How Sweet It Is

December 9, 2008

The headlines said it all.
Cash-Poor NTY Seeks $225M Deal for Building

The New York Times itself:
Times Co. to Borrow Against Building

And I must admit, I couldn’t have been happier. Not for the news that yet another paper is in financial trouble, but for the news that it’s THIS particular paper.

I have watched for decades now the once mighty “Old Gray Lady”, devolve into a spoiled, whiny little brat who can’t deal with the fact that she is no longer the center of attention. From Adolph Ochs’ infamous “All the news that’s fit to print” to today’s “We’ll print anything that promotes our agenda”, the New York Times is finally experiencing her own self-inflicted demise.

Current publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. has succeeded beyond expectations in completely destroying the legacy started by his great-grandfather back in 1896. By injecting politics and personal agenda into the news room the Times can no longer be considered “The paper of record” but more like the personal playground for the liberal elite. From Jason Blair to the recent refusal to print John McCain’s editorial response to Barack Obama’s attack, “objective news reporting” is no longer in the lexicon at the news room.

For the sake of full disclosure I must confess to being a disgruntled former employee. You see way back in the dinosaur age of the internet (1998) there was a little site called that started as an internet venture of the Boston Globe. It was a totally new experience for us web geeks at the time as it allowed for the starting of interactive threads/questions on virtually any topic imaginable. I found myself debating everything from the Palestinian/Israeli question to school vouchers with users from all over the country and as the site became known, from all over the globe. We all had naive notions back then about the impact abuzz would have. Great enlightenment, world peace, that sort of thing. It truly was one big town hall, complete with all the mandatory characters.

Then along comes New York Times Digital who buys out lil old abuzz amid much fanfare and promise. It was at this time that I became a part time moderator for the site and an official employee of the New York Times set of companies. (whoopee!) It was also at this time that I began to see first hand just how screwed up the Times really was. What was once our little “new bastion of democracy” was soon being tamped down by the P.C. police and debate was filtered through all things left. Coupled with a cluster of incompetent management, the site never really had a chance and has since disappeard into the black hole of what could have beens.

The same P.C. thought and management miscreants has now driven the paper Times to the brink of oblivion. For this writer and many more, it couldn’t come at a better time. After all, their chosen one rode into the White House on the mantra of “change” and now the Times is facing it’s biggest change in a century. Call it poetic justice, irony, or just plain “it’s about time”, seeing the Times sink under it’s own ego is a dish sweet indeed.

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