New York Times Yet Again Demonstrates Its Fealty to the 1%

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I got a message from a regular reader:

I went to the first page of the New York Times today, as I normally do after checking my e-mails in the morning. I noticed, above the fold, the prominently displayed link to an Adam Davidson story from a member of the super rich trying to explain why their super richness is good for us serfs.

I ignored that link and went through the rest of the first page. There was not a single mention in the self-styled paper of record of the May 1 demonstrations by Occupy Wall Street. I had reports from people in New York that the gathering was large, yet you’d never know it happened if you started on the front page. I went to the US section next, and again, not a single mention of Occupy Wall Street.

By contrast, as we noted in Links, Bloomberg made the OWS protests the lead item on its website early on May 1.

Update: Some readers wondered why I hadn’t shredded the Davidson piece. Trust me, I will, but it is such a vomititious read that I have not been able to get through it in its entirety yet.

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  1. abprosper

    This is not new. Newspapers have always served as propaganda organs for the elite or at least those people who buy the adds and pay the bills.

    The best cure is to find an indy paper, a blog or something else and ignore them.

      1. Maximilien

        Propaganda organs don’t care if readership or viewership is down (at least from a financial point of view). The NYT doesn’t care; neither does CNN. They are beholden not to their viewers or readers but to their corporate and political advertisers. Or more accurately, to their advertisers’ message. For so long as they dutifully get The Message out, and for so long as readers and viewers remain to be gulled, their bills will be paid.
        When the last gull-ible peasants have turned away or tuned out, the NYT or CNN, servants of the corpocracy already, will be welcomed to the bosom of government as the State press or the State TV, funded in large part or in full by the taxpayer.

        They’re halfway there already. What do they need viewers for?

        1. LAS

          Newspapers and other media DO need subscribers of record in order to sell ad space. The readership/viewership has to be a valuable target audience, an unduplicated audience or a large audience to make ad spending worthwhile.

          It probably is hard to maintain balance in NYC media on account of the high degree of inequality across the city. Still, their regular $40 something a month internet access charge is too expensive for many people and it declares their strategic direction.

          The combined cost of a tablet or reader and a few subscriptions adds up to being an expensive read. Getting informed is not all that easy for your time-pressed, working class stiff on a budget. In my travels, I’ve found parts of the US where the TV and/or cable channels only pick up Fox channels for news and nothing else.

          I was at the Bryant Park OWS event May 1. It was near to work and easy enough to attend during lunch hour. It seemed a good crowd, but there was a bias among the marchers. Three to four in every five marchers was youthful and the remainder seemed of retirement age, leaving a big gap among the marchers by absence of the middle aged. A lot of us watchers were sympathetic middle aged office workers who had to scamper back to our pens or risk losing our jobs. I feel this middle aged absence somewhat weakens the OWS movement, makes it vulnerable to being characterized as fringe. If we could remedy this, the movement would have more political power. More after hours and weekend events might round out the attendance and prove its wider democratic base.

          1. ironbutterfly

            excellent suggestions. I’m that middle aged person you wrote about. More weekend and after work activities would be the way to go given my schedule. However, do things have to get so bad that I have no choice but to participate before I choose to participate. When does my job transform from a responsibility to a hiding place?

    1. Richard Kline

      So Yves, and, well, yeah. I went to the NYT online in the wee hours after 1 May, and there wasn’t a single article or link _of any kind whatsoever_ noting, um, large crowds in NYC and elsewhere out for, oh a stroll or some reason.

      This is nothing new, but Exhibit A on why the Times is a relic, not worth a monthly fee, and bogus to the binding strength of it’s pulp. They don’t report the new, they report the Official Lie. And the Official lie is that ‘May Day demonstrations didn’t happen, and if there were any trivial disturbances the police dogpiled them in an instant: move along, nothing to see.’ I’ll have a further observation on the remarkable official response to Workers’ May when links go up tonight.

      1. jawbone

        However, on May 1, the NYTimes did at least mention Occupy.

