New York Times, 45 Years Ago: Same Shit

The biggest problems with the New York Times: fluff stories being given prominence, a withering reporting staff, and credulous hacks ready to put lies from politicians on page one. Welcome to 1964.

The Village Voice reprints a delightful little rant from an anonymous NYT staffer that originally ran 45 years ago. It proves that bullshit lasts longer than anything else. There's fake trend stories:

Times reporters who once kept a watchful eye on the doings and undoings of the numerous agencies supposedly serving the public are now scampering about the city on so-called non-stories, such as features and long background and mood pieces...The Times local news coverage is cute, but not very informative.

A Metro section that ain't what it used to be:

For all practical purposes there is now one City Hall reporter and a part-time housing reporter. The Times now depends for most of its city affairs coverage on the Associated Press, which mans a few "beats" with newspaper hacks; the mail, though which press releases come; and the various department public relations men who will "let you know" if anything important breaks.

And, of course, this stuff:

City politics is now left to reporters so anxious for page-one stories — with an angle and with "color" — that they are biting at every worm dangled before them by gleeful politicians. These stories embarrass the more experienced reporters.