A Reporter's Plea: "Did They Know How Hard We Worked to Report the News Fairly?"
Reporter Michael Luo posted Sunday morning on "The Caucus" blog on his days at the recent Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the social conservative lobbying group Focus on the Family, where his Times credentials didn't exactly open doors of welcome.
Caging for interviews, Luo discovered once again that not everyone loves the Times.
"When I first met Mrs. Crowe, she had been wary after I identified myself as a reporter from The Times. She confessed her suspicions, saying she watched Bill O'Reilly and harbored serious reservations about The Times. I had, in fact, experienced this kind of wariness, sometimes outright hostility, from nearly every person I stopped to interview at the summit. It had gotten to the point that I was even a bit nervous of approaching anyone for fear of rejection.
"Each time I experienced a new wave of anger toward the paper, I would try various tacks to defuse their hostility. Did they know there was a difference between the editorial and news pages? What about the fact that we get just as much criticism from the left as we do from the right? Did they know how hard we worked to report the news fairly? I would always try to offer an example, or two. If the conversation went further, I might even drop a little bomblet about myself - would they be surprised to know that I went to church? Almost invariably they were shocked. And that is when I'd jump in to ask their thoughts on the candidates."
Beyond Luo's empty and patronizing plea about "how hard we work," it's clear that whatever complaints they may direct at the paper, leftists expect the Times to be intheir corner (the comments section of the paper's political blogs have a deep blue tinge). A Rasmussen Reports poll this summer found the Times to be the only media outlet which even liberals acknowledge has a liberal bias.
Luo flashed a little touch of why Values Voters might have shunned his paper:
"There has been much talk about fissures in the evangelical movement, with a growing number of more centrist evangelicals pushing to broaden the list of concerns beyond abortion and same-sex marriage to include protecting the environment, caring for the poor and even advocating for immigration reform in the name of 'compassion.' But that was clearly not this crowd, nor was it the crowd that Mr. Romney and Mr. Thompson addressed a few days stumping in South Carolina."