November 21, 2002

What Would Jesus Report?
In a public discussion about their editorial process, The New York Times' top propaganda ministers decision-makers answered critics about the paper's coverage of the Middle East and the war against Iraq.

Conservatives have accused the paper of running an anti-war campaign. Howell Raines, the Times' executive editor, said the paper is 'merely reporting on the political process.'

Liberals, on the other hand, complain the paper too often leghumps parrots the misadministration's line, says Mark Danner, a journalism professor and staff writer for the New Yorker. Raines dismissed this as naive. "Hey, we're just as fair and balanced as Fox!"

"If there's an absence of debate in the country, if Congress is not standing up to the administration in an adversarial way, that's a news story," Raines said. Yes, but we'd never know by reading the NY Times.

If the Bush administration puts out false information, the Times will report it, but the paper has an obligation to follow through with more stories analyzing the information, Raines explained. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go shave my ass before I meet with Karl Rove." (Link).

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