Is The New York Times a liberal newspaper? In 2004, Daniel Okrent, then the paper’s “public editor,” wrote a column asking that very question.[1] His answer: “Of course it is.” Okrent noted that the word “postmodern” had been used “an average of four times a week” that year, and if this didn’t reflect a Manhattan as opposed to a mainstream sensibility, he remarked, “then I’m Noam Chomsky.” (In August 2010, the standards editor, Philip Corbett, urged the Times newsroom to limit the use of the word “hipster,” which he said had appeared 250 times in the last year alone.)

Okrent also noted that the culture pages of the Times “often feature forms of art, dance or theater that may pass for normal (or at lea ...