The New York Times "needs to offer an aggressive look" at President Obama's record and promises as the 2012 election nears, the Times' public editor Arthur Brisbane writes in a new column, chiding the paper for having "basked" in Obama's 2008 election.
"Now, though, the general election season is on, and The Times needs to offer an aggressive look at the president’s record, policy promises and campaign operation to answer the question: Who is the real Barack Obama?" Brisbane wrote. "Many critics view The Times as constitutionally unable to address the election in an unbiased fashion. Like a lot of America, it basked a bit in the warm glow of Mr. Obama’s election in 2008."
Brisbane lamented that "a strong current of skepticism holds that the paper skews left," one that's "exacerbated by collateral factors — for example, political views that creep into nonpolitical coverage." His column expressed considerable sympathy along with some skepticism toward longstanding conservative criticisms of the Times, although he argued that that perception can be overcome.
"The warm afterglow of Mr. Obama’s election," he wrote, "the collateral effects of liberal-minded feature writers — these can be overcome by hard-nosed, unbiased political reporting now."