John Ransom

You wouldn’t know it if you read the pages of the Times, however. On the editorial side- as opposed to the advertising folks who have to pay the salaries for the editorial folks- they think things are improving in our economy.

“Rise in Household Debt Might Be Sign of a Strengthening Recovery,” says the Times. “Hard-Hit Cities Show a Housing Rebound”; “The Perils of Feeding a Bloated Industry”- the bloated industry being financial services. “Barack Obama for Re-Election,” say the editors.    

But besides using the economic disconnect between editorial and ads as a cheap shot at the questionable content of the New York Times, there is a real-life point.

Even as economic conditions continue to deteriorate, the Grey Lady refuses to acknowledge the obvious: Obama’s policies are responsible for the worst post-recession performance since the 1930s.   

“President Obama has shown a firm commitment to using government to help foster growth,” says the Times. “He has formed sensible budget policies that are not dedicated to protecting the powerful, and has worked to save the social safety net to protect the powerless.” I don’t know how they wrote this without laughing or crying.

The rest of the editorial reads like a desperate suicide note as well, or least a desperate plea for a death panel to decide the fate of the New York Times.

They even go so far as to label Mitt Romney “dangerous.”

“Mitt Romney offers dangerous ideas,” continues the editorial, “when he offers any.”

Mitt Romney is about as dangerous as a cold cup of decaffeinated coffee.

But still Mitt brings more experience in running any one thing on his resume than Obama brought to the presidency taking all of his experience combined.  

The New York Times, on the other hand, has been a hit parade of bad and reckless ideas for four years. And they have even taken the trouble to list them out for us in their editorial “Barack Obama for Re-Election.”  

They are for the ballooning deficit; they are for more stimulus; they are for the codification of Too Big to Fail as expressed in Dodd-Frank; they want to raise taxes, but let the Bush tax cuts expire. They want more money for bad real estate debt; they think the most important right to defend now is the right to abort under any circumstances.  

If you had a playbook to deepen our fiscal crisis and keep our economy on artificial respiration, the Times editorial in support of Barack Obama would read as the narrative description.

They even go so far as to say that not only did Barack Obama kill Osama Bin Laden, he also “ended the war in Iraq.”

Really? There are a half a million fighting men and women who would dispute that notion.

When you wonder what happened to the greatness of our country you have to first start with awful financial performance of the Times over the last decade. There might be a connection between their plunging profits and their plunging standards.    

I suspect that the Times resents the free market where readers get to decide on their own that they’d rather watch Fox News than read the New York Times.

But advertisers don’t resent it at all. They like that kind of market a lot.  

So, yes; soft advertising revenues are part of the problem at the New York Times.

But the bigger problem at the Times is soft thinking.        

John Ransom

John Ransom’s writings on politics and finance have appeared in the Los Angeles Business Journal, the Colorado Statesman, Pajamas Media and Registered Rep Magazine amongst others. Until 9/11, Ransom worked primarily in finance as an investment executive for NYSE member firm Raymond James and Associates, JW Charles and as a new business development executive at Mutual Service Corporation. He lives in San Diego. You can follow him on twitter @bamransom.

Get the best of Townhall Finance Daily delivered straight to your inbox

Follow Townhall Finance!