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Harper’s Magazine Publisher Rick MacArthur bewailed failure of The New York Times to run anything but the most establishment liberal view in its pages when it deemed the Republican victory in the November midterm elections an open opportunity for Hillary Clinton to “resurrect the Democratic Party.”

MacArthur wrote in his column in the Providence Journal on Nov. 20:

A typical media “analysis” was provided by The New York Times, which almost immediately started promoting the inevitability of Hillary Clinton’s nomination as the next Democratic candidate for president. “Midterms, for Clinton Team, Aren’t All Gloom” declared its front-page headline on Nov. 7. According to the paper’s reporter, Amy Chozick, the misfortune of President Obama and Senate Majority (soon-to-be-Minority) Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) equaled good news for Mrs. Clinton and her “advisers,” among whom “a consensus formed … that it is time to accelerate her schedule.” This move toward a more rapid coronation was due to “pressure” on the former First Lady “to resurrect the Democratic Party,” since Mrs. Clinton is “already being scrutinized as the party’s presumptive nominee.”

With a Democrat in the White House and Republicans holding only a slight majority in the Senate, MacArthur suggests that the word “resurrect” seems “hyperbolic.” And couldn’t low voter turnout in the midterms indicate dissatisfaction with Democrats as well as Republicans?

Two paragraphs after the excerpts quoted above, “the Times dropped any pretense of fair and balanced reporting by presenting the institutional voice of people who have very little interest in journalism, or, for that matter, democracy,” MacArthur wrote. According to Chozick and her editors, “In many ways, Tuesday’s election results clear a path for Mrs. Clinton. The lopsided outcome and conservative tilt makes it less likely she would face an insurgent challenger from the left.”

That opinion, says MacArthur, is based either on Chozick’s laziness or her editors’ preference for a Clinton candidacy. “But whatever the motivation, the assertion that Hillary’s path is clear was pulled out of the air.

“Chozick evidently couldn’t be bothered to call anyone identified with ‘the left,’ ” MacArthur rages. “She did mention an additional ‘silver lining’ for the Clinton campaign: the ‘diminished … likelihood that former Gov. Martin O’Malley, another Democrat, would emerge as a serious primary challenge to Mrs. Clinton.’ But, again, it doesn’t appear that Chozick tried to call O’Malley or his ‘advisers.’ Nor, apparently, did she attempt to contact former Sen. Jim Webb (D., Va.), or Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), both of whom are contemplating challenges to Clinton from this mysterious region that sits to the west when one is facing north. Mysterious because nowhere did the Times define ‘the left’ or what might excite its opposition to Clinton. Our imaginations are allowed to run wild: Is ‘the left’ a terrorist organization? A part of the outfield? Or is it just not worth mentioning?

“I favor the latter explanation,” MacArthur concludes, “since the Times so often exhibits contempt for leftists and their insistence on alternative narratives to the one the paper likes to peddle. Given that the voice of the left in America is rarely heard in the corridors of power, the Times doesn’t feel it’s important to report on it.”

And to readers who feel the name “Paul Krugman” — that of the Times’ Nobel Prize-winning star economist and token “liberal” commenter — ready to erupt from their lips, MacArthur calls foul. “Krugman appears to be a highly reluctant leftist,” MacArthur writes. “[S]o reluctant that before the midterm elections he wrote a cover story for Rolling Stone defending Barack Obama against leftist critics who think the President’s agenda has favored the rich and the powerful.”

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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