A pivotal moment for the New York Times

For regular readers of our paper of record, the following sentences in an article about the slaughter of Egyptian civilians, “U.S. Condemns Crackdown but Announces No Policy Shift” by Mark Landler and Michael P. Gordon on Aug. 14, must have been one of those “I can’t believe what I just read in the Times” moments:

“But Mr. Kerry (U.S. Secretary of State) announced no punitive measures while President Obama, vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard, had no public reaction. As his chief diplomat was speaking of a ‘pivotal moment for Egypt,’ the president was playing golf at a private club.”

Yes, folks, it has really happened: The New York Times has turned snarky on President Obama! Finally, some of you might say, after four-and-a-half years of a foreign policy strong primarily in dithering and lecturing, the Times saw the light and informed the East Coast establishment from Boston to Washington D.C.

And that’s where they’ll be wondering if this is an aberration or the start of a trend. What could be next, will be asked, casting a cold eye on former President Clinton’s ramblings and bloated bits of political wisdom, or examining why the American people love the man who played such a, well, pivotal role in ushering in their current economic misery.

If I were a betting man, I’d put my money on aberration, but I’m hoping that would be a losing bet. Come on, New York Times, revive a great tradition of American journalism and let the critical cookies crumble where they may.

Salamon taught German literature and culture at several East Coast colleges, and served as staff reporter for the St. Louis Business Journal and as senior editor for Defense Systems Review. He has published three academic books and contributed articles to the Washington Post and the American Conservative.

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