National Review / Digital
Two Quarts Low
Gray Lady Down: What the Decline and Fall of the New York Times Means for America, by William McGowan (Encounter, 288 pp., $25.95)


Raines wasn’t interested in nuance, and under his direction, the Times editorial pages became a vehicle for preaching more than for converting. Meanwhile, Pinch was allowing politics to seep into first culture, and then news coverage, all while pushing ever-greater efforts at “diversity” hiring onto the paper’s news divisions.

Much of McGowan’s book is the tale of what went wrong: From the Jayson Blair plagiarism-and-fraud scandal (brought about because Pinch’s “diversity” emphasis elevated an unqualified reporter to the top levels of the paper), to the Duke Lacrosse false rape charges, to Hurricane Katrina, the Plame scandal, and weapons of mass destruction, among many other disasters, McGowan piles up incident after incident demonstrating beyond dispute that the New York Times of today is very different from, and far inferior to, the New York Times of a generation ago. (It is also far less profitable, reduced most recently to being propped up by massive loans from Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim.)

January 24, 2011    |     Volume LXIII, No. 1

  • Evicting the president in 2012 will not be easy.
  • Strategy and tactics for the new House majority.
  • Our economy and culture would benefit from its remembrance.
  • The Khodorkovsky trial exposes the ugly truth of Putin’s Russia.
  • In memoriam.
Books, Arts & Manners
  • Glenn Harlan Reynolds reviews Gray Lady Down: What the Decline and Fall of the New York Times Means for America, by William McGowan.
  • Claire Berlinski reviews The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance that Undermines America’s Interests in the Middle East, by Mitchell Bard.
  • Helen Rittelmeyer reviews Pathology of the Elites: How the Arrogant Classes Plan to Run Your Life, by Michael Knox Beran.
  • Ryan T. Anderson reviews Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives, by Annie Murphy Paul.
  • Ross Douthat reviews The King's Speech and True Grit.
  • John Derbyshire fills a hole.
The Long View  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Athwart  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Poetry  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Editorial  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .