I remember going to some sort of technology discussion many years ago where a guy talked about how Kodak developed a website that had many of the same features as Facebook years before Facebook took of–i.e. Kodak could have invented Facebook but instead just used the site to sell paper prints to people, and the point being that running a large organization it’s really difficult to see past what you need to do to keep it going like it currently is.

So I’m not so sure it’s true that the New York Times actually likes racist conservatives (they clearly do like Republicans of a certain type), but rather that it (and the rest of the MSM) is still flailing from losing the near-complete monopoly it had on news during the 1980s. It pretty much began fracturing after Reagan left office when conservative talk radio began in earnest and if you look at their behavior before and after that point (before: pretty darn willing to criticize Republicans and Reagan, after: “both sides”), it’s obvious enough. I see the “here’s this nice racist conservative” pieces they run as attempts to troll liberals, partly because they figure that this is what conservatives like, partly because they resent their own readership. This is not a good idea but simply accepting a diminished role and reflecting the values and politics of their actual readers seems to be a violently resisted anathema for them. It’s a shame because given where things are, being the American Guardian seems like it would be a pretty good place to be.

Again, I’m really not sure how it works out for them in the long run. Older, well-informed liberals get angered by this but they still venerate the Times. Younger liberals, though, don’t trust them or the MSM at all, and those pieces are going to further damage that already precarious reputation. And “ok but what about our other articles?” is essentially no different than, “but what about all the successful voyages flown by the Hindenburg?” As in, totally irrelevant. Everything else could be perfect in your paper but the Nazi pieces are still going to get attention and make your actual readers hate you. Reputation isn’t a spreadsheet, it’s emotion. It’s how people feel about you. Making the only people willing to buy your product despise you is, therefore, not a sound business model. It’s all such typical “meritocracy” arrogance, just dismissing the emotions of the little people when they conflict with their glorious groupthink. Not really sure that the Times survives with only people who graduated with Ivies subscribing though…

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