill to make sure that you got your healthcare needs taken care of, but others cannot? Name some names. Also name your methods.

              3. Don’t forget the mask has slipped and we know the Left will use their controlled institutions to punish and oppress us.

                The next Lois Lerner at M4A would be killing conservatives and getting away with it.

                1. Well I’m going to oppose that too. But let me know when the IRS is shattering your arm while you’re just standing there so that I can protest it.

                  1. They would be denying care for politically unfavored groups.

      2. Deplorables, bitter clingers, I suppose those were just friendly birthday greetings.

        And if you really want to, go back to the first non-Washington election.

        You’ve got TDS, bud. Trump ain’t first or worst.

        1. No. I have “caring about other people and am concerned that a dangerously stupid and uncaring man is in charge of the federal government responsible for their well-being” syndrome.

          1. And you would prefer a dangerous senile one?

            Good call.

            1. I love how senile people mention their favorite Kierkegaard quote in response to a question about faith.

            2. Hey. If Fox says so it must be true.

          2. dangerously stupid and uncaring man is in charge of the federal government responsible for their well-being”

            You have no idea of the constitutional role of the federal govt.
            The Constitution has no provisions for taking responsibility for the well being of its citizens.

            1. Well Congress and the voters apparently disagree since there is a bunch of federal agencies that are designed to protect the welfare of people. And the Supreme Court hasn’t declared them unconstitutional. Or is it your position that things like the NIH and the CDC are unconstitutional and that the federal government is obliged to let interstate problems like disease run rampant because it’s under no obligation to take care of anyone?

              Further if the drafters really didn’t want that at all maybe they shouldn’t have put clauses referring to the general welfare in there.

              And if the government isn’t responsible for the well being of its citizens…why would it even exist? I mean even the unduly narrow view of government power should be exercised for the well being of people. Or is it your position that the federal government shouldn’t take the well being of people into account in the realms of defense or foreign affairs either?

              1. if it’s in the name of well being, what can’t the government do?

                1. Uh. A lot of stuff. Looking out for people’s well being also includes looking out for their rights. I mean it’s not in people’s interests to be violently attacked by the police or imprisoned.

                  1. Do you really believe the Constitution grants the people in government such a broad mandate? I mean what do you think the enumerated powers are? Just examples?

                    1. What do you think the point of exercising enumerated powers is for? Shits and giggles? Obviously they’re supposed to be exercised for the well-being of the public.

      3. Lol joke’s on you folk. Both sides actively want to harm you. The problem is almost everybody treats their side as a religion, and the other side are hellbound devil worshippers of a false god.

  4. Oh yeah, the NYT is around the bend these days. Just don’t bother. You can’t trust what they write.

    You’re better off trusting the Babylon Bee. At least they’re clear about what they’re writing.

    1. Sounds like conservatives should take their ostensible principles, apply them to a perceived market failure, and create a better version of The New York Times — one not diminished by disdain for conservative values.

      I do not expect this, however, for the same reason conservatives have not created strong educational institutions to overcome what they claim to be the flaws and failures of our strongest schools, which are operated for and by the liberal-libertarian mainstream.

      Republicans and conservatives have tried to create separatist organizations and institutions — and have failed miserably.

      Conservative-controlled schools suck because they are conservative schools. Right-wingers strive to refrain from acknowledging that point.

      If you despise The New York Times, it’s probably because you can’t stand modern America.

      1. “Sounds like conservatives should take their ostensible principles, apply them to a perceived market failure, and create a better version of The New York Times — one not diminished by disdain for conservative values.”

        We have, it’s called “talk radio.”
        Rush Limbough, Mark Levine, Buzz Sexton, and (in New England) Howie Carr. More news there than in the NYT.

        1. Yeah. Rush Limbaugh is a real news source. I mean without him we would never know who’s a slut, what twelve year old girls look like animals, why fictional characters can’t be black, and that hurricanes aren’t actually dangerous while he packs up to evacuate.

          1. Limbaugh was also big into birtherism – almost as big as Trump.

          2. You forgot to mention that COVID-19 is “just the common cold, Folks.”

            Every day I read the comments here I am amazed at how accurate Poe’s Law has turned out to be.

            1. Yes, the Marxists really do blend in, don’t they?

        2. Why not Breitbart and Alex Jones as news sources? To far to the left for you?

          1. Alex Jones was right about Atrazine turning the frogs “gay” — it is more turning them transgendered and neutered, but UC Berkley Biologists agree that Atrazine is wreaking havoc with the sex lives of adult male frogs. And is UC Berkley a bastion of right-wing extremism?

            https://news.berkeley.edu/2010/03/01/frogs/

            1. Was Alex Jones right about the parkland shooting being a lie?

              1. Was or was not the Sheriff fired?

                1. What sheriff? WTF are you talking about.

              2. I thought it was the Sandy Hook shooting that he claimed was a lie.

                Also, no, Alex Jones was not right about Atrazine.

            2. First of all, IIRC frogs are one of those species that can switch biological gender under stress to support a need, but even if I am wrong about frogs, there are species that do this. So it wouldn’t surprise me scientists figured out a way to trigger that with chemicals.

              Secondly, it always made me sad gay people had to say they were born that way because of a political need to justify not being thrown in jail.

              This wasn’t just a problem in the 1890s, but up through the 1990s.

              We live in a country where, in theory, government only has powers The People granted it. Who the hell would ever grant government the power to regulate adult sexuality?

              The Rev has a big mouth, but he’s right on the money about stuff like this. Good riddance.

              1. Does their child grooming make you equally sad or are you okay with that in the name of tolerance?

                1. Are you assuming gay people in general are all pedophiles?

                  1. I’m stating that child grooming is part of the homosexual culture.

                    See cultural terms like “chicken hawking” and current pro-gay curricula teaching 4 year olds how to take it in ass and give bjs.

                    1. Ah yes, the gay culture as understood by the Christian Broadcast Network. Truly an objective assessment.

                      https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/austin-school-district-sex-ed/
                      the new curriculum does not teach students “how to have anal sex,” but instead “refers to how anal sex is a way to transmit [sexually transmitted infections]

                      The curricula are categorized into the categories of “healthy relationships”; “personal safety”; “identity”; “anatomy and physiology”; and “puberty and adolescent development.” When children reach the fifth grade, two additional categories are added: “pregnancy and reproduction,” and “sexually transmitted diseases and HIV.”

                      You are a silly, silly, person.

                    2. Explain “chickenhawking” .

                      And of course snopes is cherrypicked trash.

                      https://californiaglobe.com/fr/ca-education-board-approves-pornographic-sex-ed/

                    3. The link is the story Snopes said was false, chief. Even clicking through, there is nothing about four year olds and anal sex, lol.

                      So you pivot to chickenhawk being a term that exists.
                      A bit of Googling reveals nothing untoward. It’s like a Cougar, but a gay dude. Nothing about underage.

      2. They have, and it’s called the Wall Street Journal.

        You might have heard of it. “I do not expect this, however, for the same reason progressives have not created strong educational institutions to overcome what they claim to be the flaws and failures of our strongest schools, which are operated for and by the student and faculty, respectively.”

        Am I doing it right?

      3. “If you despise The New York Times, it’s probably because you can’t stand modern America.”

        Well and truly said, Rev. The diversity of all things newsworthy and societally cogent in this paper is amazingly broad and informative. I’ve been a subscriber for 50+ years – both print and online – and recommend it to anyone open to reading a diversity of news and opinion.

        1. “The diversity of all things newsworthy and societally cogent in this paper is amazingly broad and informative. I’ve been a subscriber for 50+ years – both print and online – and recommend it to anyone open to reading a diversity of news and opinion.”
          How can anyone say that with a straight face after this – https://www.politico.com/news/2020/06/07/nyt-opinion-bennet-resigns-cotton-op-ed-306317 – is beyond me.

  5. The idea of news in a classical sense really disappeared after Watergate. The press loathed Nixon (and he was no fan of them) and they were so proud of having brought down a President when he resigned. As culture does, it took another 20-30 years to catch up, but by the 90’s the fix was in for any type of media neutrality. I remember canceling my Newsweek subscription around 1994 when they published an article about how it was their duty not just to report the news, but to actively tell you the news. Seemed to be around the time most outlets made the “switch” finally.

    1. The press “brought down” Nixon by reporting factually about his activities. I don’t know what you mean by news in the “classical sense,” in the past newspapers were far more ideologically driven, and quite open about it.

  6. “Anyway, the Times always had a liberal bias in its news pages”

    Sure, in the sense of a preference for science over dogma.

    The reality-based world over delusion and the supernatural.

    Education and knowledge over ignorance.

    Tolerance and inclusiveness over bigotry and insularity.

    Reason over superstition.

    Modernity over backwardness.

    1. Fascism over liberty.

      Hint: Look into the Eugenics movement. Science over dogma, and how’d that work out when the Nazis were done with it?

      1. Paging Dr. Godwin. Paging Dr. Godwin. Clean up on Aisle 3.

        1. Duranty ring a bell?

        2. Eugenics started in America by the Left.

          Its highly relevant.

      2. You know that right-wingers are the target for fascist appeals, right? Fascist governments come in to power because of conservative support, even if it’s lukewarm at first. If a fascist party comes to power in America…you’re probably going to vote for it. The Nazis didn’t come to power with left wing support, and none of the collaborationist governments, whether fascist, fascist-adjacent, or fascist friendly were left wing.

        1. The Nazis cane to power because they were less scary than Stalin’s boys, and if you look at what the Communists were doing in the Ukraine circa 1932-33, I think that’s a rational decision.

        2. Oh, and you know that Nazi stood for “National Socialism?

          Read the _WV v. Barnette_ decision and you will see the then enemy named as “the National Socialists.”

          And ever hear of the Volkswagen? The “people’s car”?

          Right wing my a**.

          1. You know, sometimes governments use propaganda in their terminology to make people think they are working for the people? Would socialists murder disabled people and others they find undesirable? No, they would give them financial support. On the other hand, Nazis were murdering disabled people, destroying books and art they found undesirable, attacking free speech, attacking the press, etc. You got your head on backwards.

            1. “Would socialists murder disabled people and others they find undesirable?”

              Yes. Happily.

            2. “Would socialists murder disabled people and others they find undesirable?”

              Did Stalin?
              Did Mao?
              Did Pol Pot?
              Did Castro?

