The Gray Lady feels the agony of political defeat — in her reputation and in her wallet.
After taking a beating almost as brutal as Hillary Clinton’s, the New York Times on Friday made an extraordinary appeal to its readers to stand by her. The publisher’s letter to subscribers was part apology and part defense of its campaign coverage, but the key takeaway was a pledge to do better.
Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. admitted the paper failed to appreciate Donald Trump’s appeal.
“After such an erratic and unpredictable election there are inevitable questions: Did Donald Trump’s sheer unconventionality lead us and other news outlets to underestimate his support among American voters?”
While insisting his staff had “reported on both candidates fairly,” he also vowed that the paper would “rededicate ourselves to the fundamental mission of Times journalism. That is to report America and the world honestly, without fear or favor.”
Ah, there’s the rub. Had the paper actually been fair to both candidates, it wouldn’t need to rededicate itself to honest reporting. And it wouldn’t have been totally blindsided by Trump’s victory.