Gray Lady Down: What the Decline and Fall of the New York Times Means for America
In Gray Lady Down, the hard-hitting follow up to Coloring the News, William McGowan asks who is responsible for squandering the finest legacy in American journalism. Combining original reporting, critical assessment and analysis, McGowan exposes the Times’ obsessions with diversity, “soft” pop cultural news, and countercultural Vietnam-era attitudinizing, and reveals how these trends have set America’s most important news icon at odds with its journalistic mission—and with the values and perspectives of much of mainstream America.
Gray Lady Down considers the consequences—for the Times, for the media, and, most important, for American society and its political processes at this fraught moment in our nation’s history. In this highly volatile media environment, the fate of the Times may portend the future of the fourth estate.
actually “their side,” a foreign place where patriotic Americans lived and which the Times had chosen to see as hostile ground. ten Conclusion The ghost of Abe Rosenthal, made unquiet by the contrast between the legacy he left behind and the politicized agenda pursued by Sulzberger Jr., continued to haunt the Times in the ensuing years—which even the paper’s most ardent defenders had to admit were marked by an aura of decline and fall. Rosenthal had foreseen most of the problems that were
function, Arthur Jr. told a crowd of people that alienating older white male readers meant “we’re doing something right,” and if they were not complaining, “it would be an indication that we were not succeeding.” Styles of the Times eventually tanked, at least in its first incarnation. So many of the original advertisers defected that the Times had to give away ad space. Moss was reassigned to the Sunday magazine, importing a similar sensibility to a long-sturdy feature section that had once
Editorials denouncing Nifong ran in other papers, including the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. But not in the New York Times. Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson’s book on the case, Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case, came out in 2007. The Times Book Review devoted only two sentences to the scores of passages that eviscerated the paper’s coverage of the case. five immigration The
values to the Middle East.” In truth, the museum was not ransacked; and much of its most priceless collections had simply been secreted away. Pejorative information about America allowing the looting came from former Baath officials, who had a self-interest in representing the U.S. military as the culprit in the cultural “crime of the century.” In the Washington Post, Howard Kurtz wrote, “We’re used to journalists being misled in the famous fog of war, but this is ridiculous.” According to
rattling around like moving targets in Baghdad and Mosul, trying to dodge improvised explosive devices and rocket-propelled grenades.... If the war in Iraq is worth fighting—if it’s a noble venture, as the hawks insist it is—then it’s worth fighting with the children of the privileged classes. They should be added to the combat mix. If it’s not worth their blood, then we should bring the other troops home.” In a February 2006 piece on efforts to recruit Latinos, Lizette Alvarez wrote that