The New York Times: All the news (and opinion) that’s ideologically approved
Conservatives have long accused The New York Times of presenting a blatantly liberal view of the news. The Times will be hard pressed to refute such claims in the future, however, after its op-ed editorial page editor refused to publish a commentary from John McCain.
The ABC News web site is reporting that the Times — which had recently published a similar piece under Barak Obama’s signature — refused to publish Sen. McCain’s opinion piece rebutting the Obama commentary unless the Senator made changes to his submission.
But here’s the kicker: The Times didn’t just request changes in phrasing or grammar. According to ABC News, here’s an excerpt from Editor David Shipley’s email to the McCain Campaign:
“I’d be very eager to publish the Senator on the oped page. However I’m not going to be able to accept this piece as currently written. It would be terrific to have an article from Sen. McCain that mirrors Sen. Obama’s piece. To that end, the article would have to articulate, in concrete terms how Sen. McCain defines victory in Iraq. It would also have to lay out a clear plan for achieving victory — with troop levels, timetables and measures for compelling the Iraqis to cooperate.”
As anyone familiar with the senator’s stance on Iraq knows, Sen. McCain has steadfastly refused to set artifical timetables for troop withdrawals, noting that to do so would be tantamount to telling the terrorists when it was safe for them to come back and ravage the country.
For the New York Times to therefore insist that Sen. McCain lay out such a timetable is not merely requesting edits for clarity or brevity, but essentially demanding that McCain change his entire position on Iraq if he wishes to grace the Times‘ opinion pages.
The New York Times, it seems, has decided that henceforth, its opinion pages will only present those opinions that mirror the ideological viewpoint of its editors. And that’s a sorry state of affairs for American journalism and democracy.