The New York Times is in trouble. Many of its employees are claiming that their employer is not treating them fairly. A newspaper that has been a champion of social justice for others is thus being accused of violating the tenets of social justice at home.
I am reminded of the sad plight of Newsweek Magazine. It too has been undone, at least in part, by its single-minded, often hypocritical, advocacy of liberal causes. But let me explain what I mean.
Many decades ago, not long after I graduated from college, I began subscribing to Newsweek. I was then a liberal, but even after I migrated to the conservative side, I kept up my subscription. Keeping abreast of liberal opinion was useful in helping me develop my own outlook.
But in time, Newsweek became ever more left wing. Instead of simulating an aura of balance, it wore its biases on its sleeve. A conventional wisdom feature that habitually awarded liberal causes an up-arrow, while simultaneously being uniformly negative regarding conservative achievements, particularly annoyed me.
In due course, I felt that my intelligence and integrity were being insulted. As a result, I sent the editors a letter to complain of their egregious favoritism. To this, I received no response. About a year later I sent off another missive, with the same result.
Not long after this I decided that I was no longer learning anything from the magazine. Its attitudes were so predictable that I could see them coming without having to read them. I, therefore, ended my subscription, but accompanied my departure with a letter of explanation.
The only reply to this that I received was several years of correspondence begging me to rejoin the Newsweek family. Needless to say, I did not.
But I must not have been alone. Where once the magazine had been hugely influential, it descended into an also-ran status. The numbers of subscribers dramatically declined and the journal’s profitability went with them.
So what did the editors learn from this experience? Apparently nothing. They were obviously not paying attention. Accordingly, their editorial biases became ever more flagrant and their authority continued to erode.
This, however, seems to be the fate of the liberal media in general. While part of the problem is attributable to technological shifts, i.e., the advent of the Internet, much of this damage is self-inflicted. Liberals refuse to learn. Even going out of business does not seem to alter their course.
True-believers, such as those at Newsweek or the New York Times, do not change their minds. This is because facts have nothing to do with their convictions. Fortunately for the rest of us, the effect has been institutional suicide. But just how far this trend will go, only time will tell.