Tigerhawk notes the latest exercise in issue avoidance from the public’s supposed ombudsman Clark Hoyt.
The “public editor” of the New York Times, Clark Hoyt, remains as ever unwilling to challenge the paper’s editorial leadership on questions that matter. Today’s column is devoted to defending Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse from charges from a conservative blogger that she has a conflict of interest when her husband — a lawyer — writes briefs filed in cases before the court. He basically concludes — and any blogger would agree — that the Times should be more transparent in disclosing conflicts or apparent conflicts. For my money, the whole column is a waste of ink — speaking as a blogger who finds something to criticize in the New York Times virtually every day, I have long thought that Greenhouse does a better job of writing neutrally than the vast majority of the paper’s news reporters.
The real question, of course, is why Hoyt spent his week defending Greenhouse against a cranky blogger instead of explaining why it was that the Times decided to devote its front page to discussing murder rates among American veterans without acknowledging that they are lower than for American civilians. Apparently we need another public editor to explain why the first one spends himself on trivia and the arcania of conflict policy instead of examining a front page story with statistical “reasoning” so unbelievably fraudulent it is hard to believe that it was not intentional.