Have you seen how many articles have been in the New York Times these past few months? Thousands, for Christ’s sake! What is wrong with the Times when they won’t explain the process behind each one? Fortunately we have the New Republic‘s Gabriel Sherman, who first told us why the Times printed a story about John McCain and now explains how the newspaper made a political endorsement, of Hillary Clinton. Why isn’t the Times more transparent? Who cares? Gabriel Sherman can fill us in on all the secret editorial “decisions.”
TNR smelled a rat, first, when the endorsement ran on Thursday instead of Sunday, the Lord’s Day. Where did this blatant affront toward Jesus come from, besides publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr.’s Judaism? It came from the rest of Arthur Sulzberger, it seems:
According to Times sources, the paper almost didn’t back Clinton. The divisions within the Gray Lady’s editorial board mirrored the deep divide that has split Democrats in this tightly contested campaign. The 20-member board had initially leaned toward Obama, Times sources say. But in January, after the board had debated the endorsement in two separate sessions, Times chairman and publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. decided to favor Clinton. Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal, declining to comment on the internal debate, acknowledged that the vote was a difficult one. “It was a really hard one, no question about it,” Rosenthal told me. “We talked about this within our board for hours. It was a very lively, interesting discussion. Several members of the board said it was the best discussion they’ve had.”
Then as the clock struck nigh on midnight, the treacherous copy editor noticed a conspicuous grammatical error — a comma was missing between two independent clauses! He rushed it to the assistant editorial page editor, who confessed to eliminating it to maintain “the sentence’s rhythm,” a felony that could put him in jail for five years! The two consulted with a more senior copy editor, who first considered inserting a semi-colon and adding an extra dependent clause to the second independent clause, but then authorized the deletion of the comma.
And this is why the New York Times endorsed Hillary Clinton.
Split Decision [TNR]