          2. Dude. You need to read any book on the Holocaust and how the Nazis came to power. Have you ever read any? Did you take a class on the Holocaust or Nazi Germany in college? I did. The historical record is very clear. The Nazis came into power because they appealed to conservatives and had conservative support. Sorry you don’t like it, but it’s what happened. The “but it says socialist in the name” thing is said by unserious people who have never cared to read or learn about Nazi ideology and how they came to power or are just bad faith liars.

            And again, every single fascist or collaborationist government in Europe was right-wing. Why do you think that was?

            Care to explain how Vichy France was left wing? The Ustaše government? The Arrow Cross party? Explain to me how Tiso in Slovakia was left wing? That would be hilarious.

            1. Actually, the original Nazis who put Hitler into power despised conservatives and used the word “conservative” as an insult. That’s completely understandable because the Nazis were against the kinds of institutions that German conservatives supported such as capitalism and Christianity. Instead, as you no doubt know, the Nazis were in favor of socialism and paganism.

              1. Except that’s not how the Nazis gained power. Hindenberg wasn’t a socialist he was a conservative. So was Von Schleicher. The SDP opposed the Nazis. The Nazis formed alliances with right wing parties to come into power. They appealed to traditionalism and masculinity and a heroic past. While the Nazis themselves disliked the idea of “conservatism” the German conservatives nonetheless put them into power.

                1. Hindenberg didn’t much like Hitler. As he got more senile, he listened to people like Van Papen who insured that he could control Hitler and, thus, he made him chancellor.

                  1. Hindenberg also didn’t plan to die….

                    But don’t forget Hitler winning a plurality in 1933.

                    1. Remember that Lincoln didn’t plan to die, either.
                      FDR did, and that’s why he went with Truman in 1944.

          3. lawtalkinguy claims he read a history book that said the national socialist party was conservative.

            someone might suggest he read a few other books of history.

            1. Okay. So name a serious historian of the Third Reich or the Holocaust who think Nazism was a left-wing phenomenon and weren’t put into power by German conservatives? Or perhaps you can explain why the Nazis didn’t have the support of the SDP but did come into power with the support of Hindenberg or von Schliecher. Or you can explain why every Nazi allied government was also right wing. Please explain, for instance, how the traditionalist Catholic collaborationist governments in France, Croatia, and Slovakia were left wing. I’m sure it would be a well reasoned and supported historical argument.

              In the meantime, I’ll stick with the views of Holocaust historians like
              Christopher Browning, Yehuda Bauer, and Saul Friedlander, and the professor who taught my class on the Holocaust in undergrad.

              1. “Okay. So name a serious historian of the Third Reich or the Holocaust who think Nazism was a left-wing phenomenon and weren’t put into power by German conservatives? Or perhaps you can explain why the Nazis didn’t have the support of the SDP but did come into power with the support of Hindenberg or von Schliecher.”

                Schleicher was a worm who would turn on anybody to gain power. And Hindenberg did not like them. His senility allowed people like Van Papen to manipulate him.

                Hindenberg did run against Hitler for the Presidency and did beat him as well. Not exactly looking to give him power.

                1. A right wing worm is still right wing. And in the end Hindenburg hated the SDP much more than he disliked Hitler and the Nazis.

              2. Guys, guys! Both sides suck! Y’all are specialists in leading The People to give some leader emergency powers to deal with something, and they never give it up, and millions die.

                Trump at least has been fought to a standstill through normal political processes. Yet here we are with a possible loss, and the cheers of the media calling for emergency powers for Biden.

                Can both sides get in a bus? I’d love to hear all the screams at each other turn into screams of terror as it plunges over a cliff.

          4. Right. They were ardent Socialists, Ed. That’s why they arrested members of tye German Socialist Party and German Communist Party.

            That’s why they had the support of major private industries, and some of Wall Street. Because heaven knows those guys were leftist to the core.

            Regardless, pretending that the Nazis had any sort of serious economic ideology beyond, “let’s steal as much as we can” is sort of silly.

            1. Blue on Blue. As if you have to opposite politically to fight. Look at BLM now attacking all sorts of Democrat businesses and institutions.

              1. No. Jesus. Seriously. Name a Holocaust historian who believes that. One who goes into the archives and has studied the Third Reich their entire lives. Seriously find someone with the standing of Yehuda Bauer who would take your view of the Nazis. Then maybe I’ll take your views somewhat seriously.

                1. Hitler states in Mein Kampf that he opposed the Marxists not because they were ideological opposites but because Karl Marx was a Jew and he believed Marxism was Jewish plot.

                  Hitler also wrote FDR and praised his Socialist New Deal policies.

                  Some right winger.

                  1. You’re bad at history. It’s telling that you still can’t think of scholars who agree with you.

                    1. I don’t give a shit about appeals to authority when original materials are available and I can actually think for myself and don’t need someone to spoon feed me tidbits like I’m some baby bird.

                    2. Yeah. But you have zero context for the materials you’re a reading unlike historians which leads you to cherry-pick examples and allows you to ignore events like how German conservatives put the Nazis into power. You thinking for yourself after skimming the Wikipedia article on Mein Kampf is no substitute for years of study and expertise.

                      Or are you so arrogant you think you actually know more about Nazi Germany and the Holocaust than someone like Yehuda Bauer? Please say yes I could use a laugh.

                      And if you actually are please show me your peer reviewed monographs and articles. Explain which archives you’ve been to and how you conducted your research. How’s your German? And your Polish? And your French? And your Russian? I assume you did your research for your dissertation in Europe.

                      Your ability to google is no substitute for historical expertise.

          5. The Nazis were extreme rightwing on social issues and less on economic ones.

            1. Yes. What do you think their position on SSM would have been?

              1. EVERYBODY had the same position on SSM until 2000, or even later, Bernard. Nazis, Communists, Republicans, Democrats. Horselaughs if they even thought about it. Do you remember Obama on SSM, back in 2008?

                You can’t (effectively, anyway) attack a position everybody agreed with until just a few years ago, on the basis that Hitler would have agree with it.

                1. Yes. But you can point out that their extreme antipathy to homosexuality (ie killing them) and their obsession with traditional forms of masculinity and gender roles, were part of a program designed to appeal to German conservatives.

              2. Do you hear that guys? The Nazis didn’t support SSM and other current leftwing social issues 100 years ago, therefore they are rightwing!

                1. They’re right wing because their program involved: appeals to tradition, promising a return to a mythic past that never really existed, appeals to traditional masculinity and gender roles, extreme nationalism, extreme militarism, and extreme xenophobia.

                  The ideology of the Nazi party was designed to promote the interests of the Volk (i.e. the real Germans) and return them to their proper place in the world through the elimination and subjugation of other groups, most prominently the Jews.

                  Let’s say someone was running for President promising to return Real Americans to their glorious past, emphasized the value of traditional masculinity and gender roles, said that capitalism should work for Real Americans and would use government to make that so and said they would remove or eliminate all the immigrants standing in the way of that return…would you vote for them?

                  1. You are wasting your time engaging with people who cannot see history except through the prism of their current ideology. It’s exactly like originalism, history must be bent and warped to support contemporary political positions.

                  2. Did the Nazis embrace capitalism or did they embrace socialist economic policies?

                    1. So you can’t name a serious Holocaust historian who agrees with you. Gotcha.

                    2. They embraced policies that were designed to promote the interests of the Volk. Private industry signed onto this project.

                    3. And one last thing. You didn’t say you wouldn’t vote for that party. If and when fascism comes to America I guarantee you this: You will vote for that party. You will defend or deny its excesses. You will defend or excuse ethnic cleansing and police violence against political opponents. If it falls in your lifetime, you will either pretend you didn’t support it or make excuses for why you did. You can try to deny it now, but you know deep down it’s true.

                    4. Read the Fascist Manifesto. Its available.

                      If you update the language it reads like the 2016 Democrat Party plank.

                      Read the Nazi Party plans, their economic policies are squarely on the Left and nowhere near conservative.

                      Fascism is already here in America. Its the modern Left.

                      And lastly regarding your traditionalist argument; I want to end the tradition of homo marriage, you want to conserve it.

                      I guess that makes me Progressive and you Conservative.

                    5. Sam,

                      Go to any history department and talk to a historian of the Holocaust. I beg you. You might learn something from people who know more about this topic than you do, just like I did.

                      And by the way: you didn’t say no to supporting a party engaged in ethnic cleansing.

    2. “Sure, in the sense of a preference for science over dogma.”

      The Rev. KKKirkland must be unfamiliar with the LGBTQP social sciences where exactly two gays can adopt children and somehow produce superior children to all other outcomes.

      “The reality-based world over delusion and the supernatural.”

      Tell us how a male with a penis can live his entire life as a man then one starry night wish upon a blinking star and identify as a women then *poof* become a real authentic women.

      “Education and knowledge over ignorance”

      Have you seen the product from government schools?

      Etcetera etcetera etcetera

    3. You didn’t read the leaked transcripts of staff meetings at the NY Times, did you? They make explicit what their reporters want, and Dean Baquet has repeatedly indicated that the paper’s coverage is focused against Trump. But hey, the Pulitzers keep rolling in for stories that even their FBI sources have debunked, so it’s all good. Tolerance and inclusiveness over bigotry and insularity is a joke at NYT. Everyone but conservatives is tolerated, as are all opinions of those,in the Amtrak corridor. Plus, nothing says inclusiveness like the 1619 Project, which rewrites our history to make our very founding racist, even though in 1619, the colonists were English subjects and founding their own country hadn’t even flickered in their brains.

  7. Facts have a liberal bias. Everybody know that.

    Stick to non-factual news sources and you won’t have your feeling hurt.

    1. Is a male with a penis a man or a woman?

      What does 2+2 equal?

  8. The Republicans do cater the rich, they are open about it and all the points you mentioned in that long paragraph are objectively true. Also, a liberal tilt to the NYT is no where on the scale of Fox News openly partisan core nature. That comparison is ridiculous.

    1. I agree. The facts quoted are unremarkable and uncontroversial. What is remarkable is that the Times stated them so baldly. I accept the proposition that, being oriented to facts, journalists trend to progressive opinions. Ever since Nixon did so well running against the press/the facts most of journalism has overcompensated and given conservatives a free ride. What is going on these days at the Times is a bit unsavory, but the quote presented is un-biased and unapologeticly factual.

