NY Times Notes 'Conservative' Breitbart Expansion, But Glenn Greenwald And Ezra Klein Ventures? Not Liberal

The “new media” is expanding in the digital realm, but one trend of liberal bias certainly isn’t new: While The New York Times repeated and repeated that expanding Breitbart News network is “conservative,” left-wing ventures by Glenn Greenwald and Ezra Klein were apparently non-ideological, and drew no ideological labels of any kind – liberal, leftist, progressive – at all.

On the front of Monday’s Business Day section, the Times promoted “The conservative news group begun by Andrew Breitbart, who died in 2012, is going global.” The headline on B-3 was “Conservative News Group to Add Staff to Websites.” Leslie Kaufman's story began with another two C-labels in the first 45 words:

It has been nearly two years since the conservative provocateur Andrew Breitbart died, but the online news organization that carries his name is not only continuing to wage his political battles, it is taking the war global.

Breitbart News Network, a group of activist, conservative news sites — including Big Government, Big Hollywood and Big Journalism — said on Sunday evening that it was adding at least a dozen staff members as it opens operations based in Texas and London....

Breitbart is part of group of online conservative news sites that have sprung up in the last five years and are reshaping political coverage of Washington.

Kaufman also wrote in the article that the site has “gained currency among conservatives” and is traffic is behind the “granddaddy of conservative blogs, The Drudge Report.”

By contrast, Times stories on emerging leftist media venture drew no labels anywhere as they planned their debut. For example:


On October 17, 2013: “Snowden Journalist's New Venture To Be Bankrolled by eBay Founder.” Reporters Noah Cohen and Quentin Hardy never managed an ideological label for the journalist (Glenn Greenwald), the moneybags (Pierre Omidyar), or the venture:

Mr. Omidyar and Mr. Greenwald came together after developing a growing respect that was built around shared causes like protection for journalists and a revulsion at government surveillance tactics.

Mr. Omidyar -- who declined an interview request but released a statement and spoke to the New York University journalism professor Jay Rosen -- describes a happy coincidence: just as he was looking to start his project, Mr. Greenwald and Ms. Poitras, along with the reporter and author Jeremy Scahill, ''were already on a path to create an online space to support independent journalists.''

On January 14: “New Enlistee to Ezra Klein’s Journalism Venture.” Reporter Ravi Somaiya relayed:

Matt Yglesias, an influential commentator on politics and economics, will leave Slate to join the new venture of the departing Washington Post analyst Ezra Klein, Slate's editor, David Plotz, said Thursday.

''He is going to be one of the founders,'' Mr. Plotz said. ''He'll leave us at the end of February.''

Mr. Yglesias declined to provide details of his position, or of the venture. ''There's not much to say at this point,'' he said by email Thursday, ''other than that I'm very excited to be part of this team and we're hoping to announce some more stuff in the near future.''

Mr. Klein announced this week he was leaving The Post, along with two staff members who had worked on his politics and policy site, Wonkblog. He was, according to a memo the newspaper sent to the staff, ''looking to start his own news organization.''

On January 27: “A Big Hire Signals Web News Is Thriving.” Media columnist David Carr explained:

After a week of speculation, it turns out that Ezra Klein, the prolific creator of The Washington Post's Wonkblog, will be going to Vox Media, the online home of SB Nation, a sports site, and The Verge, a fast-growing technology site.

His change of address could be read as the latest parable of Old Media cluelessness -- allowing a journalism asset to escape who will come back to haunt them -- or as another instance of a star journalist cashing in on name-brand success.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis