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The New York Times and the Left's War on Truth By: Spencer Warren
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, May 20, 2003


The New York Times affirmative action diversity scandal demonstrates much more than the folly of the Left’s reverse racism and the top management’s arrogance. It is an example of the Left’s instrumental treatment of truth, which is the inescapable consequence of their worship at the altar of absolute equality of condition.

Absolute equality is of course the utopian vision of the Left, which scorns the equality before the law that is the glory of America’s Constitution and of free government. Because the Left’s vision – or, to put it more accurately, obsession and fetish – is contradicted by the reality of human nature, the Left, when it has been in a position to attempt to realize its obsession, has always had to make war on objective truth. For Communists, it became a war on the very society they claimed to be perfecting: from Lenin to Stalin to Mao, from Castro to Pol Pot to Kim Il Sung and his demented son.

For the leftists in charge of many if not most of our universities, foundations, schools, libraries and the establishment news media, and for those sitting on our courts, it has become a war to destroy the objective truths of our moral and constitutional tradition (including judicial restraint), as well as our historical identity, on the ground these have been tools of oppression against racial minorities, women, homosexuals, the disabled and others. (These groups constitute their substitute for Marx’s exploited proletariat: the new class struggle is now social and cultural more than economic.)

Thus, for Howell Raines, Gerald Boyd and Arthur O. Sulzberger, Jr., basic standards of journalistic integrity (not to mention the revered, self-proclaimed 150-year-old tradition of the "All the News that’s Fit to Print") must be thrown aside in pursuit of the vision of "diversity." No matter repeated warnings of other editors against promoting the miscreant. No matter publishing lies to millions of readers (who if they were discerning would have stopped reading the paper some time ago – see below). No matter the gross insult to every black person who works hard to succeed on his or her merit as an individual person of character. Raines, Boyd and Sulzberger are possessed of what Thomas Sowell called "The Vision of the Anointed," and so the end justifies the means. (Confident they also possess this vision, Senate Democrats are busy trashing the Constitution, imposing via the filibuster a new, unauthorized two-thirds vote requirement for some of President Bush’s judicial nominees. The Democrat left’s ruthless, cynical disrespect for our institutions and traditions has been proliferating since the rule of their last president.)

But even before this episode, the Times editors had destroyed the newspaper's reputation in the eyes of fair-minded readers. Losing any sense of proportion, they have slanted the news so steeply toward the Left’s agenda that truth, honesty and fairness have long been sliding off the deck. Most recently, there was the ignorant R. W. Apple’s hoped for "quagmire" in Iraq, tendentiously set forth in his platitudinous News "Analysis" column, and proved totally wrong in a matter of days. (One of the limitations of journalism is that no one remembers what is written and a writer can be wrong for decades and never be called on it. Apple undoubtedly will continue to write his "analysis" and continue to be wrong a large portion of the time.)

Among other examples of the Times’s decline: a few months ago there was the incident in which the front page claimed Dr. Henry Kissinger opposed the administration’s policy to attack Saddam Hussein, when in truth his op-ed column published in the Washington Post shortly before endorsed that policy; the Times story was a blatant lie. The Times also has written that crime in black neighborhoods has its positive aspects (more diversity?). Last week, Andrew Sullivan caught Maureen Dowd fabricating a quotation to make President Bush look bad on terrorism – more high journalistic standards! The Times was once a great American institution but even then its reputation was not entirely deserved. Note the Times’s lies about the Stalin show trials in the Thirties; its gross under-reporting of the Holocaust during World War II, even though it was in truth well known to anyone who wanted to know, e.g. The New Republic; its misrepresentation of Castro as a "reformer" in the Fifties; and Harrison Salisbury's work as stooge for the North Vietnamese. Yet Raines, et. al., now narcissistically claim the lying young reporter is the paper’s low point!

And why have Raines and Sulzberger destroyed the integrity and tradition of the Times? Again, to realize their leftist agenda, which includes destroying the Bush presidency and Republican Congress. After all, their "compassion" makes them morally superior to the rest of us, does it not? Respect for old verities must not hold them back: One still has to break some eggs to make the perfect omelette.


Spencer Warren was a Member of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff in the Reagan administration, and also served on Republican Congressional staff. He is president of the Insider’s Washington Experience, a public policy seminar program.


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