Unethical—Or Maybe Head-Exploding—Quote Of The Month: New York Times Media Writer Ben Smith

“But the paper needs to figure out how to resolve these issues more clearly: Is The Times the leading newspaper for like-minded, left-leaning Americans? Or is it trying to hold what seems to be a disappearing center in a deeply divided country? Is it Elizabeth Warren or Joe Biden?”

—-Ben Smith, the New York Times’ media writer, regarding the “moral ” dilemma [ Postcard From Peru: Why the Morality Plays Inside The Times Won’t Stop” ] revealed by the controversy over the Times forcing out its top science writer for saying “nigger” in Peru instead of “n-word”.

Hold the center? HOLD THE CENTER?? HOLD THE CENTER????? Oh, God, I can’t…oh no ..ARGHHHH!

Head jack boom many

What a mess! I’m so, so sorry.

And that’s just one paragraph! Since my head has already been shattered beyond hope, here’s another one:

This intense attention, combined with a thriving digital subscription business that makes the company more beholden to the views of left-leaning subscribers, may yet push it into a narrower and more left-wing political lane as a kind of American version of The Guardian — the opposite of its stated, broader strategy.

Is Smith gaslighting us? Is the Times really that lacking in self-awareness? This outrageous piece was featured on the front page! “Gee, I wonder if we’re too biased…”

The New York Times drove one of its veteran journalists out of the paper for speaking the specific word he was discussing in the context of a student question about racist and sexist language, because some woke high school students said they were offended, and the Times’ staff censors of color demanded their pound of flesh. The Times editor then made the ridiculous and untrue statement that ‘intent’ didn’t matter, which was correctly condemned by a Times op-ed writer in a column that was censored by the paper.

Continue reading

Fairness and Gov. Brewer’s 16 seconds of Panic

[Personal Note: I apologize for the dearth of posts since Wednesday. I have been on short but intense road tour of Virginia, presenting three three-hour legal ethics seminars in three days, and driving long distances in-between. My sincere intentions to keep up the commentary on ethics developments elsewhere fell victim to fatigue, age, and the surprising discovery that vene I get sick of thinking about ethics sometimes. I am sorry, and will catch up diligently.]

Governor Jan Brewer suffered through an elected official’s nightmare, beginning her televised gubernatorial debate with Democrat Terry Goddard with an embarrassing meltdown, complete with a garbled opening statement and a 16 second pause when she lost her bearings entirely and went mute, despite having her notes in her hand. Ben Smith of Politico wrote that “Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s opening statement in last night’s debate reflects either an amazing lack of preparation, or sheer panic.” Well, nobody who is going to appear on television for a debate that will decide her future employment fails to prepare. It was obviously panic, and the kind of panic that has very little to do with being governor of Arizona or the ability to do any other job, except perhaps host the “Tonight Show.” Continue reading