…and a bitterly ironic bit of post-mortem considering the new wave of fascism under the guise of “fake news”. Full article is here at Deadline Hollywood.
Whoah: Former New York Times Reporter Spills the Beans; Everything You Suspected Is True – Ace of Spades
this revelation from former NYT reporter Michael Ciely at Dateline Hollywood is 100% pure uncut validation.
First he recounts the NYT’s recent our-prognostications-were-wrong pieces…
…and by the way, on that: It’s a cop-out for people to “confess” their mere prognostications were wrong. That’s like being found over a smothered elderly relative with a pillow in your hands and confessing “I might have removed the Do Not Remove Under Penalty of Law tags on this murder-weapon.”
The sin of the media was running a dishonest partisan operation for two years. Merely saying “We missed a Black Swan event that almost everyone else missed” is letting themselves plead down to a class 4 misdemeanor.
Anyway, Ciely mentions these minimal mea culpas and then writes:
For starters, it’s important to accept that the New York Times has always — or at least for many decades — been a far more editor-driven, and self-conscious, publication than many of those with which it competes. Historically, the Los Angeles Times, where I worked twice, for instance, was a reporter-driven, bottom-up newspaper. Most editors wanted to know, every day, before the first morning meeting: “What are you hearing? What have you got?”It was a shock on arriving at the New York Times in 2004, as the paper’s movie editor, to realize that its editorial dynamic was essentially the reverse. By and large, talented reporters scrambled to match stories with what internally was often called “the narrative.” We were occasionally asked to map a narrative for our various beats a year in advance, square the plan with editors, then generate stories that fit the pre-designated line.
Reality usually had a way of intervening. But I knew one senior reporter who would play solitaire on his computer in the mornings, waiting for his editors to come through with marching orders. Once, in the Los Angeles bureau, I listened to a visiting National staff reporter tell a contact, more or less: “My editor needs someone to say such-and-such, could you say that?”
The bigger shock came on being told, at least twice, by Times editors who were describing the paper’s daily Page One meeting: “We set the agenda for the country in that room.