Gray Lady Down
What The Decline and Fall of TNYT means for America.
Hardcover: 300 pages
Publisher: Encounter Books (November 16, 2010)
The New York Times was once considered the gold standard in American journalism and the most trusted news organization in America. Today, it is generally understood to be a vehicle for politically correct ideologies, tattered liberal pieties, and a repeated victim of journalistic scandal and institutional embarrassment.
In Gray Lady Down, the hard-hitting follow up to Coloring the News, William McGowan asks who is responsible for squandering the finest legacy in American journalism. Combining original reporting, critical assessment and analysis, McGowan exposes the Times’ obsessions with diversity, «soft» pop cultural news, and countercultural Vietnam-era attitudinizing, and reveals how these trends have set America’s most important news icon at odds with its journalistic mission—and with the values and perspectives of much of mainstream America.
Gray Lady Down considers the consequences—for the Times, for the media, and, most important, for American society and its political processes at this fraught moment in our nation’s history. In this highly volatile media environment, the fate of the Times may portend the future of the fourth estate.
Coloring the News: How Political Correctness Has Corrupted American Journalism
Paperback: 262 pages
Publisher: Encounter Books; 1 edition (May 1, 2003)
Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6 x 0.9 inches
From Publishers Weekly
In a book likely to spark controversy, and with the relentlessness of a prosecutor, McGowan (Only Man Is Vile: The Tragedy of Sri Lanka), a fellow at the conservative Manhattan Institute, presents case after case in which, he contends, reporters and editors got stories wrong or ignored topics worthy of coverage because of their liberal ideologies and their fear of offending African-Americans, gays or feminists. (In many cases, he says, the journalists later admitted their own timidity.) Both in hiring practices and story coverage, multicultural journalism is «oversimplifying complicated issues» and «undermining the spirit of public cooperation and trust,» McGowan writes. On race, he points to what he calls «soft» coverage of Washington, D.C., mayor Marion Barry and Rev. Louis Farrakhan’s Million Man March. But some of his arguments are inflammatory. Lumping «Gay and Feminist Issues» together in one chapter, he compares the coverage of the Matthew Shepard murder and that of another murder by two gay pedophiles in light of what he calls «the sanctity of the gays-as-victims script.» McGowan also cites biases in reporting on the abortion issue, attributing them to the fact that over 80% of journalists surveyed say they are pro-choice. Detractors will note that journalists rarely cover issues without biases, and that it’s unlikely that journalists of the past covered most causes including the 1960s struggle for civil rights that McGowan holds up as a model for race relations in the United States with the objectivity he trumpets. Skeptics of multiculturalism will love this book, and lefties will love to hate it. (Nov. 15)Forecast: Encounter Books knows how to reach its conservative audience. More generally, this will generate controversy among media mavens.
William McGowan is the author of «Coloring the News: How Crusading for Diversity has Corrupted American Journalism.»
William McGowan is the author of Only Man Is Vile: The Tragedy of Sri Lanka (Farrar, Straus & Giroux). He has reported for Newsweek International and the BBC and has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Columbia Journalism Review and other national publications. A regular contributor to the Wall Street Journal, he is currently a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. He lives in New York City.