All the News Analysis That’s Fit to Hide

The New York Times has virtually unparalled resources for reporting the news. This is their strength, and they should stick to it. Instead, to compete an industry that places emphasis on opinion rather than intellectual honesty, the New York Times is now in the business of producing tripe so-called “news analysis” that misguidedly strives to speak to the “conventional wisdom” of some amorphous and totally non-existent “middle opinion.” This piece of post-modern excrement is so stupid it makes you wonder how the New York Times hasn’t gone out of business yet.

WASHINGTON — President-elect Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination with the enthusiastic support of the left wing of his party, fueled by his vehement opposition to the decision to invade Iraq and by one of the most liberal voting records in the Senate.

Now, his reported selections for two of the major positions in his cabinet — Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state and Timothy F. Geithner as secretary of the Treasury — suggest that Mr. Obama is planning to govern from the center-right of his party, surrounding himself with pragmatists rather than ideologues.

The choices are as revealing of the new president as they are of his appointees — and suggest that, from its first days, an Obama White House will brim with big personalities and far more spirited debate than occurred among the largely like-minded advisers who populated President Bush’s first term.

  1. The differences between Obama and Clinton during the primary were essentially a wash. Clinton voted for the War in Iraq, but their positions during the primary were both critical of the war. What’s more Clinton supported a universal mandate for health care, a measure marking Clinton’s proposal to the left of Obama’s. There were other minor spats like the gas tax holiday, but these were far more emblematic of Clinton’s desire to pander to working class white voters than anything else.
  2. The fact that Obama and Clinton agreed on a substantial majority of issues during the primary suggests that either Clinton is to the left of her perceived ideology or Obama was to the right. In either case, this makes a “shift” impossible.
  3. Geithner was widely supported by left-leaning liberals.
  4. The article also mentions the possibility of keeping Gates at Defense as further evidence of a “shift”, but misses the obvious conclusion that agreement doesn’t constitute a “shift.”
  5. The selection of “pragmatists” like Rahm Emanuel is entirely consistent with Obama’s vision of change; namely that change does not mean a liberal being a conservative all in one, but rather it means producing substanitive policy changes.
  6. Even if you buy that “change” equates to a liberal being a conservative, then the appointment of people ostensibly to the “right” of Obama is entirely consistent with that message, thus making a “shift” yet again impossible.

I could go on, but it’s just making me upset. For all the hand-wringing in the newspaper business, it seems like there could be tremendous benefit in evaluating the quality of the content produced. Again, the New York Times is considered the best newspaper because it is the best at reporting the news. You don’t see AC/DC producing emo-punk not only because they are famous for rock, but also because it’s not what they do best. Please New York Times, leave opinion on the opinion page and just stick to the basic reporting.


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