Sunday, November 15, 2009

Selective Reporting on Catholicism and Bloomberg: Clark Hoyt and NYT

To return to Archbishop Dolan’s umbrage at New York Time’s anti-Catholicism well documented in just the last month, it’s worthy of mention that the Time’s “ombudsman” Clark Hoyt has appeared to soften the paper’s advertising of “That Bloomberg Run- away…” (NYT Sunday Opinion, Sunday, November 15, 2009, p.10). This time Hoyt admits that “it is a tougher question whether Times coverage before the election contributed to an exaggerated sense of Bloomberg inevitability – a sense generally reflected in New York’s news media.” The polling for such an opinion was not done by the Times itself but was farmed out and processed by two polling organizations, Marist Institute for Public Opinion and Quinnipiac University polling Institute. Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist Institute, said she “tried to warn reporters at a news conference – which the Times [Janet Elder] did not attend - that the race would be closer. The Quinnipiac article cautioned that in races that appeared to be a “blowout” - in this case for Bloomberg - tend to tighten as voting day approaches.

For example, an “article describing how Bloomberg operatives sold ‘inevitability’ while secretly fretting over private polls showing ‘alarmingly low’ numbers. It included accounts of how the campaign strong-armed one potentially difficult foe out of the race and pressured the White House to keep President Obama from helping Thompson, the Democratic nominee.”

Since Bloomberg won by a very narrow margin anticipated by “alarmingly low numbers” after an expenditure of one hundred million dollars on the campaign, leads one to think of the intense “cahoots” that the Times and Bloomberg are “in.” This is disappointing in a medium which (perhaps consummately naive to say it [but must be said]) should be in service to truth.

It is interesting that the Times is admitting its bias (not without trying to control and dampen the criticism), and trying to defend itself (or at least to soften it) in the one, against the Catholic Church (roundly denied by Hoyt), in the other, for one of its (ideological) own. I sense growing fear in the media’s elite with the proliferation of the blog.

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