The opinionated Bill Keller

“For me, it was not so much liberating that, now I can have opinions,” Times columnist Bill Keller said at a CUNY event Wednesday night. “It’s liberating that when I have opinions, I can say them.” He also told the audience:

Watching The New York Times try to be even-handed on some issues is like trying to watch somebody dance their kids’ dance styles. We look like we’re trying too hard. Yes, we should be even-handed, we should certainly follow the basic rule of reporting, challenging your assumptions, and we should be ruthless about having a public editor or an editors’ note to call ourselves out. … But it is possible to be fair and still radiate a cultural persona.

* Bill Keller says NYT readers “have not forgotten we blew it on Iraq”



  1. Mark said:

    Well, hello Capt. Delusional…

    “Watching The New York Times try to be even-handed on some issues”…

    I think the suspicious terms here are “try,” “even-handed,” and “some.”

  2. Dan Mitchell said:

    What he means, of course, is that the attempt to be even-handed is naturally much clumsier on some issues (climate disruption) than it is on others (whether drone attacks are good or bad, a much less ).

    But I assume, Mark, that your point is that the paper is “biased.” I don’t know whether you are saying this from the left or the right (though I could guess), but it doesn’t really matter. It’s a lazy, facile argument either way.

  3. Dan Mitchell said:

    (…a much less obvious point), I meant to say.

  4. Mark said:

    “It’s a lazy, facile argument either way.”

    Yeah, Dan. That makes perfect sense.

  5. Anonymous said:

    By the way, Dan, since you seem to be so qualified to interpret exactly what Bill Keller is “trying” to say, I suppose you’re admitting through your statement that you realize the NY Times is hopelessly biased. Or aren’t you?

    It’s the kind of bullshit mentality that CNN is unbiased while Fox… Well, Fox is just a bunch of right-wing nutjobs…

    So, just in review… Left-leaning, biased. That’s OK.

    Right-leaning, biased. An abomination that must be stopped.

    That about right, Dan?

  6. Mark said:

    That last comment was from me… Sorry… I was logged out… Wasn’t trying to hide.

  7. Dan Mitchell said:

    “Mark” wasn’t trying to hide. Check.

    That’s about right as a manifestation of what the propaganda media would have us believe, yes.

    I’m not going to re-argue the “bias” question, though. It’s like arguing whether there is a God with a fundamentalist Christian. Suffice to say there is a difference between generally trying to illuminate and generally trying to indoctrinate, and rational people can tell the difference.