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You are here News Journalism & Media Why the "Liberal" Media Leaves Hawkish Foreign Policy Unchallenged

Why the "Liberal" Media Leaves Hawkish Foreign Policy Unchallenged

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Media and US foreign policyA recent article by foreign policy analyst Robert Naiman, examines The New York Times' current coverage of Iran's nuclear program. In it, he exposes a disappointing but unsurprising mishandling of the facts.

References to the paper's shameful prewar reportage on Iraq and Saddam Hussein's regime are appropriate. But if the Times is indeed liberal, why the repeated adoption and promotion of misleading, hawkish assumptions?

The New York Times could probably be fairly described as liberal. The term has lost much relevance and meaning in recent years, along with its counterpart designation "conservative."

But if we apply the label generally to mean mildly progressive, roughly approximating the political center, one could reasonably assert that the Times falls within range of the liberal framework. (I would argue it's right-of-center, but will remain general for present purposes.)

The paper's editorial positions on domestic issues and social policy are safely categorized as liberal. When it comes to gun control, abortion, gay rights, immigration and so on, the paper is in the vicinity of the center (it is important to bear in mind that liberalism is a centrist philosophy, not a leftist one). Moreover, key members of the paper's staff - former executive editor Bill Keller, former public editor Daniel Okrent - have openly admitted as much.

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