Monday, December 31, 2007

'Liberal' NYT Hires Arch-Neocon Bill Kristol

Now what could possibly make the self-styled liberal ivory tower, the New York Times Hire Bill Kristol as a Columnist? After all, Bill Kristol was one of the loudest sponsors of the Iraq invasion, which NYT has an axe to grind against.

The hiring decision is being defended by Andy Rosenthal, NYT's editorial page chief. While I won't comment on what Rosenthal's leanings are, I'll point out that what may have created the opening for this move, is of course the NYT's declining revenues, erosion of its readership -- and the arrival of a powerful new challenger in town: Rupert Murdoch, with his newly-acquired prize, the Wall Street Journal.

Everyone knows that it's Murdoch's intent to use a re-fashioned WSJ as a hammer to take on the NYT, and hit it where it counts, on its bottom line. And the NYT are indeed beginning to act scared, behind the scenes. It is the very credible and meaningful threat that Murdoch poses, which is then exposing the chinks and cracks in the NYT's armour, to make inroads for people like Kristol possible.

So the lesson for all of us is clear. This is how the fanatical left-wing media enterprises in India need to be fought, too. Everytime you see some nutjob like Karan Thapar, or NDTV, etc, do their obligatory hatchet-jobs they pass off as news reporting, then think of how people like Murdoch have successfully laid seige against left-wing media ivory towers. The one known as NYT is either about to come crashing down, or will be re-occupied under a new dispensation.


TallIndian said...

No offense, but the NYT has not been a real newspaer for at least 30 years.

They are the newspaper of Jeff Gerth and Judith Miller. The NYT smeared Wen Ho Lee based on the ravings of some freeper.

This is not the same newspaper of William Shirer or even, God forbid, Pranay Gupte.

and when are you going to get rid of that 'word verification'!

socal said...
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socal said...

True. With the sale of WSJ, the comfy status quo that worked in NYT's favor has disappeared. It no longer has the luxury of the deep pockets of Schulzbergers.

Testy stockholders have been pestering the Times' dynasty over dwindling revenues for past few yrs., but are helpless because of voting stocks with the family.

Murdoch is a match for them in every regards: money, influence and name. Competition finally is catching up with the tallest spier of media ivory tower.

I yearn for a similar fate for the Naxal newspaper of southern India.

habc said...

If you want the goods on the New York Times google on "hugh fitzgerald new york times" and see the articles that show up on jihadwatch/dhimmiwatch.

It goes back to much more than 30 years - just change the google query above to New Duranty Times.

maybe this article is an end result of the competition.
How Bhutto Won Washington

I guess Toyota read you post Ghost Writer
Sunroof injury couldn't kill Bhutto: Toyota official

Arvind said...

"This is how the fanatical left-wing media enterprises in India need to be fought, too."

I have to disagree. There are better ways to fight NDTV and The Hindu. Once your friends are in power, they just have to nationalize these media outlets. Since they ask for Communism, they get Communism.

The Indian system is not like the US system. So it is not correct to point out the American system and say that we should do the same thing.

I know you have also pointed to Fox TV as an example to be followed. Even that is not correct. Fox TV supports bible thumpers.

san said...

Arvind, an Indian version of FOX would obviously not be catering to Bible-thumpers. It would present the non-Leftist Indian point of view.

Regarding nationalizing the newsmedia, then what happens if you lose office, and the Leftists are in charge? Then you're really screwed. We need to instead put more stock in market forces, which work to support our views anyway. BJP put a lot of effort into Prasar Bharati Act, because of the bitter experiences fighting the Left-wing state-controlled media.

Ghost Writer said...

Here is my two cents worth for whatever it may count

There have been broadly two types of 'media' in India (I am excluding blogger networks - computer/internet penetration is still relatively low in India)

1- Government controlled - where access and programming is controlled through patronage. The critical thing here is to toe the party line and butter-up institutions. As these have been controlled by leftists and fellow-cronies - that is how this media has gone. And it really lacks credibility

2- Market controlled - here you have the NDTV's and CNN IBN types. The critical thing here is advertisement linked cash-flow. The only thing that matters- the one thing that brings home the bacon (ooops tat is haraam) - is uninterrupted advertising revenue. It is afraid to take up controversial issues, evolve critical thinking and take on holy cows. If it does - the cry quickly goes up for a boycott. can you imagine any of these folks making a program based on Sita Ram Goel's work? Not a chance - a shrill call for companies to boycott the channel will be sounded and advertising withdrawn ...

