June 2, 2017

"'Sad.' - to put this in modern Trumpian vernacular. I don't know what the NYT is turning into, but..."

"... it is losing that high-quality veneer that I used to sense when I first fell in love with this paper years ago. As a mid-30s age conservative I have often disagreed with 90 percent of the content of this paper, but that hasn't stooped [sic] me from loving it out of the sheer literary and intellectual quality. That aura is slipping. Some devilish, penny-saving, top-down, 'cutting-edge' algorithm seems to be dragging this paper into the pop-up ad, cheapo swamp of modern online journalism; valuing shiny click-bait multi-media, and poll-tested, echo-chamber-friendly, OBVIOUS content, over brave, individualistic, ORIGINAL, human brilliance. The purging of the public-editor is just another brick in the wall."

Writes Jack M, in what is the third-most-favorited comment on "The Public Editor Signs Off," the last Public Editor column in the NYT.

63 comments:

Jupiter said...

If the thing that bothers "a mid-30s age conservative" about the New York Times is the pop-up ads, conservatism isn't what it used to be.

rcocean said...

Another "Brick in the wall".

Pop culture reference?

rcocean said...

I can remember when the NYT could stuffy and pompous but somewhat intelligent. America's "Newspaper of Record".

That's gone now.

chuck said...

The veneer started peeling off back in 1994. I would have been happy to subscribe to the NY Times if it had continued to be a newspaper, quality journalism is hard to find. But is was already rolling downhill by 1998 when I had to go to the British and French papers to find coverage of the Kosovo War. IIRC, the excuse the Times offered was that is was too dangerous to send their precious reporters to the theater. By 2003 it was sll over, the paper was already ranked down at number seven and shooting for double figures.

rcocean said...

Reminds me of the William Shawn New Yorker vs. what it is now.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

I first fell in love with this paper years ago. As a mid-30s age conservative

Chuck's son?

tcrosse said...

Back in the day, someone said the the NYT was not edited; it was compiled. Now it's curated.

tim maguire said...

rcocean said...I can remember when the NYT could stuffy and pompous but somewhat intelligent.

2 out of 3 ain't bad.

roesch/voltaire said...

Yep that article on dozens of Middlebury College students being disciplined for their roles in shutting down a speech by Charles Murrary which presented his quote about the farce of the actions was an example of poor reporting and pop culture- not.The NYT continues to hire some of the best most recently Maggie Haberman, who even Trump respects for fair and accurate reporting.

chuck said...

> most recently Maggie Haberman

Maggie Haberman, famously scooped by Cernovich, who accused her of sitting on the Rice unmasking story.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

This alias is usually a lot funnier when the Stern show uses it to make calls.

Jack Mayhoff should stick to the phone.

Michael said...

He is right, of course. I take the paper and read it maybe three times a week when I remember. For many years it had great book reviews but little by little that feature shrank to a mediocrity. I now rely on the WSJ, FT and the TLS for book reviews. It is amusing to read, very carefully, the articles on Trump or any other topic with a lefty agenda and note the number of anonymous sources or "many says" there are in there. Sad is right.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

I've never been a NYT reader but the problem there as in many other facets of American life is the vanishing liberal. But I see there is a Liberal Party up in Canada now, so maybe we're not going away after all.

roesch/voltaire said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
roesch/voltaire said...

Chuck just remember Cernovich has vowed to release all the dirt in the Trump administration-- the drugs and sex parties etc, if Bannon is let go-- so if he is such a great reporter why is he sitting on these stories? One scoop does not a good journalist make. We will be reading Habermas's stories in the future more often the Cernovich I predict.

Unknown said...

So apparently the NYT just openly named the CIA's top spy in Iran, deliberately outing him. Apparently he's the same guy who managed to track down Bin Laden, and the NYT spilled his name and his position, the chief of station.

Treason. Pure and Simple, Treason.

--Vance

Leigh said...

Third "most-favorited" comment by NYT readers or the NYT?

Etienne said...

I used to write letters to our local paper, which was before the Internet. Then the paper was substantial still, in thickness, and volume of stories.

My first letter didn't get published. I analyzed why they published the letters they did. It dawned on me, that I would have to polish my work a bit better. Number one, if the letter needed editing, then it was tossed.

This is true of most magazines. They don't have time to edit. I have written two magazine articles, and they were printed as received. If they did need editing, then I'm positive they would have been rejected.

So it was great satisfaction to not only get my letter in the paper, but also the fact that I had passed the test. I think picking a topic is probably the most important, but writing about that topic in two or three sentences was very satisfying.

