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May 04, 2008

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Buford Gooch

Putting Wright's actual remarks in the paper (let alone the front page) wouldn't add to hopey/changiness. So, why would anyone expect the Times to do that?

M. Simon

Black Enslavement Theology.

Jane

Hey M.Simon, congrats on your instalaunche!

JM Hanes

This is Hoyt at his most entertaining: We should give the Times some credit for noticing Obama's pastor "before most Americans had heard of Wright." Last year, the Times actually printed news! This year, at a critical turning point, they buried it. Mystifying....

I actually thought that Hoyt's most notable paragraph was this one:

Wright spoke at 8:30 in the morning. Coverage on the Web site of The Times was fast and fairly thorough — a long entry in the Caucus blog, an article including substantial quotations from the speech, more than five minutes of audio reporting and analysis by Kate Phillips, the online politics editor, and full video of the speech and Q. and A. But the story presented challenges for editors of the printed newspaper. By the next morning, it would be nearly 24 hours old, and most readers would have at least some knowledge of it from the Internet, television or radio. “We felt we had to do something more elevated and different,” said Gerry Mullany, Stevenson’s deputy.

Kudos to TM for noticing that the Caucus blog was actually worth reading months ago! Since the Times figures we can find all the news that's fit to print on the internet, they've apparently decided to concentrate on shaping it ex post facto on paper. Hoyt expands on this revolutionary approach in action:

Bill Keller, the executive editor, and Jill Abramson, the managing editor for news, decided to take Stanley’s review, pungent and colorful, to the front page and to put a news article about the speech and reaction to it inside. Obama spoke later in the day, and he became the top of the news article, causing Wright’s actual remarks to be condensed into four paragraphs in the middle of it.

There just wasn't enough room in the back pages for the backstory formerly known as news. They had already elevated "colorful and pungent" to Page One, so why waste space on colorful, pungent quotes from Rev. Wright? As for the decision to give their t.v. critic pride of place, Bill Keller, himself, dumbs it back down for us, “This was a story that was playing out on TV."

This is not a racist trainwreck, this is a sitcom with your wacky, politically incorrect uncle grabbing the spotlight. It's just All in the Family redux in colorful, pungent blackface. We've got your elevation right here! Abramson weighs in with a considerably less inspired defense distraction which is, nonetheless an intellectual tangle worth noting. Apparently, reviews don't cross her "news-opinion divide" if she finds them interesting. I thought reviews were pretty firmly planted on the opinion side, but never mind. The issue here is not the divide, but a void where the news should have been. Keller gets points for tap dancing, but they both deserve the hook.

clarice

Brilliant...even more brilliant than your usual stellar posts,jmh.

troy mcclure

Obama's biographer David Mendell, with exceeding delicacy, tackled why Barry
chose Barry "the Sumatran candidate"
on pg. 76 of the paperback edition. "He preferred Wright's cerebral nature, to
the poor and more conservative preachers
ins the South Side" In light of Jacksonian
skilled vivisection of Wright's exegesis
at the National Press Club that proves deeply ironic. The other reason is that
Wright served as his Billy Graham, to the
George Bush. "Bringing him from skepticism
to belief"

Sevgi

I thought reviews were pretty firmly planted on the opinion side, but never mind. The issue here is not the divide, but a void where the news should have been. ilan Keller gets points for tap dancing, but they both deserve the hook.

kcom

I remember a similar situation regarding (I believe) the incident where it was discovered that the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls club (a charity that received city money) was giving or loaning money to Air America. It was the talk of the blogs for some time without a single mention of it by the NYT. Finally, when they did cave into reality and (were forced to) run a story on it, the first thing they did in the story was to tell the reader what to think about the situation, before they had even laid out the facts for the reader to consider independently. In essence, they were poisoning the well and blaming partisanship (ala Dan Rather) and planting that thought in the reader's mind before getting to the facts of the story.

Later articles in the New York Times quoted a city investigation saying there was widespread fraud in the organization. So their initial, pre-facts narrative about it being a political witch hunt was false and misleading. Just as Dan Rather's claim of partisanship in his defense of his National Guard story didn't hold water.

bc

Or...The editors at the NYT have re calibrated their brains around a Hillary nomination victory and the rest of the Donkey's just didn't get the memo...yet.

ronbo

Just check out the dialed-in media sites -- Gawker comes to mind -- for the consensus on Stanley's reputation. Hint: it's not that good. "Pungent and colorful" is easy if your MO is to wing it.

I just don't understand how Keller runs a paper like the Times with such utter cluelessness. But I don't live on the Upper West Side so what do I know.

hiscross

Gee, why is everyone so surprised by Wright's statements? All you have to do is go to his old church and read about their statement of faith. It has no roots into Bible. It does not give GOD any glory nor does it recognize Jesus. It is liberal gathering of people on Sunday. NYT is nothing more than the same. That is what liberal’s do, refuse to accept the glory of GOD. Stop fighting the obvious and get out and tell the world the “Good News”.

BarbaraS

JM Hanes

“We felt we had to do something more elevated and different,” said Gerry Mullany, Stevenson’s deputy.

Why can't they just print the news as it is and not what they want it to be? "elevated and different"? How about obfuscation and lies?

Sam

I think the Times has crossed the Rubicon.

We should no longer get angy or even giddy over the latest routine journalistic malpractice. Instead, the response should be the ultimate expression of loathing: Completely ignore them.

They deserve zero relevency and that's exactly how they should be treated. Let them fade to oblivion shouting into a vacuum.

William

By "elevated and different" they mean more in the sense of 27 stories on Augusta National golf course, or 47 straight days of "Abu Ghraib" on the front page, above the fold.

kim

Face it, t mc, Wright was so easy under the bus because it's just another opiate, anyway. As some one else pointed out, what does Obama believe, anyway? Likely, nada.
=================

kim

Oh, yeah, that one, be watered by his wisdom. There are those without belief but with tornadic ambition; these can be effective, but commonly end destructively. It is surprising to me to see Obama go like this; I expected ridicule to be his downfall, not fear and scorn.
===========================

Neo

falsehoods in Wright’s remarks — like the claim that blacks and whites learn with different parts of their brains

They dare not to believe a black minister.

chris kenny

"This is real breakthrough stuff for the "Lots of the News That's Fit To Print (All The News That Fits Our Narrative)" Team."

Might I suggest: "All The News We See Fit to Print.

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