Tags: semiT | kroY | weN

semiT kroY weN

Friday, 13 June 2003 12:00 AM

"In Russian Cyrillic, how do you spell the name of the world’s single most significant communist daily?"

Answer: "semiT kroY weN."

It used to be said that the citizens of the former USSR were always able to ferret out the real news by reading between the lines of Pravda and Isvestia. Any newspaper that has abandoned the traditional ‘fourth estate’ status of ‘watchdogs on behalf of the people’ for the more comfortable ‘mouthpiece of the state’ role have set themselves on a course where the truth must, by definition, be an option. Should we therefore be amazed that the 'Old Gray Lady' is struggling with verity?

The NY Times’ uniquely American positioning is that it long ago traded pursuit of truth in its purity for the role of ‘fierce defenders of body politic-left.’ That we citizens of the republic accept this in our press is astounding, even sad, but this too is uniquely American.

Though perhaps naïve, I have always believed that the New York Times would express this disdain for excellence in the most common ill manner, the much-vaunted 'Maytag' method – that is to say, that they would allow the editorial staff to push its spin cycle onto Page One.

Never in a millennium did I dream it would mean out-and-out fabrication of facts to enhance mere storylines. Yes, Virginia, I was that gullible. It might be said that the Times’ prevaricator extraordinaire, Mr. Jayson Blair, is fully at fault, and that would be largely true.

But alas! An old plumber’s axiom tells me that to trace the source of any sewage spill, one must follow the excrement uphill (actually, this is the G-rated version of the old plumber's tale).

Therefore, the ‘Old Gray Lady’ must examine why she has allowed herself to drift from planet Earth's 'newspaper of record’ that delivered ‘all the news that’s fit to print’ to leftist spin machine, and now finally on to ‘We’ll print all the news that fits.’

The Times was, for many, the very symbol of journalistic integrity, hence the watchdog of the republic, the standard by which all others aspire and by which all are measured. In ruining this, I am frankly not certain why Blair and his bosses Gerald Boyd and Howell Raines thought they would get away with it. Go figure.

As I said, the worst of the past was in Page One story cross-infection from the editorial page. I am in possession of hundreds of these for nuanced examples, but in the interest of brevity here are a few:

The New York Times got in on the reporting of massive thefts of Iraqi antiquities, now reported to be false by even the curator of the Baghdad museum itself. Instead of the 10,000-plus irreplaceable artifacts, U.S. authorities place the number at 47, the museum director in Iraq now reports it as 33 lost pieces. Where’s the retraction that’s “fit to print”? AND using the same amount of column inches as the devastating and irresponsible reporting of U.S. mishandling of rare artifacts?

The New York Times shamed Republican Sen. Trent Lott into resigning his majority chair for what he didn’t say, but was thought to mean, while remaining virtually silent about the former Grand Dragon of the KKK Democratic Sen. Robert Bird’s use of the ‘N’ word on national TV.

In Harvard Professor John Lott’s latest book, “The Media Bias against Guns,” he studied the Times’ and other major publications’ remarkable ideological prejudice. Twenty-three antagonist stories are quoted over a decade about ‘academics against guns,’ while providing ZERO balance from protagonist academics. Again, this would have been OK for an editorial page piece, but it was fraudulently passed off as Page One news.

All the way from negative pre- and post-election coverage of Bush and positive of Gore, to sticking up for Clinton during his lies while shooting down Martha Stewart for hers.

The NYT is sometimes brilliant, occasionally hard to figure out, other times disgusting. Like Pravda and Isvestia, looks like you just have to read between the lines.

Former heavyweight wrestler & corporate CEO, Minneapolis radio talk show host Tom Marsland is the U.S. correspondent on New Zealand's Radio Rhema. Tom writes cultural, political and religious commentary for the Assist News Service, NewsMax.com, Minnesota Christian Chronicle and others.

Contact Tom at

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"In Russian Cyrillic, how do you spell the name of the world's single most significant communist daily?" Answer: "semiT kroY weN." It used to be said that the citizens of the former USSR were always able to ferret out the real news by reading between the lines of Pravda...
Friday, 13 June 2003 12:00 AM
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