For my magazine articles, I probably spent a whole month on them. Many revisions. I mean I probably spent 8 hours total, but then I would put it aside for a week, to see what it tasted like a week later.

rhhardin said...

I got several letters, perhaps a half dozen, into the WSJ, in the 70s. The trick was aim for the column-inch filler market. Short. Zinger.

rhhardin said...

My favorite NYT columns, from the 90s, when they'd have interesting stuff.

https://www.nytimes.com/1998/11/09/nyregion/the-big-city-monkey-business-strippers-testosterone-and-the-dow.html

https://www.nytimes.com/1997/09/13/nyregion/diana-s-death-resonates-with-women-in-therapy.html

though John and Ken (KFI Los Angeles) are the ones who found them for me. Nobody actually reads the NYT.

Sam L. said...

I have to admit that I have missed that claimed literary and intellectual power every single time I've looked at the NYT.

Unknown said...

"""The special counsel investigating possible ties between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia’s government has taken over a separate criminal probe involving former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and may expand his inquiry to investigate the roles of the attorney general and deputy attorney general in the firing of FBI Director James Comey, The Associated Press has learned."""

Flynn + Manafort + Sessions + Kushner = Trump

Michael K said...

"I used to write letters to our local paper, which was before the Internet."

I used to write letters to the LA Times and the columnists actually had email addresses posted so you could contact them directly. That was about 1994. I remember having a good exchange with a lady who wrote about the decision of the LAUSD to end pre-algebra in the school curriculum. The decision was called " Every student should have a chance to fail algebra."

I do not recognize the old LA Times.

madAsHell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alice Aforethought said...

I will keep my $1 per week .edu subscription but I find that I am only reading the sports, food and Sunday science and book sections.
The opinion page is indistinguishable from the front page and I have already read it.

Mark said...

I have to admit that I have missed that claimed literary and intellectual power every single time I've looked at the NYT.

Apparently, Sam, you are not pretentious and snooty enough to get it.

Ken B said...

That, and the fakery. I don't think the NYT has sunk to the level of fake news the WaPo has, but that's a low bar.

Alex said...

So Trump gets elected last November and the leftist butthurt continues unabated. That's all I got from this. Wah wah, whine whine.

Mark said...

The NYT has already published pieces stating that basic journalistic ethics do not apply when it comes to covering Trump. It has also been outed by inside sources that editorial management determines the narrative first and then tells its staff to go out and write stories that fit the narrative, rather than simply going out and finding the facts and reporting on them.

Henry said...

The purging of the public-editor is just another brick in the wall.

That's an awesome mixed metaphor.

Henry said...

That's one way to liven up two tired metaphors.

StoughtonSconnie said...

My first exposure to the NY Times in physical form was as a freshman at the UW in 1988. Back then, the news division played it (relatively) straight, and though the editorial page was heavily left, you could still read a real conservative (William Safire) in there from time-to-time. I would read the times for news and the Wall Street Journal (and Badger Herald) for opinion.

My recollection is that the 1992 election was the first time I really noticed that the news part of the Times was starting to clearly take sides. By '94, it was all over but for the token conservative opinion piece, and now even the token conservatives are not recognizable as conservative.

n.n said...

The big story to come from Water Closet and the Nigerian Phishing Expedition is, first, that neither dead Soviets nor a disenfranchised Democrat now deceased are hiding under Democratic beds, and, second, that the press is not what they once were, if ever.

Comanche Voter said...

Hey it's the Dean Baquet way. He did much the same thing at the Los Angeles Times--well the Times wasn't much in the way of a serious newspaper when Baquet showed up--but it was a heck of a lot less so by the time Baquet left.

wildswan said...

I stayed with print media till Katrina. Online the Katrina coverage included a story with 150 pictures about how the storm came, passed, things seemed OK, water was seen creeping in, and then finally evacuation. Meanwhile the NYT (as I remember it) had one picture whose meaning was that President Bush was to blame. That's when I realized that collecting news off the internet results in a richer content with better writers and tons more analysis and all points of view represented. I don't think the NYT can ever match all that. It would have an overwhelming problem even if it hadn't throttled its "news" down to a thin trickle of fact between high frowning walls of bias.

Fen said...

The NUTs is purely a propaganda operation. I wouldn't be at all surprised to discover its a front for certain inteigence agencies, as their chummy relationship with Deep State sources often seems a bit too convenient and coincidental.

