Quote IconIt would be one thing if Brooks weren’t aware of the scope of poverty’s effects on kids. Ignorance might be a plausible excuse for suggesting such half-measures. But Brooks knows better. He describes the brutal, destiny-altering, cancerous effects of poverty … and suggests that we try some mild palliatives. It’s hard to tell if this is cruelty by omission or just a failure of nerve, but in either case, his prescriptions are embarrassingly inadequate.

David Brooks’ latest column offers some truly bizarre advice about how to help underprivileged children

Quote IconIt’s also the perk that keeps its practitioners at the paper, doing the kind of reporting that sustains the brand, which keeps readers paying for subscriptions, which help pay for more ambitious work. It’s not exactly an innovate-or-die situation for the paper. It’s more like: Innovate or find yourself a Bezos—who might tinker more drastically than you’d like.

How to Build a Smarter Times, According to the Times’s Own Journalist. By Marc Tracy.

Quote IconNate Silver is not a threat to good, traditional political journalism, because he doesn’t do what strong political journalism does: Investigative reporting about campaign finance, the strategies the campaigns follow, the people who are running and how they learn to give speeches and practice for debates. And all those things matter.

What Nate Silver’s Move Means for the ‘Times’ and ESPN. By Marc Tracy.

Was the New York Times unfair to John McCain?

I’m not usually in the habit of defending Republicans. But when Sen. John McCain, R.-AZ, takes to the Senate floor to denounce as “ugly and unfortunate” personal attacks made on a Democratic State department aide by his fellow Republicans—one of them (Michele Bachmann) a recent presidential candidate—I don’t see how the New York Times can justify, a mere ten days later, slapping onto Page One the headline, “Once A Rebel, McCain Now Walks The Party Line.” The story itself, by Jennifer Steinhauer, reads like it once matched the headline, but underwent radical surgery after McCain’s gutsy floor speech. Now it is merely incoherent. It posits three McCains. Once he was a maverick. (Correct.) Then he tacked far to the right to win re-election in 2010. (Correct.) Now he is a “partisan warrior and party stalwart.” Huh? 

Sensing that this narrative doesn’t really work, Steinhauer changes it after the jump. After his defeat in the 2008 presidential election, McCain spent three years sulking, much as Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., did after his 2004 presidential defeat. “It took me three years of feeling sorry for myself,” McCain is quoted saying to a group of reporters. Now he has re-emerged as “a polestar on nearly every major issue consuming the Senate.” If you say so. Exhibit A is McCain, “in all of his McCain-ness,” deriding Bachmann and Co. So … he is a maverick again? Actually, he doesn’t know what he is! Here I begin to picture Times editors as emergency room doctors, jumping onto this story and pounding on its chest in an attempt to bring its point—any point—to life.

Timothy Noah — Defending McCain




I hope this is a joke. The New York Times Public Editor wonders aloud if their journalists should be reporting the truth.


Maybe he thinks the NYT should be more like a truth noodge? 

FJP: Ooph.

Is that the prevailing view? And if so, how can The Times do this in a way that is objective and fair? Is it possible to be objective and fair when the reporter is choosing to correct one fact over another? Are there other problems that The Times would face that I haven’t mentioned here?