Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

NYT Attacks Blogs and Their Readers

At a fundraiser for Columbia University’s newspaper--The Spectator--NYT executive editor Bill Keller offered some thoughts on print journalism and the effect of blogging. While he admittedly gave some praise to bloggers for their ability to break stories, his criticism was far more, shall we say, colorful, such as when he noted that a blog "can sometimes fall as low as being a ’one man circle jerk.’" He also offered criticism for blog readers, stating "There is a pressure to feel well informed without ever confronting an opinion that confronts your prejudices[.]" He is not the first to make this argument about selective reading. Law professor Cass Sunstein made this argument in his absurdly silly book Republic.com, in which he suggested that the government should provide warning labels for web sites based on ideology. But it is surprising to hear Keller make this argument: after all, his own public editor acknowledged last year that the NYT is liberal in its story selection and coverage of issues on the news pages. Why then doesn’t he criticize those who rely solely on his paper for their news, for they likewise never have to confront an opinion with which they disagree?

Keller is just cranky that someone else has joined the party. It was just fine when the news was made up of the liberal bastions of the NYT, Washington Post, the network news, and CNN. But when Fox News and the internet got in the game, why then there was a risk that people could get all their information from one ideological perspective. I find this particularly silly because most conservatives I know read the NYT, or the Washington Post, or gain information from some other liberal outlet along with their conservative news sources. However, I know very few liberals who watch Fox News or read conservative publications.

Discussions - 2 Comments

The entire thing is just sour grapes. The formerly-MSM has been supplanted and can’t handle the fact that someone calls them out when they are lying. A "circle jerk"? Good one, Keller. That’s all the NYT and the Democratic Party have been doing for the last three decades, but none of us have been classless enough or foul-mouthed enough to say so in such blunt language.

In a similar vein, Kathleen Parker recently tried to advance the argument that blogs might restrict freedom of speech. Speak now . . .and forever wish that you hadn’t

I am going to assume she was serious -- she really thinks that more voices in the public domain could possibly lead to less freedom of speech. Sounds like more of the same old attitude from the MSM: "Shut up and listen to my free speech."

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