New York Times Public Editor Admits Paper Has Liberal Bias

August 18th, 2013 4:26 PM

NewsBusters readers certainly don't have to be told that the New York Times has a liberal bias, but when the paper's public editor admits it on national television, one has to take notice.

With that in mind, grab some peanuts, popcorn, or Cracker Jacks and take a gander at Margaret Sullivan on CNN's Reliable Sources Sunday marvelously telling us what we already know (video follows with transcript and commentary):

JOANNE LIPMAN: Big newspapers used to employ in-house watchdogs to keep them on the straight and narrow and to represent readers. Few do that anymore.

But "The New York Times" does, and theirs is as outspoken as they come. I sat down earlier to talk with public editor Margaret Sullivan as she marks one year on the job.


LIPMAN: Margaret Sullivan, thank you so much for joining us.


LIPMAN: So let's dive right in. The loudest criticism that we often hear about "The New York Times" -- I don't know if it's the most frequent but it's certainly the loudest -- is that it has a liberal bias. Does it?

SULLIVAN: Well, some of my predecessors have taken that head-on. In fact, Daniel Okrent, the first public editor, once wrote a column -- and I think the headline said something like "Is 'The Times' a Liberal Newspaper?"

And his answer in the lead was, of course it is. And he went on from there. And it got quite a bit of response.

I mean that is obviously something people feel about "The Times," and I think maybe the best way to think about it is that "The Times" reflects its readership, its community. It's an urban paper; it's a New York City paper. I mean that's a reasonable criticism, I think.

LIPMAN: So it is a yes?

SULLIVAN: It's a modified yes with a lot of nuance in it.

Ah, we'll ignore the nuance and just take that as a yes, Margaret. Thanks for confirming it.