There’s a reason The New York Times is being forced to shrink its newsroom. And that veteran employees are jumping at the chance to bail. The New York Post reported today that more than 300 Times’ staffers have responded to a buyout offer from management that is intended to eliminate 100 employees.
That is not a vote of confidence. Surely, the ravages of the digital revolution are taking a toll. But, so is the slide in the Times’ credibility. That the Grey Lady leans Left is no surprise; it always has. But, the vanishing gap between White House talking points and the Times reporting leaves readers pining for the good old days when the paper was a reliably robust critic and commentator.
The cheezy partisanship that has invaded the newsroom is surprising and disappointing. The bad news is – despite call-outs by ombudsmen who have acknowledged the Times’ lack of objectivity -- it seems the paper can’t help itself. It is not just the editorial page that is ideologically tilted – one expects that. It is also the reporting, and the so-called “news analysis.”
Today, the Times reports on page one that confidence in the government and its institutions has swooned under President Obama’s “leadership”; a recent CBS poll shows that only 37 percent of the country thought the CDC was doing a good job, down from 60 percent a year ago.
The Times notes that of the nine agencies reviewed, seven that scored well last year have now dropped below 50 percent approval. They also concede that the president’s approval ratings have tumbled as well, but note that Congress is rated even lower than Mr. Obama. Astonishingly, though the paper lists many notable goofs that have slammed public esteem for the Obama administration – missteps by the CDC, failures at the Secret Service, the targeting of conservatives by the IRS (which the Times appears to concede, for the record), the surge of illegal aliens at the border, the shocking lapses at the Veterans Administration -- they nonetheless conclude that the White House’s fall from grace is the fault of 1) the “relentless pace of the modern news media” 2) the “unforgiving glare of social media” and 3) the “calculating efforts of partisans.
In other words – all those serial mishaps and failures (and there are others) are the imaginings of Megyn Kelly and the Twitterdom. The gross mismanagement of the White House and numerous federal agencies, the witch hunts conducted by Obama apparatchiks, the appointments of ideologically suitable playmates for the president (Tom Frieden, Kathleen Sibellius and Eric Holder comes to mind), the total lack of private sector or management experience in this clueless administration, the paper-thin resume boasted by the president – those count for nothing.
The Times’ highlights this: “A sour mood, stirred up by media, that can be exploited.” Seriously, how out of touch can you be? Here’s the reality: the country has soured on President Obama for good and multiple reasons.
Only 29 percent of the country expresses a “lot of confidence in the presidency”; CBS notes that that is down from 38 percent in 1994, 20 years ago. What they fail to note is that is also down from 52 percent in May 2004, when George W. Bush was president. That’s awkward.
As we head towards the midterm elections, the country’s diminished view of President Obama has become a millstone for the Left. Only one Democratic Senate candidate – Gary Peters in Michigan - has allowed the president to campaign on his behalf – an embarrassing shunning of the party’s standard bearer.
Two candidates have refused to admit that they voted for him! President Obama just blew the cover off those red state Dems running for cover when he reassured Al Sharpton’s radio audience that all those Dems actually “support my agenda,” that they are “strong allies and supporters of me.”
Oops. The Times tsk-tsks those Democrats who have failed to campaign on the successes of the Obama presidency. They encourage them to run on the improved economy (worst recovery in modern times, an economy barely growing despite a $4 trillion quantitative easing effort, aka life support) and on Obamacare – seriously.
The GOP is hoping, just hoping, that they will do just that. It’s hard to know which is cruising faster over the cliff – President Obama or the New York Times.
Top Reads From The Fiscal Times: