Monday, December 08, 2003
The Public Editor: The New York Times ombudsman, aka "Public Editor," introduced himself to readers in a Sunday column.
Daniel Okrent has been tasked with protecting the rapidly-diminishing credibility of America's "Newspaper of Record." It will be a difficult job, and he'll have many eyes upon him.
However, make no mistake: Okrent is a liberal.
I'd rather spend my weekends exterminating rats in the tunnels below Penn Station than read a book by either Bill O'Reilly or Michael Moore.
A proper antithesis for Moore would be Ann Coulter. I've read one of O'Reilly's books, and while he may lean conservative, he definitely doesn't tow the party line.
When you turn to the paper's designated opinion pages tomorrow, draw a line from The Times's editorials on the left side to William Safire's column over on the right: you could place me just about at the halfway point.
The Times' editorials have been veering ever-closer to the loony left over the past few years. William Safire is a pretty moderate Republican. If I draw that line, it still puts Okrent comfortably on the left side of the political spectrum.
None of this means that he won't be fair. However, it will be a challenge he'll have to overcome.