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Features

November 2010

Pop goes the “Times”

by William McGowan

On the decline of the Gray Lady.

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 n ...

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William McGowan’s latest book is Gray Lady Down: What the Decline and Fall of “The New York Times” Means for America (Encounter).


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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 29 November 2010, on page 10

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