Liz Spayd Isn’t Helping

Shit’s sake, this nonsense again: 

Carlson said that the tweets sent the message that “we tried to keep this guy from getting elected, but did anyways.”

“That suggests they don’t understand the mission of a newspaper, which is to bring you the news, not to affect the outcome of a political race,” Carlson concluded.

The Fox News host asked why the reporters had not been disciplined.

“Where are the editors here?” he asked. “I mean, if my — you know, If I was the New York Times and my editors were tweeting crap like that, I would say you stop that right now or I’m firing you. Why don’t they do that?”

“I don’t know,” Spayd replied. “I don’t know that any of those people should be fired, but I do think that when people go over the line like that, and I think some of those are over the line, that there ought to be some kind of a consequence for that.”

Let’s be clear. Every single thing that happens in a news organization happens in service of an agenda. What stories are covered, for how long, by whom. Where they’re run: A1 for this and the back of the back of the back section for that. How large the headlines, how prestigious the bylines, who gets to do what and go where … that’s all part of setting the parameters of the national conversation.

The national conversation that just took place was a loud fart noise followed by Heil Hitler, and people — including reporters, because they know better — have honestly said so, and that pisses off the Fox News rage-monkeys who GOSH DARN WHAT A COINCIDENCE have an agenda of their own.

And instead of telling those rage-monkeys to go fling their shit at someone who cares, here comes Liz Spayd to shit-talk the New York Times while cashing its checks.

Reporters at the New York Times risk their lives covering the news. They risk their lives in ways large and small every single day. And the New York Times takes money earned by the work of people who are brave and good and true, and uses that money to pay Liz Spayd to go on Fox News and say shit like this:

“I mean, everybody has got to have their personal political views. We all do. But they ought to be personal. And if you sign up to be a journalist, then that’s what you ought to be,” Spayd added.

What exactly should the NYT’s reporters have done? I suppose, in order to satisfy Spayd, they should have just shut up in the face of relentless assaults on their colleagues and their mission. They should have talked about the political news of the day with the anthropological detachment appropriate for contemplating one’s own demise, as one might examine a distant supernova exploding billions of years in the past. I suppose the NYT’s reporters should just have said my, how curious that an entire national movement that wants us dead is ascendant and please, Jeeves, bring me my tea so that I might consider dispassionately the way in which Donald Trump’s mouthbreathing army of chucklefucks screamed obscenities in the faces of my colleagues and called for their execution in camps. I suppose they ought to have tweeted about Hillary’s e-mails some more. It’s not like anything is at stake here.

Heaven forfend we act like there’s a crisis when there is in fact a crisis. Trump’s campaign put reporters in a cage, and that they went into it willingly makes the bars no less real. And day after day after day the man who is now President-Elect of the United States of America encouraged thousands of people to turn on those reporters and yell and threaten and harass and attack. This campaign, this “movement,” they put something they hated in a cage and they beat on the bars and they threw things and they hit it with sticks and they talked all day long about killing it, raping it, putting it down.

This is after, after mind you, two solid decades of the establishment press sucking up to the Right in all its alt- and non-alt forms. Reporters and editors and executive producers had gone out of their way for 20 years to make it clear they were willing to take anything the GOP dished out, and for that they were loathed and spit on and kicked in the face.

And after all that, after “let’s open up the libel laws” and “lugenpresse” and “there’s something happening, Katy,” a couple of reporters had the nerve to use bloody language to say the states are bleeding. A couple of people had the nerve to give a shit and act like it.

So here comes Liz Spayd to run them down, on a network that hates them already, for an audience ready to call for her head before she opens her mouth. Here comes Liz Spayd to agree that yes, bad bad bad reporters, forgetting to pretend not to care.



2 thoughts on “Liz Spayd Isn’t Helping

  1. I miss Margaret Sullivan. Well, I don’t MISS miss her, inasmuch as I can still read her in the Post, but for once in the generally miserable existence of The Times Almighty’s ombudsman position, Sullivan acted like the reader advocate she was supposed to be and damn the consequences — and the Times got better as a result. Spayd, on the other hand, has struck me from Day 1 as maneuvering for a publisher’s job somewhere else when her contract is up; meanwhile, the Times regresses toward rehiring Judith Miller.

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