Younger people with sad faces

This is just silly. Joe Pompeo at Vanity Fair on the woke young versus the [??] old at the NY Times the night Trump won the election:

Reporters and editors were in overdrive, tearing up one historic front page for another. The story that America’s paper of record had been gearing up to tell in the coming days—months, years—was being obliterated in real time. From a journalistic perspective, that wasn’t exactly a bad thing. The new story, after all, was more fascinating, more chaotic—utterly unprecedented. And Trump’s election was the kind of Earth-shattering event that only comes around once or twice in a newsperson’s career. So for someone like Dean Baquet, the Times’s then 60-year-old executive editor, the dominant emotion was exhilaration about this new national epic.

Ok wait just a god damn minute. Yes, sure it was in a sense good news for journalists, but journalists are also human beings and citizens, and people with thoughts and feelings, and in many cases parents of children who will have to live many decades with whatever messes a new president may decide to make. I can believe an executive editor would be excited about the news possibilities but I can’t believe that would be the dominant emotion, no not even for the executive editor of the Times. The people at the Times have to live here. A glorious flood of stories doesn’t blot out a perpetual horror show.

But it didn’t go unnoticed that, for some in the newsroom, the journalistic mission was not exactly front of mind. “I just remember younger people with sad faces,” a person who was there told me, describing those employees as generally being in roles that are adjacent to reporting and editing. Baquet remarked to colleagues in the coming days about how surprised he was by that. “He’s thinking, We’ve got a great story on our hands,” my source said. “That was the first indication that a unified newsroom in the age of Trump was going to be a very difficult thing to achieve or maintain.”

That’s ridiculous. It’s just ridiculous. If he really did say and think that, there’s something wrong with him. You don’t even have to be on the left to see Trump as a horror show – look at Richard Painter, Bill Kristol, David Frum.

All this is by way of leading into a rather overwrought piece on the political divide at the Times that invokes the usual clichés to not much purpose.

I saw it via some tweets of Chris Stedman’s which sent me to a blog post by Jerry Coyne about the Vanity Fair piece. I very seldom read Coyne these days and I was startled at how…unpleasant he’s gotten.

Now Grania and I always have the argument that Eli referred to: whether the kids will grow out of their Control-Leftism when they enter the work force…

It’s been evident to me for about a year that the New York Times is becoming more and more aligned with the Regressive Left. This likely reflects the election of Trump, but also the currents in universities that were moving even during Obama’s time.  Just look at any front page online, and you’ll see articles conditioned and prompted by intersectionalist Leftism.

So, for example, they’ve hired Lindy West as a columnist, who, to my mind, is not only absolutely predictable in what she says, but can’t write, either. True, they did hire Bari Weiss, a Leftist who condemns the Regressive Left, but she’s been demonized not just by the RL, but by her own colleagues at The Timesas I described in a recent post.

Control-Left this, Regressive Left that – to describe anyone he doesn’t agree with, which seems to be nearly everyone. He also makes a sharp distinction between reporting facts and editorializing, which I don’t think makes a lot of sense. He takes exception to a video headline: “How Scott Pruitt’s Repeated Disregard For Ethics Is Finally Catching Up To Him.” Is it not factually true that Pruitt has broken some explicit rules and ignored many ethical norms and precedents? I suppose the headline could be worded slightly more neutrally – “Scott Pruitt Has Broken Several Ethical Rules; Now He Is Having Problems” – but I’m not sure it makes a whole lot of difference.

Coyne looks to Woodward and Bernstein for the good old just the facts reporting:

Take the Watergate affair. While the editorial page of The Washington Post was calling out the administration’s perfidy, those who ultimately brought it down, Woodward and Bernstein, were just reporting the facts. You didn’t see either of those two going on the television to call for Nixon’s impeachment. And that’s the way it should be. Journalists give the facts (granted, they can be slanted a tad; we all know the Times has a Leftist tilt), while the op-eds give us fact-based opinions.

Going on tv to call for Nixon’s or Trump’s impeachment is one thing, and giving “the facts” some context is another. Calling for impeachment or reciting the president’s activities for the day are not the only two choices. Good journalism, like good history, requires more than “just the facts.”

And then, there are the comments on Coyne’s post. He comes down like a ton of bricks on people he sees as “breaking the rules” but his rules are rather…self-serving. The first two comments are no problem at all, apparently.




  1. Posted April 4, 2018 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Taking Lindy West on board is enough to sink any ship.

    • Posted April 4, 2018 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      omg. I tried not to laugh. Really, I did.

    • BJ
      Posted April 4, 2018 at 5:48 pm | Permalink


Nice, huh?

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