        Alas, it was in connection with the envelopes containing white powder sent to some banks in NYC and to Mayor Bloomberg.

        A city official said two of the letters sent to banks read in part: “This is a reminder that you are not in control. Just in case you needed some incentive to stop working. We have a little surprise for you. Think fast.” They ended with, “Happy May Day.”

        The message led some officials to speculate that the mailings had been orchestrated by the Occupy Wall Street movement, which had scheduled protests in several places in the city on Tuesday.

        But Bill Dobbs, a member of the Occupy Wall Street press team, said, “It doesn’t sound like anything that’s part of the plans for tomorrow.” (My emphasis)

        The 11 PM local ABC news led with coverage of the white powder (cornstarch, btw) in envelopes, with the teaser mentioning Occupy and at least two more mentions of an Occupy connection in the actual report. That would seem to be a reaction to a “officials” bringing up Occupy.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      The piece is so horrible that I have managed to get through only the first 1/3. I will get to it, trust me.

      1. nonclassical


        Please don’t editorially beat your head into a wall, on our account…

      2. frustratedhypocrite


        Was Davidson’s piece really so bad? I’m not so upset that the author doesn’t take Conard to task for his shameful, ludicrous socioeconomic theory. I thought he let Conard hang himself, in the public view. What really needed said? His comments stood on their own, no?

        The Grey Lady surely has her patrons. The list is short but notable.


  2. The Truth

    Or maybe the reason it wasn’t in the New York Times is because a “demonstration” consisting of a half-dozen pot-smoking hipsters isn’t newsworthy. That’s more likely than your mythical 1% conspiring to quash the news. Take the tinfoil hats off and live in reality.

    1. Strangely Enough

      Yes, those thousands easily visible in photos if someone could be bothered to do a simple Google search didn’t exist.

      “The Truth” has spoken.

    2. Christophe

      If the May Day protests are not newsworthy, why are you resorting to so many belittling and derisive ploys in your attempt to suppress such an insignificant foe? Could it be that your need for such colorful writing reveals just how important these protests are? And just how scared of change you are?

      While your lowballing of turnout, stereotyping of demographic, and taunting of readers’ independent thinking are tediously predictable, presenting your gambit as the “more likely” side of your made up dichotomy and attributing the “mythical” other side to your readers are both considerably more inspired. Keep up the good work; we could use an improved caliber of troll.

    3. Copyright Violation

      I am the current holder of the phrase “the truth”. Please refrain from using it without paying royalties.

      The even more popular, ‘liar’, is also owned wholly by my master subsubidary.

    4. David Graeber

      Funny, I was there and the march went on for well over a mile – there were still marchers leaving Union Square when the head of the march was several blocks past Canal Street. Funny how 12 people can stretch themselves out that way.

      1. Eleanor

        You say go away to David Graeber? I am most of the way through his book on debt, and I am impressed. I’d like to hear more from him.

        1. Aquifer


          Though chris’ comment is underneath Graeber’s, it looks like it was posted in reply to “Truth’s”, though i can’t be sure … Note that your comment was indented under chris’, as his was under Truth’s. I does get a bit confusing, which is why i think it is useful to preface a reply with the name of the person you are replying to …

          After the second or third generation, “reply” to a comment is no longer an option and one must “reply” to the first “reply” available above it, even if that is not to whom you are replying – that is why, methinks it is useful to preface a comment with the person’s name …

          I go on like this because i know there are others out there, like myself, who may not have degrees in the fine art of blogging :)

  3. JC

    The more I think about it, the news business is a sickening business. Abusing their monopoly to the max, they fully set the agenda of what the audience ought to be watching.

    Need an example of that? Take a look at how different CNN USA is compared to CNN International. Not really sure how they’re really even part of the same network.

    In some ways it’s truly frightening to know that what I do know might have been determined by someone else.

