Jaclyn Peiser’s front-page New York Times autopsy on Tuesday for a fading New York tabloid, “Daily News, Lean but Brassy New York Staple, Cuts Staff in Half.” Peiser mourned the brutal downsizing announced at the local tabloid rival whose hard-left turn in recent years failed to save it.
The meeting lasted less than a minute. By the time it was over, reporters and editors at The Daily News, the brawny New York tabloid that was once the largest-circulation paper in the country, learned that the newsroom staff would be cut in half and that its editor in chief was out of a job.
In the hours that followed, journalists in various departments, from sports to metro, received formal notification that they had been laid off by Tronc, the media company based in Chicago that bought the paper last year.
With Tronc’s firing of more than 40 newsroom employees -- including 25 of 34 sports journalists and most of the photo department -- The News joins the ranks of walking-wounded papers at a time when readers have gravitated toward the quick-hit convenience of digital media.
Peiser made clear the NYDN’s anti-Trump obsession. The online version lovingly displays some of the NYDN’s greatest anti-Trump hits.
Under Jim Rich, the editor who lost his job on Monday, The News positioned itself as an unapologetically liberal counterpuncher to Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post. Mr. Rich, who declined to comment for this article, transformed the front page -- “the wood,” in tabloid parlance -- into a venue for criticizing and often ridiculing President Trump.
Last Tuesday, The News commemorated the president’s appearance with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in Helsinki, Finland, with the headline “Open Treason.” Beneath the bold black letters was a cartoon of Mr. Trump holding hands with a shirtless Mr. Putin; with his other hand, Mr. Trump was firing a pistol at Uncle Sam’s head.
She celebrated editor Jim Rich who brought the new lefty fierceness.
Although daily print circulation had sunk to roughly 200,000, Mr. Rich breathed new life into the paper. During two stints as editor -- a 13-month run that ended in 2016, and an encore that began in January -- he regularly published front pages that captured the staccato energy of social media.
The Times’ attitude toward the right-leaning New York Post tabloid, by contrast, is condescending and resentful.
Reporter Richard Perez-Pena in May 2007 found critics “questioning the journalism and the ethics of Mr. Murdoch and of News Corporation properties like the Fox News Channel and The New York Post, known for their right-wing political bent and racy tone."
The paper despised the Post for actually reporting on a 2007 controversy involving the controversial principal of an Arabic-language school. Almontaser was forced to resign after defending the use of "Intifada NYC" as a slogan on T-shirts sold by a related activist group. Reporters Julie Bosman and Jennifer Medina adopted a snippy tone toward the papers that beat them to the story: "Those intentions ran straight into the treacherous ethnic and ideological political currents of New York and were overwhelmed by poor planning, inadequate support for the principal and relentless criticism from some quarters of the news media, primarily The New York Post and The New York Sun.”
More recently, Times media reporter Jim Rutenberg oddly targeted the Post and Fox News, another media outlet owned by Rupert Murdoch, for trying to set the agenda: “The collective coverage from The Journal editorial page, The New York Post and Fox News -- not including the straight-ahead coverage by the likes of Shepard Smith and Bret Baier -- was testament to the Murdoch empire’s ability to make its own journalistic weather.”
That's not Rupert's job! That's the NYT's job!
Less than three years ago, the Times was actually celebrating the vulgar hard-left turn of its ostensible rival the New York Daily News. Media reporter Jonathan Mahler reveled in the tabloid’s spurt of vulgar anti-conservative headlines -- like the one calling NRA president Wayne LaPierre a terrorist -- that went viral on social media. And the Times dutifully reprinted the controversial Daily News covers that made liberals go giddy.
Mara Gay, editorial board member, also decried the NYDN's downfall: “Poor people, working people, racial minorities will lose a powerful, effective voice. The city will be less alive and less democratic, its politicians less accountable to the people they serve.”
One can’t imagine the Times crying over the New York Post in any kind of similar fashion – the response would be more likely schadenfreude.