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Pot. Kettle. Well, you know.

Isn't there something a little unseemly about the New York Times gloating about media bias? It's one thing to write a story about Roger Ailes, the head of Fox News Channel, providing advice to the president, and pointing out that this creates the appearance of impropriety. (Of course, the Times did that also.) But to add a second piece saying "Gotcha"?

The revelation that Roger Ailes, the chairman of Fox News, the self-proclaimed fair and balanced news channel, secretly gave advice to the White House after the Sept. 11 attacks was less shocking than it was liberating a little like the moment in 1985 when an ailing Rock Hudson finally explained that he had AIDS.

Ever since Mr. Ailes changed jobs from Republican strategist to news executive, he has demanded to be treated as an unbiased journalist, not a conservative spokesman. But the cable channel he controls has an undisguised ideological agenda, which has made his protestations a bit puzzling.

For the record, I agree with these comments -- but they apply equally to Howell Raines' New York Times, as bloggers from Ira Stoll to Andrew Sullivan to Susanna Cornett have documented extensively. They spin polls, ignore inconvenient facts, and slant their reporting.

Case in point:

Even the most doctrinaire Democrats would concede that there is room in the United States news media for a conservative cable news network. What galled even some right wingers was Mr. Ailes's refusal to accept the label.
Of course. Which "right wingers" were "galled"? The simple way to prove you're not biased, as every Washington insider knows: claim that people on the other side of the aisle agree with you. The problem is that the Times keeps getting caught falsely attributing opinions to people -- remember the Henry Kissinger fiasco? So now they just cite anonymous people.

And, the icing on the ironic cake is that the editorial was (as usual for the new New York Times) stuck into the news section. (This time, with the odd label "An Appraisal," instead of the more typical "News Analysis.") If Howell Raines wants to express an opinion, can't he do it on the Op/Ed page?


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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 19, 2002 10:45 PM.

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