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Erik Wemple
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Posted at 09:00 AM ET, 09/11/2012

Is New York Times’ Sullivan a big liberal? Mediology, Sept. 11

FROM THE RIGHT

*NewsBusters.org, that constant patroller of liberal media bias, has issues with the early work of recently installed New York Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan. The strikes against Sullivan, as NewsBusters’ Clay Waters sees them: 1) She invoked Gore Vidal in an inaugural post on fact-checking, and Gore Vidal “thought America got what it deserved on 9-11”; 2) She urged greater coverage of Lilly Ledbetter and gender pay-equity issues; and 3) She wrote a post giving air to complaints that the New York Times had overplayed the bad jobs report that surfaced last Friday.

Waters argues that Sullivan’s pieces thus far have “suggested the Times is not sufficiently diligent in covering the liberal angles.”

Given its liberal tilt on the editorial page and what previous public editors have characterized as its urban social sensibilities, a New York Times paired up with a genuine conservative in the public editor’s chair would make for fun cultural dissonance, more entertaining than anything you’d find on cable news.

But if you’re a watchdog of liberal bias, and the New York Times’ ombo is addressing complaints that the newspaper is making too much of a negative jobs report at a key moment for the Obama administration, isn’t that a win?

*Breitbart’s Michael Patrick Leahy hammers CNN for burying a fact about Tony Mack, the Trenton mayor arrested on corruption charges. The news org’s piece on the matter didn’t mention a critical data point till the 18th paragraph: that Mack is a Democrat.

FROM THE LEFT

*Media Matters argues that Gretchen Carlson of “Fox & Friends”chose an odd guest to help her pooh-pooh a Republican war on women. She chats with Wendy Long, a U.S. Senate candidate from New York, who says that this war is a “manufactured” issue. Women care about jobs, says Long, not contraception and the like. “They don’t want to hear who’s going to be paying for my birth-control pills. They can pay for them if they have jobs,” said Long.

Media Matters:

It’s telling that when Fox tried to disprove the existence of a Republican “war on women,” it hosted someone who doesn’t believe in a constitutional right to contraception, doesn’t believe in a constitutional right to abortion, and doesn’t believe workers should have contraception coverage if the corporations for which they work objects to such coverage.

Media Matters could save itself a great deal of resources if only it inverted the triggering circumstances for a post about “Fox & Friends”: Write about the program only when it presents something fairly, comprehensively and without any obvious corruption.

*If the New York Times’s Margaret Sullivan really is what NewsBusters says she is, perhaps she’ll glom on to a recent post by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. This lefty media group is arguing that a New York Times account of the strife between the city and the Chicago Teachers Union didn’t give the union point of view adequate consideration.

The Times calls it “a dispute over wages, job security and teacher evaluations.” That isn’t false, but that framing makes it seem like teachers are looking to protect a narrow set of interests. If you read the union’s side of the story, you know they are stressing a different set of issues–from class size to charter expansion to enhanced social services in the schools.

By  |  09:00 AM ET, 09/11/2012

Tags:  newsbusters, breaitbart, cnn, media matters, war on women, gore vidal, new york times, margaret sullivan, clay waters, michael patrick leahy

 
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