“When The Times covers a national presidential campaign, I have found that the lead editors and reporters are disciplined about enforcing fairness and balance, and usually succeed in doing so. Across the paper’s many departments, though, so many share a kind of political and cultural progressivism — for lack of a better term — that this worldview virtually bleeds through the fabric of The Times. As a result, developments like the Occupy movement and gay marriage seem almost to erupt in The Times, overloved and undermanaged, more like causes than news subjects.” – outgoing public editor of the New York Times, Arthur Brisbane
“In our newsroom we are always conscious that the way we view an issue in New York is not necessarily the way it is viewed in the rest of the country or world. I disagree with Mr. Brisbane’s sweeping conclusions… I agree with another past public editor, Dan Okrent, and my predecessor as executive editor, Bill Keller, that in covering some social and cultural issues, the Times sometimes reflects its urban and cosmopolitan base. But I also often quote, including in talks with Mr. Brisbane, another executive editor, Abe Rosenthal, who wanted to be remembered for keeping ‘the paper straight.’ That’s essential.” – executive editor Jill Abramson disputing the claim of bias
TexasLynn: I would submit to (Mrs. Ms) Abramson that what she considers “reflects it’s urban and cosmopolitan base” IS liberal/progressive bias.
A Margaret Sullivan, from the Buffalo News, will soon take over the position of public editor; but for some reason the job description has recently changed “to shift the job’s focus toward more engagement with the reader online and through social media.”
TexasLynn: Translation… “We’ll have no more of these public admissions of progressive bias.”
TexasLynn: I used to live in Houston and the Houston Chronicle was another left-wing rag that was very sensitive and defensive concerning claims of bias. I remember a few years ago they created one of these editors to “represent the reader”. It soon became apparent that his job wasn’t so much to take reader concerns to the editors/board as to explain to readers that they were wrong about their concerns. He was even nice for about the first month before he turned nasty and vindictive on the subject. I guess I would eventually get a bit testy if my job was to defend the indefensible.