Man Without Qualities

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

All Books Not Fit to Review

It turns out that the New York Times Book Review doesn't read many conservative books - but lots of thin, ultra-liberal screeds (think Michael Moore) do get reviewed.

This is a surprise to someone?

One suggestion in the Fox New item is that the Times thinks that much conservatism is comparatively transient in terms of political whims and currents of the moment.

UPDATE: Here's a nice chart illustrating the results of the Times' reviewing policy that Tom McMahon created from the FoxNews material. It's useful to be able to see at a glance that the Times took a pass on Laura Ingraham's Shut Up and Sing: How Elites from Hollywood, Politics, and the UN are Subverting America, where Michael Moore's Dude, Where's My Country? warranted a review.

That - and lots more on this chart - is worth keeping in mind the next time one hears a Times representative defend the paper's editorial policies.

FURTHER UPDATE: Some things may be in flux at the Times Book Review - although there is no word that its political bias is to change. The New York Observor reports:

When Charles (Chip) McGrath steps down this winter as editor of The New York Times Book Review in order to write for the paper full-time, whoever takes over will inherit not just a storied piece of literary real estate but a set of problems that may just be unsolvable. .... But for now, it sounds like status quo is the goal. "We’re big fans of the Book Review we publish now. We’re just looking for an exciting editor," [Adam Moss, The Times’ newly appointed "culture czar,"] said. The Times is looking for "a person who can do as good a job with the Review as Chip did and who will bring his or her own ideas. We’re not looking for a person to execute a plan we already have," he continued. "The important thing is, we’re not looking for radical change."

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