Margaret Sullivan, the New York Times public editor, noted a shameful anniversary for the paper -- the 10th anniversary of the Jayson Blair scandal -- but not without calling her paper as "world-class" as the scandal itself.
But to the paper's liberal readership, the more shameful mistake involved reporter Judy Miller's overly credulous reporting on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction during the run-up to the Iraq War.
This week marks 10 years of Times Watch, the Media Research Center's project monitoring the liberal bias of the New York Times, America's most influential newspaper. Over the course of roughly 3,500 posts since March 2003, we have followed the Times through events historic (wars in Afghanistan and Iraq), pathetic (Jayson Blair, Howell Raines) and dangerous (the paper scuttling two separate anti-terror programs.)
Here in rough chronological order are the Top Ten highlights of the New York Times' 10-year investigation into the bias of the New York Times.
Howell Raines lost his executive editor’s job at The New York Times for promoting the career of Jayson Blair, a black drug addict and fantasist who invented entire stories describing the hills of West Virginia from a saloon down the street in New York. But somehow Raines still imagines himself a media bigfoot who can pronounce on the State of Journalism, a one-man Pulitzer Prize panel. This is a little like a White House chef who poisoned an entire state-dinner crowd mounting a soapbox to lecture that the new chefs can’t be trusted.
Of course, that soapbox must be provided first. So who would give this naked man a fig leaf of respectability? The Washington Post would.
The Posties awarded Raines their marquee venue – the Sunday Outlook section -- to denounce Fox News Channel and its owner Rupert Murdoch. Announcing this was tugging at his "professional conscience" (thus suggesting he has one), Raines demanded to know "Why can't American journalists steeped in the traditional values of their profession be loud and candid about the fact that Murdoch does not belong to our team?"
Hard as it may be to believe, one of this decade’s biggest disgraces has been asked to present a speech on the very subject that was his downfall...Blair will travel to Washington and Lee next Friday to give a speech entitled “Lessons Learned.”