Wow, you know that your cable network has jumped the shark when a dark blue newspaper like The New York Times is distancing itself from your “hyperpartisan” talk shows. Even knowing that an appearance on The Rachel Maddow Show or Don “Dumbest Man on TV” Lemon Tonight can boost interest in your latest scoop, The Times is reportedly discouraging reporters from appearing on these shows where the facts are less important than the vitriol towards Trump. According to Vanity Fair, producers and reporters are none too happy about the edict.
After describing a recent situation where Times finance editor David Enrich had to cancel an appearance on Maddow’s hate-fest show, Vanity Fair explains that Enrich’s decision reflected a new policy on the part of the paper’s management.
From the article:
It’s not just Maddow. The Times has come to “prefer,” as sources put it, that its reporters steer clear of any cable-news shows that the masthead perceives as too partisan, and managers have lately been advising people not to go on what they see as highly opinionated programs. It’s not clear how many shows fall under that umbrella in the eyes of Times brass, but two others that definitely do are Lawrence O’Donnell’s and Don Lemon’s, according to people familiar with management’s thinking. Hannity’s or Tucker Carlson’s shows would likewise make the cut, but it’s not like Times reporters ever do those anyway. I’m told that over the past couple of months, executive editor Dean Baquet has felt that opinionated cable-news show are getting, well, even more opinionated. Baquet and other managers have become increasingly concerned that if a Times reporter were to go on one of these shows, his or her appearance could be perceived as being aligned with that show’s political leanings. “He thinks it’s a real issue,” one of my Times sources said. “Their view,” said another, “is that, intentionally or not, it affiliates the Times reporter with a bias.”
To be fair (so to speak), the Vanity Fair reporter makes a few good points criticizing the policy. One, the Times has benefited tremendously from their association with these shows.
But more importantly, exactly who does The New York Times think they are catering to? Exactly what do they think they’ve been doing for the last three years? Playing it right down the middle? Please. They’ve been every bit as biased and anti-Trump as any three cable news hosts, even if they are (sometimes) less in-your-face about it. If anything, we would prefer someone like Maddow, who at least doesn’t try to fool her audience into believing she’s an objective observer.
The Times is more like Anderson Cooper or Wolf Blitzer, who are still trying to make people believe that they aren’t just as “hyperpartisan” as Nancy Pelosi.
If the Times wants to appear less partisan, it should try actually BEING less partisan. Just an idea…