In case I just failed to get the memo instructing all front-pagers to weigh in, I think it’s worth sharing the thoughts of a veteran lifer on newspaper “impartiality”:
… Newspapers today are run by terrified beancounters. The industry is dying. They know it. They are casting about for any strategy to delay the inevitable and, personally, they are casting about for any parachute they can find. The beancounters owe their primary allegiance to “the company,” and not to the reporter in the field. The beancounter editors and sub-editors at many — if not most — major newspapers and broadcast outlets would sell their grandmothers to the Somali pirates for a bigger office and two steps further up the masthead, which will get them closer to where the parachutes are kept. Most newspapers — most especially, the New York Times — have forced upon their reporters what are called “ethics codes,” but which, in reality, are speech codes written to prevent the beancounters and careerists from having to answer angry phone calls from wingnuts. I am not kidding — under some of these abominations, a reporter literally could be disciplined for spouting off about, say, Willard Romney in a bar, if someone heard the reporter, and called the beancounter to complain. The campaign buses are filled now with young reporters who know full well that, given sufficient pressure from either inside or outside “the company,” their bosses do not have their backs…
… Should reporters in the field point out that Willard Romney is lying his ass off every time he says that the president has been “apologizing” for America? The answer is obvious. Of course, they should. The bigger question is to ask, when the Romney campaign calls some Sulzberger and bitches about “bias,” what are the consequences for the reporter, and what will the Public Editor’s reaction be?
Much more, of course, at the link.