James Taranto

James Taranto, a member of the Wall Street Journal‘s editorial board, writes the Best of the Web Today column for OpinionJournal.com.

The Times’s Little Saint Nick

 

We often assume that racism or sexism is primarily about in-your-face bigots or misogynists,” op-ed columnist Nicholas Kristof lectured his New York Times readers in June. But no, it turns out “research” has demonstrated “that the larger problem is unconscious bias even among well-meaning, enlightened people who embrace principles of equality”—people like Nicholas Kristof. Scientists, […]

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Church and State

 

Jill Abramson overflowed with praise when the New York Times promoted her to its top editorial position. “In my house growing up, the Times substituted for religion,” she said in a June 2011 interview with her own paper. “If the Times said it, it was the absolute truth.” Abramson probably meant to sound humble, but […]

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All You Need to Know

 

All you need to know” was for years the slogan of KNX 1070, a CBS-owned and -operated news radio station in Los Angeles. I was there, as a college intern, when management introduced the catchphrase in 1987. It met with wide derision from the newsroom staff, who were embarrassed by its condescending, if not vaguely […]

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No Cameras, Please

 

Before this year I never had much of an opinion on the perennial debate over cameras in the U.S. Supreme Court. I had a vague aversion to the idea, but no clear argument to back it up. That changed in February, after the court heard oral arguments in Octane Fitness v. Icon Health and Fitness, […]

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CINs of Omission

 

It was an idea so frail, it quickly died from exposure. The Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs—or CIN, pronounced “sin,” for short—was the brainchild of Mignon Clyburn, a Democratic member of the Federal Communications Commission and daughter of Rep. James Clyburn, the lone Democrat in South Carolina’s congressional delegation. Tim Cavanaugh, then of the […]

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Duck Soup

 

Phil robertson makes duck calls, but nobody can accuse him of using dog whistles. “He’s got lots of thoughts on modern immorality, and there’s no stopping them from rushing out,” Drew Magary observed in a profile of the Duck Dynasty patriarch for the January issue of GQ. In an interview with Magary, Robertson bluntly expressed […]

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Circular Writing Squad

 

Everyone loathes the media, including the media. In late November, as the Obamacare disaster continued to unfold, there was so much blame to go around that even journalists who aren’t conservative started directing some of it at other journalists. Appearing on Fox News’s The O’Reilly Factor, Mark Halperin of Time told guest hostess Laura Ingraham: […]

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Now They Tell Us

 

The disastrous October 1 launch of Healthcare.gov surprised even those of us who expected Obamacare to fail. The economics of the law are impossible, but who’d have thought just building a functional computer system would prove an insurmountable challenge? As it turns out, Henry Chao, the project’s “chief digital architect,” had grave doubts months earlier. […]

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Dull Jazeera

 

NEW YORK TIMES media reporter Brian Stelter greeted the August 20 debut of Al-Jazeera America by gushing that it was “the most ambitious American television news venture since Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes started the Fox News Channel in 1996.” Conservative columnist Diana West lamented that “a 24/7 Muslim Brotherhood channel is now beaming into […]

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The Journalist as Apparatchik

 

YOUR HUMBLE MEDIA critic came in for some media criticism over the summer. Its source: Kelly McBride, a senior faculty member at the Poynter Institute, the nonprofit journalism school that owns the Tampa Bay Times. McBride wrote on the institute’s website: “The Wall Street Journal…ran an opinion piece by editorial board member James Taranto, who […]

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