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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Getting some truth from the NYT

Liz Spayd, the public editor of the New York Times, likely is a nice person who is earnest about journalism and really, really wants the media to get its credibility back.

I see that as a lost cause, but she could convince me otherwise. A closed mind is like a closed book, except the latter makes a good door stop

In her first column as public editor in July -- back when her newspaper was trying to stop Hitler -- she wrote:
What The Times and most other newsrooms mostly do now is not so much listen to readers as watch and analyze them, like fish in a bowl. They view them in bulk, through statistics measuring how many millions of  'unique' users clicked on content last month, or watched a video, or came to the site multiple times, or arrived through Facebook.
What would prove more fruitful is for newsrooms to treat their audience like people with crucial information to convey — preferences, habits and shifting ways of consuming information. What do they like about what we do and how we do it? What do they want done differently? What do they turn to other sites for?
Imagine that. Treating readers as people. One of the reasons liberals lost this election is they treat people like numbers. I am not an American to them. I am a heterosexual, Christian, white male with a college degree who is an under-65 retiree and registered Republican in a small, poor rural town.

Well, OK, but where is that part where I like to ride around town with the top down on my convertible?

They see men like me as losers who will soon be outnumbered by women (we always have been) and racial minorities, and are afraid.

The earliest year I see projected for a white plurality in America is 2050. I'll be 97. I doubt I will care about politics.

And why would people of other colors be a threat to me, or more accurately, why would they be a bigger threat to me than people of my own color? Crime is the last segregated industry in America. Whites kill whites. Blacks kill blacks. Hispanics kill Hispanics. Fewer whites would actually mean my life is safer.

You see how silly this all is?

Following the New York Times failure to stop Hitler, Liz Spayd wrote:
The Times would serve readers well with fewer brief interviews, fewer snatched slogans that inevitably render a narrow caricature of those who spoke them. If you want to further educate yourself on the newly empowered, check out the work of George Packer in The New Yorker. You’ll leave wiser about what just happened. Times journalists can be masters at doing these pieces, but they do them best when describing the lives of struggling immigrants, for example, or those living on the streets.
A fascinating graphic appeared on the front of the paper and home page earlier this week depicting, state-by-state, the powerful American working class — the less educated it called them. Many in this group make up Trump’s base, and the essential questioned posed by the graphic and to readers was this: to what degree will these voters show up at the polls?
We have our answer. The next question is whether The Times is interested in crossing the red line to see what this America wants next.
I suggest they start in Nitro, West Virginia, where the chemical plants are gone and the antique shops grow like kudzu.


"Trump the Press" skewers media experts who wrongly predicted Trump would lose the Republican nomination. I use my deadliest weapon: their own words. "Trump the Press" is available as a paperback, and on Kindle.


  1. " The next question is whether The Times is interested in crossing the red line to see what this America wants next."
    Pretty sure the answer is NO. If yes, I expect them to lie about us. Again.

  2. There's that word again - "educated".
    These 'elites' love that word but to quote The Princess Bride:
    "You keep using that word - I do not think it means what you think it means."

  3. "...What do they like about what we do and how we do it? What do they want done differently? What do they turn to other sites for?"

    I think that's called Rasmussen for people that read and Google analytics for people that use Dreamweaver and brag about bar graphs. And, Rasmussen, Gallup, et al. are not doing so hot either.

    I'm trying to figure out where that research part of legacy journalism went, and why applied social psychology has been adopted instead.

    They are experiencing the same extinction event all psychology Ph.D.s have seen--Pension benefits earned driving school buses in your county.

  4. There is education and there is education. I didn't attend an well known institution, but I did get a first rate education. I got my college GED from Hướng Hoá Community College, class of 1968. The course load consisted of many classes taught by members of the msm. I graduated with an anger for the media that persists to this day. This election cycle probably instilled that anger in a YUUUGE number of people. They may not forgive and forget either.

  5. I'm afraid Liz is like all the other public editors the Times wastes money on, a plant in a tenement window to make you overlook the disarray inside. I read many years ago somewhere that the present publisher, Sulzberger, who I believe is short, was once out jogging as a young man. By his own account a tall blond guy ran past him. His response was, in his words,that he wasn't going to let some "Aryan" beat him so he ran faster and passed him. Today he is still aiming to beat people he thinks of as Aryans(=Nazis), like DT. I Think it may be a frontal lobe lesion from which he will never recover and doesn't wish to be so, perhaps because he feels good when he imagines himself running past these Aryans or even over them in his once splendid inherited toy truck.
    When I lived in Toronto in 1980 I walked 4 miles every weekend to get the Times because at that time it had real news and excellent reliability compared to the parochial and careless Canadian press. After I came back I subscribed to it for 25 years, even as it rapidly became unhinged when Reagan was succeeding in destroying Uncle Joe's empire of misery so long a favorite of the Times. Then Total insanity ensued with Bush. It seemed as if Sulzberger, who had failed to keep GW out of the Clinton Garden of Eden, wanted to show he had retained the power to run past any Aryan he met. But now they were everywhere, and all wore hats with an R on them, so easy to spot. This has not stopped in spite of many plants like Liz placed along his route that occasionally obstructed a clear view of his quarry. Personally I think he is really in a private asylum somewhere in Mexico or the Hamptons, but I could be wrong. Anyway the Times will never change as long as he is in charge. His son looks like a nice Manhattan hipster so he will probably be like dad, maybe less obsessed with Aryans, but no less angry at Rs general.

  6. She didn't mention Salena Zito, who traveled all the way across the country to interview voters: anybody reading her articles would not have been much surprised by the election. But Zito recently went from the Tribune-Review to the New York Post, so I suppose it would be considered gauche to mention her favorably in the pages of the NY Times.

  7. "... the less educated it called them."

    New York, your bias is showing (again!).

    The fact that someone does not have a college degree does not make them less "educated." They might be less FORMALLY educated, but that doesn't make them less smart as the phrase implies, and I believe as it is INTENDED to imply.

    My father was a machinist, the first in his family to finish high school (augmented with several night classes afterward), and today, 27 years after his death, I continually bump into life examples which evince his wisdom.

    1. Yes, the Machinists, the Auto Mechanics, the Electricians and Plumbers and Engineers, the Doctors (teaparty & otherwise) - the people who actually KNOW things - of course, they are not "Educated" - they just make the world work.

    2. Don't forget oil rig workers.

      Is this fortuitous timing or what?

  8. Nicholas Kristof of the New York Slimes (Motto: All the news that's fit to distort) just wrote an hilarious op-ed about the "fake news" from the "alt-right". Of course, nothing about the fake news from the New York Slimes (Motto: All the news that fits our views). They never vetted Obungler. We knew more about Sarah Palin two days after McRINO picked her as his running mate than we will ever know about Obumbler. They spiked negative stories about Crooked Cankles and published rumors about McRINO, Mittens Romneycare, and Trump. Pot meet kettle. Your outrage rings hollow.

  9. Conservatives aren't so much numbers as ciphers to them.

  10. Here's hoping that Rod Liddle of The Spectator is on to something:

    "They still don't quite get it, the liberals — don't get the full import of what Trump's victory, and this tumultuous year 2016 in general, means for us all. It presages an enormous paradigm shift to a post-liberal future. They are weighty, cumbersome things, paradigms, and take a lot of shifting. This one has been at least 20 years in the making. But once they turn, the course is set, and you can set fire to as many shoes as you like — it will do no good. In a sense, 2016 is 1968 in reverse."