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."

  • Steve Myers

    Steve Myers was the managing editor of until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens, a nonprofit investigative news site in New Orleans.


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