Jewish World Review Oct. 24, 2005/ 21 Tishrei,
JWR publishes hundreds of right-thinking columnists and cartoonists. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.
Here's a story the print press doesn't really want to report
many American newspapers are in big trouble. Earnings at The New York Times
Company, for example, are down more than 50 percent this quarter, the Los
Angeles Times has changed its editor and editorial director in the face of
steep circulation declines, and scores of other papers are having major
problems convincing consumers to buy their product.
There are a number of reasons for the depressing situation,
pardon the pun. The Internet provides news efficiently, the decline of
public education means fewer Americans care about what's going on, and
people are very busy these days. Many of us don't have time to spend an hour
reading the paper.
But the collapse of journalistic standards is another reason
some have turned away from the press. Most Americans are not ideological
junkies, craving their daily dose of political propaganda. Just give us the
facts and some lively opinion based on the facts. The political jihadists
who have taken over some newspapers are driving people away.
Here's an example. In the 30 days following Hurricane Katrina,
The New York Times ran 53 columns criticizing President Bush on its
editorial pages. Even Barbra Streisand might consider that overkill.
The Boston Globe, which is owned by The New York Times, has one
conservative columnist and 10 liberal ones. So why would any conservative
bother with the paper?
Over at the Washington Post, an editor named Marie Arana
criticized her own paper saying: "The elephant in the newsroom is our
narrowness. Too often, we wear liberalism on our sleeve and we are
intolerant of other lifestyles and opinions ... if you work here, you must
be one of us. You must be liberal, progressive, a Democrat."
So why would any Republican buy The Washington Post?
Every newspaper has the right to take a point of view on its
editorial pages, but when a political bias becomes so pervasive it affects
everyone in the newsroom, you know things are out of control. Imagine a New
York Times reporter walking into office and asking colleagues: "Hey, did you
see 'The O'Reilly Factor' last night? It was great."
I'm sure that happens all the time.
And then there is the hate factor. Not only do many newspapers
aggressively push an agenda, but they demonize those with whom they
Recently, a columnist for The Dallas Morning News wrote that I,
your humble correspondent, was partially responsible for the murders of six
Mexicans in Georgia because I support strict security on the southern
border. The woman actually wrote that I had said hateful things about
When Fox News produced videotape, which showed the exact
opposite, that I had openly sympathized with migrants, the editors at The
Dallas Morning News at first refused to issue a correction, and only after a
torrent of outrage from subscribers did it finally do so.
With all this dopey stuff swirling around the print press it is
no wonder millions of Americans are saying, "see ya." But nobody should be
celebrating this. Newspapers have the space and resources to do reporting
the other media cannot do. Newspapers are vital to the American electorate.
But the print press needs to clean itself up and fast. Because
once the folks leave the party, it's tough to get them back.
Enjoy this writer's work? Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.