The New York Times really loathes Rupert Murdoch. The Gray Lady almost achieved nirvana on the front page the other day when a group of laborites in the British Parliament asserted in a "damning report" that Murdoch was "not fit" for major media ownership. Bill Keller, recently the paper's executive editor, devoted his latest column to Fox News with the headline "Murdoch's Pride Is America's Poison."
The man who edited The New York Times is blunt: "I would argue that -- at least for Americans -- Fox News is Murdoch's most toxic legacy." If that's not ridiculous enough, try this: He claims the problem is not that Fox is conservative, but because ... wait for it ... Fox pretends to be objective instead of openly admitting it's partisan. Unlike, say, The New York Times.
"My complaint is that Fox pretends very hard to be something it is not, and in the process, contributes to the corrosive cynicism that has polarized our public discourse," he declares. Whether he was giggling uncontrollably as he typed this was unclear.
Can these liberals be more clueless? Actually, yes. Keller is smart enough to understand why the American people believe the media elite is shamelessly slanted to the left and is presently huckstering for President Obama like he's a struggling brand, a political new Coke. Keller concedes his media critics "probably are convinced that what they have created is the conservative counterweight to a media elite long marinated in liberal bias."
But then comes another passage that really deserves its very own laugh track. Keller insists the conservatives are wrong. They're not biased at The New York Times because "we try to live by a code, a discipline, that tells us to set aside our personal biases, to test not only facts but the way they add up, to seek out the dissenters and let them make their best case, to show our work. We write unsparing articles about public figures of every stripe -- even, sometimes, about ourselves."
Quick, let's disprove Keller in a sentence or less. (It can be done.) Here's Bill Keller reporting from Moscow in 1989: "Watching the Supreme Soviet invent itself is a little like speed-reading the Federalist Papers." In 1996, he asserted that dissenter-murdering Mikhail Gorbachev was "a man of impeccable character."
Unlike Rupert Murdoch or Roger Ailes, they poison America.
Anyone who reads The New York Times can easily disprove Keller. In stories about global warming, does the Times "seek out the dissenters and let them make their best case"? What about gay marriage? Abortion? Waterboarding? Dick Cheney?