How the New York Times became the worst standard in News: Pinch Happened

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Sulzberger's dogged misrule of the Times was first characterized by his ejection of established newsmen who had built the Times brand since World War II in favor of more ideological writers. In 1999, he took former Times executive editor Abe Rosenthal's column away, forcing him to retire. Rosenthal was a real newsman who had built a corps of reporters with a fierce desire to seek out stories. That creed conflicted with Pinch's vision of the paper's future.
In 2003, Sulzberger was embarrassed into firing executive editor Howell Raines when fabulist Jayson Blair's contrived stories were exposed. By then, as Raines later wrote in the Atlantic, the Times newsroom was so union-dominated (the Newspaper Guild's members are so work-resistant and hard to fire) that the reporters didn't want to travel to get stories: they sit at their desks and "report" by searching the Internet.
Sulzberger replaced Raines with Bill Keller, an established newsman. "Pinch" chose Keller over investigative reporter and Washington editor Jill Abramson, who had been campaigning for the job. But, as sources close to the Times told me then, Keller wasn't sufficiently liberal so Sulzberger invested Abramson (elevated to managing editor) and her close friend Maureen Dowd with the power to go around Keller's decisions.
Under Keller -- really, under Pinch -- the Times published several stories that damaged national security. The biggest was James Risen's 2006 stories on the top-secret National Security Agency terrorist surveillance program. The Times held the NSA story for almost a year while Risen wrote a book about it, then published the same day the book was offered for sale. The story and the book were published despite personal appeals from President Bush. Another, about the secret cooperation of the Belgian "SWIFT" consortium in tracing terrorist financing, was equally damaging.
This was pure Pinch: eagerly publishing top-secret information not out of traitorous intent, but in willful blindness to the effects on national security just to damage George W. Bush.
Risen, who should be rotting in jail until he discloses his sources for the NSA story, is now being subpoenaed to testify in the trial of alleged leaker James Sterling. In a sworn affidavit filed last week in support of a motion to quash the subpoena, Risen testifies that his reporting of the NSA stories drew personal praise from Sulzberger.
Paragraph 8 of the affidavit says that in 2007 Risen received a personal letter from Sulzberger. It said, "Your investigative reporting has been an extraordinary asset to the paper since the day you joined us…But it has now become a central reason that our Washington report is admired by our readers -- not to mention leaders around the nation and the world." High praise for reporting that damaged national security and falsely accused the Bush administration of acting illegally.
Sulzberger wanted to take no chances in 2012. He has pushed Keller aside in favor of the even more liberal Abramson.
Abramson is as committed to liberal dogma as is Sulzberger. In 1999, she co-wrote a front page story buying into Hillary Clinton's "vast right wing conspiracy" theory with "proofs" of a "small secret clique of lawyers in their 30s who share a deep antipathy toward the President." She and her long-time friend Jane Mayer wrote the book Strange Justice about Clarence Thomas. That book became famous twice: once for its assault on Thomas, and later for the sheer number of factual errors and apparent fabrications in it. (Her record of faith to the liberal media culture is too long to recount here, but the Media Research Center's Clay Waters reported a few of her "greatest hits" here.)
Abramson is a fan of the über-liberal Huffington Post. According to the Nation, feminism "has always been an explicit part of Abramson's career." That accounts for both the book about Thomas and the recent failed ethics attack on the sitting justice. Feminism is part of Abramson's persona as well as that of her close friend and Times columnist Maureen Dowd (who, as she proved redundantly in her Sunday column, is evidently the leader of the Times' anti-Catholic binge).
Before Dowd, the Times' anti-Catholic crusader was Anna Quindlen. And there will be others. Pinch finds Catholic women who are anti-Catholic and promotes them. more via Spectator

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