Find a comfortable spot on the carpet, children, the New York Times has a lesson for you all about how to curate editorial content.
While fishing through his neighbor’s recycling this morning, Cockburn was amused to see, on page A15 of the Times, a piece about his favorite poll aggregators, RealClearPolitics. What on earth could the site have done to earn the scrutiny of the Gray Lady?
Brace yourself, dear reader: you may find parts of the report unsettling:
‘...RealClearPolitics and its affiliated websites have taken a rightward, aggressively pro-Trump turn over the last four years as donations to its affiliated nonprofit have soared.‘
Dear heavens! Rightward and aggressively pro-Trump? Cockburn almost fainted when he read those words — so he can only imagine the effect they had on the Times’s more delicate subscribers. What else?
‘RealClear became one of the most prominent platforms for elevating unverified and reckless stories about the President’s political opponents, through a mix of its own content and articles from across conservative media.‘
Elevating unverified and reckless stories? Goodness! Don’t they know that’s the New York Times‘s job? What the reporter Jeremy Peters seems to be describing here is aggregation — RealClear posts stories from outlets of different political persuasions. Today, for instance, you can find links to Vox, the Atlantic and Politico, as well as the Washington Examiner, American Greatness and the Wall Street Journal. In the olden times, hacks such as Cockburn used to call this ‘editorial mix’.
Diversity of opinion is a fairly alien concept to the Times, a newspaper that has published approximately one Trump supporter for each year of his presidency.