The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘My Little Realm …’

Posted on | March 27, 2011 | 17 Comments

New York Times editor Bill Keller damns his own soul to hell with a column attempting his own justification:

Back in 2004, Daniel Okrent, the first ombudsman at The Times, wrote a column under the headline, “Is The New York Times a Liberal Newspaper?” The sly first sentence of his essay was: “Of course it is.” Nobody seems to remember what came after. Okrent went on to explain that The Times’s outlook, steeped in the mores of a big, rambunctious city, tends to be culturally liberal: open-minded, skeptical of dogma, secular, cosmopolitan.

But it is none of those things, Mr. Keller. Indeed, it is the opposite of those things. The New York Times is close-minded, a credulous purveyor of the specific dogmas of organized liberalism, devoted to the credos of political correctness with the zeal of a fanatic, and narrowly provincial.

That’s not a mote in your eye, sir, it’s as much timber as might be found in a sequoyah forest. It blinds you to your failures, and if there were yet in your shriveled soul any remaining capacity for shame, you would have long ago resigned, never again to plague the world with pompous proclamations of your bona fides.

You have personally presided over the ruin of a once-great institution. These protestations of your good intentions serve only to remind readers of how the road to hell is proverbially paved. And what an epic folly you distill into a single ten-word sentence:

My little realm, the newsroom, consists of about 1,100 people.

Good Lord! The world’s largest and most highly-paid news-gathering operation in print journalism is your “little realm”!

And what a fine waste you have made of it, Mr. Keller. Your paper is routinely beaten on major stories by other news organizations with the merest fraction of the vast resources you command.

I suspect you will not reign over your “little realm” much longer. Some day historians chronicling the collapse of the New York Times will produce charts demonstrating that the downfall began the day you were hired and that the decline of the paper can be exactly correlated to the rise of Bill Keller within the organization.

Failure heaped upon embarrassing failure cannot be endlessly repeated and sold to the proprietors as success. Sooner or later, all these failures for which you have been personally responsible (try as you might to direct the blame elsewhere by your promiscuous use of “we”) will eventually tip the scales against you, and you’ll be gone.

Not a moment too soon, either. You are a stinking disgrace to the profession of journalism and the world would have been better off had you decided to pursued a career as a pimp, a carnival sideshow hustler or some other occupation for which you might possess an actual aptitude.


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