      1. Yup. Blackman can’t tell the difference between fact and opinion. He does it in his own writing and then posts about how he’s just stating facts. He really brings down the quality of the volokh conspiracy with overly partisan posts.

        I do obviously agree the nyt opinion articles skew pretty liberal. It’s hilarious that the one example picked by the author is solidly factual though. Republicans biggest platforms are lowering taxes, reducing business regulations, and decreasing social safety nets — these policies favor the rich.

        1. This article was from Bernstein.

          1. Shit, there’s two bloggers totally divorced from facts now? I got them mixed up and read this article as classic Blackman. Maybe it’s time to stop reading this blog.

            1. Well, there are two bloggers totally divorced from your opinions, anyway. Maybe you could write an app that would flag disagreements with you as people type, so they could avoid that embarrassing situation?

    2. Explains the Democrats wanting to give the single most regressive welfare benefit in the history of the world in “free college”. Nothing says “We care about the poor” like taxing them to give benefits to the wealthy.

      And also removing their electricity, as in CA, to please rich environmentalists.

      1. The high cost of college tuition is a major barrier for low income students and prevents upward mobility. Lowering or eliminating that burden would help the poor greatly. The fact that it might also help the upper class also is not a reason to dismiss it.

      2. I love it when Democrats subsidize rich white men who want to buy exotic electric sports cars.

        Party of the People indeed.

        1. Yeah, that’s much worse than the 1.2 billion dollar tax break Sheldon Adelson received from the Republican-controlled congress. As well as Trump’s direct intervention in helping Adelson build a casino in Japan.

    3. “ The Republicans do cater the rich, they are open about it and all the points you mentioned in that long paragraph are objectively true.”

      Which is why the Republicans capped the SALT exemption, which the Democrats want to repeal, in trade for higher tax rates for the middle class.

      1. You are cherry picking one aspect of tax policy that was in a much larger bill that disproportionately helped the rich and gave very little to the poor, and increased the deficit.

      2. They capped the SALT deduction to give blue states a poke in the eye. No more, no less.

        That gives you a clue as to how serious these assholes are.

        1. “They capped the SALT deduction to give blue states a poke in the eye.”

          And here I thought people in the blue states were against tax breaks for the rich.

          1. TwelveInch, the cap on the SALT deduction was a way to convert the alleged tax cut for nearly everyone into a tax increase for blue state residents. What made it particularly pernicious and dishonest was that even in the blue states the government lowered withholding rates, to make blue state residents think they were getting a tax cut. No such luck. It just meant that when tax day came around, not only were blue state taxes higher than before, but employers had withheld less from wages to cover the new higher tax bill. After years of refunds, without changing anything, I got hit with a multi-thousand dollar tax bill, thanks to my rate increase and lower withholding.

  9. And in other news: water is wet

    1. Yes, this is what is known in the news business as an “Evergreen story”. You can run it anytime there’s a slow news day and you have time to fill.

      So, yeah, Rick Romero would be proud. Conservative whines about “liberal bias.” Yawn.

  10. You missed the fourth (implicit) bias in the statement – that the rich are all Republicans.

    That’s not true anymore — not close to being true.
    The richest people in the country are in big tech, and they are all lefties. Most off Wall Street leans left. As are the people running corporate America — look at how they have bought into this BLM garbage.

    1. Yeah. Black lives don’t actually matter. It’s just garbage for them to think and say that they do.

      1. Well, BLM is quite unconcerned with about 99% of black deaths out there.

        Or the livelihoods of black people whose shops they burn down.

        The Klan viewed blacks as being more intelligent than the Left does today.

  11. And the other thing, which Trump didn’t understand, is that personnel is policy.

    It’s one thing for all the NYT staff to be demanding the paper go hard left — it’s another thing to ask who hired all those leftists in the first place?

  12. The sort of people who tend to big fans of the New York Times used to chortle at Fox News overtly biased news coverage. It turns out that their favorite paper is using it as a model.

    Give me a fucking break. That’s absurd.

    Even if you regard the quoted passage as a matter of opinion it’s nothing like the endless stream of lies and crap the right-wing media spews out.

    1. Tell me more about Russia collusion. Please.

      1. You can read the Senate Intelligence Committee Report

        1. Which of the 966 pages? I’m not immediately seeing anything in the summary findings about collusion, so it’s a bit hard to guess what you’re thinking.

          1. The agreed on findings of fact about Russia’s interference, the timeline of events, and the links between Trump campaign officials, Wikileaks, and Russian intelligence officials. Collusion isn’t a legal term, and if you’re looking for Trump to be in audio with Putin discussing email hacking you won’t get it. But the whole thing being a “hoax” and there never being a basis to investigate the issue is thoroughly debunked, particularly when you read the details about Manafort and his contacts/links to known Russian intelligence agents.

            1. Indeed.

              If one wants an account of a political campaign seeking and getting foreign help, this is how it would be done.

            2. Ah, so the “it’s in there somewhere if you want to see it and squint hard enough” theory. Got it.

              1. No. That’s not what I said at all. You wouldn’t need to squint to see it. I mean it’s literally just a bunch of details about:

                1: The Trump campaign manager’s relationship to Russian intelligence officers and how he shared campaign information with an intelligence officer.

                2. Trump campaign members, including Trump himself, planning and strategizing around the release of material they knew was hacked and they knew was hacked by people with ties to the Russian government.

                I mean I know some people’s standard for collusion is Trump and Putin burning Hillary ballots on the Senate floor in front of the entire Republican caucus. But to anyone interested in using their analytical reasoning skills…it shows a bunch of Trump campaign people using Russian help to advance an interest they had in common with the Russian government. I mean, even freaking Tom Cotton says that’s what was happening.

            3. You get your “news” from the NYT. None of the Russia hoax is based on facts. Got proof Russia hacked DNC emails? If you do, you are better than any part of the federal govt, because they got nothing.

              1. The Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee seem to believe they did. Even Tom Cotton is well past the point of believing anyone else did the hack.

      2. If you really think it’s a “hoax” you’re a gullible fool and a Trump cultist.

        AS LTG says, read the committee report.

    2. “Even if you regard the quoted passage as a matter of opinion it’s nothing like the endless stream of lies and crap the right-wing media spews out.”

      LOL. Both the NYT and CNN are way more openly partisan than outlets like Fox News. the NYT forced its editorial page editor to resign for publishing an op-ed piece by a Republican, for crying out loud.

      1. LOL yourself.

        It wasn’t because he published an op-ed by a Republican. He published one by Tom Cotton, a pretty disgusting figure.

        Cotton’s editorial contained factual inaccuracies, and Bennet didn’t bother to even read it before he printed it.

        1. “Cotton’s editorial contained factual inaccuracies, and Bennet didn’t bother to even read it before he printed it.”

          You think they’ll fire Maureen Dowd, and the editor that ran her recent column?

          1. I didn’t read her recent column, but I wouldn’t care if they did fire her. I’m no fan.

            1. Imagine thinking that keeping Maureen Dowd is an example of liberal bias at the Times and not it’s penchant for keeping hack columnists employed forever.

              1. Isn’t she the one who criticized Al Gore for wearing earth tones?

                Yeah. That was important.

                1. Yes I believe she was. Also I believe the column Twelve is referring to was essentially a snub of Hillary Clinton, who promptly dunked on Dowd for it along with everyone else.

            2. “I didn’t read her recent column,”

              I didn’t either, but apparently it was about how it’s been 36 years since a man and a woman have run together on a Democratic ticket. I’m wondering if your theory that Bennett was fired for factual inaccuracies in Cotton’s piece will be applied consistently here.

        2. A Week later the NYT printed a propaganda piece written by China.
          Censor elected representaties, provide a megaphone for Chinese propaganda.

          At least we know the loyalties of the NYT

          1. I think you’ve only got it half right. They’re not loyal to China. They hate you and wish you harm, and they’d probably ally with China to help bring about that harm. But that’s just their interests aligning, not anything like loyalty.

      2. LOL. Both the NYT and CNN are way more openly partisan than outlets like Fox News. the NYT forced its editorial page editor to resign for publishing an op-ed piece by a Republican, for crying out loud.

        https://thehill.com/media/513249-barr-asked-rupert-murdoch-to-muzzle-fox-news-commentator-napolitano-book

        1. Author selling book reports dog bites man!

  13. It is impossible to write high-level stories about politics (e.g., patterns of political donations, which is a newsworthy story!) without relying on some general propositions about the political parties and what interests they are serving. Making those generalizations necessarily shades into analysis and opinion but the alternative is to feign stupidity. If a Fox News reporter said that high-level Democrats had to avoid offending representatives of minority groups on whom the party had relied for critical votes for decades, and I objected that that was 100% illegitimate bias and opinion, you wouldn’t take that criticism seriously nor should you, because that is a thing everyone knows to be true.

    Here, the principal legislative accomplishment of the Trump administration to date has been passing a tax cut that by and large favored the ultrawealthy at the expense of the wealthy. The occasional nods toward addressing a broader base of the population (replacing Obamacare, infrastructure week) have all proven hollow. The “Reformicon” Republicans (Douthat, etc.) who urged the party to focus more on broad base issues have acknowledged that the administration hasn’t done that. If you don’t like the particular wording of the reporter’s characterization, de gustibus, but it seems more like your objection here is that the reporter made the statement at all and not that the statement is substantively untrue.

    1. It’s really easy to factually recount what happened. They don’t

      Non-US news organizations have a lot less trouble.

  14. Is that the only example you can find of liberal bias?

    Do you think Trump’s agenda is anti-rich people? If it is at all not, then the reporter is legitimately pointing out that it’s strange that few billionaires want to contribute.

    1. The Times has always had a liberal bias. What I actually wrote, so perhaps you should read more carefully, is that the Times used to keep opinion out of news story. Oh, they might do something like quote an “expert” as saying the same thing, but the editors would never allow a reporter to express an opinion, in these case three opinions in one sentence, in a news story.

      1. I’m sure you know about their unequal treatment of Clinton and Trump in 2016, particularly as to whether or not either was being investigated and whether or not evidence of wrongdoing had been found.

  15. I guess the ‘tax cut’ doesn’t count as catering specifically to the ultra-wealthy.

    More Bernstein bullshit.

    Yawn.