The only hope I see is for really rich Hindus to bankroll a channel out of their own funds first - and then later move it to subscriptions based revenue models. Do not go for glitzy studios and highly paid pretty news anchors - just produce good basic programming that does not cost much. Basically create an Indian version of C-SPAN

rathore said...

I concur with San. The exploding Indian media market has plenty of opportunity for a media group catering to the right – with a pro-market, Hindu nationalist orientation. NDTV/IBN/Chindu are cash-rich from ad-revenues and becoming even more so. So, they are well-positioned to continue spewing sickular nonsense. Any India media group on the right needs to be richly-funded to take on the competition – and should freely copy from the Fox News playbook.

Regarding the NYT’s hiring of Kristol, it is not surprising. They ceased to be ‘liberal’ a long-time ago. Since the early 70s, US thinktanks on the right have done an awesome job making market-oriented/pro-market sounding ideas mainstream. Especially after the defeat in Vietnam, liberals in the US have not been able to shake off the ‘traitor/unpatriotic’ label. Neo-conservatives like Kristol, by exploiting patriotic fervor, have mainstreamed the idea of a muscular, military-driven US foreign policy. Ergo, ‘lefty’ papers like NYT, WP towed the govt line after 9/11, Iraq - hey, this is what patriotic Americans believe. So, we ‘lefty’ papers need to show we’re patriots as well and hire neocons to write for us.

Some trends in the US newspaper industry over the last 30 years, that explain the rightward shift:
1) Move from competition in the local newspaper market (5 or more papers) - to a duopolistic or monopolistic situation.
2) Classified ads were a newspaper’s bread-and-butter. Surviving newspapers became money printing machines through almost all classified-ad dollars being funneled to them.
(Warren Buffett's made a ton of money by purchasing shares in Washington Post)
3) With the advent of commercial internet, steady decline in classified ad revenue - through vertical online sites for jobs, homes, autos. Newspapers tried to make up for this decline by increasing product ads – for clothing, home interiors etc. Not very successfully.
4) Newspapers groups have consolidated over the last 10 years (growth in Knight Ridder empire, Tribune-LA Times merger), in an attempt to preserve their pricing power.
5) Growth of local TV news and advertising reaching younger demographics.
6) Related shift in power from newsroom folks to advertising folks. From editors to ‘suits’ - owners/managers/accountants/financial guys.
7) Change in composition of the journalist class. Through the 70s, many journalists in US newsrooms had a blue-collar upbringing, and rose through the ranks by learning on the job. They relished grappling and taking down officials in large companies and governments. After the 70s, you had increasing J-school/Ivy grads entering the profession. With their upper middle class backgrounds, they socialized with the elite they were writing about. They grew up hearing rightist views, and hung out with people who had the same views. It was very unlikely they would write anything super negative about their buddies.

Two key consequences for newspapers from these industry trends:
1) Change in editorial content (from ‘hard news’- business/foreign affairs/commentary to ‘soft news’- sports/celebrity/fashion etc, in an attempt to garner younger readers, clamoring for content mimicking TV soundbites
2) Increase in rightist editorial opinion reflecting the thinking of the ‘suits’/J-school grads over their old-school editorial/journalist colleagues.

Arvind said...

Regarding nationalizing the newsmedia, then what happens if you lose office, and the Leftists are in charge? Then you're really screwed.

That is your fate anyway. First get even, then deal with these problems.

We need to instead put more stock in market forces, which work to support our views anyway.

I am all for market forces, but Hindu and NDTV do not represent market forces. They were monopolies that thrived due to subsidies from the government and have become propaganda organs of the Communists. They need to be dismantled first. That would be consistent with upholding freedom and encouraging a market economy.

nizhal yoddha said...

the government can do a lot to strong-arm the print media.

