Sunday, March 16, 2008

The "paper of record"?

What has become of the New York Times? After devoting significant coverage to the remarks that led to Geraldine Ferraro's having to distance herself from the Clinton campaign, the Times has barely touched on the unfolding developments regarding Senator Obama's 20 year spiritual adviser, the Reverend Wright and the unfolding developments regarding Senator Obama's almost-as-long association with indicted real estate developer Rezko. While I'm no believer in the faux-neutrality of on-the-one-hand/on-the-other hand journalism, the Times is not performing up to basic standards of good journalism. In the past two days, Senator Obama himself has given extensive interviews about Rezko and made a number of statements about Reverend Wright. Some of the most admirable Obama supporters have printed their unhappiness with the Senator's explanations of his involvement with and knowledge of both Rezko and Wright; other supporters have gone on record accepting what Senator Obama has said.

This certainly sounds like a news story to me, one that the New York Times would generally be giving prominent coverage. I have long defended the Times against those that say it lacks independence from any number of constituencies or call it elitist. But that does not mean that I will defend it against plain old journalistic failure.

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