The So-Called Liberal New York Times Profiles Alan Grayson

Alan GraysonThe fact that there still lingers a perception that the media leans to the left is a testament to the hard working propagandists of the right. The Sunday New York Times has provided us with yet another demonstration that this perception is fatally flawed.

In a profile of outgoing Representative Alan Grayson of Florida, Times correspondent Michael Barbaro described his commitment to traditional Democratic themes. Then, noting that Grayson was critical of his fellow Democrats for not “acting Democratic enough,” Barbaro belittled that view saying…

“It is not exactly a widespread sentiment among the electorate.”

Where did Barbaro get that idea? Who knows. He doesn’t say. And unfortunately for him, it isn’t true. Recent polls show that the Democrats’ position on issues like allowing the Bush tax cuts for the rich to expire, are favored by a majority of Americans. The same poll shows that most Americans favor keeping the Democratic health care bill or expanding it. The Republicans were recently shamed into voting for the Democratic proposal for aid to the 9/11 First Responders. Majorities agreed that the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy should have been repealed, allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military.

Grayson’s point that many Democrats may have lost in the election last November because they did not sufficiently support the agenda that voters expected of them was exactly right. The result of that failure was that many Democratic voters stayed home on election day. As Grayson said…

“If you want people to support you, then you have to support them. You have to think long about what you did for people who voted for you, made phone calls for you, who went door to door for you.”

Therein lies the mistake that Barbaro, and most of the rest of the press, have made in their analysis of the mid-terms. There was no message from the people to move to the center. Barbaro does not, and can not, support his contention that this is “a moment when centrism seems to be the party’s antidote to a redrawn political landscape.” The problem for Democrats was not that the people didn’t support their agenda. It was that they themselves didn’t support it, so the people bailed out.

There is still a great deal of talk about the “success” of Tea Party candidates, even though most of their most prominent members lost. Recall senate candidates Sharron Angle, Joe Miller, Linda McMahon, Carli Fiorina, Ken Buck, and Christine O’Donnell. All losers. Only two Democratic incumbent senators were defeated. The rest of the Republican gains were for open seats, some of which were held by retiring Republicans.

Poll after poll shows that the Tea Party is a trumped up charade whose views are wildly out of touch with the mainstream of America. Yet the media continues to pretend that they matter. Even worse, they prop them up to deliberately and falsely inflate their significance. How else can you explain CNN partnering with the discredited Tea Party Express for a GOP primary debate?

As for Grayson, he will be missed in the Congress. But hopefully he will find his own place in the media. He would make a great radio/TV host. And in that role he could provide some balance to the heavily over-weighted conservative presence of extreme right-wingers like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, etc.

It is long past time to abandon the falsehood that the media is liberal. When CNN and the New York Times, two of the right’s favorite “liberal” targets, engage in overtly right-wing politics; when Fox News boasts of their dominance in the cable news marketplace; when the vast majority of news outlets are controlled by a handful of giant multinational corporations; the pretense of liberalism in the media should finally be put to rest.


7 thoughts on “The So-Called Liberal New York Times Profiles Alan Grayson

  1. Mark: tho it seems abundantly clear that these allegedly straight reporters constantly tilt the playing field to the right to remain in good standing with their corporate employers (and eventually fail to realize they’re even doing so), what do you think explains the success of precious few opinion columnists like Frank Rich who doggedly expose the powerful and corrupt while not only maintaining his job but becoming (arguably) the top NYT editorialist? Is his case an instance of being fire-proof by virtue of his largely liberal readership? In other words, do the predictable consequences anesthetize him against the fate of less popular more expendable journalists were they not to employ the company line?

    As for Grayson, I’d love to see him on MSNBC as a consultant, guest host, and eventually host of his own program, perhaps filling one of the hours presently devoted to reruns for lack of material to go around.

    • My guess is that the suits probably don’t like Rich very much, or Krugman either. But they have to throw a bone to the liberal constituency they serve in New York City.

      However, to some degree the Times is a national paper. That’s why they also publish people like David Brooks and Bill Kristol.

  2. “…even though most of (the Tea Party) prominent members lost…”

    As usual, lefties ignore the victories of Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley, Rand Paul, Phil Johnson, and a host of others. Tea party candidates won big; they also lost big. When you swing for the fences, both of those outcomes come up.

    “Grayson will be missed in Congress…”

    A congressman who allowed only supporters at his town hall meetings, who crashed a GOP gathering at a Florida restaurant, who ran that shockingly dishonest “Taliban Dan ‘submit to me'” campaign ad – he’s going to be missed? Uh-huh. Sure.

    • FYI: Rubio explicitly denied being a Tea Party candidate. And I used as an example the senate candidates, of which there were six “prominent” losers. That outnumbers your piddly list. So I was correct in saying “most.”

      It doesn’t surprise me that you won’t miss Grayson. But that doesn’t deny the fact that he will be missed by many others.

  3. Having a New York Times story proclaim that Rubio is “breaking away from Tea Party orthodoxy” does not equal denying that you are a Tea Party candidate. And I just gave you a partial list of Tea Party successes. So take your “piddly” and go piddle.

  4. You, good sir, are a idiot. How goes that liberal education in the social sciences for which your mom and dad pay good money?

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