Former Clinton adviser Dick Morris said Wednesday that New York Times public editor Arthur Brisbane’s criticisms of his paper’s biased reporting may signal a shift in how the media covers President Barack Obama.
Brisbane’s Sunday op-ed knocked his paper’s pro-Obama bias, suggesting the paper was “constitutionally unable” to address the upcoming election in an “unbiased fashion.”
During an appearance “Fox & Friends” on the Fox News Channel, Morris interpreted Brisbane’s gesture as something bigger than just a plea for the Times to do better job covering the presidential race in 2012 than they did in 2008.
Morris, co-author of the forthcoming book “Screwed!: How Foreign Countries Are Ripping America Off and Plundering Our Economy-and How Our Leaders Help Them Do It,” acknowledged that Brisbane deserved credit for his column about the Times’ bias. However, he also said it also raised a larger point about the media in general, and could perhaps be signaling a larger change in direction.
“There are two factors that make the media liberal,” Morris said. “One is that the reporters are liberal, but the other fact is that the media tends to react to what it last did badly. So, for example, it was relatively mild toward Bush during the early years of his administration after 9/11. And then it overcompensated by being too harsh during the Iraq war. And then when Obama got elected they said, ‘Oh wow, we just ruined a presidency with Bush. Maybe we’ll be nicer to Obama.’ And I think you will begin to see a bit of a pendulum swing against Obama even though the media itself is liberal.”
“Fox & Friends” co-host Gretchen Carlson suggested this admission that the Times failed in its duty to fairly cover Obama was troubling. But Morris said it was positive sign because someone recognized that the Times is in danger of damaging its integrity.
“It says they’ve got one honest man on the payroll and one guy who is actually protecting the long term integrity of The New York Times,” he said. “It is one of America’s two greatest newspapers, with The Wall Street Journal, and thank goodness somebody is speaking up to protect its integrity.”
And despite some lingering questions, Morris added Brisbane’s statement will have an impact.
“I think this will have an impact,” he said. “I think this is real. I think it’s courageous. And I think it’s important.”