Latest update: April 24th, 2012
That the Times has increasingly blurred the line that, in theory at least, separates opinion from reporting should be obvious to anyone without a ‘vacancy’ sign between his or her ears. Why, the Times’s own managing editor, Bill Keller, let slip an admission of his paper’s sneaky subjectivity in a recent interview with Washington Post media columnist Howard Kurtz.
Commenting on the Times’s series on race in America, Keller said that what made the project unique was the decision not to have each article ‘build up to a fourth or fifth paragraph where the writer stood back, cleared his throat and told you what to think. We trusted readers would draw their own conclusions and maybe disagree.’
Instead, the Times – with its trademark deference to the sensitivities of what its editorial writers would no doubt call ‘the minority community’ – chose to describe the events in Cincinnati with innocuous euphemisms like ‘sporadic protests and vandalism.’
U.S. News columnist John Leo observed with disgust that the Times’s neutered language -doesn’t more than 100 homes and businesses set on fire or ‘the bullets whizzing by my head,’ as one resident put it.”
To better understand just how distorted a picture of the riots the Times gave its readers, consider this uncensored account by columnist Michelle Malkin in the New York Post:
‘In multiple scenes reminiscent of the brutal attack on white driver Reginald Denny during the 1992 Los Angeles riots, black Cincinnati rioters beat and bloodied white motorists. The assailants hurled cement bricks at their victims as they drove by, and used baseball bats and bottles to damage their cars. WCPO-TV reported that ‘Protesters pulled several drivers out of their cars and hit them and their vehicles with bricks, rocks and glass.”
The Times, by contrast, basically shrugged off the bloody mayhem with the inane statement that groups of young blacks had merely ‘alarmed whites.’
John Leo put it best: ‘Because the Times smothered the news instead of reporting it, readers had almost no clue about the ferocity of what was happening in Cincinnati.’
And Jackie Mason had it exactly right when, in a momentary fit of seriousness, he urged the Times to change its slogan from ‘All the News That’s Fit to Print’ to ‘All the News That Fits Our Agenda.’
Jason Maoz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.
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