Sulzberger came across as a left-wing true believer who thinks the Times is on a mission to transform the domestic and foreign policies of the U.S. The paper’s immediate objective, he made clear, is to destroy the Bush Administration and force a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq for failing to hew to the Times editorial line.
Leaving aside his typical banter about the cost of a college education and the challenges faced by parents, Sulzberger talked about the time when he graduated from college and compared it to today’s political atmosphere. He said:
“When I graduated from college in 1974, my fellow students and I had just ended the war in Vietnam and ousted President Nixon. Okay, that’s not quite true. Yes, the war did end and yes, Nixon did resign in disgrace—but maybe there were larger forces at play.
“Either way, we entered the real world committed to making it a better, safer, cleaner, more equal place. We were determined not to repeat the mistakes of our predecessors. We had seen the horrors and futility of war and smelled the stench of corruption in government.
“Our children, we vowed, would never know that.
“So, well, sorry. It wasn’t supposed to be this way.
“You weren’t supposed to be graduating into an America fighting a misbegotten war in a foreign land.
“You weren’t supposed to be graduating into a world where we are still fighting for fundamental human rights, be it the rights of immigrants to start a new life; the rights of gays to marry; or the rights of women to choose.
“You weren’t supposed to be graduating into a world where oil still drives policy and environmentalists have to relentlessly fight for every gain.
“You weren’t. But you are. And for that I’m sorry.”
This arrogant display demonstrated Sulzberger’s belief that he and his paper have somehow failed to prevent a Nixon-like disaster from currently occupying the oval office. Sulzberger simply ignored the heroism and sacrifice of U.S. military personnel trying to bring freedom and democracy and fundamental human rights to Iraq. His remarks sounded like something scribbled from the pen of William Blum, the left-wing writer favorably cited by Osama bin Laden in one of his tapes.
Sulzberger’s speech, of course, is consistent with the paper’s liberal editorial policy on issues like homosexuals, rights for illegal aliens, abortion, environmentalism, and the war. But it was something else for Sulzberger, the chairman and publisher of the paper, to say these things publicly and put them on the record.
If we are to believe Sulzberger, we will all be better off if the U.S. (1) withdraws from Iraq and Afghanistan and leaves bin Laden alone, (2) legalizes homosexual marriages, (3) gives rights to illegal aliens, (4) keeps abortion legal under all circumstances, and (5) gives the environmentalists some more legislative victories, so that we are further restricted from exploiting our own sources of energy.
On the oil issue, he talked about a U.S. foreign policy being driven by oil, when his friends in the environmental movement have helped make the U.S. more dependent on foreign sources of oil, including in the Middle East. The environmentalists are the best friends of the Arab-dominated OPEC oil cartel.
In the end, it is helpful to have Sulzberger on the record like this. Liberal media critics usually try to claim that media “owners” are conservative and exercise influence or even control over their admittedly liberal editors and reporters. The Sulzberger speech proves that there is no division between the ownership of this paper and its left-wing editors and reporters. Still, Times editors and reporters must have been embarrassed by his rant. With the business community already losing confidence in him, developing a reputation as a dangerous eccentric on political matters and current events could spell doom for Sulzberger’s position at the company.
Cliff Kincaid is Editor of the AIM Report.