Media Watch – The Gray Wall of Silence: What White New York Times Readers Should Know About What’s Fit To Print

Earlier, I wrote about the New York Times’ newly announced policy of censoring racially conscious reader comment on the internet and the New York Times’ Magazine’s nearly all-Jewish editorial content, and how whites are excluded from the conversation.

But the big paper itself — sometimes called “The Old Gray Lady” — has erected an impenetrable wall of silence around the vast swath of American life occupied by white people. What’s more, in this essay, you’ll get some inside information on attempts by the Times’ own staffers to breach that wall, and the results.

In a story typical for its baffling refusal to account for white people, Times reporter Sam Roberts gave us a front-page story on Nov. 17, 2007 about how Hispanic names are beginning to outnumber “Anglo,” or white, names, in America.

Beyond the statistics, reporter Roberts offered several crowing quotes from Hispanics who were tickled to be beating out the whites:

“It shows we’re getting stronger,” Roberts quoted a banker named Luis Padilla. “If there’s that many of us to outnumber the Anglo names, it’s a great thing.”

Whites — or “Anglos,” as Roberts calls them — were not quoted at all. Did a Wilson or a Taylor have a thought on being displaced by the Garcias and the Rodriguezes? Not that you saw in the New York Times. One might reasonably ask: If it’s acceptable for Hispanics to be enthusiastic about outnumbering whites, are whites correspondingly entitled to be concerned about the trend? Again: the Times isn’t asking.

The Times might have justified itself by running a story about this demographic trend without quoting any random individuals, Hispanic or white, about their feelings. But that’s not what they chose to do. They deliberately included quotes from Hispanics, thereby setting up the question about why they didn’t talk to whites in big, bold, neon letters.

Could Mr. Roberts have secured such a quote, only to have it edited out later? You won’t find out. Try telephoning him at the Times, and you will be told that he does not speak to the public. Which is odd, considering that he’s ostensibly writing about it in his capacity as a demographics reporter for the nation’s leading newspaper. But the Times’ attitude toward the public — especially the white public — is worse still.

This writer penned a short and reasonable letter to the editor complaining about this fairly obvious omission. (I know that complaints about un-run letters to the editor fall on the ears as desperate, so please bear with me for a second.) Having seen several similar letters run in some of the nation’s top newspapers, I thought this one might stand a chance, despite the fact that I am not writing from Cambridge and do not hold an ambassador post.

Unable to restrain myself, and not wanting to cross in the mail with this blog essay, I telephoned the desk to check. The woman who answered the phone returned after digging for a few minutes and said that “you may well hear from us” about my letter. I was tantalized. But when the standard period of a week passed and the letter did not run, I knew it would never. A follow-up call confirmed it.

Convinced, however, that the issue of the media’s ignoring of whites was more important than my own satisfaction at seeing a letter run, I tried contacting the public editor, Clark Hoyt. Mr. Hoyt’s position as “public editor” is more theoretical than real, because, as with reporters, he does not speak to the public. You must send an e-mail, which is almost certainly not read by Mr. Hoyt himself. While I certainly understand that open lines might make for time on the phone with lunatics, why have a position as “public editor” if that person won’t speak to the readers?

Alas, attempts to contact the public editor were fruitless. And you will almost certainly never see Mr. Hoyt address these issues in his column.

So, not only does the New York Times refuse to speak to whites in news stories about which they’re half the topic, it won’t even speak to white readers who seek to comment about that practice. I would say that it’s harder to imagine how much more thoroughly whites could be shut out, but as the essay linked to above shows, it’s even willing to censor the comments they do have that make it past the front door.

It all raises the question: what would have to happen for a New York Times reporter to speak to a white person as a member of the white race, and quote him or her? Read on: it almost happened.

About ten years ago, I had emerged from a successful challenge to a journalism internship at the Boston Globe that excluded whites. I did not pursue the internship because I was employed as a reporter elsewhere, but one reporter took notice of all this: Seth Schiesel, then covering the communications industry for the New York Times. Mr. Schiesel, who I believe is biracial, was intrigued enough by my story to invite me to lunch, at which we discussed my challenge to the internship, affirmative action, and journalism.

He told me that he was considering doing a story about my challenge, perhaps along with other whites kept from jobs by affirmative action. He also suggested that it didn’t stand a good chance of running, for several reasons, one of which was that it may have been too self-referential: The Times owns (and I think then owned) the Boston Globe, and papers are wary of covering themselves. He also hinted that he had come along as a reporter himself through the very internship I’d been denied, or a similar one, and had worked for a time on the Globe’s editorial desk. But I was in turn intrigued that a reporter from the Times would have taken notice at all.

Again, needless to say, Mr. Schiesel’s story did not see the light of day. But my encounter with him serves as a useful piece of information for white media consumers: the media’s black hole of political correctness is so powerful, almost nothing escapes. If a reporter inside goes against all odds and indulges a little curiosity about the plight of whites, it will not be “fit to print,” as the Times says.

What we do see, however, are the inevitable disasters, like the saga of Jayson Blair, a young black reporter for the Times fired for concocting stories from whole cloth. It is hard to imagine that a collection of people as well-educated and inquisitive as the staff of the New York Times doesn’t look at the Jayson Blair episode and wonder whether there isn’t something deeply wrong with the whole multiculturalism project. But no. It carries on.

In Coloring the News, a 2001 book on the devastating effects of multiculturalism on journalism, writer William McGowan’s references to the New York Times in the index go on for so long, they seem to cover half the book. Occidental Observer readers looking for detailed information on this topic would do well to take a look at this book. What’s especially interesting are the repeated instances in which, when McGowan sought to talk to journalists about these problems, they begged off — or asked for anonymity — because of the career-ending risks of saying the wrong thing. Such is our “free” press.

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In a 1993 special publication of National Review called “The Decline of American Journalism,” writer Daniel Seligman recounts how an in-office “diversity” team at the New York Times had such internal divisions it had to retire to Tarrytown, NY for a two-day retreat in which members were subjected to psychological testing. What was the issue? Whether white journalists should be whipped in public — or in private?

I suspect there is one overriding reason for the New York Times’ — and the rest of the media’s — refusal to speak to white Americans as members of a group. The minute such a thing happens, whites, as a group, will be recognized as America’s newest, and biggest, interest group. This would be cataclysmic — a virtual warping of America’s political space-time continuum. With a few strokes of the keyboard, one writer will have changed the course of history.

For the Times to voluntarily reach out like this, something incredible would have to happen. It’s more likely to be forced along by overwhelming current events. The question is, how much longer can it keep whites as a group at bay?

Christopher Donovan is the pen name of an attorney and former journalist.