Brooks: Times Readers Further to the Left Than Times Journalists

My colleague at NewsBusters, Noel Sheppard, caught David Brooks, the Times' idea of a conservative columnist, in a videotaped interview with Time magazine this week, claiming Times readers are more liberal than Times journalists.


GILBERT CRUZ, TIME MAGAZINE: So being a, you work for the New York Times. Being a conservative voice in what is typically considered to be a more liberal newspaper than not, how exactly does that frame affect what you write?

DAVID BROOKS, NEW YORK TIMES: It's mostly the readers I think that are more liberal than the journalists. And they, you respect them. And so you're trying to reach them, and you're trying to have a communication with our readers. So I guess it makes you less want to write the column that says, "Look at us. Look at how right we are all the time," and you want to write the column that will persuade people who may start off disagreeing with you, and you think, "How do I do that? How do I get it so they will read me and pay attention so they can see this point of view?" So, I think it what it does is it, it makes you try to be more open and calmer and not just think people who disagree with you are evil because if you think that, they're not going to read you.

Sheppard suspects Brooks is downplaying his colleagues' liberalism to make life easier for himself at work.

Judging by the often-wacky leftism of the New Yorkers who pepper Times reporters with questions at public events, I could see how Times reporters could consider themselves more liberal than their readership (a suspicion confirmed by the heavily liberal tilt of the comments section and the letters to the editor page, though that might also reflect selective editing by staff).

Which still leaves Times reporters well to the left of the American public at large.