The idea dovetails too, as the NYTs in an international paper, so why not use its pages to promote American interests.

One thing to be wary of - if you are reading very sophisticated propaganda as an exercise in opposition research, you must guard your mind carefully, put up a few firewalls, because really good propaganda has a way of seeping into your subconconscious and clouding your perspective.

I think CS Lewis said, based on experience from analyzing Evil in the Screwtape Letters, that if one dines with the Devil they should use a long spoon. Same principle applies here.

I used to read the NYTs daily several years ago. Like it was Pravda, reading between the lines to find out what the Party Statements were implying (Comrade Ivan now unperson, avoid him.) and what talking points were going to be floated this week.

But more recently it got to the point where I couldn't tell if the author was merely putting their own spin on the facts or making up facts from thin air. The NYTs had become fiction.

And I like stompy robots and lots of sex in my fiction.
@

Sebastian said...

"Some devilish, penny-saving, top-down, 'cutting-edge' algorithm" Now that's a funny way of describing the downfall of a prog propaganda rag.

Among their more vile actions of recent years, just one of many, is the completely gratuitous exposure of the Swift anti-terror financing program in 2006 -- the sort of thing for which we would have nailed any foreign spy or government.

They have no conscience and don't give a damn about the country. That is also the essential weakness of the American elite displayed for all our adversaries to see in the Russia "collusion" insanity.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

The field of Whats-Happnin-Now suppliers has become more crowded, what with the internet and cable TV.

One strategy for legacy suppliers would be to specialize - narrow down the fields of coverage. Be the best in a small number of areas.

Another strategy for the NYT would be to continue covering everything - book reviews, fashion, sports, life styles, movies, art, politics - but not very well.

The NYT chose to become a large East Coast version of the Huffington Post.

J Lee said...

Really, you can go back to the 1950s and the rise of the alternative press in New York -- the Village Voice showed up to promote advocacy journalism on the left, because enough people in New York weren't satisfied with the New York Times' bland Page 1 liberalism. There was a separation between the op-ed and news pages of the Times for years, and those who demanded the type of advocacy journalism where the heroes and villains are starkly delineated for the readers hated the paper (and managing editor Abe Rosenthal) for not going all-in on it.

Pinch did, once he took over from his dad as publisher of the Times in the early 1990s. That's when the op-ed page's ideology was allowed to overtly migrate over to Page 1, and that pattern got even worse after the election of 2000, before going off the rails even before Election Day last year. The Times basically has become what the Village Voice's founders wished it was 60 years ago, and the paper's much the worse for the advocacy journalism its now featuring.

Limited blogger said...

Jack M, get out while you can, man.

Sydney said...

I started reading it as a freshman in college in 1980. Read it every day at the library. I loved the variety and depth of the stories. I stopped reading it in the early 2000's, when they ran a front page story about economic hardship. The focus was on a woman who could only afford to buy herself one pair of designer jeans for Christmas. No joke.

Nyamujal said...

The NYT was established in 1851 while the role of public editor was established in 2003.
Man, they probably had Brietbart's editorial standards prior to 2003, right?

StephenFearby said...

"Spayd, a former managing editor of The Washington Post, was [fired by eliminating her position] in the middle of a two-year contract, set to expire in 2018." (Politico)

31-year-old Former NFL All-Pro corner back Darrelle Revis was also cut (fired) a few months ago by the NY Jets The Jets will pay him $6 million for not playing for their team anymore. Revis' contract was set to expire in 2019.

The difference between the two situations: Revis got cut for being too old (or too overweight) to cover wide receivers very well. In the eyes of Pinch and Baquet, Spayd simply had gotten too uppity.

Vanity Fair had a long piece describing Pinch's many shortcomings in 2009 titled:

THE INHERITANCE
http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2009/05/new-york-times200905

His farcical explanation for getting rid of the Public Editor's position is just another example of his penchant for making very bad decisions.

I used to revere the Times before it morphed into Pravda light.

LordSomber said...

It's been a sport reading the NYT and finding 'outrageous' stories "In the age of Trump."

I haven't bought a newspaper in decades. (Free papers on campus -- yay!).

Take a wild guess where I work.

Lewis Wetzel said...

Wrong, "Unknown"!
Flynn + Manafort + Sessions + Kushner = FlynnManafortSessionsKushner.
We need better Lefty commenters. I mean, that was child's play. I'm surprised The Cardinal missed it.

Fen said...

I often wonder what 7 months of sustained outrage coupled with alternate realities is doing to the neural pathways of Left.

