For some reason, the New York Times has gained a reputation as a national publication with left-wing readers. It is true that it can be found in libraries across the nation. It is a favorite among the liberal academic community. It is reverently referred to as a “newspaper of record” even though no one seems to be able to explain what that means.
I am not a fan of the Old Gray Lady — another honorific appellation that has no meaning to me. Historians tell us that it is a play off the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street – a British reference to the Bank of England. That connection makes no sense, either.
If the scriptwriters had thought of it, the Wizard of Oz could have bestowed a brain on the Scarecrow by giving him a subscription to the Times rather than a dubious diploma. The most avid readers already consider subscriptions to the Times as a badge of intellectual honor. My longstanding aversion to the Times is partly due to the snobbishness of too many of its avid readers.
Even though the Times can be found in recycling bins across the country, I have always considered it a hometown publication – one that reflects the political and cultural demographics of New Yorkers – and mostly contrary to the values of fly-over America.
That brings us to Citrus County, Florida.
The local library requested $2700 for a digital subscription to the Times. The county Board of Commissioners declined the request. Of the thousands of publications in the United States, why in heaven would the folks of Citrus County need to read the New York Times? If they watch CNN or MSNBC, they will already know what the Times considers news and analysis from all those Times reporters, columnists, and editorialists who appear on virtually every program.
And it is not just about the county budget. Commissioner Scott Carnahan made his feelings very clear. He said, “I don’t want the New York Times in this county. I don’t agree with it, I don’t like ’em.”
Well, that certainly got Anthony Marx’s undies in a bunch. (Not related to Karl – at least not biologically.) He is the President of the New York Public Library. The Times’ Siamese media twin, the Washington Post, published a guest editorial by Marx.
As you might expect of folks with over-inflated egos and a generous portion of arrogance, Marx would have us believe that the decision not to subscribe to the new digital Times is direct threat to the Republic. In an example of self-aggrandizement, Marx said that subscribing to the Times would give the poor folks of Citrus County “access to one of the country’s leading news outlets” – and one of the most biased, in my judgment.
And the New York Times is NOT the only source of left-wing news and commentary. Marx seems to believe that without the Times, there is no other sources of similar perspectives. Here in Boca Raton, we have the Sentinel newspapers headed by one of the most anti-Trump editors in America – who you may have seen as a panelist on CNN and MSNBC. We do not need the Times to see what the left thinks. And I suspect that is also true in Citrus County.
In his editorial, Marx wrote:
“Considering all that is at stake in 2020 — the next census and a presidential election — it is crucial that municipalities strengthen public libraries to combat the willful ignorance, hateful rhetoric and divisive tactics that threaten to destroy our great nation.”
So, Marx thinks that the Times is the bulwark against, “willful ignorance, hateful rhetoric and divisive tactics that threaten to destroy our great nation.” He might be surprised to learn that a lot of folks throughout the country may believe that the Times promotes all those damaging characteristics.
Marx makes a significant, albeit unintended, admission when he sees the Times as one side of the national debate. Some of us may be under the impression that the news media, itself, is supposed to present balanced coverage – providing the facts in a fair and balanced manner.
Marx concludes that “The only way to repair it (our nation) is to trust citizens with the information they need to draw their own conclusions.”
It seems to me that letting we the people draw our own conclusions is exactly what the New York Times does NOT do. Whether in print, online or through appearances on cable news, it would appear that the Times has become the communication vehicle for the liberal wing of the Democratic Party. That means propaganda more than news.
With or without the Times, I am sure that the people of Citrus County will do quite well in drawing their own conclusions – the first of which is to ignore the New York Times.
So, there ‘tis.