The NYT Gets (Finally!) Feisty

The New York Times is on a bit of a roll, with editorials more eloquent, more passionate, and more forward-thinking than we’ve seen from them in a long time. It’s about time. Although the paper has some token conservative editorial writers, and bends over backwards to be fair and even-handed (and not offend its corporate shareholders) there comes a time when the mainstream standard-bearer for progressive thinking just has to take a more radical stand, and they seem to have reached that point. Some cases in point from the last week:

What Meat Means (Feb.6): “Nearly every aspect of meat production in America is disturbing, from the way animals are raised, to inadequate inspection of the final product. When it comes to what happens in the slaughterhouse, most of us mentally avert our eyes. Yet in the past decade, the handling of livestock on their way to the killing floor has actually been one of the parts of the business that has improved most significantly. What is most alarming at the slaughterhouse is not what happens to the animals – they have already met their fate. It is what happens to the humans who work there.” Read the rest. A clarion call for reform of this horrifically corrupt (and contemptuous of its customers) industry.

US Redesigning Atomic Weapons (Feb.7): “Worried that the nation’s aging nuclear arsenal is increasingly fragile, American scientists have begun designing a new generation of nuclear arms meant to be sturdier and more reliable and to have longer lives, federal officials and private experts say. The officials say the program could help shrink the arsenal and the high cost of its maintenance. But critics say it could needlessly resuscitate the complex of factories and laboratories that make nuclear weapons and could possibly ignite a new arms race.” Read the rest. An important warning that the self-proclaimed American “war president” is still pursuing “mini-nukes” as part of his war on everything, not as a deterrent, but as a weapon of aggression.

When Math is Worse Than Fuzzy (Feb.10): “Whenever the Bush administration wants to sell a costly new program, look carefully before you accept any numbers it puts out. The math isn’t just fuzzy, as the current euphemism would have it – it is often downright misleading, and deliberately so…The administration is trying a similar dodge in its efforts to sell the idea of converting part of Social Security to private accounts. Those accounts are a bad idea on the merits, but even many who might be inclined to support them are fearful of the enormous transition costs, which could exceed a trillion dollars over the first 10 years of the program. So the administration has conjured up a more palatable number.” Read the rest. An all-out attack on an Administration guilty of massive financial mismanagement and of duping the public to conceal the outright theft of taxpayer dollars to repay campaign kindnesses to its corporatist supporters.

A Dismal Class-Action Finale (Feb.12): “Instead of narrowly focusing on real abuses of the system, the measure reconfigures the civil justice system to achieve a significant rollback of corporate accountability and people’s rights. The main impact of the bill – which has the sort of propagandistic title normally assigned to such laws, the Class Action Fairness Act – will be to funnel nearly all major class-action lawsuits out of state courts and into already overburdened federal courts. That will inevitably make it harder for Americans to pursue legitimate claims successfully against companies that violate state consumer, health, civil rights and environmental protection laws…Having spent tens of millions of dollars lobbying for this bill, the United States Chamber of Commerce and allied business groups are understandably pleased. They got what they paid for.” Read the rest. Remember Erin Brockovich? Well, thanks to the US Government, such actions against egregious corporations by citizen and consumer groups will no longer be possible.

So, let’s see now…This is a country where the meat industry is abusing animals and endangering employees and consumers, where a war-mongering president is funding new forms of nuclear weapons for his next adventure, and has bankrupted the economy, stolen taxpayer money and workers’ pensions to pay off his campaign donors, and passed laws to prohibit citizens from getting redress for corporatist excesses. Oh, and the political system is incapable of determining reliably who won the presidency and is fixed so that representatives are guaranteed re-election. Sounds like a great ‘model of democracy’ to me. Those guys at the Times are such soreheads, never happy.

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3 Responses to The NYT Gets (Finally!) Feisty

  1. Jon Husband says:

    Nice that finally they’re turning their collective heads and attention to where a newspaper arguably ought to be looking. Not enough, and not fast enough … get going, gals and guys at the NY Times.Of course significant portions of the USA already considered the NY Times a commie rag anyway … sheesh.

  2. Ken Hirsch says:

    The Erin Brockovich case would not be affected since it is was an intrastate case. Although whether that’s a good thing is debatable since a lot of the plaintiffs were unhappy about the outcome.It’s odd. Don’t liberals usually like it when things are moved to the federal level?

  3. The NYT seems to have realized that toeing the administration’s line isn’t getting them anywhere, and that the administration is willing to screw over the media, as per the recent “Geoff Gannon” scandal (the sixth journalist to have been a propagandist on the payroll of the Bushies). Too little, too late, though.

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