The decline of the Grey Lady

This New York Observer article doesn’t tell us anything new. We all know the New York Times editorial page is terrible. But it does help explain why:

IT’S WELL KNOWN AMONG THE SMALL WORLD of people who pay attention to such things that the liberal-leaning reporters at The Wall Street Journal resent the conservative-leaning editorial page of The Wall Street Journal. What’s less well known—and about to break into the open, threatening the very fabric of the institution—is how deeply the liberal-leaning reporters at The New York Times resent the liberal-leaning editorial page of The New York Times.

The New York Observer has learned over the course of interviews with more than two-dozen current and former Times staffers that the situation has “reached the boiling point” in the words of one current Times reporter….

“I think the editorials are viewed by most reporters as largely
irrelevant, and there’s not a lot of respect for the editorial page. The
editorials are dull, and that’s a cardinal sin. They aren’t getting any
less dull. As for the columnists, Friedman is the worst. He hasn’t had
an original thought in 20 years; he’s an embarrassment. He’s perceived
as an idiot who has been wrong about every major issue for 20 years,
from favoring the invasion of Iraq to the notion that green energy is
the most important topic in the world even as the financial markets were
imploding. Then there’s Maureen Dowd, who has been writing the same
column since George H. W. Bush was president.”

Yet another former Times writer concurred. “Andy [Rosenthal] is a wrecking
ball, a lot like his father but without the gravitas. What strikes me
about the editorial and op-ed pages is that they have become
relentlessly grim. With very few exceptions, there’s almost nothing
light-hearted or whimsical or sprightly about them, nothing to gladden
the soul.

Of course, it probably doesn’t help that the paper has largely converted itself into one massive editorial page. A recent study showed that only one in six front page articles could be considered proper news, the rest were all editorials cloaked in a newsy disguise.

The thing is, newspapers are absolutely allergic to permitting anyone who isn’t a doctrinaire left-liberal get any exposure, so they sentence themselves to grim and tedious left-wing dogma. It is little surprise that even liberals tend to find it less than scintillating.