Jeff Jacoby
Wrapping up two years as public editor of The New York Times, veteran journalist Arthur Brisbane last week reflected on the liberal slant that often pervades the news coverage of what is still the most influential brand in American newspapers.

"The hive on Eighth Avenue," he wrote, referring to the headquarters of the New York Times Company (which owns the Boston Globe), "is powerfully shaped by a culture of like minds -- a phenomenon, I believe, that is more easily recognized from without than from within." He credited the papers' editors and reporters with trying to enforce "fairness and balance" in their presidential campaign coverage. But by and large, what appears in the Times "virtually bleeds" with "political and cultural progressivism." The result is that "developments like the Occupy movement and gay marriage seem almost to erupt in the Times … more like causes than news subjects."

Brisbane isn't the first Times ombudsman to say so. A predecessor, Daniel Okrent, was even more forceful in 2004. "Is the Times a Liberal Newspaper?" asked the headline on his final column. "Of course it is." Listing some of the most controversial issues of the day, he lamented: "If you think the Times plays it down the middle on any of them, you've been reading the paper with your eyes closed."

Liberal media bias isn't merely in the eyes of conservative beholders. Large pluralities of the public routinely tell Gallup that the news media are too liberal. At least some journalists concede the point. There are so many left-leaning journalists, ABC's then-political director
Mark Halperin observed in 2006,"that it tilts the coverage quite frequently, in many issues, in a liberal direction…. It's an endemic problem." On C-SPAN last March, Politico's executive editor Jim VandeHei said there was "no doubt" about the dominant mindset within the profession: "If you put all of the reporters that I've ever worked with on truth serum, most of them vote Democratic."

Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby is an Op-Ed writer for the Boston Globe, a radio political commentator, and a contributing columnist for