I think that this defense of the NY Times actually makes the paper look worse. In looking up things regarding their own beat, don't they look at the Fox News website? Don't they look at the Drudge Report just to see what is happening in the media? In addition, doesn't the NY Times work closely with Drudge because they like the links that he provides for them?
After being late on Van Jones and ACORN -- two stories pushed aggressively by Fox, talk radio and conservative blogs -- NY Times public editor Clark Hoyt describes the paper's "slow reflexes" when covering both stories in today's column: "Tuning In Too Late."
When I spoke with Washington bureau chief Dean Baquet nearly two weeks ago about these issues, he told me that there isn't a specific Times staffer watching the blogosphere, but that reporters should follow sites relating to their own beats.
But now the Times top editors, Hoyt writes, have decided to "assign an editor to monitor opinion media and brief them frequently on bubbling controversies."
Conservatives may think the Times' slow response is by design -- that the paper is less willing to jump on stories that could potentially damage Democrats. And the Times helped that perception along in 2008 with its controversial, front-page story insinuating an affair between John McCain and lobbyist Vicki Iseman, while sitting out the John Edwards infidelity story weeks after news broke.
But there's more at play than claims of liberal bias, as Mike Allen and I wrote earlier this month:
The dearth -- and tardiness -- of coverage by the traditional media is explained in part by the fact that most reporters for establishment news organizations do not follow the conservative media. They tend to consider many of the more outlandish charges from the right to be plain loony -- which they often are.
And ACORN has long been an obsession of the right, with some of past criticism taking on racial overtones. So reporters, being used to tuning out charges against ACORN, were slow to realize that this was a time when the group’s opponents had the goods.
Labels: mediabias, NYTimes