Nov 1 2003

How the New York Times Blew My Lai

What if a massacre had been covered when it mattered?

John Hess

“I was in Paris with a delightful, interesting man who works for the Times, John Hess. John was in the Paris bureau, and hewas one of the people who sort of straightened me out about Vietnam. He bugged me about it and told me I had to learn more–and I did. —New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis, interviewed in Harvard Magazine (11/76) It gave me a lift to learn that Tony Lewis thought I helped straighten him out on Vietnam, but I fear he flattered us both. I never did quite straighten him out, or persuade him to share my […]

Nov 1 2003

Our ‘Liberal’ Times

One thing editors of the New York Times and I keep trying to do is knock down the notion that the Times is a liberal paper. But we go at it differently. They do it by stuff like calling the Nazi groper Schwarzenegger a moderate Republican (10/11/03), by apologizing for implying that George W. Bush might not be telling the truth (10/14/03) and by hiring the smarty-pants right-wing columnist David Brooks, who tells us (10/14/03) that baseball fans out in Bush country are courteous, unlike the boors in Boston and New York. I’ve read the Times over 70 years—-worked there […]

Nov 1 2003

Why Progressive TV Is DOA

Editor's Note

It didn’t mean to, but the trade publication Ad Age (10/13/03) recently explained why there’s no progressive counterpart to conservative media outlets like Fox News Channel. The story was reporting on why Democrat Al Gore, who had earlier been trying to start a liberal cable news network, was now aiming to create a channel aimed at a “more aware, younger, hipper audience.” Ad Age quotes an “insider” advising Gore: “Liberal TV is dead on arrival…. You just can’t do it.” The switch to a channel targeting youth was made, according to the article “to make it more enticing to advertisers […]

Nov 1 2003

Limbaugh on Drugs

People like Limbaugh should go to jail, says Limbaugh

There’s nothing good about drug use. We know it. It destroys individuals. It destroys families. Drug use destroys societies. Drug use, some might say, is destroying this country. And we have laws against selling drugs, pushing drugs, using drugs, importing drugs. And the laws are good because we know what happens to people in societies and neighborhoods, which become consumed by them. And so if people are violating the law by doing drugs, they ought to be accused and they ought to be convicted and they ought to be sent up. What this says to me is that too many […]

Nov 1 2003

An Aggressive Conservative vs. a ‘Liberal to be Determined’

The false balance of Hannity & Colmes

Hannity & Colmes, Fox News Channel‘s primetime debate show, figures prominently in the cable network’s campaign to market its right leaning programming as “fair & balanced,” the network’s ever-present slogan. Fox News executives argue that the show, pitting conservative Sean Hannity against liberal Alan Colmes with guests from both right and left, presents a spirited and evenhanded nightly debate. Fox News president Roger Ailes is clearly riled by those who suggest the show has a slant to it (New York Times, 6/24/01): “I get attacked for putting Sean Hannity on because he’s a conservative–even when Alan Colmes, the liberal, is […]