Naked Bias at the New York Times, Which Wins the Bury-Lois-Lerner-Retirement Contest

The New York Times won this morning’s athletic effort to bury the story of Lois Lerner retiring over “gross mismangement” of the IRS tax-exempt organizations branch. At the very bottom of page A-14, in the second item under a “National Briefing” header, the Times ran a 77-word AP snippet, because who really cares when Tea Party groups are harassed by the Obama administration?

The 1379-word lead item in the National section explored “An Effort to Punish Posting of Nude Images After Breakups.” (First idea: don't send nude electronic images.) The caption under a large picture explained "Marianna Taschinger, 23, in Groves, Tex., is suing her ex-boyfriend and a Web site known for 'revenge porn' where nude photographs of her were posted." The other papers were competitive in burying this item:

The Times snippet ran underneath the continuation of a front-page story on how San Jose, California mayor Chuck Reed is trying to cut benefits and negotiate with unions to avoid declaring bankruptcy.

USA Today ran five paragraphs on the bottom of page A-2, but their headline was less bland: “Embattled IRS Official Who Took the Fifth Retires.” USA Today also broke a front-page story on September 18.

The Washington Post put the story below the fold on A-15, on the Federal Page under Al Kamen’s column displaying a photo of liberal Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley picking and grinning with a guitar.

The Wall Street Journal put the story below the fold on A-4 underneath a large story on how “risks mount” on the debt ceiling, and below a Gerald Seib column on “Understanding What Drives House Republicans.” John McKinnon noted “Republicans – who have complained vehemently about the agency’s conduct – vowed they would continue to investigate.” 

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