What is going on at the New York Times (IV): Rod Dreher

What Barro’s tweet was for me, and Egan’s ope-ed for Alan, was the tipping point. I have been reading the Times as a subscriber for nearly 20 years. It sometimes made me furious, it sometimes thrilled me, it usually made me think, and I was almost always grateful for it. I started my Times subscription in south Florida, kept it when I moved to New York City, held on to it when I moved to Dallas, then in Philly, and stuck with the digital version in St. Francisville. I’ve been with the Times for longer than I’ve known my wife. We have a relationship, that newspaper and I.

It has never been friendly to conservatives, of course, and that’s just part of the deal. But the Times plays things reasonably straight ”” except on coverage of social and religious conservatives. This is not just my view; it’s the unapologetic view of Bill Keller, the former executive editor….

Even though I care about culture and religion more than anything else, I gritted my teeth and read the paper anyway. It was worth it. Besides, they employ David Brooks and they hired Ross Douthat, and that counts for a lot in my book.

I’ve noticed, though, that as gay rights became more prominent in the public square, and as the Times took on a no-holds-barred advocacy role (it’s not just me saying that; two former NYT ombudsmen have made the same observation; I don’t have the links available to me, but you can easily look it up), it’s attitude toward religious believers anywhere to the right of the Episcopal Church left became increasingly nasty. Now the Times not only didn’t try to be fair, it seemed to go out of its way to be hostile. Look, I expect the Times to give ample coverage to gay issues, given the particular prominence of the gay community in NYC, and among the creative elites the paper keeps its eye on. I’m not sure when it happened, or why it happened, but at some point I started to think that the Times really does hate social and religious conservatives. I mean hate.

Read it all (emphasis his).


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, Media, Religion & Culture, Theology

3 comments on “What is going on at the New York Times (IV): Rod Dreher

  1. New Reformation Advocate says:

    Bravo! Thanks for posting this, Kendall. Rod Dreher is right.

    Ugly prejudice against Christianity is becoming more and more widely acceptable in North America, and not just in the smug circles that fawn over the NYT and its openly partisan stance on social issues. Not just in liberal New England or southern Cal, but throughout the country, albeit at different rates.

    But this is no time for us to curse the growing darkness. It’s time to light a candle, or rather a beacon. So I urge T19 readers: If you haven’t signed the Manhattan Declaration, please do so. Soon. The three planks in that historic Christian manifesto are ones that all authentic Christians should be able to agree on, i.e., the call to be actively pro-life, pro-marriage, and pro religious freedom.

    As Dreher eloquently demonstrates, religious freedom is rapidly becoming an endangered species in our increasingly illiberally liberal culture. So send a message to Manhattan by signing and promoting the Manhattan Declaration, co-written by Robert George and Charles Colson.

    David Handy+

  2. Jim the Puritan says:

    The problems caused by the concentration of the media into left-wing organizations such as the New York Times go beyond just their own newspaper.

    Here in my city, the two local daily newspapers went bankrupt after the economic collapse of 2007-08. Both had been fairly independent and middle of the road, without favoring either a liberal or conservative agenda. To survive they ended up merging into a single newspaper, keeping the newest printing facility and dumping the other, and laying off most of the staff and reporters of both papers.

    As a result, the paper is about 10% local news, produced by a couple of remaining local staff reporters, and virtually all the rest of the paper is filler reprints from the New York Times and AP. Both of those organizations have virtually the same biases and blind spots which miss about 80% of what is really going on. So in this community you get no real news in the local print media other than the left-wing propaganda being spewed out on the other side of the country. The local TV news largely follows the lead of the newspaper; ditto for the radio stations which simply repeat what is in the paper. And so that is reflected in the level of intellectual and political conversation, which is pretty much biased towards the left, because literally that is the only thing people are told here.

  3. Terry Tee says:

    I notice that the Times group reported quarterly profits yesterday that were 21% down on the previous quarter. Year-on comparison shows advertising revenue down as well, despite an improving economy. You can read all about it at, umm, the NYT:
    Actually it has done well to keep circulation comparatively flat. These are disastrous times for newspapers with circulations everywhere falling like a stone. I do not think that the NYT will be immune for much longer.