    1. chitown2020

      They have owners. Therefore they cannot be unbiased. I had a meeting with an investigator from the State AGs office a while back about the mortgage fraud. He told me that he has owners and we owe China a lot of money…Well I never borrowed any money from China…or told them to. There is no need for America to borrow from any one. America is not broke. Globalism is a scam the Globalists are using to rob us of our National Sovereignty. Make the criminals who borrowed money from the American people and whoever…PAY THEIR OWN BILLS… They already gave them our jobs and knowledge….they make every God blessed thing we buy. The globalists are sheisters..

      1. Historicaecon

        “Globalism is a scam the Globalists are using to rob us of our National Sovereignty.” I couldn’t agree with you more. And thus far they’ve succeeded. But the U.S. has done more than any other nation to create the illusion and substantial reality of a global sovereign as part of its Cold War agenda to marginalize outsider states. Now that there ARE no outsider “communist” states, exactly, the balance of power has shifted, but to where or whom is unclear. In general, it seems to have shifted to “capital,” which operatively means the most mobile and therefore wealthy of us. Hence OWS.

        1. chitown2020

          Historicaceon…Google search does the Vatican hold your mortgage?…We have been duped by a global credit scam by the Globalists who own the World Bank…they never lent us any money…they are the debtors to every nation imaginable…They have used their robber barons …the banks to commit $1.2 QUADRILLION dollars in fraud off of our signatures…Their debt is unsustainable and can never be repaid. The FED and the traitor politicians are using their debt fraud to rob us out of all of our wealth, freedom and independence. They want to microchip us to all of their debt with their fascist healthcare plan and their gold backed dollar. They want to “fix” their mortgage fraud with a World Tax like an income tax so we can never own our homes….they don’t own anything…they hijack everything under the guise of money lending and they lend no money..they borrow from the TREASURY DEPT. Off of the credit they create from our birth certificate bonds. Its all a scam. Stop paying for everything that you can. Don’t use their banks and credit…Don’t leave your homes…because they
          don’t have the notes because they never lent you any money…

          1. F. Beard

            Don’t worry about it so much!

            The truth is stronger than lies from counterfeiters.

            And don’t worry about the Pope. The last I checked the US Military is dominated by WASPS and other Protestants.

  4. Middle Seaman

    The NYT tilts toward the rich only marginally due its ad income. The writers don’t see the balance sheet before they write. Socially they fancy themselves as friendly with the rich, like their life style and, probably, are envious of the life the money affords. It’s mainly and value and class identification that move that move NYT writers to “belong” to the 1%.

  5. Historicaecon

    I’m sorry, it’s deliberate. The policy that gives lunatics like Mitt’s Bain buddy reams of print and ignores the OWS protests is one that denies the most basic premise of democracy: One person one vote. This is disappointing, in part, because newspapers are supposed to be bastions of democracy, the voice of the common man, speaking truth to power. They have long since given up that role. Instead, driven in part by advertising and (as noted above) social climbing, the Times particularly sees its role as acknowledging the accepted reality that money talks and therefore only the rich really matter in the national conversation. The masses can only matter in aggregate, hence the active reliance on polling and data when reporters talk about national trends. Right and wrong don’t figure into it, and neither do hundreds or thousands of people putting their liberty on the line in New York City streets.

  6. Paul

    After reading the Times for 40 years, I stopped buying it after it turned itself into a public relations firm for the Iraq Invasion.

    I urge all to chuck it and subscribe to alternative media.

    1. jawbone

      I dropped my subscription to the NYTimes after it made its apology to Wen Ho Lee about their abysmal coverage of his alleged involvement with spying, but never copped to being irrational about their cheerleading for the Bush/Cheney invasion of Iraq and their continual bashing of Gore.

      Decided paying for broadband was a better chance at actual news for my bucks. Or at least much faster than dial up….