    1. It doesn’t really. Most people who *paid taxes at all* had their taxes both cut and simplified.

      There’s a large portion of the country that pays effectively no federal income tax. I don’t think they have any right to whine about how little the rich are paying. (The bottom 50% accounted for ~11% of total income, but only ~3% of taxes in 2017. The bottom ~40% not only pays no federal income tax, many of them make money on their income taxes).

      1. Most rich people don’t get most of their money from actually working. So their “income” doesn’t get taxed as “income tax”. Mostly it gets taxed at the much lower capital gains tax rate. You also ignore sales tax, which hits lower income people harder. And of course the payroll tax. Besides all that, rich people get a lot of things for free.

        1. -And yet, the top 20% still pay 75% of income taxes (specifically income taxes). That’s before we even get to their investment income and capital gains.

          -There’s no federal sales tax, so…? Complain to your state if the Sales Tax is too high. Trump can’t exactly cut that tax.

          -Everyone pays the same payroll tax % up to the cut-off value, and everyone gets paid out of SS based on what they paid in (at least in theory). This is by design by progressives, who effectively thought poor people didn’t save enough, so they’d basically make them save money for retirement.

          I mean, I’m not going to defend SS or medicare as programs. They’re horribly mismanaged disasters that are unsustainable by their very design.

          … What do rich people get ‘for free’? You’re making no sense with your last claim.

          1. (Those %s are from before Trump’s tax cuts, btw. It probably skews more towards richer americans today).

          2. A lot of free stuff gets written off as business expenditures. If you’re a shareholder or a member of the corporation you pay that indirectly, and only a small portion of it. And of course there are fellow rich people inviting you onto their yachts and they don’t exactly serve macaroni & cheese.

            1. It’s not just rich people who can take advantage of business expenditures. Be self-employed, then a lot of dual-use things (say a vehicle or a computer) are business expenses. Plumbers, contractors, electricians. freelance writers – these people make decent income, but they’re not top 1%. Even an uber driver can probably claim car expenses as ‘business expenditures’.

              And you’ve never been invited to a party before? Sure, maybe it wasn’t on a yacht, and maybe they didn’t serve caviar, but i’m having a hard time taking you seriously when this is your claim of ‘free stuff’. When ‘People doing stuff for other people without being forced to do so at gunpoint’ is your idea of a problem, the problem is you.

              1. You’re like Trump. Blaming working people for being working people.

              2. BTW, for seven years I was not an employee but a partner. I got to send myself to conventions, meet with rich clients, wining and dining not only then but myself. And was also invited to stays at luxurious hotels and live quite large. All on the firm’s dime and all perfectly legal. It was a sweet life. And my actual taxed income was less (and therefore taxed less) than when I was a W-2 employee.

                1. And did you create value for your partnership doing that? What seems to be the problem you have with that arrangement now?

                  Great for you that you had a job you loved for seven years. I’m not seeing a problem here at all… And no situation reached by voluntary agreement is unfair.

                  “You’re like Trump. Blaming working people for being working people.”

                  And how have i done that? Because i accept that outcomes will be unequal?

                  Should the Yankees be forced to take everyone who wants to play baseball, no matter how badly they play? Why not? That the Yankees take the best players they can get, and as a consequence make a lot of money – should a decent sum of that money not be paid to the players who made it possible? How is this unfair to people who can’t play baseball anywhere near as well? Of their own free choice, thousands of fans chose to spend their money on the Yankees. That professional baseball players make a lot of money compared to the average person is unequal, but it’s not unfair.

                  1. If you know anything about business, it’s not always a matter of the best or hardest workers getting part of the “pie”. And in larger businesses the “pie” is inaccessible to most employees.

                    1. If you don’t like the terms of your employment, find another job.

                  2. In Robert Nozick’s “Anarchy, State, and Utopia”, he goes into considerable detail about this: Even if you equalized everybody’s financial assets and property, as long as they were free to deploy them according to their own choices, the distribution would immediately start diverging from equality. Only if you didn’t let them spend it as THEY wanted, could you maintain equality.

                    And if you did that, you couldn’t honestly say it was their’s, could you? It would actually be all yours.

                    1. Yes, I was deliberately invoking Nozick here. I could have made it about Basketball to make it more obvious, but eh.

            2. A lot of free stuff gets written off as business expenditures

              The purpose of going into government, worldwide and throughout history, is to get in the way of the productive, to get paid to get back out of the way. This is why in many countries you have to take hundreds of “extra” dollars down to the DMV or be prepared to wait years for a driver’s license. How much worse for buildings or business licensing?

              Here they have to hide it better, and that’s one primary way how they do it: By giving tax breaks.

              I’ve lived through several cycles of “cleaning up the tax code” by simplification and removing tax breaks, only to see them get handed out again, in exchange for…?

              It’s a joke. It’s all a joke.

          3. “-And yet, the top 20% still pay 75% of income taxes (specifically income taxes).”

            Which sounds like a raw deal, until you remember that they also have 75% of income, and own 99% of wealth.

            1. The top 20% only have ~38% of the income. They do have ~60% of the wealth (which still isn’t close to 99%). These are easy facts to look up, it’s embarrassing that you didn’t.

              Not that our government policies are neutral with respect to wealth creation. Social Security is a vehicle for stripping wealth from poorer families. (It takes money out of their pay check to fund their retirement, but unlike investments, there aren’t assets the worker owns. If they’d invested the equivalent amount, not only would they have a bigger annuity when they retired, but anything they didn’t use before they died would be wealth they could pass on to their heirs).

              And since poorer people are less able to save independently of social security, they end up with markedly less wealth than they should have otherwise had.

              1. Also, the top 20% are also responsible for the production of most of the wealth, so it’s hardly unfair that they own such a large fraction of it.

        2. Is that why Democrats love high sales taxes?

      2. “It doesn’t really. Most people who *paid taxes at all* had their taxes both cut and simplified.”

        That extra 8 cents a month didn’t really change my financial position, but cutting from 39% to 35% makes a big difference when it gets applied millions of dollars. Of course, if I don’t like an economic system that works better for the people what already got, I should have thought of that an arranged to be born to someone prepared to leave me millions of dollars of inherited wealth. My own poor planning.

        1. It’s hard to cut taxes for people who barely pay any.

          And life isn’t fair, get over it. If you haven’t learned that by the time you turned 5, you’re hopeless.

          While there are certainly some ill-gotten fortunes (generally involving government special favors), most fortunes are earned through hard work, cleverness, and luck. Something like 2/3 of the 500 wealthiest people in the world are self-made. Just because you’re jealous of their success doesn’t mean they should be penalized for it. And the people who do make their fortune are the ones who don’t sit around complaining about how unfair life is.

  16. NYT has been on a downhill slide ever since they started publishing with color photos. I’m not saying those are causally related, but it’s certainly a correlation. I relegated it to the ‘not worth reading’ pile at least 5 years ago.

    (Although I’d consider a causal connection – the switch to color photos probably accompanied a change in editor-in-chief, which would mean different attitudes in multiple areas, not just that one highly visible arena).

    1. Reading an actual newspaper is as disgusting as smoking a cigarette.

  17. Oh dear, Professor, the truth does hurt a little bit at times, doesn’t it? As a service to your readers, perhaps you could recommend some news sources that cover the truth better than the Times, the Post, and those other liberal rags.

  18. Liberal journalists and the younger progressives think everything is as black and white as the Civil Rights movement so with respect to the Civil Rights movement if you were a reporter simply observing it then you weren’t doing enough to fight injustice. Of course simply going to the South and reporting on what was happening would have been activism so simply reporting on it was actually good enough.

    Fox News sees Gore and Kerry and Obama and Hillary as figures like Bull Conner and George Wallace and so they believe their activism and propaganda to support their MLK figures, W Bush and Trump, is justified…and their propaganda to support causes they see as similar to Civil Rights, Iraq War and border security, as justified.

    1. The problem is not calling it out as such, not that they do it.

      CNN regularly leads with hesdline stories such as in the story here. But at least they tuck a little “News Analysis” label down in the lower-right corner (where few will notice it.) Apparently that’s being abandoned at the Times?

  19. This is hilarious because people who actually are leftists hate the press because they think it’s too conservative. And because if you go back and read Hillary’s press coverage from 2016 it was uniformly awful.

    1. The Hillary email controversy was hilarious because it revealed a fundamental misunderstanding of the FOIA by the press. So the FOIA is extremely easy to circumvent by simply speaking over the phone but liberal journalists believed Hillary was behaving unethically by wanting to be as productive as possible by taking advantage of the newfangled digital text communication technology Blackberries enabled while treating those emails as phone calls not subject to FOIA. Of course Fox News played super dumb and expressed OUTRAGE that someone would dare attempt to circumvent the FOIA when Condi Rice simply didn’t use email to circumvent the FOIA. Fast forward to December 2019 and we discover every Trump State official uses WhatsApp to communicate and nobody cares.

      1. The W administration used private email servers extensively to escape public records laws. There was criticism of it at the time but mostly there were yawns. So when Hill comes along and does exactly what the prior administration did, this fact draws yawns. Today, the American right already believes that the federal government can’t do anything that isn’t corrupt and their politicians set out to prove it.

      2. The reason she was behaving unethically is that the federal government already had rules in place permitting you to do official business over private email, on the condition that you configured your email to back up to a government server, and turned over all work related emails on exiting government service.

        Not only didn’t Hillary comply with these rules, it appears that the solitary purpose of going to the trouble of having her own private server in her physical possession was exactly to avoid complying with these rules.

        So, she didn’t technically comply with the rules in a way that circumvented their intent. She violated the rules in order to circumvent their intent.

        It wasn’t a technicality or clever work around. She just straightforward broke the rules. Deliberately.

        1. What rules are those? Hillary was supposed to “print and file” her work-related E-mails in order to comply with the Federal Records Act, and she didn’t do that. The State Department had servers that could store E-mail, but they weren’t certified to meet the requirements of the Federal Records Act, so during Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, all records were supposed printed and preserved on paper. This changed under John Kerry; official State Department records can now be preserved electronically.

          Clinton’s failure to print and file her E-mails put her in violation of the Federal Records Act, but no more so than any of her predecessors who used E-mail. Clinton’s use of a private E-mail server didn’t violate any laws, but it is something that distinguishes her from her predecessors. It appears that people on the right are committed to telling a narrative which makes Clinton uniquely evil, which is why we see nonsense conflating the Federal Records Act violations with the use of a private E-mail server.

