Over the weekend Arthur S. Brisbane, the Public Editor of The New York Times, wrote a piece lamenting the way the Times has attacked other media companies. The choice quote from Brisbane was this:
In recent months, The Times has slipped a shiv into others on several occasions. Some readers don’t like it when that happens, and I can understand why. It’s unseemly and makes The Times, which is viewed as journalism’s top dog, look like a bully.
FishbowlNY’s reaction to the article was that there’s no need for the Times to stop attacking others, in fact, we sort of enjoy it when the newspaper goes on the offensive. Jack Shafer at Slate echoes our thoughts in a post today, but he does it in a much better way:
What would Brisbane prefer? That the Times view the Murdoch papers’ conduct, the Gannett pay packages, and the frat-boy shenanigans at Tribune from the perspective of a guidance counselor? That the Times pussyfoot while composing its stories? Give me the bully treatment any day—even though I don’t think any of the pieces cited by Brisbane comes remotely close to bullying. Or would Brisbane prefer that the Times recuse itself from covering all critical stories about the press and publish only positive ones?
Click through to Shafer’s article and see if you don’t come away with a newfound respect for shivs.