    2. jawbone

      I dropped my subscription to the NYTimes awhile after it made its apology to Wen Ho Lee about their abysmal coverage of his alleged spying, but never copped to being irrational about their cheerleading for the Bush/Cheney invasion of Iraq and their continual bashing of Gore. I waited for the Paper of Record to say something about their 2000 election coverage — and waited. Hoped for some kind of look back at their Clinton coverage

      Decided paying for broadband was a better chance at actual news for my bucks. Or at least much faster than dial up….

      This link has a good summary of some of the more egregious NYTimes reporting.

  7. chitown2020

    Arrogant is how the 1% behave. Like Jamie Dimon ‘s cruel and unusual remarks towards the people who are hurting the most. I sometimes think they are brainwashed but more than likely they are just arrogant slobs. I was appalled yesterday with a Bloomberg reporter talking to guest about the economy. They were saying that people who are have jobs are shopping. The reporter said..I go shopping all of the time..blab..blah… Well here’s a news flash for Bloomberg news….most Americans aren’t making 6 figure salaries. We are working and are barely keeping the lights on and food on the table for our families because we are being robbed by your owners..They are not only arrogant but…deceptive.

    1. psychoanalystus

      You misspelled Jamie’s last name. It should be: “DEMON”

      Other alternatives are: Devil, Satan, crybaby piece of shit, etc.

      1. chitown2020

        He is all of those and a Globalist Idealog as well. Very likely an Ayn Rand fan and that Blavosky demon. Big Sick Ideas that have hijacked the world. Like we own you..well, well is that so…? Would you like me to introduce you to my little my right to bear arms..

  8. Fredy

    The Washington Pot had a column for the 5 entrapped anarchists opposite the OWS column. Ironically, it is older folk who look upon the old gray bag and the pot as trusted outlets rather than corporations with agendas. Plastic staffs pumping out objective tripe. David Brooks is an accessory of the wealthy, a triffling jester serving at the feet of the owner/ruler class. A pathetic waste of a life, just tragic.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      You’ve used three different handles on this thread (one with a completely justified attack on a fellow commentor, which I unapproved) and you’ve used multiple handles routinely in the past, with phony e-mail addresses attached to them.

      Do this again and you are getting banned. The same rules go for people who are generally sympathetic to the house point of view as to ones who are here to be a nuisance.

  9. Seal

    I read the Guardian to get the US news – and for faster paced, on-the-ground stuff Twitter searches

  10. Bethesda

    The top three military contractor companies – Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman – have announced obscene first-quarter profits.

    1. enouf

      If anyone cares, this is a great guy (intelligent PhD, fighting health issues and other causes over 40yrs) with a great network, and this particular podcast goes into some detail about the insane way in which the DoD + Defense Contractors + CongressCritters work to form supposed IronTriangle.


  11. harvey

    Where I live, the NYT is better than almost every other newspaper. Which just goes to show how cr%p our newspapers are.

    I live in one of the US protectorates, Australia, where our politics, economics and press are pretty much ruled by the US government and industry.

    Its your 1% allied with our 1%. Thats globalisation for you.

    And just like your country, our manufacturing has been hollowed out by globalisation, but currently we are being saved by digging stuff up and sending it to China.

    We holidayed in the US a couple of years ago, and it was a great experience, but very sobering to look at cities like downtown Dayton Ohio, to see what globalisation has done to manufacturing cities in your country.

    We don’t have a strong Occupy movement at the moment because things are basically ok here, but imo our situation is fragile because we are a one industry nation, mining, and other countries are now racing to get a slice of this action.

  12. PQS

    And then there’s this, coming up soon in the NYT Magazine:

    “Messina politely pushed back. It’s not the president’s fault that Americans are still upset with Wall Street, he told them, and given the public’s mood, the administration’s rhetoric had been notably restrained.

    One of the guests raised his hand; he knew how to solve the problem. The president had won plaudits for his speech on race during the last campaign, the guest noted. It was a soaring address that acknowledged white resentment and urged national unity. What if Obama gave a similarly healing speech about class and inequality? What if he urged an end to attacks on the rich? Around the table, some people shook their heads in disbelief.”

    Wall Street’s Feelings = Still Hurt.