    2. Yes. Especially the NYT, which carried endless email stories.

    3. If you’re a Stalinist, everyone is “right-wing” compared to you. By why on earth would that be the relevant standard?

      1. What, like people on the right who refer to liberals as leftists?

        1. My first encounter with idiosyncratic political spectra was in college, where the leftist students called themselves progressives, liberals conservatives, and conservatives reactionaries. I remember a friend who said, “you said the media is liberal, but my friend Joe Activist says they are conservative.” And I said, “from Joe’s perspective they are. But since Joe is more left-wing politically than 99% of the American population, why would that be the relevant standard?” Later, “well, I asked Joe, and he said, “compared to European Social Democrats, American liberals are conservative, so from a global perspective the American media is conservative.” And I responded, “well, even if that’s true, we don’t live in Europe, we live in the U.S., and by American standards the media is liberal. But I certainly grant you that if we had a representative of the French Communist Party (then routinely getting 25% of the vote in national elections) here, he’d sincerely believe that ABC News and the New York Times are conservative, and from his perspective he’d be right.

          1. So is this your way of explaining why you (and plenty of commenters here) routinely use liberal, far left, and radical left interchangeably? It’s not just lazy rhetoric?

            1. I don’t if it’s you b/c I don’t really keep track and care, but someone keeps accusing me of that, and I responded at some point by asking for an example of when I ever used far left or radical left to refer to a mainstream liberal like Joe Biden, or vice versa, and never got a response.

              A much better question is why the mainstream liberal left for decades has been treating the illiberal left as an ally and the liberal faction of the right (and here I’m using liberal and illiberal in the broad senses) as an enemy. Now, the illiberals are going after the liberals at places like the Times, foundations, universities, etc., and it’s a bad thing but also entirely predictable.

              1. But David, what you’re not factoring in is that compared to the entire rest of the Western world our politics are skewed so far right that it creates an optical illusion as to what is left and what is right.

                We’re the only western democracy in which there isn’t government health care, abortion is still something we fight about, and we still have disputes about teaching evolution in public schools. Or where private citizens can own military grade weapons. In any other western democracy Biden and Hillary and Obama would be considered radical right.

                So maybe your standards of what is right and what is left need adjustments.

                1. “We’re the only western democracy in which … abortion is still something we fight about,”

                  Abortion is something we fight about because, instead of arriving at abortion policies via the ordinary political process, the Supreme court up and imposed on the nation abortion policies which, in practice, are way out of synch with American politics, and which are, in many ways, much more ‘pro choice’ than those European democracies liberals like to hold up as positive examples. Basically the Court just handed a complete win to one side, and enforces it to this day.

                  1. That the court just handed a complete win to one side would be a huge surprise to abortion providers in states with waiting periods, anti-abortion screeds that clinic personnel are required to read patients, ultrasound requirements and other regulations designed to harass women seeking abortion and those who provide it.

                    I take your point that part of the hostility to Roe is that it came from the courts rather than the legislature. I disagree that the unceasing attempts to make abortion illegal, impossible, or both would end if choice came about legislatively.

                2. “Military grade weapons.”

                  Eh, you have no idea what you’re talking about, do you?

                  1. I know that “you don’t know what you’re talking about,” without elaboration, tends to be one of the favorite rejoinders from Second Amendment absolutists. And that if that’s the best you can do, I accept your concession.

                    1. Your POV is worth no more of my time than I’m willing to give.

                      Define “military grade” and explain why that definition wouldn’t be covered by the 2A, or why it should not be.

                      People who use the term “military grade” when complaining about firearms are ignorant dipshits regarding both the 2A and firearms in general.

                      If you are unable to defend your position or prove that you aren’t an ignoramus on that subject in general, then I accept your concession.

                      Pardon me now while I go mow my lawn with my ‘military grade’ lawn mower and then sip a margarita from my ‘military grade’ cocktail glass.

                    2. Ok back up a minute. Even if everything you say is right it has nothing to do with my original point that American politics is extreme right compared to most of the rest of the world, and one example of that is our gun laws. Do you disagree with that point? If not, then everything you’ve said is a distraction.

                      As it happens I’m ex military so I happen to know more about weapons, including military grade weapons, than you might think. Military grade is a term of art that means weapons specifically designed for combat. A deer rifle is not military grade because it’s not designed for combat, even though members of the military sometimes use them, along with lawn mowers and cocktail glasses. Military grade means it has a specific military application.

                      But you know what? You already knew all that. Your comment wasn’t made because you’re a dipshit, but because you’re dishonest. So I’m now going to go make supper on my non military grade stove and otherwise enjoy the rest of my Sunday.

                    3. Except our gun politics isn’t extreme ‘right’ as understood in Europe, it’s extremely *liberal* as understood in Europe. Yes, it’s off the scale there, because most of them come from oppressive monarchies and feudal systems.

                      (Not only are ‘right’ and ‘left’ not centered the same in the US, they don’t even encompass the same belief divisions or historical roots – stop tossing these terms around as if they have any sort of universal meaning at all).

                      In much of europe, the historically dominant part of the ‘right’ is *royalists* and equivalent, who are of course in favor of arms control. (And there are still royalists or their ideological descendants in much of Europe). The liberty for anyone to personally own weapons would have been considered radically liberal by the 18th century european monarchies the founders were familiar with, and still is radically liberal in europe today.

                      (Another fun fact about modern European politics – “liberals” aren’t generally politically ‘left’, they’re ‘right’. Of course, Europe tends to use ‘liberal’ in the original sense – wanting more individual liberty).

                    4. Squirreloid, you’re probably right, but I was defining terms as Americans would understand them.

              2. “A much better question is why the mainstream liberal left for decades has been treating the illiberal left as an ally and the liberal faction of the right”

                The “liberal faction of the right” has been in severe decline for several decades. Currently, alleged public sightings are not to be taken seriously without copious evidence.

              3. “I don’t if it’s you b/c I don’t really keep track and care, but someone keeps accusing me of that, and I responded at some point by asking for an example of when I ever used far left or radical left to refer to a mainstream liberal like Joe Biden, or vice versa, and never got a response.”

                Not me (not that I recall, anyway), but it’s an accusation I agree with. I ain’t going to wade thru your old posts, but, yeah, you chuck around far or radical or ultra left and in the same context as liberal. Impossible to tell whether you actually think boring-ass basic liberals are radical leftists or it’s just lazy demonizing rhetoric.

                “A much better question is why the mainstream liberal left for decades has been treating the illiberal left as an ally and the liberal faction of the right (and here I’m using liberal and illiberal in the broad senses) as an enemy. Now, the illiberals are going after the liberals at places like the Times, foundations, universities, etc., and it’s a bad thing but also entirely predictable.”

                Okay, so what does “mainstream liberal left” mean to you? Who makes up this group? What do they believe and what’s the distinction with radical left? And give some examples of how they regard the illiberal left as allies. Cos I can assure you, friends who are loud and proud leftists have never felt like liberals are allies. The DNC stacking the deck for Clinton in ’16 immediately comes to mind (unless you think Clinton is far left). They don’t think liberals are as bad as the non-libertarian right on a number of cultural issues, but by no means do they think liberals are anything but vipers. Seriously.

                1. Love it. I “chuck around” far left when I’m talking about mainstream liberals, but even though I allegedly do so frequently, it’s too burdensome to come up with even one example.

                  And oh, I didn’t say the far left thinks liberals are allies, I said liberals treat the far left as allies. And now that the far left is getting an unusual amount of power within the left, it’s chucking out the mainstream liberals, like the op-ed guy at the NY Times. Other examples? Groups like the ACLU were once proud that they excluded leftist totalitarian Communists from what is supposed to be a civil liberties organization. Then they apologized and let them back in. And now, the ACLU is sliding ever leftwards, and there are few traditional liberal civil libertarians left in the leadership.

                  1. Love it all you want—I ain’t being paid to research you. If you care about how you present yourself and your critical skills, go back and read your past posts yourself.

                    And, yes, I know what you wrote. My point was that it’s silly to think that liberals have regarded the “far left” as allies—again: What is far left? Who makes up the far left? What makes far left different from left (let alone liberal)? This is the kind of lazy rhetoric I’m talking about. The left is no more a monolith than the right. You’re asking the reader to imagine what far left means rather than actually define it—because their treatment has been anything but respectful, as one would expect of allies. What you see as alliance has been appropriation of language, not any kind of meaningful alliance. Leftists know this and so do liberals. If those on the right can’t see it, it’s because their own worldview lumps them together.

                    1. Far left, as I suggested, are “illiberal.” They don’t believe in freedom of speech, don’t believe in due process, don’t believe in freedom of religion (except for religions they approve of, when they approve of them), don’t believe in market economies, and have a romantic view of authoritarian revolutionaries, so long as they play at being anti-American and “for the people.” This isn’t rocket science. Critical Legal Studies and its feminist and race theory offshoots are illiberal. Bernie Sanders at least pretended to be a left-liberal in Congress, but his history of supported extremist parties in Vermont, Castro, sympathy for the USSR, etc. suggest that deep down he is on the far left. The Nation publishes some liberal writers, but for decades it has leaned far left, including its late editor for decades denying that Alger Hiss was a Communist spy and whatnot. There are plenty of examples and so forth one can give. There isn’t always a bright line, but I don’t go around calling someone like Ruth Bader Ginsburg or Bill Clinton “far left,” and, like I said, you won’t find any and can’t find any examples of me doing so. What does happen is I refer specifically to “the far left,” and then some bozo in comments says, “oh, far left, you are calling all liberals far left,” when the whole point of talking about the “far left” is to exclude mainstream liberals.

                    2. Bernstein, when you demand uncritical allegiance to market economies you are essentially calling un-American the entire Democratic Party (with the exception of its most committed plutocrats). Lincoln and Eisenhower couldn’t have passed your test. Your definition of “mainstream liberals,” is a no-true-Scotsman on stilts. That is what people are complaining about. You don’t seem to get it.

                    3. Bernstein, when you demand uncritical allegiance to market economies

                      What are you talking about?

                    4. By your definition of far left, how many of these creatures actually exist in the world rather than in the overheated rhetoric of the right? Do you honestly believe that, to use your example, The Nation is against freedom of speech, due process, religion, the market, and pro-strong man, etc etc? That it is Communist or Communist sympathetic? If you actually believe the Nation “leans far left” and that the New York Times is under siege by genuine totalitarians, this is why your critics here have a hard, if not impossible, time taking you seriously. Far left exists, certainly, but that doesn’t mean you’re not gratuitous as hell about how you regularly apply it.