It can't be healthy.

What do you think they will be once they come out of it?

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exiledonmainstreet said...

Fen said...
I often wonder what 7 months of sustained outrage coupled with alternate realities is doing to the neural pathways of Left.

It can't be healthy.

What do you think they will be once they come out of it?

6/2/17, 10:16 PM

I think Ritmo was angry in the womb. He didn't have enough elbow room. It was a great injustice and clearly the fault of the GOP.

Achilles said...

The NYT's is owned by the oligarchs, and says what the Oligarchs want to be said. It shapes the news around their agenda. The NYT's is a tool. Nothing more.

Fen said...

"Take a wild guess where I work"

Campus library?

Crazy Jane said...

The point of view always was understood, but the news coverage now amounts almost entirely of marching orders from the East Coast echo chamber, matchin the approach by the Washington Post and overmatched by the now-unreadable LA Times. The problem is not the point of view or even the tone, but that if something really bad is done by our government, these outlets will be the boys who cried wolf 1,000 times too often. "This time we really mean it," will not resonate with the broader audience.

The book section is now very weak, a reflection of the tastes of the same Brooklyn coterie. The fashion reporting (which matters to me) is much less thoughtful since Cathy Horyn left. Arts coverage is still very good, but I don't understand why Christopher Isherwood had to walk the plank. The features sections are full of memoir pieces by self-absorbed young adults who really need to get out more.

In a word, insular.

Clyde said...

It's just Pravda-On-the-Hudson, people.

Fen said...

Yup. And while I appreciate Althouse being the court poison taster, there really is no need. The NYTs is fiction. I don't really care to waste time parsing their latest analysis because it's all from an alternate reality.

Her time would be better spent disecting a few good sci-fi books for us. Preferably ones with stompy robots.

exhelodrvr1 said...

The New York Times what never what it was claimed to be - there just weren't alternatives available to point that out like there are today.

JPS said...

Unknown (Vance), 5:57 PM:

"So apparently the NYT just openly named the CIA's top spy in Iran, deliberately outing him."

This one is really shocking to me. What's worse is that anyone in a position to know would have leaked this information. About the one thing I can say in fractional defense of the NYT's action is that if the information was insecure enough to reach them, it was insecure enough to reach the Iranians and he might have met a very nasty end there.

I want to know - no, I don't; I don't need to; that's just rhetorical - who knew this information and was in position to blow it. I want the leaker identified and nailed to the wall. And I sincerely hope someone with the access, the authority and the determination is working on that.

Big Mike said...

I see that the Times just outed a genuinely covert CIA agent. I think water boarding everyone who works for the Times all the way down to janitor would be a good start on the investigation into that leak.

Matthew Sablan said...

The NYT is, essentially, part of the #Resistance. If that's what they want to be, OK, but that's not how you grow a brand where your only real area of growth is with people you are trying to #Resist.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Blogger Nyamujal said...
The NYT was established in 1851 while the role of public editor was established in 2003.
Man, they probably had Brietbart's editorial standards prior to 2003, right?
6/2/17, 9:35 PM

Naw, no flies on them:

http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F40810F83B5E10738DDDAB0A94DE405B8585F0D3

Mmm, mmm, mmm.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Big Mike,

I think water boarding everyone who works for the Times all the way down to janitor would be a good start on the investigation into that leak.


GBU-24 or GBU-31 delivered at coordinates 40.753663652 -73.98749605 would be more to the point.

Big Mike said...

@Bad LT, first let's find out wh from inside the government leaked the information. Then GBUs might be appropriate.

Achilles said...

In addition to my above post, The people that run the NYT's are disgusting amoral hypocritical pieces of shit.

This is their justification for outing the CIA agent: "Major publications typically do not reveal the identities of undercover agents, but the Times reasoned that it was fair to name D'Andrea because "his identity was previously published in news reports, and he is leading an important new administration initiative against Iran."

The previous published reports were in, you guessed it, the NYT's.

Unlike Valerie Plame, any of you shithead leftists remember that? this guy was actually covert. There are only double standards on the left. Standards are things they hold their opponents to to gain power is all.

Achilles said...

Big Mike said...
>I see that the Times just outed a genuinely covert CIA agent. I think water boarding everyone who works for the Times all the way down to janitor would be a good start on the investigation into that leak.

The employees are just doing what they are told. Carlos Slim needs to be brought in as well.

TWW said...

This just in: "Carlos Slim changes newspaper name to "The New York Times Today".