Friday, October 3rd, 2008
It started, of course, with Mideast coverage, which was upsetting enough. But now The New York Times bias in its reporting has gone too far. For those who have not yet participated in protests and boycotts, this is the time to act, before it spreads even further.
The frightening fact is that subjective words and phrases have now reached the most widely read spot of the world’s most famous newspaper: yes, the Weather Report in the top right-hand corner of Page 1, every day of the year.
Have you not noticed the recent reports that predict “ample sunshine” for the coming day? Who is The Times to define “ample”? Is it not true that one man’s “ample” is another’s “insufficient”?
Why was “sunny” replaced after years?
And then there are descriptions of “bitter cold,” “patchy fog” or “heavy rain.” How subjective can you be? And where will it end?
But do not despair. A rally will be held in front of The Times new headquarters in midtown at noon next Sunday (weather permitting, so check the forecast), sponsored by the newly-formed Whether Or Not You Believe Us (WONYBU), a group that promises to monitor Times coverage far more closely, and widely.
A spokesman said “no section of the paper of record is now protected from our watchful eye,” noting objections in recent Sports reports to phrases like “pathetic Mets” and “disappointing Yankees,” which he called “highly charged,” as well as disparaging descriptions in the Bridge column like “South opens with a flat hand.”
Not to be outdone, a new Web site, CLOUDY (Citizens for Lawful, Overt, Unbiased, Distilled Yammering), has already pledged to sponsor boycotts of a number of leading dailies around the country, as well as public radio and television stations, and then to undertake a study of the accuracy of their weather reporting.
“How can you be wrong half the time and maintain credibility?” she asked.
As for the upcoming rally, since WONYBU is a non-profit group, Barack Obama, who had been scheduled to address the predicted throng, was asked not to appear. Same for John McCain.
“It’s a shame they won’t be there,” said a spokesman for the Stop The Weather rally, “but we think the cause is a righteous one and people are outraged enough to show up. And bring your umbrellas, just in case.”
Obama had planned to demand “change” in the weather, saying that is what the country needs at this time — and he predicted that it is coming. McCain reportedly is hoping for at least four more years of the current climate.