                    5. We are literally experiencing a wave of violent riots throughout the United States led by far-left agitators, who have enough political pull that quite a few mayors told their police to stand down in response. But you doubt that such creatures even “exist?” LOL

                    6. We are literally experiencing a wave of violent riots throughout the United States led by far-left agitators, who have enough political pull that quite a few mayors told their police to stand down in response.

                      I think I know why you find so much of the media doesn’t report your facts…

                    7. I’m not sure who has more faith in the existence and ever-growing strength of leftist revolutionaries—actual Marxists or the frothing right. Either way, y’all should get together and toast your collective wisdom over the dopey masses. Vive/mort à la révolution!

                  2. “Groups like the ACLU were once proud that they excluded leftist totalitarian Communists from what is supposed to be a civil liberties organization.”

                    Historically speaking, they only did so for the ones who weren’t well disguised, the ACLU was founded by totalitarian leftist Communists. Just ones who understood that their opponents were then in charge of the instruments of oppression, and that promoting tolerance was a good tactic.

                    As soon as they realized their own side now had the power to oppress, they dropped the mask.

              4. A much better question is why the mainstream liberal left for decades has been treating the illiberal left as an ally and the liberal faction of the right (and here I’m using liberal and illiberal in the broad senses) as an enemy

                What “liberal faction of the right?” Names, please, and policy ideas. One thing that is certainly true, and not a matter of opinion,

                And does not this strange small liberal faction of the right treat the crackpot right as an ally? I mean, they’re even nominating Qanon fans for Congress.

                1. Every blogger who I know personally on this blog is “liberal” in the broad sense of the word (believe in free speech, due process, rule of law, freedom of religion, market economy, i.e, the basic tenets of “liberalism,” even if we have a more libertarian or conservative version of it) and for the ones who are law professors, if they were up for a job at a top law school would be far more likely to run into ideological opposition from the mainstream liberals on the faculty than someone with illiberal far left-wing views.

                  1. Just to take an obvious example within my personal knowledge. When, for example, Eugene Volokh is viewed with great ideological suspicion because of his strong, traditionally “liberal” views on free speech, but not someone who thinks that free speech is merely a tool that the ruling class uses to suppress the oppressed, and thus has no weight beyond the instrumental value to “the cause” in any given situation, that is liberals allying with the far left–even though they are much closer in their beliefs to Eugene’s.

                    1. Which, btw, goes to an additional point that I thought about recently, Commentators here will sometimes says, “why is Blogger X focused on some free speech controversy at Harvard, didn’t you hear what happened on some evangelical campus in Omaha.” But not only by profession and “class,” but by our general *liberalism*, we think of the sort of people who run Harvard, or at least used to, as ultimately on the same “team,” and we don’t want those institutions to go “illiberal” (as they have been doing). The president of Bumble Christian U., while he may be a fine guy in his own way, to the extent he’s a theocrat who believes that God’s will should govern society, and if it can’t do that, his university, and accepts students who formally agree to the relevant rules, isn’t part of “our team.” Speaking of reductionism, the notion that libertarians are “right-wing,” and, say, Jerry Falwell, Jr. is right-wing, and therefore we libertarians somehow consider ourselves in any way part of the same ideological cohort represents a complete misunderstanding of how libertarians understand themselves, and, I would argue, how libertarians, or at least the sort of libertarians who populate this blog, actually are.

                    2. Do you contend that the reason conservative-controlled campuses get a pass from the Volokh Conspiracy (and other conservative authors) is that the relevant conservatives are not on the conservative “team,” while the Volokh Conspiracy roasts left-leaning campuses consequent to teamwork or brotherly love?

                      Falwell is on the conservative team on Election Day. Most of conservative-controlled academia — censorship, nonsense, loyalty oaths, conduct codes, rejection of academic freedom, viewpoint-based discrimination in hiring and admissions, etc. — is on the Republican team on Election Day, too. And essentially every other day.

                      That, in my judgment, is the reason the Volokh Conspiracy, FIRE, and similar conservative critics (and ostensible champions of free speech) aim their ire at liberal-libertarian mainstream institutions and largely hold their fire with respect to censorship conducted by conservatives.

          2. Objectively, most of “the media” is owned and controlled by large corporations. Large corporations usually prefer Republicans to be in charge of “regulating” them. From this, you get the invention of “liberal media bias”.

            Back in the 1980’s, conservatives started to find each other using AM talk radio. There was an old rule at that time mandating “equal coverage” in broadcast media, and they decided to ditch that rule so they wouldn’t have to share the AM radio stations.
            So, you had the network stations that generally avoided taking a stand on anything to avoid having to provide free airtime to competing viewpoints, and an array of talk-radio stations that competed among themselves to out-“pure conservative” each other to appeal to the huge rural portions of the country. Some of these jokers got huge syndication deals and were carried on dozens if not hundreds of stations. They all complained of “leftist media” as if they, themselves were not media.

            Meanwhile, constriction of the newspaper business meant that fewer and fewer American cities had more than one newspaper, and the ones that were left tried to reach out to readers on both the left and the right by syndicating opinion columns from writers of both persuasions. The “more pure-conservative-than-thou” voices would label anything that accurately described their heroes’ flaws as biased to the liberals, which is why you can buy a t-shirt that says “reality has a liberal bias”.

            1. Bingo! And that is why the several decades of seemingly unbiased objective news was an anomaly because the government owned airwaves and so anything going over public airwaves had to be seemingly objective. So when most news was disseminated via newspapers everyone understood the newspapers had a point of view and were thus biased. So Google “Francis Preston Blair” who served Andrew Jackson by being a publisher of a Jacksonian newspaper.

              1. “the government owned airwaves and so anything going over public airwaves had to be seemingly objective.”

                Didn’t have to be, but anything like taking sides would be followed by an opportunity for anyone with reasonable differing views could demand equal time. That equal time came out of the time they could sell for advertising, so they didn’t want to have to provide it. Because of that local stations almost never ran editorials. Now, of course, a lot of broadcast stations are controlled by conservatives, and they run editorials that are fixed up to look like news content, but they aren’t produced by the station’s news department.

                You’d think the poor victims of all this liberal media bias would favor the reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine, but no… they’ll scream their little heads off if it were to be reinstated. Just talking about putting it back makes them sweat.

      2. “If you’re a Stalinist, everyone is “right-wing” compared to you. By why on earth would that be the relevant standard?”

        Whereas if you’re an American Republican, everyone on your left is a “Stalinist”. The center is far to the left of you, and you describe it as such.

    4. Yep. This could have shown up on any number of leftist fights about the NYT being the controlled pro-corporate media, covering for Trump and bothsidesing as hard as they can for their corporate masters.

      If both they and Bernstein hate the NYT, makes me think they’re not doing a half bad job.

      1. I’ve heard for decades that the media is “right-wing” because it’s controlled by corporations. The empirical evidence that (A) large public media companies (such as the parent companies of the major news networks, ABC etc) have a “right-wing” agenda; and (B) exercise editorial control over their news divisions to forward that agenda, has always been lacking, though it is true that these media orgs have tended to have a pro-establishment bias, because the establishment is their sources and the people they socialize with. But that bias isn’t ideological, it would be exactly the same if the establishment was full of Bernie Sanders’ clones.

        OTOH, there is, and has been for decades, empirical evidence that 90% plus of elite media types are Democrats, and most of those are pretty liberal. The problem, as noted in my post, is that even if they try to be fair in how they report an event, and from what angle, ideology is bound to impact what they consider important enough to cover to begin with, and what the “news hook” will be.

        Meanwhile, the notion that the Times was “pro-Trump” in 2016 is preposterous. “Not as hostile as if they were openly, explicitly anti-Trump” true. But I had visceral hatred for Trump, and the Times’s coverage in ’16 was such that I almost felt bad for him occasionally b/c reporting on certain stories was so skewed. Then again, as I noted, it was much more balanced than NPR’s coverage, so if you were a Democrat of any stripe listening to NPR than reading the Times, you would consider the Times objectively pro-Trump in comparison.

        1. Publishers are conservative, though.

          Now, I don’t think either group’s political affiliation keeps them from doing a good job. But the right seems to increasingly think that merely being a Democrat means you cannot do your job professionally and will intentionally skew things.

          You don’t seem to be saying that, but you are saying that somehow the unintentional bias has gotten worse not just as a matter of degree but of kind.
          Or, maybe, you’re the one moving (along with much of your party.)

          I have a lot of time for many other circular arguments, but not a lot of time for media bias conversations because they end up being subjective ‘nuh-uh!’ ‘is to!’ that become empty proxy party affiliation fights. For instance, these comments are so much a parade of right-wing grievances. (though better for your engaging, natch)

          1. Which publishers are conservative? Jeff Bezos, owner of the Post? Carlos Slim, majority owner of the Times? The executives at NPR? Who exactly are we talking about?

            As for professionally, the point of my post was that while the Times was always liberal, it had a professional ethos that led it to strive to not be overtly opinionated/biased in its coverage. The liberalism was, as I noted, in what was covered and how, as well as subtleties the reporters themselves likely didn’t notice, like referring to “ultra-conservatives” regularly but not “ultra-liberals.”

            But the Times has lost that ethos, which it’s certainly entitled to do, but we can’t assume that “trying to be professional” any longer means “not expressing controversial, disputed opinions in a news article.”

        2. “OTOH, there is, and has been for decades, empirical evidence that 90% plus of elite media types are Democrats, and most of those are pretty liberal.”

          Can you define what you mean by “elite media types” here? Or maybe link to some of your empirical evidence? Because I’m having a hard time with getting to 90% when I think about everyone on Fox News, OANN, various people on CNBC, conservative columnists of all stripes, the fact that there are some very large conservative internet media companies, and the fact there are even some prominent conservative newspapers.

        3. Oh. And talk radio too.

      2. “People on both sides think they’re doing a terrible job” is not really a great proxy for them doing a good job.

        Also, I’ve noted with amusement multiple times in recent months that RW Trumpkin media has now adopted the language of the left and have been calling the MSM the “corporate media.” (Trump himself is stuck in the early 2000s, and has used the term “lamestream media” a bunch of times in recent months.)

