Pot meet kettle: Former NYT editor thinks Fox News isn't objective 

Howell Raines, the former New York Times editor who left the paper under a cloud after following the Jayson Blair plagiarism scandal, has an op-ed in the Washington Post taking his fellow journalists to task for not assailing Fox News:

One question has tugged at my professional conscience throughout the year-long congressional debate over health-care reform, and it has nothing to do with the public option, portability or medical malpractice. It is this: Why haven't America's old-school news organizations blown the whistle on Roger Ailes, chief of Fox News, for using the network to conduct a propaganda campaign against the Obama administration -- a campaign without precedent in our modern political history?

Through clever use of the Fox News Channel and its cadre of raucous commentators, Ailes has overturned standards of fairness and objectivity that have guided American print and broadcast journalists since World War II. Yet, many members of my profession seem to stand by in silence as Ailes tears up the rulebook that served this country well as we covered the major stories of the past three generations, from the civil rights revolution to Watergate to the Wall Street scandals. This is not a liberal-versus-conservative issue. It is a matter of Fox turning reality on its head with, among other tactics, its endless repetition of its uber-lie: "The American people do not want health-care reform."

Well, this is just beyond words. Say what you want about Fox, but no one from the New York Times is really in a position to complain about the lack of journalistic standards. Especially Howell Raines, who while editing the Times ran 40+ articles from July to November of 2002 on the Augusta National golf club's refusal to admit female members. Talk about a propaganda campaign!

And then there's the matter of asserting a 13 year-old cable network "overturned standards of fairness and objectivity that have guided American print and broadcast journalists since World War II." Really? Isn't that giving Fox a bit much credit? And I notice that Raines says "standards ... since World War II," perhaps because the decade prior to World War II the Times' star correspondent was busy winning Pulitzer prizes for covering up attrocities committed Joeseph Stalin. The "paper of record" has done a fine job undermining journalistic standards long before Rupert Murdoch was in short pants.

Quit your bellyaching, Raines.

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Mark Hemingway

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