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It's simple. the NYT is and has been for some time, a mouthpiece for the sitting administration in Washington. They were under Bush, they are under Obama. The administrations trade 'towing the line' for access. Don't toe the line, no access. I hate to say it but there are few if any large news organizations which do the kind of Journalism we're taught about in school.

They have been more statist than partisan in the recent past. The NYT editorial board is most consistent in its advocacy for additional powers being granted to the federal government.

You might say it is a mouthpiece for the government, but not the political administration; NYT tends to favor the administrative bureaucracy.

This is a natural consequence of the type of journalism they practice.

I recently listened to an interesting interview on the BBC with the late french spy novel author Gérard de Villiers. One of the things he mentions is that journalists need sources, and to get sources you need to do favors. It's a game of you-say-something-nice-about-me-and-my-gov't-program and I'll give you a scoop. That's why they come off as slobbering the shaft of gov't officals. You don't go interview some department boss and then bad mouth him, b/c you won't get invited next time.

This is more a consequence of PR being cheap (nicely packaged chunks of the article at no cost) and journalism expensive. If the NYTimes stopped playing by various players' be-nice rules, they would still have access (they have enough relevance that blacklisting them would hurt), but it would be more expensive to produce.

I also take issue with this Editorial and agree with the EFF, but this...

   a mouthpiece for the sitting administration in Washington. They were under Bush, they are under Obama
That kind of characterization borders on absurdity.

I'm sorry of the NYT doesn't bow to your personal politics but to say its a "mouthpiece" - especially for Bush is more than a stretch of reality.

The NY Times stopped using the word torture to describe what the US was doing because of the Bush Admin. The New York times supported the Iraq War and was the leading the charge for a war with Iran during Bush's second term.

Supporting certain action of the administration and being a mouthpiece for the administration is a very different thing. Do you think any media org that supports, for example, the killing of Bin Laden, which is commonly attributed to Obama administration, is an Obama mouthpiece?

There were many people that supported Iraq War, from many political persuasions. Some regretted it, some didn't. It doesn't mean they all were Bush's mouthpieces, there is place for genuine agreement even in today's politics.

How do you characterize changing the language reporters are allowed to use in the paper to appease the Bush admin?

Israel just released 26 terrorists from jail about a week ago to appease Palestinian government. Does it mean the government of Israel is now an agent and mouthpiece of Hamas and PLO?

The notion that Israel does anything to appease Palestinian is kinda funny.

I don't see anything funny in it, but maybe your sense of humor is different. In any case, it is a fact - a quick Google search would produce ample confirmation that it did really happen if you doubt my words. In any case by changing the topic I assume you concede the initial point.

I asked you a straight forward question and you side stepped it with some ridicules notion that Israel is appeasing Palestine.

1. The word "ridicules" is a verb. You meant "ridiculous".

2. It is not the notion, it is a fact. Widely confirmed by independent sources which you can find by simple Google search or on any "current events" page in any major media outlet.

3. I brought it as an example that appeasing somebody and identifying with somebody is not the same. If you don't like this example, take example of Chamberlain appeasing Germans. I didn't use that because that has a high chance of taking discussion offtopic, but you managed to take it offtopic anyway.

4. The original point was that appeasing and being a mouthpiece is far from being the same. You still did not manage to bring any argument to the contrary. NYT published a lot of things harmful to Bush. It also published a lot of things useful to Bush. Thinking that the same newspaper that published the story of Stellar Wind was parroting Bush doesn't make any sense.

your lack of understanding of the world around you is frightening

Doing their patriotic duty.


Funny, in some of these Letters to the Editor, readers talk (and complain) about how the NYTimes takes "high moral ground" in decrying "torture".

"The Finding: U.S. Engaged in Torture"


which refers to the Front Page story on April 16th that had headline:

"U.S. Practiced Torture After 9/11, Nonpartisan Review Concludes,"


Keller, the executive editor during some of the Bush years, spoke as to why and when "torture" was and wasn't used.


This is more informed then your shouts of "mouthpiece" and I hope it helps:

"The word was freely deployed in editorials and Op-Ed opinions, but in the news pages we described the techniques as “brutal” – upgraded from “harsh.” When the word “torture” appeared, it was qualified by attribution (“according to…” or “widely denounced as…”). Hoyt, as the reader’s ombudsman, heard complaints from “some who think ‘brutal’ is just a timid euphemism for torture” and from readers on the other side “who think ‘brutal’ is too loaded.” The editors (I was one at the time) argued that what constituted torture was still a matter of debate, that this issue was not just linguistic but legal and had not yet been resolved by a court, and that the word was commonly applied to such a range of practices as to be imprecise. We contended that the best approach was to describe the techniques as fully as possible and let readers draw their own conclusions."


See also:

"The Guantánamo Stain" (2013)


"It became the embodiment of his dangerous expansion of executive power and the lawless detentions, secret prisons and torture that went along with them. It is now also a reminder of Mr. Obama’s failure to close the prison as he promised when he took office, and of the malicious interference by Congress in any effort to justly try and punish the Guantánamo inmates."


"Sweeping Torture Under the Rug"


"Meanwhile, in Washington, officials still won’t acknowledge Mr. Masri’s kidnapping and torture, which was just one example of President George W. Bush’s “extraordinary rendition program.”"


"Detainee Was Tortured, a Bush Official Confirms"


"A senior Pentagon official in the Bush administration said that interrogators had tortured a Guantánamo detainee."


"'Moderate physical pressure' : The painful lesson Israel learned about torture"


"As the Abu Ghraib torture scandal keeps unfolding, ..."

>especially for Bush is more than a stretch of reality.

I don't necessarily agree with your parent's assertion, but do you not remember the NYT beating the drums of war as loud as anyone in the lead up to Iraq?

This was the reason I stopped reading it. You have to remember that "over here" in Europe it was very clear how weak the case for going to war was even before the attack had started. I wonder if Colin Powell knew that he was throwing away his reputation that day.

Lately, I have found the Guardian much more informative.

But the guy above you heard that they are a liberal media organization, and a conservative media organization said that, so it must be true that the NYT are a bunch of pinko liberal hippies.

Maybe. I used to think a lot of conclusions I had were absurd.

I think the NYT has come a long way from the paper storied of old.

Also, and I mean this in the most non ad hominem way possible. At what point would you disclose your former and ongoing relationship with the NYT in making a comment like that?

For Bush's first term, the characterization is only a bit inaccurate. For Bush's second term, it's obviously wildly off the mark.

For Obama's time in office, both terms, the NYT has indeed functioned as a de facto press room of the administration.

Their support of the Iraq War was pretty unfortunate, and possibly leads to this characterization.

How can a newspaper support anything?

Isn't it a number of different journalists, all with different opinions?

> Isn't a newspaper a number of different journalists, all with different opinions?

Not really, no. It's the editor who sets the agenda; often at the bidding of the owners.


NYT protected Bush by sitting on their knowledge of AT&T-facilitated domestic wiretapping. Pretty big story they could have broke. The NYT's usefulness is due to their pretence of being proponents of transparency and democracy.

How many more times do they have to write another "anonymous government official said this outrageous thing [1]" article for you to start doubting?

1: that happens to be exactly the government line

No, the characterization borders on reality. Reality is absurd; I'll give you that.

Google "Judy Miller."

I've found ProPublica to be great. I also really like Frontline, and often appreciate NPR though they could have handled a few situations better. I really do miss having Neal Conan doing his show.

I think it would be more accurate to simply state that the NYT is an apologist for the state.

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