NY Times Public Apologist Clark Hoyt explains the Times’ role as an earnest servant of a curious public in these parlous times, with their coverage of Sarah Palin as a launch point:
In our instant-news and celebrity- obsessed culture, Palin went from Sarah Who to conservative rock star in less than a week. In less than two months, she could be elected vice president to serve under the oldest president, at 72, ever elected to a first term, and one with a history of recurring melanoma. Intense, independent scrutiny by The Times and the rest of the news media of Palin’s background, character and record was inevitable and right.
Intense and independent! This from the Public Editor of the paper that has yet to use the phrase “Annenberg Challenge” in a story noting that Barack Obama and Bill Ayers worked together on education reform while with the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, disbursing roughly $160 million in a venture ultimately judged by the Annenberg Foundation itself as having “limited impact”.