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Friday, December 02, 2005

Bias

Text of a letter I wrote to the NYT yesterday. No love from the Times, but CCM's editor/publisher has kindly agreed to give me a voice:
Last week Bernard Goldberg took the Times to task for publishing a sequence of pictures of President Bush depicting his inability to exit a room. Mr. Goldberg wrote that "this is precisely what gives your critics ammunition".

At the time I read Mr. Goldberg's letter, I wondered if he feels similarly bothered every time the Times prints a photo of Mr. Bush in front of one of those White House-created banners Mr. Bush uses.

Today we have means to test Mr. Goldberg's own unbiasedness: the Times ran a gigantic color picture of Mr. Bush with the equally gigantic words "Plan for Victory" made deliberately visible (indeed, the camera angle obscures the President to include the words). As Mr. Goldberg wrote, the Times could have run this picture "say, on Page B27".

To quote Mr. Goldberg again: "But on Page 1, whatever your editors' intentions, it sure looks like an editorial posing as news."

I hope you'll run Mr. Goldberg's second letter of complaint -- should it materialize.

Sincerely,

Dr. Jonah B. Gelbach
Washington, DC
Professor of Economics
University of Maryland

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