Accuracy in Media

In a recent article about the troubles at the New York Times, Peter Johnson of USA Today reported that now departed executive editor Howell Raines’ “Page One crusade against the Augusta National Golf Club for its refusal to admit women raised eyebrows among those in the media world who thought it was excessive.” It was not only excessive but silly. Augusta is a private club that should be able to make its own rules. The campaign against Augusta had the support of Times chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr., a feminist committed to diversity.

Carey Roberts, a researcher and consultant who tracks gender bias in the mainstream media, cites evidence that the transformation of the Times occurred at the behest of Sulzberger, who, in the 1970s, “became enamored of radical feminist thinking.” Other sources confirm this bias. According to author Nan Robertson, Sulzberger “considers himself a feminist…[and] is an ardent fan of the writer Marilyn French.” French is known for making controversial statements such as “All men are rapists and that’s all they are.”

Sulzberger himself explained his philosophy by saying “We can no longer offer our readers a predominantly white, straight, male vision of events.” Sulzberger would later declare, “If white men were not complaining, it would be an indication we weren’t succeeding and making the inroads that we are.”

Roberts says that this worldview began to permeate the Times. The Marilyn French book, “The Women’s Room,” garnered rave reviews in the pages of the Times Book Review Section. The paper also went out of its way to hire feminist writers such as Anna Quindlen and Maureen Dowd. Roberts notes that, in an April 10, 2002 column, Dowd ridiculed men by saying they need to “learn early to protect their eggshell egos from high-achieving women.”

Columnist Wendy McElroy has also documented the paper’s pro-feminist slant. She cites a 1994 article in Commentary by Joseph Epstein that explained that, “The way Sulzberger has backed up his conviction is not only through the writing he publishes but also through hiring and promotion practices inside the paper.” Epstein, the editor of American Scholar, said the “true politics of the new New York Times are to be found at work on the issues of feminism, racism, homosexuality–usually funneled through the totem of ‘diversity,’ which, reinforced by political correctness, I prefer to think of as totalitarian pluralism.”

Carey Roberts’ articles can usually be found at the site, But some of the points he makes about undue feminist influence in the culture at large can be found in the mainstream media. The CBS 60 Minutes program recently re-aired a story about anti-male bias that has emerged in the educational system, citing the views of Christina Hoff Sommers, and her book, The War Against Boys. And Business Week, in its May 26th issue, carried a cover story headlined, ‘The New Gender Gap,” about how boys are falling behind girls in education. This is a story that should be covered in the Times, even if it is politically incorrect.

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