        1. I was more or less being puckish about that bit, but the ‘media so biased’ cry is the cry of the fringe, not any particular political direction.

  20. 20 years ago I read Bernard Goldberg’s ‘Arrogance’ about the media. That opened my eyes. Up until that point I suspected they were bias but didn’t have the confidence to call it out. It didn’t help few people broached and breeched the topic. Heaven forbid you dare think the gatekeepers are actually not so honest. Perish the thought! In fact, it was in my junior high school days I observed the media clearly played favourites as they incessantly bashed Ronald Reagan and Brian Mulroney in my country of Canada. And they still do it with much more gusto now. The masks are off.

    Need we recall the work of Walter Duranty praising communist Soviet Union? He won a Pulitzer. FF to today. The NYT won a pulitzer for its work, get this, on the Russia collusion (or whatever the heck they call it) story. It’s on the level of Obama getting a Nobel peace prize. The whole thing is rotten to its core.

    Awards like that are just trophies handed out to buddies patting each other on the bum for a ‘job well done’.

    Call it for what it is. Go read the bios of the editorial board of the NYT it’s a certifiable mess of social justice mid-wits.

    I’m glad Gareth Jones – a forgotten name in the annals of journalism – is finally getting recognized for his work. He was truly courageous and brave and he paid for it with his life.

    I haven’t read or watched mainstream media in over 25 years. They don’t deserve a single minute of our time. Just look at their behavior with Trump and how they report on the pandemic. Always, always OUT OF CONTEXT. They’re not out for the truth; they want narratives.

    Why do you think there’s such a crack down on alt-media? They *say* because it’s ‘fake news’ and we’re too stupid to tell the difference. Never mind the ‘white supremacist far right extremist’ boogey man running those outlets. It’s projection. THEY want the monopoly on fake news. CNN and MSNBC. Hello.

    You can spot from a mile away how the media is going to spin something. It’s predictable and shameless at the same time to the point I don’t know how a) they look themselves in the mirror and b) anyone takes it seriously.

    Objective my ass.

    Just my two cents. I could be wrong.

    1. I haven’t read or watched mainstream media in over 25 years. They don’t deserve a single minute of our time. Just look at their behavior with Trump and how they report on the pandemic. Always, always OUT OF CONTEXT. They’re not out for the truth; they want narratives.

      You do understand that the first sentence of that paragraph gives the lie to all the other sentences, right?

      1. Lol. I was thinking that but let me clarify.

        It’s not part of the daily info. routine. I do come across articles (usually through places I do read and so I check them out) but I don’t consider them to be a final news source. I do come across the odd decent article. I definitely don’t watch it though other than seeing clips people send me and what not.

        I prefer Reason!

  21. I love the comments to the effect of, Trump’s policies primarily help the super-rich is objective fact not opinion. Well, the article proceeds from the premise that people support candidates whose policies help their economic interests. Trump will almost certainly get b/n 40-50% of the vote in November. Ergo, 40-50% of the voters must be super-rich.

    1. If the poor voted their own self interest Mississippi would be solid blue.

      1. Given that CA cannot keep the lights on, it is in nobody’s interests to vote Dem.

        1. Right, that’s why nobody wants to live in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

          1. They’re practically ghost towns.

      2. West Virginia is the most overtly voting on self interests state—so they take every penny they can get by supporting Democrat senators like Manchin while voting Republican for president based on environmental issues.

      3. People arguing politics who think that some of their opponents vote against their own self interests – do not comprehend the very people they are arguing should be on their side. It’s dismissive and arrogant.

        More than that, it displays an inherent lack of faith in the agency of these people to decide for themselves what is best for them in their own individual situation. At the same time, it displays a complete lack of understanding or empathy about what those people value. And you wonder why you lost their vote.

    2. “Trump will almost certainly get b/n 40-50% of the vote in November. Ergo, 40-50% of the voters must be super-rich.”

      Alternatively, you could explain in full… Trump’s policies primarily are designed to help Trump, and people who are stupid support this.
      All of a sudden, 40-50% of the vote represents people who bought into Trump-brand bullshit. After all, he says he’s going to sign a healthcare law better than Obamacare on day one, and he wouldn’t say that if it wasn’t ready to go. Then, the Republicans came up with a plan that was so self-evidently inferior, they couldn’t even get Republicans to vote for it. And trade wars are easy to win, unless you’re a soybean farmer, in which case the federal largesse will have to do. And the whole “kids in cages” plan seemed like such a good one when they started it, and it worked great until people found out about it.

  22. I want to add.

    I don’t think partisan journalism or bias is necessarily bad either. Just spare us the ‘we’re objective’ line. It’s not the case.

    Fox admits its conservative. Maybe the rest can be more honest with themselves and just admit they lean ‘liberal’ (whatever that means anymore).

    Just be up front about it I say. People can decide the rest.

    1. “Fox admits its conservative. ”

      By declaring itself “fair and balanced”? Which it did for years?

      They run news and commentary. Most of the personalities the channel is known for do not do news.

      1. Since Bannon is in the news again I will point out he was involved in Citizens United and the actual movie involved in Citizens United was just conservative pundits attacking Hillary like you could see on any night on Fox News. So in 2008 Obama benefited from the right wing smear machine betting Hillary would win the nomination. So one of the Republican smear merchants that wrote the “definitive” Obama book somehow forgot to include a chapter about how Obama was born in Kenya and ineligible to be president…oops!

        1. There were plenty of others to pick up the complaint. They also pivoted nicely from complaining that the pastor of his church in Chicago was extremist to complaining that he was so obviously a muslim

      2. I thought it was ‘We report. You decide’.

  23. The Times “news story” that purports to find it surprising that the ultra wealthy are not supporting Trump reminds me of that other NYT news story by Fox Butterfield that found it surprising that crime rates were falling even though the number of people being sent to prison was increasing.

  24. It’s been true for many years that the media in this country is largely indistinguishable from Pravda in 1980.

    1. Pravda translating as State-sanctioned “Truthiness,” yes?

      But think back over the decades and couple of centuries before 1980, and you might see how our press and media have always hewed to partisan and private interest-serving narratives. Of course, only in recent years has the government made propagandizing the American public formally legal.

  25. The old canard, that accurate criticism of Republicans can only be the result of a “liberal bias”, surfaces again.

    1. Nobody is buying what you’re selling. You can’t gaslight us into thinking it’s just “accurate criticism of Republicans”. We have seen through the lies and will never accept Democrat majority rule.

      1. “We will never accept Democrat majority rule.”

        What’s that supposed to mean?

        1. As he said, he’s against reality. Which is not really my problem. Reality can take care of itself.

      2. “We have seen through the lies and will never accept Democrat majority rule.”

        The liberal-libertarian mainstream has been shaping American progress for the entirety of your life, Art Kumquat.

        Culture wars have consequences, and you therefore have been complying with the preferences of your betters throughout your life, and — unless you choose to go “the full LaVoy” — you will continue to comply for the rest of your life.

        You get to complain about it — whine, mutter, rant, whimper, wear a goofy hat — as much as you like, but you will toe the line, clinger.

        1. hey I saw some of my betters kicking a white guy in the head after he was on the ground and shooting a 5 year old white boy in the head for riding his racist bike. Culture War winners!

    2. It’s a news story. The question isn’t whether any particular person thinks criticism of a candidate or party is correct. The question is why there is criticism in a news story. It’s totally against the Times’ former ethos.

  26. “There is No ‘Straight News’ Anymore.”

    And, the NYT doesn’t use “gay” to mean happy, anymore. Ah, how the Times change/s.

    Am I the only here who believes the one constant we can count on is that our press has always been partisan and leading, sometimes more subtly than other times, even while reporting, er, “hard” news?

    1. There’s an old movie, frequently the first mentioned, when discussing the greatest movies of all time, that delves into the power of news companies to sway politics, and the corrupting nature of that power to turn naifs starting out into cynical manipulators.

      I even hear there’s a scene where one guy mails back to the big boss a torn up “declaration of principles” decades later.

      They also have a scene where the paper’s manipulations of an election fail, and instead of the “Kane Wins!” headline mockup, they sadly go to the backup “Fraud at Polls!”.

    2. The difference between the past and now is that there have been multiple angles to the partisanship. In other words, while some media outlets leaned one way a nearly equal number leaned the other. Today there is arguably one mainstream media outlet siding with the red team and all others lean blue.

  27. The NYTs and the WP cannot be fairly characterized as other than propaganda pumps.

    1. Our press are nothing but propaganda pimps, I mean pumps, right and left.

      The term “press” connotes a push or molding influence.
      Pressing a suit is akin to ironing out a wrinkle-free position or suing for a one-sided result.

      1. “The term ‘press’ connotes a push or molding influence.”

        In a working printing press, ink is pressed against paper to make printed pages. If you’re taking “molding influence from that, that’s YOUR problem.

        1. Oh, sure, the press never tries to shape opinion or influence, James Pollock. You’re a real genius for knowing that and how ink and paper are pressed into print. I had no idea, had to look it up to verify your grade school insight.

          Reality, fun association, and subliminal meanings in language aren’t your thing, fine. Or should I say that’s YOUR problem? The nasty isn’t enjoyable.

          1. “The nasty isn’t enjoyable.”

            That’s your husband’s problem, not mine.

  28. None of this is in any way new.

    The NYT has long had only a *pretense* of objectivity, presumably thinking that overtly subjective news would be less convincing. The only news is that they have decided to give up the charade altogether.

  29. There’s a lot wrong with American journalism, including at the NYT. But to characterize the media or the Times as liberal is to oversimplify to a degree that makes the statement just wrong. Sure, on “culture war” issues the Times is probably liberal. But on economic matters or foreign-policy matters, it’s hard to say that they lean liberal at all.

    A fair person reviewing the media coverage of the elections in 2000 and 2016 would have to conclude that the media are, if anything, biased toward Republicans.

    1. Indeed. Reporters tend liberal (after all, they have to report on actual facts) but to avoid the accusation of liberal bias they tend to bend over backwards.

      1. Thanks, I am about to go to sleep, and that gave me a good laugh before I doze off.

        1. As did the previous comment that big media isn’t liberal on economics at all. I’ll contemplate that while recalling the NPR story about how much better off the Chinese people were when they lived on collective farms and had “free” medical care.

          1. Well don’t drink coffee! It won’t help you sleep. Try warmed up milk. Yes, it sounds like a baby, but it really is best. Better than alcohol, though it might not seem so at first.

