Remember when the Times was a serious, national newspaper? I do. Today, its political coverage, especially the stuff produced by its Top of the Ticket blog where Andrew Malcolm does his Drudge-Lite work, is often just excruciatingly lame. For some odd reason, the Times has decided to dumb down its political product and position its site as a Michelle Malkin wannabe, and in a way no other major newspaper in the country has done, nor would ever dream of doing.
Somewhere, former Times publisher Otis Chandler is turning over in his grave. Not just because of the hollow, right-wing politics of the Times' online political product. (Chandler was a proud liberal.) But because the product so uniformly sophomoric and dishonest. (i.e. It has nothing to do with journalism, or even opinion journalism.) The kind of relentlessly partisan, right-wing junk the Times site often produces, thanks to Malcolm, is just embarrassing for a national newspaper that used to win prestigious prizes -- for a newspaper that once had aspirations higher than landing a Drudge link and wallowing in online hate.
And I don't even have to do a Google search to know for a fact that when President Bush was in office, there was nobody on staff at the Times, and certainly nobody writing off the opinion pages, who was allowed to so casually insult the office of the presidency on a regular basis.
So what is this about? Does the Times think it's clever and endearing to treat the president as a two-bit hood? And why does the Times allows one of its high-profile political writers, contrary to the newspaper's published guidelines, to continually adopt a hateful Rush Limbaugh and Fox News-like tone and personally degrade the presidency? (Remember when conservatives demanded people respect the office of the presidency? No more.)
The Times claims it strives for balance in its political opinion, as well as a civil tone. But with the Obama-hating Malcolm, the paper fails on both counts.
Read the full Media Matters column, here.
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