By Dave Andrusko
You didn’t need to be a media insider to anticipate that the usual suspects would target the New York Times “Public Editor” for being candid enough to admit that the Times’ 2016 campaign coverage was awful. (See here.) Her point was that even many “liberals” were unhappy that the newspaper told them how to think.
But then Liz Spayd went on Tucker Carlson’s new program on Fox News and was intellectually honest enough to admit (in response to Carlson’s gentlemanly questioning) that just maybe the newspaper’s liberal bias was even worse than she had written about under the headline, “One Thing Voters Agree On: Better Campaign Coverage Was Needed.”
I saw the Tucker/Spayd exchange and, to be honest, I cringed for her.
Why did Spayd ratchet up her criticism (at the same time praising the vast majority of Times reporters)? Carlson read a handful of tweets from Times political reporters–not columnists or editors–in which their hostility to pro-life President-elect Donald Trump practically dripped off the page. Not even a pretense at objectivity.
(It is one thing for journalists to pat themselves on the back–as they do incessantly– when they “speak truth to power.” But it is another when the big wigs are the New York Times and not a pro-life Republican. Suddenly the Public Editor’s candor and intellectually integrity earns her a black eye.)
Spayd continued, “They shouldn’t be tweeted and they shouldn’t…and it does concern me that that would be, that that’d be…I mean everybody is going to have their personal political views, we all do, but they ought to be personal. And if you sign up to be a journalist than that’s what you ought to be.”
For breaking the pledge of omerta (admitting the family’s secrets to a conservative, pro-life outsider like Carlson), Spayd was hammered.
John Sexton wrote a piece at Hot Air in which he posted some of the many unhappy responses to her appearance on Fox News. Here are some of them
If you are of a certain age, Eugene McCarthy’s quip comes instantly to mind. He compared Washington’s political press to crows on a high wire. “When one lands,” he said, “they all land. And when one takes off, they all take off.”
Only this time the consensus is not against a politician but against one of their own, a woman who dares to speak the truth.
Talk about a herd of independent minds!
You can watch the full interview at youtube.com.