February 26, 2024 - 7:30pm

→ Ex-NYT editor speaks out… four years later

After Bari Weiss and James Bennet, another New York Times alum has broken ranks to criticise the US paper of record. In a scathing piece for the Atlantic today Adam Rubenstein, a former editor on the NYT’s opinion pages, reveals the culture of conformity and censorship which existed at his old workplace. 

In the article, titled “I was a heretic at the New York Times”, the picture which emerges is of an institution captured by progressive values, where the Hunter Biden laptop story was dismissed as “unsubstantiated” and where junior editors would block the publication of conservative opinion pieces.

Matters came to a head when the NYT published an op-ed from Senator Tom Cotton in June 2020, advocating the deployment of troops to quell the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests, but has America’s establishment press wised up? Apparently not, according to Rubenstein, who argues that “newsrooms haven’t learned the right lessons” from the episode. The subsequent success of Weiss and Bennet should show the NYT that it’s not always easy to burn heretics.

→ BBC deftly avoids misgendering murderer

There were no doubt sighs of relief at Broadcasting House today, as BBC News demonstrated its gift for impartiality and sensitive reporting in its coverage of the conviction of Scarlet Blake, who was found to have murdered a man in Oxford three years ago. Blake, a transgender woman, was described in a BBC News segment as “a woman who livestreamed herself killing, dissecting and blending the body of a cat before fatally attacking a man”.

The channel used female pronouns for Blake throughout the item, including the on-site court reporting, calling to mind the coverage of Isla Bryson, a trans woman who last year was convicted of two rapes in Scotland committed when he was a man. Though the BBC denied complaints from multiple viewers that it had referred to Bryson as a woman, other media reports were more accepting of the criminal’s transgender status. Good to know that our public broadcaster still has some standards…

→ Rupert Murdoch sees red

Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch is set towards lending his support — and the support of the multiple newspapers and UK television channels under his family’s control — to the Labour Party at this year’s general election, the i has reported. The Times and the Sun have endorsed the Conservatives at every general election since 2010, following a period in which both got behind New Labour under Tony Blair’s leadership.

The Australian proprietor stepped down as head of News Corporation and Fox last year after 70 years in the business yet maintains influence at the companies, where he is now chairman emeritus while his son Lachlan oversees operations. Murdoch certainly knows how to back a winner: in the last two decades the Times has supported the party which ended up with the most seats in each general election. Might this Leftward drift extend stateside, where Fox News employees and executives have become increasingly critical of Donald Trump?