Does New York Times editor’s tweet confirm allegations of liberal bias?

The Wall Street Journal

James Taranto criticizes Jim Roberts, an assistant managing editor for The New York Times, for retweeting Think Progress’ link to its post comparing the Wall Street protests to the Boston Tea Party. Retweeting a link to a liberal blog like Think Progress “would be unremarkable coming from, say, the editor of the Times editorial page,” Taranto writes. “From Roberts, however, it reinforces perceptions that the Times’s news coverage is biased in favor of the left and against the Tea Party.” Taranto notes that many journalists disclaim that retweets don’t necessarily constitute endorsements; he sometimes tweets to material he disagrees with. Roberts, however, usually links to news stories, Taranto argues, while the Think Progress post is “pure opinion … One imagines that Roberts doesn’t mean to be partisan — that he thinks TP is making an interesting, salient point whose merits are obvious to all right-thinking people.” Roberts retweeted Think Progress’ link to Taranto’s column, prefacing it with “This RT is NOT an endorsement.” Zach Seward, the Journal’s editor for outreach and social media, says of the column: ”It’s a cheap shot and contradicts itself.” || Related: CNN business reporter Alison Kosik deletes tweet saying that the purpose of the Wall Street protests appears to be, “Bang on the bongos, smoke weed!” || Policy: Washington Post’s digital publishing guidelines urge staff not to tweet anything that could be perceived as reflecting political bias or favoritism and to note in bios that “links and RTs do not equal endorsements.”

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  • Anonymous

    Actually, fighting two wars without either raising money to pay for them or cutting spending to pay for them might have been quite a serious factor among others in driving us into the recessionary ditch — as was the deregulation of the banking system, all under both Democratic and Republican administrations.

  • Anonymous

    I hope the NYTimes is pushing a liberal agenda — cause otherwise they’d be stupid, or venal or some combo of both, which is my guess for Tranto. Or angling to suck up to the rich & famous and make their fortune that way, which is prolly what motivates most of the right-wing crap slingers in the press. Hard to believe so many’ll stooge for enemies of decency, not to say foes of their own country & supposed religious beliefs, just for some coin. What a bunch a drips.

  • Anonymous

    No surprise here: either in the facts of the story or the liberals’ predictable reaction to it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=504633504 Dan Mitchell

    What about the question? “Do you really say anything more than that?” Which is sort of the major thrust of the comment you’re responding to. I’d like to see your response, because I’ve never seen anything else from you, either.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=504633504 Dan Mitchell

    If so, then I wonder why anyone would read a conservative column. But if the fact that an NYT editor linked to something not particularly controversial on Twitter is interesting to you, good for you, I guess. 

  • Anonymous

    I’m not getting this “tracking tweets” stuff–as if it was some type of obsessive nitpicking. Isn’t tracking tweets the very definition of how you use Twitter? You’re following a NY Times editor, you see that he has pointed to a liberal piece, and you make note of it. That’s sort of part of the job description of someone who writes an openly conservative column about what is on the Web.

  • Anonymous

    Given the way this item has riled up the liberals here, I think Taranto had a point.

  • Dale Eisman

    If Taranto wants to waste his time tracking tweets, it’s OK by me. I’m just mystified that he and his editors can’t find anything better for him — a nice long nap maybe!

  • Anonymous

    “…or the granular details of whether government spending prevented a financial calamity or prevented unemployment from hitting Depression-era levels (short version: it did)”

    Thanks for the laugh!

  • Anonymous

    Oh, yes. All of the top-level NYT people are in a meeting right now, sweating with fear, discussing how to address The Taranto Twitter Revelations. 

    But, good buzzword use, though. We all learn a lot from your parroty talking points, buzzwords and adjectives. Because now we know that you, BrotherMathias, don’t like liberals (do you really ever say anything more than that?) We don’t know how much you might know, or don’t know, about Keynesianism, or the granular details of whether government spending prevented a financial calamity or prevented unemployment from hitting Depression-era levels (short version: it did). But we do know that you, BrotherMathias, don’t like liberals. Also that you believe: “Keynesianism Bad.” Which is really just fascinating. And if we forget, you’ll be along in a day or two to remind us that you don’t like liberals, and you have the “feelings”-driven adjectives to prove it.

  • Anonymous

    Amen, brother, amen!

  • Anonymous

    James Taranto is an op-ed writer for the Web, Dale — and he and his staff produce great stuff (for the appropriately titled BEST OF THE WEB).

    He zung the NY Times – face facts, Jack!

  • Anonymous

    You basically just made up the premise for this post, right? Even Taranto doesn’t say Roberts “regularly” links to those pubs and not the right-wing ones (and Mother Jones, while liberal, is generally fact-driven). In fact, Taranto outright admits that Roberts nearly always links to news items, not opinion items. His whole piece is based on a single tweet – which makes it pointless and a little weird. But this comment is even moreso. 

  • Anonymous

    Taranto is nothing more than a repugnant blob of tabloid bile. Does any kid ever dream of one day growing up to be an attack journalist?

    Not sure why his microanalysis of the Tweets of NYT staffers deserves any attention. Didn’t those people decide long ago that the NYT was an agenda-pushing, liberal organization? If so, why the continual rock-overturning search for more “evidence?” At this point, who are they trying to convince?

  • Matthew Hoy

    OK, so retweeting does not constitute endorsement. Fine. However, if you have an editor who regularly retweets ThinkProgress, Mother Jones, The Nation, etc. and never National Review, The Weekly Standard, etc. Then can one safely assume at that point that they are at least influenced far more by the former than the latter? Are they potentially completely, willfully ignorant of the views of the conservative side of the political spectrum?

  • Dale Eisman

    What in the world has happened to journalism when staffers at a once-great newspaper like the WSJ spend their time tracking and analyzing the re-tweets of other journalists? Sad. Sad. Sad.

  • Anonymous

    Link bait on top of link bait? Ugh.