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What is it With the NY Times?

As a libertarian, I don't really have a horse in the race, but what is it with the NY Times editorial page?  Apparently, the right doesn't like the conservative writers, and Kevin Drum makes it clear that the left can be embarrassed by the liberal writers there:

I generally try not to read Maureen Dowd's columns because, you know, they just don't pay me enough for that kind of hazard duty. But today's column about Hillary Clinton was a train wreck of epic proportions. I couldn't avert my eyes. Here's the final sentence:

As she makes a last frenzied and likely futile attempt to crush the butterfly [i.e., Barack Obama], it's as though she's crushing the remnants of her own girlish innocence.

This would be embarrassing coming from a 12-year-old. Shouldn't Dowd have an obscure blog, not a biweekly column in the greatest newspaper in the world?

Posted on May 7, 2008 at 12:46 PM | Permalink


I kinda liked it. I didn't mind the flowery writing. At least it has passion...

...for a wack-job socialist...

... but passion non-the-less.

Posted by: Tim | May 7, 2008 2:22:20 PM

"The greatest newspaper in the world?" Drum needs to have his forehead resurfaced.

Posted by: vanderleun | May 7, 2008 3:32:05 PM

The NYT editorial page lost all credibility (what little it had left) when Frank Rich, theater critic, became a member of the ed board.

Theater critics aren’t qualified to wash my car, much less comment on world political economy.

Posted by: Mesa Econoguy | May 7, 2008 3:53:50 PM

Mesa, neither is anyone else at the NY Times, but that doesn't stop them.

Posted by: Avatar300 | May 8, 2008 6:58:35 AM

Forget whether Maureen Dowd has qualifications or not (I find her quite entertaining, personally).

What bothers me is the fact that many conservatives (including some I know) refuse to even look at columns by people they describe as "liberal." Not to pontificate here, but allow me to say, that as a liberal on most issues, I regularly read columnists like Bill Kristol and I also peruse the WSJ editorial page. I was a regular reader of Safire when he had a column, and I read Krauthammer as well. I'm not afraid of reading something I might disagree with, and at certain times, reading conservative columns has caused me to re-think my views on an issue.

This seems to be common practice among liberals (trying to find out what conservatives think), so why is it that conservatives find it so distasteful to read columns/editorials by liberals?

Posted by: Dan | May 8, 2008 8:36:32 AM

Dan: What bothers me is the fact that ...

Answer: I don't buy your premise. If you have to throw the word "fact" into a statement, it does not make the statement automatically true. IMHO, when someone uses the word "fact" without supplying evidence (anecdotes do not count), it casts doubt on it.

It is my opinion (not fact) that this blog, and others that I read (many in the sidebar), discuss liberal columns more often than conservative columns. I could be wrong, however, and will be willing to change my mind if shown otherwise

Posted by: bv | May 8, 2008 9:15:22 AM

Bv -

You're focusing on semantics rather than substance.

Let's say I erred by choosing the word "fact" (I'm at work and can't give posting on this site my undivided attention). Even so, it's my observation, and the observation of others, that there is truth to this. The fact (and it is a fact) that I log onto this site every day to see what everyone is saying shows a certain amount of openness to different kind of thinking that I believe is more commonly shared by liberals than by conservatives.

Posted by: Dan | May 8, 2008 9:45:03 AM

Any cursory read of the NYT's election coverage, especially near the top of the story, should give any objective reader the clear impression they are still the Clinton's butt boys.

Posted by: h-dawg | May 8, 2008 10:00:24 AM


Perhaps you're right about the semantics, but I observe something completely different than you do. I see liberal sites that criticize (or be critical of) conservative writers, and I see conservative sites doing the same to liberal writers. This may be selection bias in action ... for both of us.

While there are varying definitions of "liberal" and "conservative", it is my belief that this site is closer to "conservative" than to "liberal". The "liberals" that I know worship at the feet of Maureen Dowd, Paul Krugman, and the NY Times (they repeat almost verbatim what I read in the Times ... its nauseating ... and they are supposed to be thinking people?)

BTW, I think it is a mistake to use labels such as conservative and liberal because I really don't think those words mean the same thing to everyone.


Posted by: bv | May 8, 2008 10:10:52 AM

"This seems to be common practice among liberals (trying to find out what conservatives think), so why is it that conservatives find it so distasteful to read columns/editorials by liberals? "

Because conservatives evidently have enough confidence in their beliefs that they don't see how reading a sobby shit-rag like the NYT will benefit them?

Posted by: YT | May 8, 2008 2:33:14 PM

YT - I suppose that was your idea of a joke. If not, it proves my point pretty well.

Posted by: Dan | May 9, 2008 11:59:10 AM

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