1. withhold ads. this will bring the rogues groveling at the feet of the info and broadcasting minister

2. withhold newsprint. ditto

the BJP should have done both these to the creeps. instead, being eager to be seen as 'people like us', they encouraged them. actually, they should have arrested a few people like karan and thrown them in the clink on some technicality. the message would have come across.

i do hope there is a list being prepared for these rogues so that if/when the BJP comes to power again, they can be 'corrrrected' (as the ghostly bartender guy said to jack nicholson in 'the shining'). here's my suggestion for those leading the list:

n. ram, p. roy, b. dutt, k. thapar, r. sardesai, s. ghose, s. kapoor, p. philipose, j. astill,...

i am sure you can add to the list, and let's see if this can be suggested to anyone who could actually do something about it.

nizhal yoddha said...

er... tallindian, you must be some ancient mariner, some methuselah. here i am thinking i am old, but i am positively a spring chicken compared to you. you went to america by boat! you have been disappointed by the nyt for 30 years! you name some meaningless names as though these are household names. i am a relatively long-term reader of the nyt, and these names mean nothing to me. the villains i am familiar with are barbara crossette, john burns et al, and the good guys steven weisman and abe rosenthal, and even these people go back some 20+ years! next you will be wondering about jimmy hoffa and elvis presley. do come back to this century.

and if you don't like the nyt because it doesn't suck up to the democrats enough, i suggest you read the likes of biju mathews and vijay prashad and other communists.

TallIndian said...

William Shirer covered the Dandi Salt March (Martin Sheen played him in the movie) for the Times.

Jeff Gerth and Judy Miller are stenographers whose role was to get into print anything the GOP wanted.

Pranay Gupte was a 'goomasta' and stenographer (albeit of different sort than Miller/Gerth) for the NYT Delhi office. He worked for Abe Rosenthal.

That these names (especially that of Shirer) mean nothing to you is, of course, neither surprising nor revealing.

KapiDhwaja said...

To add to Rajeev's list of Rogues, here is Vinod Mehta of OutlookIndia calling for Modi's assasination.
For a Modi-free 2008

bly243001 said...

funny comment from Ann Applebaum which encapsulates pathetic liberal cabal nature of ELM

An extraordinarily high percentage of the world's English-speaking pundits appear to have known Bhutto at Harvard, to have encountered her at Oxford, or to have interviewed her, at some length, the last time they visited Karachi or Rawalpindi. If one read only the encomiums to her bravery and her zest for politics over the past week, it would have been difficult, without knowing anything else about her, to understand why such a person was so hated by so many of her own compatriots.


nizhal yoddha said...

you can't be serious, tallindian -- 1930, salt satyagraha, my parents weren't even born, i think! you're that old? and you expect me and the really young people who comment here to be familiar with the name of some guy who wrote for the nytimes then? i did see the movie 'gandhi' and i do remember the martin sheen character, but i'd have thought he was a composite of a bunch of reporters. nothing remarkable about him.

and the other people, frankly they are/were peons from your description. why would anybody care about the minutiae of some nyt hacks? (BTW, your bile against the GOP comes out again. you really need to put a sock on it. please understand that i speak with authority from having observed all the comments here -- on this blog practically nobody gives a rat's ass about either the republicans or the democrats. they're tweedledum and tweedledee, and a pox on both their houses! if you've gained from the democrats, good for you, but from my POV democrats are like the 'liberals' in india -- stealth fascists. you probably have heard of schwerner, goodman and cheney, 2 jews and a black, civil rights workers, lynched in heavily DEMOCRATIC mississippi in 1962, see the film mississippi burning. at least the republicans proudly admit they are assholes.)

your dropping these nyt names is like expecting everyone to know the name of musharraf's dog (the one that arranged for the murder of benazir bhutto).

Ghost Writer said...

Come on Rajeev - Musharraf's dog(s) are easy; specially if you read the NYT
I think Dot did it, though I concede it could have been Buddy.

nizhal yoddha said...

darn, ghost, you're right. too easy. i too think it must be buddy. such a macho name, in fact a redneck name. can't be dot, which sounds like a female. how about challenging tallindian to name sonia's dog? yeah, that's the ticket!

and of course we must be extra-nice to females, as the ELM does to female nehrus. or so claims the late lamented daisies, who seems to have resurfaced on another thread under yet another creative alias, again botanical. and my response? fiddlesticks!

daisies said...
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KapiDhwaja said...
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daisies said...
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TallIndian said...

No sweat, Rajeev. Best of luck to you in the coming year.