Monday, September 24, 2007

a different kind of page scandal

While four reporters combined forces on the front page of Sunday’s New York Times for not one, but two long stories about the race for the White House, 2008, one will have to turn all the way to page 11of the opinion section—to find some actual reporting.

Perhaps I should not look a gift horse in the mouth, but I can’t help but observe that while Messrs. Nagourney, Zeleny, Cooper, and Luo spend prize, above-the-fold real estate covering the horserace, the editorial board has actually taken the time, and the entire space allotted for all editorials, to detail the differences between all the major presidential candidates of both parties on the subject of national health coverage.

It strikes me as just a bit confused and confusing, not that the editorial board should express interest in the positions of would-be chief executives, but that a reporter with the experience or esteem of any of the men mentioned above can’t muster the same degree of fascination—or that the editors of the news portion of the newspaper don’t see fit, after all the navel gazing of the Judy Miller/Jason Blair years, to mandate that when covering a political race, they report on what ideas make candidates run, rather than handicap how they are running.

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