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NYT’s Bill Keller: “If We Were Objective, We Would Be Tedious to Read”

Bill Keller, the former executive editor of The New York Times and now an Op-Ed writer for the paper, told The Daily Beast’s senior political columnist, Peter Beinart, that the Times would be “kind of tedious to read” if it achieved “absolute objectivity.”

Keller was being interviewed by Beinart at CUNY’s Graduate Center when he was asked about objectivity at the paper.

We can’t entirely leech the New York-ness out of The New York Times. If we somehow achieved absolute objectivity, it would be kind of tedious to read. …Watching The New York Times try to be even-handed on some issues is like trying to watch somebody dance their kids’ dance styles. We look like we’re trying too hard. Yes, we should be even-handed, we should certainly follow the basic rule of reporting, challenging your assumptions, and we should be ruthless about having a public editor or an editors’ note to call ourselves out. … But it is possible to be fair and still radiate a cultural persona.

In other words, since they don’t want to bore readers to death, reporters shouldn’t cling too much to objectivity.

This isn’t the first time that Keller has brought unwanted attention to the Times since leaving his post in September.

In October [1], while being interviewed by Evan Smith at the Texas Tribune, he called the Times “socially liberal.”

Keller has only confirmed what conservative critics have believed for years. He is like the gift that keeps on giving as he exposes the liberally biased agenda of the Times, much to the consternation of those who argue that the Times is not biased.

(h/t Capital New York [2])