  13. give it up

    Wow. While sad Americans were paradin around gettin punched in the face by Jamie Dimon’s rentacops, Evo just nationalized the frickin electrical grid. Dustbin of history, suckas!

  14. Fíréan

    Don’t read the News, Make the News !

    It’s the only way You’ll be ahead of the curve.

  15. Hugh

    We live in a kleptocracy, run for the benefit of the rich, maintained by the elites. All our public institutions and the elites who direct them enable, defend, or propagandize for the kleptocracy. Media is only one component of the kleptocratic structure. The political process, the parties, the politicians, the corporate sector, banks, defense contractors, government contractors in general, industry, Big Oil, Big Coal, Big Gas, insurance, healthcare companies, Big Pharma, regulators, the courts, and academia, as well as the so-called opposition: the Tea party, the liberal orgs, the elite blogs. They all staffed by the elites and serve the interests of the kleptocratic 1%.

    There is nothing surprising about the NYT publishing a tract praising wealth inequality while at the same time ignoring the public protests of the 99%. It is classic class war. It is as always all about distraction. Ignore, trivialize, distort, demonize protest. Promote the propaganda. Keep the rubes divided and at each others’ throats. As long as the rubes on the right are fighting the rubes on left, and the rubes on the left are fighting the rubes on the right, the looting as practised by kleptocrats, such as those at Bain, have nothing to worry about. In fact, they feel safe enough in their position that they can gloat about their crimes in the New York Times.

  16. PghMike4

    I’m a glutton for punishment; as evidence I offer up that I read nearly everything David Brooks writes, if only to feel superior to a Genuine NYTimes-certified Wise Man.

    But even I couldn’t bring myself to click on the Davidson piece today. I didn’t even realize it was Davidson’s — the title alone was enough to make me barf.

  17. Anarcissie

    I have to say that I admire anyone who has the fortitude to read the New York Times regularly. I suppose it is well for someone to keep an eye on it, but I cannot. I wonder if that sort of thing might not risk injury to one’s health.

    1. Maximilien

      I too feel I should check in once in a while. But then I ask myself, would I have a conversation with a liar? He might be telling the truth sometimes, but how would I know?

      So I don’t. Check in, that is.

  18. chitown2020

    The global credit scam marches on because the Globalists at the top of the pyramid worship CONTROL..THE ISSUANCE OF CREDIT IS A SCAM. It is not about the money, they have already hijacked and stolen all of the riches of the world under the guises of war and money lending. it is about them making you think they own you and all of your possessions because they lent you something of value. They did not. They lent you lousy credit. They are control freaks and the power they wield is a work of fiction. A mind game. They gave outrageous money incentives to their perps to pull their derivatives scam off. They committed a Quadrillion dollars in derivatives fraud. The fraudclosures for example are unjustly enriching their perps through insurance fraud. That is how they are incentivizing and stealing our National Sovereignty one property at a time. The healthcare scam, the World Tax and the gold backed dollar scam will be their final acts of fraud against us. They intend on declaring America broke and blaming it on the failure of capitalism…..which they caused….those will be their BIG LIES….That is how they will microchip us and steal every property they cant fraudclose on. Their fixes for all of THEIR FRAUD will be precisely how they will attempt to enslave us to the unsustainable debts they created out of thin air with our signatures. The World Tax will be their fraudulent fix for $700 trillion dollars in mortgage fraud. It will be fraudulently induced like the property tax so that you will never own a home or business again. A nation of RENTERS of everything is what they want. They want us to have no personal wealth, no ownership of private property or small business, no private healthcare, no sovereign nations. The only thing keeping us sovereign is our right to bear arms.
    used like the

  19. Roquentin

    The Times has become mostly lifestyle porn for the very wealthy.

    Also, I find it very amusing that he used the word “Spectacular Wealth” in the title which brings to mind Guy Debord’s 1967 classic “The Society of the Spectacle,” one of the key texts that inspired the May ’68 protests in France.

