It leads, he suggested delicately, to the Times "looking clueless or, worse, partisan itself."
Well, coupled with the paper's studied avoidance of the Van Jones story until the man had actually retired, yes, one could certainly say that, couldn't one?
In the paper's defense, Hoyt notes that it's published stories about Eliot Spitzer and Charles Rangel, even though they are Democrats. And it's true; the paper has.
But they are New York Democrats, and even if Rangel or Spitzer went, it's not like their departure was going to significantly advantage Republicans in the short term; does anyone think a Republican is going to fill Rangel's Harlem congressional seat? Democrat David Paterson was next in line to take over from Spitzer, and even the Times couldn't see what a colossal incompetent he would be.
What the Van Jones and ACORN stories have in common is that they held the potential to hurt Democrats politically on a national basis; more, they potentially damage the Times' own apostle of hope, Barack Obama.
Everyone has already decided about The New York Times and its bias. Liberals love it and may continue to buy it. But there's no question that it's going bankrupt for a reason. It's no longer the newspaper of record; it's effectively become nothing more than the tip sheet for the liberal media elite.
Anyone who still really can't decide about the Times' good faith and nonpartisanship should consider the following: If Operation Rescue, Eagle Forum or any other activist group allied with the right were facilitating the kind of behavior ACORN was shown to be assisting, would the Times really ignore the story? If the Bush White House had hired an activist as far to the fringe right as Van Jones was to the fringe left, would the Times really have left the story decently unmentioned?
The questions answer themselves, and the conclusion is obvious. Whether the journalists and editors staffing the Times know or believe it themselves, they are biased. End of story. It's really become impossible to deny -- even for Hoyt. In his tenure as the Times' ombudsman, has he ever had to look at the topic of the Times' "tuned-outness" when it comes to downplaying a story that would hurt conservatives?