So why does he keep it? Because it’s worth every penny. It gives him power. The Post’s editors know how to use its front page and its news pages to shape discourse. Where did last fall’s New York crime scare come from, the one that had Westchesterites convinced they dare not set foot in the city, and which elected all those Republican members of Congress? From the Post, that’s where.
I used to be told sometimes, “Yes, but we have The New York Times, The Washington Post …” Really? No, not really. Sure, they endorse Democrats mostly. And sure, much of their social and cultural coverage proceeds from liberal assumptions. They, and almost all of the mainstream media, will not write a story today suggesting, for example, that undocumented immigrants across America should be rounded up en masse and deported. This has been a hard-won reality forged by many activists and intellectuals over many years, and it is a good thing.
But it isn’t capital-P Politics. On capital-P Politics, The New York Times and The Washington Post often let liberals down. I was having these arguments, as I said, back when Dubya was president, and he and his vassals were ginning up their phony case for invading Iraq. Which newspaper published the infamous “aluminum tubes” story charging that Saddam Hussein was seeking material that could only be used in nuclear centrifuges? The Times, on its front page on a crucial Sunday in the fall of 2002, as Bush officials spent the day fanning out onto the political chat shows touting the article.