    For example:


    The spectacle is the existing order’s uninterrupted discourse about itself, its laudatory monologue. It is the self-portrait of power in the epoch of its totalitarian management of the conditions of existence. The fetishistic, purely objective appearance of spectacular relations conceals the fact that they are relations among men and classes: a second nature with its fatal laws seems to dominate our environment. But the spectacle is not the necessary product of technical development seen as a natural development. The society of the spectacle is on the contrary the form which chooses its own technical content. If the spectacle, taken in the limited sense of “mass media” which are its most glaring superficial manifestation, seems to invade society as mere equipment, this equipment is in no way neutral but is the very means suited to its total self-movement. If the social needs of the epoch in which such techniques are developed can only be satisfied through their mediation, if the administration of this society and all contact among men can no longer take place except through the intermediary of this power of instantaneous communication, it is because this “communication” is essentially unilateral. The concentration of “communication” is thus an accumulation, in the hands of the existing system’s administration, of the means which allow it to carry on this particular administration. The generalized cleavage of the spectacle is inseparable from the modern State, namely from the general form of cleavage within society, the product of the division of social labor and the organ of class domination.”

    How ironic.

  20. chris

    My comment to the NYTimes’ editorial on Obama’s ego trip to Afghanistan…

    which they refused to print:

    “Curiously absent from your disingenuous editorial is any mention of the year 2024, which Obama’s “deal” establishes as the timeline for US military “access” to Afghanistan. That’s quite a deal.

    Even more curious to me is the absence of any mention of the tens of thousands of May Day marchers protesting against everything Obama stands for. I guess the odious Michael Bloomberg and his thug henchman, Ray Kelley, are running the Grey Lady show now. Pathetic.”

    Can’t say I’m surprised they didn’t print it…

  21. Conscience of a Conservative

    Well, you have Krugman over at the NY Times, who advocates that when the economy gets in trouble you drop interest rates which drives everyone out of savings and into stocks which benefits the 1% more than the 99%. It’s not uninteresting that the 1% vs 99% gap has grown under Obama and Bernanke.

  22. keepon

    ‘The best way rob a Peoples of their freedom is to OWN them.’

    Hearts n’ minds,

    jobs, wallets, homes, food, gasoline, health insurance, medicare, pension, birth control, information….

    Chicken Little and PAUL REVERE UN-wanted.
    Own Them Hearts and Minds.

  23. eclair

    My name is Eclair and I am a NYT-aholic.

    I had a print subscription to the NYT for years. About a year ago, when I bought an I-Pad, I “upgraded” to an on-line subscription. So I wouldn’t be separated when I travelled.

    I spent hours every day reading articles with intriguing titles, like “How Much House one million dollars will buy you,” and “Euthanasia Reconsidered.”

    I alienated family members by “sharing” Paul Krugman blog posts with them.

    Unable to wait for Wednesday morning to read Mark Bittman’s new recipe, I logged on late Tuesday evening.

    Until, a few months ago, I forgot to notify the Times’ billing department when I dropped my Chase credit card and they shut me out.

    I decided to go cold turkey. Since then my life had turned around and I have hours more every day to spend with family and my garden.

    But, sometimes still, late Tuesday evenings, when I am depressed and I know that Mark Bittman will be posting his latest yummy and easy to make recipe, my fingers hover over the screen. How easy it would be to log in and give my new credit card number….

  24. Jeff L

    I live in midtown, work literally a block from Zuccotti Park. This round of OWS protest was lame. Maybe 2,000 people total – come on. Barely worth discussing. When their cause draws 10,000 or more, then it’s for real.

  25. Steve M.

    Why is it that the media never write an article on how the government union employees who make up only a small percentage of the work force, receive the best pensions, benefits and health care packages? Talk about the one percenters. Why is it that there is never an article discussing how disproportionately these union workers are creating hundreds of billions of dollars in debt based on underfunded, over generous pensions? Try covering these articles in a media report, if your union bosses let you!

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