My problem with the New York Times

I love the New York Times. Been reading it since high school, get it at home, peruse every single section almost every day. I’m enough of a newsie to appreciate much of the paper, and enough of a liberal to agree with most of its hard-line liberal viewpoints.

Despite this, I’m noticing the Times’s leftist slant more and more in articles that should be even-handedly reporting the news. I want unbiased information, and the Times won’t give it to me.

To wit: today’s coverage of the Ohio same-sex marriage ban. The Times article on the subject got me all riled up this morning, and I wanted to post a link to some news coverage with my commentary. But when I read the same news from a different source, I found my anger lessened, to the point where I almost lost interest in the subject.

This is all due to the New York Times’s hard-line stance on liberal subjects. I’m pro-gay rights, I think Ohio is stupid to ban same-sex unions, and I don’t like the maneuver. But I don’t want my newspaper screaming fire and brimstone about a doomsday decision, especially when other news sources are unafraid to report just the news. I feel like I’ve been lobbied, and I don’t like it.

Here are the first few paragraphs of the Times article:

“The Ohio Legislature gave final approval on Tuesday to one of the most sweeping bans on same-sex unions in the country, galvanized by court rulings in Canada and Massachusetts that have declared gay marriage to be legal.

“The Ohio measure, which also would bar state agencies from giving benefits to both gay and heterosexual domestic partners, would make Ohio the 38th state to prohibit the recognition of same-sex unions. Gov. Bob Taft, a Republican, planned to sign it in the coming week, his office said.

“In approving the measure, the Republican-controlled Legislature rejected concerns raised by some of the state’s largest corporations and colleges, including Ohio State University, that the ban would hurt the state’s business image and undermine their ability to recruit skilled workers.”

For comparison, here is the beginning of the Associated Press piece on the same subject:

“Gov. Bob Taft is expected to sign one of the country’s strictest same-sex marriage bans following Tuesday’s House approval of minor changes to the bill.

“The House voted 72-22 in favor of accepting the Senate changes and sending the legislation to Taft.

“The bill stipulates that same-sex marriages would be “against the strong public policy of the state.”

“The bill also prohibits state employees from getting marital benefits spelled out in state law for their unmarried partners, whether homosexual or heterosexual.

“Thirty-seven states have passed laws recognizing only marriages between men and women. Gay rights groups consider Ohio’s legislation particularly restrictive because of the benefits ban.”

The Times piece doesn’t look too inflammatory until it is compared to the less biased AP feed. Compare “bar state agencies from giving benefits” to “prohibits state employees from getting marital benefits spelled out in state law.” Read the two articles in full to see the difference.

What does this say about the Times? Is it a less reliable news source because of its political leanings? Not necessarily, but it reinforces the notion that one should look to more than one news outlet before forming an opinion on a subject. It’s a shame, really, that the Times isn’t a clean forum for such discourse.

Similarly: Emptyage’s observations of guilty-pleasure sensationalism at Fox News.