          2. Try reading Bob Somerby’s painstaking accounts of the media’s reporting in 2000 and tell me that the press leans liberal.

    2. But on economic matters or foreign-policy matters, it’s hard to say that they lean liberal at all.

      In 1987, the NYT ran an editorial correctly noting that the right minimum wage is $0. Maybe at that point one could argue that they didn’t lean liberal on economics (though that’s of course only a single data point). It is now more than 3 decades later, though, and they’re pushing for a massive bump in the minimum wage; they support rent control (and heavy regulation of the rental market), Obamacare, higher taxes, and more regulation of the economy across the board. Why exactly do you find it hard to say that they lean liberal on economic matters?

      1. It all depends on your baseline. I think it’s fair to say that the mainstream economic thinking in the 80s was much less liberal than our thinking nowadays.

  30. OK, now tell me how it is a left wing bias to report that Trump accuses the FDA of stopping coronavirus testing . . . when in fact that is exactly what he said.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/2020/08/22/politics/trump-fda-coronavirus-vaccine/index.html?espv=1

  31. When The Times has lost David Bernstein, it’s lost America.

    1. Or, to look at it a different way, they’ve lost nothing. They never had him.

      1. That’s the joke. It was a callback to the ancient philosopher, Ouranos of Kerr, who is reported to have said in one of the early VC chronicles — and I can’t believe I can’t Google a link to it — “When Obama’s lost Bernstein, he’s lost America.”

  32. No shit. I mean, the dude who wrote this article suddenly realized this.

  33. Professor Bernstein…There is an additional aspect regarding NYT that I am compelled to point out. I have not seen anyone remark on this…Namely, the shift of the NYT in the last few years toward anti-Israel bias generally, and antisemitic attitudes toward staff specifically.

    The example of Bari Weiss is relevant here. To me, Bari Weiss is the canary in the coal mine. Her departure statement was quite pointed, specific and accurate. She has correctly called out the ‘Groupthink’ that exists at the NYT. An examination of Slack chat logs will easily show this to be the case. BDS support is nearly universal in the newsroom, and NYT editorial pages apparently endorse it. Just look at the editorials that came out during Cast Lead and Protective Edge. Frankly, I was aghast.

    I worry about this development, the antisemitic attitudes of the staff, and outright support and endorsement of BDS. It does not bode well for the NYT, the media, or my country for that matter.

    1. It’s a particular sort of antisemitism… it’s okay to be Jewish, but only if you accept the currently woke ideological vogue on issues related to Jews. And entirely. Weiss was on-board with wildly exaggerated any Trump connection to antisemitism, but not with mindless Israel-bashing, so she had to be canceled.

    2. Bari Weiss has been the grievance-consumed malcontent who leaves in a self-righteous, loud huff at every stage of her adolescent and adult life — high school, college, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times. Her marriage didn’t last, either.

      The Times was foolish to hire her. I suspect her record, now more widely known, will close most mainstream doors and relegate her to posting at crank websites — until she inherits from her parents, and can opine about what’s wrong with modern, mainstream America from a vanity website while cashing dividend checks.

  34. Journalists (almost uniformly victims of progressive educators) are mostly perceived as creditable only by other victims of progressive educators.

    1. Except, of course, for the journalists YOU like, of course.

  35. How can you possibly think that the NYTimes was NOT bias? It’s been bias going back to cover up for Stalin.

    https://reason.com/2020/06/27/the-medias-role-in-concealing-stalins-evils-exposed-in-mr-jones/

  36. Want an example of how far newspapers have come in commingling fact and opinion? In the mid-70s, I worked at a mid-sized paper. My cousin needed a kidney transplant, and in support, I put a bumper sticker on my car that read, “Have a Heart, Give a Kidney.” My editor called me in and said I had to remove the sticker or I couldn’t park in the company lot because the sticker expressed an opinion that not everyone would share and the paper couldn’t be seen to be taking sides. Silly? Maybe, but the paper had a clear line that its reporters and editors were neutral observers who presented facts to readers, who could form their own opinions. It seems to me the media today don’t trust readers/viewers to form the “correct” opinions, i.e., the opinions held by the journalists. (Note that journalists have always been able to subtly to affect the tone of a story, by choosing a “loaded” rather than a neutral word, placing a story where it would be seen by more or fewer readers, or using unflattering photos. Those aren’t the methods the NY Times and outer media are using.)

    1. ” (Note that journalists have always been able to subtly to affect the tone of a story, by choosing a “loaded” rather than a neutral word, placing a story where it would be seen by more or fewer readers, or using unflattering photos. Those aren’t the methods the NY Times and outer media are using.)”

      You seem unclear on the role of “editor”.

      1. I’m not seeing a lot of evidence that there’s still “editing” going on.

  37. We are literally experiencing a wave of violent riots throughout the United States led by far-left agitators, who have enough political pull that quite a few mayors told their police to stand down in response.

    If you think that is reality, Prof. Bernstein, then no wonder you have an issue with the media.

    1. Explain what’s incorrect in my statement.

      1. 1) not a waive; largely nonviolent protests, not riots.

        2) not lead by far-left agitators. While you can find some radical statements, violence has generally been spontaneous.

        3) state and local deescalation efforts have no causal relationship with the far left.

        1. The fact that protests have been “largely nonviolent” does not in any way contradict the fact that there has also been a “wave of violent riots throughout the United States.
          “Spontaneous” violence is contradicted by people who show up giving out shields and other riot gear, and the notion that stand-down orders in places like Seattle have nothing to do with politicians wishing to express solidarity with the far left is ridiculous.

          But thanks for playing.

          1. I challenge your use of the preset perfect progressive. I don’t think whatever violence occurred lasted on a national level more than a week or two.

            People giving out shields in the protests is not evidence of left-wing agitators organizing the riots.

            An appeal to incredulity is a telling fallacy to employ.

            1. “People giving out shields in the protests is not evidence of left-wing agitators organizing the riots.”

              Nobody has wires hooked up to your genitals. There are no rat cages in evidence. You don’t have to keep fearfully reciting, “I see five fingers! Five!”. It’s a bad look.

              1. Brett, you see hidden leftist schemes behind everything. Forgive me if I’m not as full of paranoia as you are.

                1. You’ve literally got proof of pre-arranged logistics, and you deny that anybody is organizing the riots?

                  Hypothetically, what would you require in the way of proof?

                  1. Remember when people were finding bricks in construction sites and the right said it was proof of pre-arranged logistics? That turned out to be paranoid nonsense. Not that such would make you more careful.

                    The Internet means you can share information about how to defend against police batons and stuff without there being any kind of top-down plot. Might make you think about what the police are doing that there’s a need for such protective gear (note the lack of offensive gear)

                    As to what would be proof left-wing agitators are behind all the violence, in this day and age you’d need money flows or a confession or something that would stand up in court. Right now you don’t even have circumstantial evidence, just your (and Prof. Bernstein’s) narrative.

                    1. Money flows or a confession. Gotcha.

                      We’ll see: Project Legend may lead to that, as people start doing plea deals.

                    2. Same as proving any conspiracy.

                    3. I would distinguish between “proving a conspiracy”, and “proving specific people were in on it”; For the former, you just need evidence of coordination and advance preparation. For the latter, tracking the money flows would be handy.

                      Like I said, Operation Legend looks like the start on this; You can only do so much digging on a group without having members you can tighten the thumbscrews on. (To preempt the obvious: Metaphorical thumbscrews.) Capture enough low level people and put them in serious legal jeopardy, and some of them are likely to give you solid leads on people higher up.

                    4. Proving a conspiracy without attaching it to anyone is not a normal exercise.

                      Ends up with appeals to incredulity.

  38. On a related note, I was looking at the Sunday TV listings in the Times this weekend, and noted that Gone with the Wind will be on TCM. The Times gives it a star (i.e. recommended), and the review is “Margaret Mitchell’s Old South classic. Forever young.”

    That prompted me to pen the following email (with a screenshot of the page):

    “Apparently, the Times has not had someone scrub their canned movie reviews lately. There should be some good letters to the editor coming out of this. I wonder if anyone will get fired.

    I am also kind of surprised TCM is showing it. Someone will probably get fired there too.”

    1. Call back when they run Disney’s “Song of the South”.

    2. Please report back on what the mandatory lecture scene was like; I’m curious.

      1. I didn’t watch it, so I cannot comment — I have been busy with Better Call Saul and The Blacklist.

        I did notice that the blurb on the scrolling channel guide was considerably “woker”.

  39. I’ve seen a bias in the news ever since Nixon. As a young Liberal I remember being confused over what President Nixon had done that was so terrible. His cover up of a break in of the DNC was little more than a fraternity prank, yet the media reported on it as if it were proof of murder or cannibalism. There was a drumbeat that “it wasn’t the crime that was terrible, but the cover up.” And then years later the media starts covering up real Democrat atrocities.
    You see, even as a young Liberal I had a sense of justice and honesty… which explains why I am no longer a Liberal.

    1. cover up of a break in of the DNC was little more than a fraternity prank

      This may be one of the few places you’ll find a Nixon defender in the wild.

      1. No, they’re out there. Barr and Stone are among the most well-known out there but there are plenty who still believe Nixon got a raw deal. In fact, I think at least some of the GOP’s zeal in going after Dem presidents the last several decades has been an attempt to even the score over Nixon. However, none of them pretend they “were” liberal. The only thing missing from this guy’s gag is the “I voted for Obama twice, but now I’m disillusioned” stuff.

  40. To be clear, this is the Bias Media that made “emails” subjects number 1-10 of the 2016 election, far beyond the actual news value of the story and far above any and all of the uniquely questionable aspects of candidate Trump? And the same Bias Media that treats this administration’s malfeasance, negligence, and incompetence as so much “Yeah, it’s bad but whaddya gonna do”?

    A week after Trump publicly boasts about his vandalism of the USPS for his own electoral goals and NYT op-Ed still hadn’t written a word against or for it. The SIC report puts the lie to Trump’s “hoax” claims and the Bias Media yawns.

    But yes, a paper stating the objective fact that the GOP belongs to Trump, and that the parties sole policy position beside “white power” appears to be “funnel as much wealth upward as we can” is evidence there’s just no straight news no more.

  41. This sort of thing is in nearly every liberal media article I’ve ever read, it seems, since high school.

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