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September 27th, 2009 8:28 pm
ACORN and The New York Times
Posted by Print

Clark Hoyt, Public Editor (ombudsman, sort of) of The New York Times, today analyzes the Times’ “slow reflexes” on the ACORN story. 

No bias or ideology there, a bunch of editors told him, they’re just too busy covering “health care, two wars and the deep recession,” in the words of Dean Baquet, Washington bureau chief. 

Managing Editor Jill Abramson, managing editor for news, blamed “insufficient tuned-in-ness to the issues that are dominating Fox News and talk radio,” undoubtedly forgetting that when “the New York City Council froze all its funding for Acorn and the Brooklyn district attorney opened a criminal investigation, there was still [no story].”

But just wait, conservatives.  Abramson and Executive Editor Bill Keller have now appointed an editor to “monitor opinion media and brief them frequently on bubbling controversies.”  The editor will be anonymous, so he doesn’t get, in Keller’s words, “a bombardment of e-mails and excoriation in the blogosphere.”

We have one point:  Most conservatives just want newspapers that cover news (like when the local district attorney opens a criminal investigation of a major national organization) with factual, unbiased reportage, not more he said/she said babble on “bubbling controversies.”  The bubbling controversies already have outlets (such as Fox News and talk radio), which seem to be doing a lot better than the Times.

We have one question:  Is an anonymous editor anything like an anonymous source?  It’s just a journalistic concept with which we are unfamiliar.

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