BAD PRESS

Mark Steyn had a devastating piece yesterday on NYT’s coverage of Augusta and CNN’s coverage of the war:

If you’re a New York Times reader, you may recall that, at the end of last year, the paper developed a weird Page One obsession with Augusta National and its attitude to women. The Times had no position on war with Iraq but by golly it knew where it stood on the burning question of Augusta’s sexism, and it hammered it home by every means at its disposal.

Well, last weekend we finally got to see the results. According to some newspapers, the big protest, led by Martha Burk of the National Council for Women’s Organizations, attracted two dozen supporters, outnumbered five to one by the press. According to USA Today, she had 40 supporters, outnumbered more than two to one by the cops.

Let’s be generous and call it 40. Four-zero? That’s it? In the last nine months, the New York Times has run 95 stories on Martha Burk and Augusta. So, aside from being outnumbered by police and reporters, Burk’s 40 supporters were outnumbered more than two to one by New York Times stories on Burk. Every time the Times mentioned this allegedly raging furor, it attracted approximately another 0.4 of a supporter to her cause. If the lower figures are correct, Burk’s supporters in the campaign against Augusta National came perilously close to being outnumbered by the holes.

His commentary on the CNN debacle is less amusing, but worth reading.

(Hat tip: RealClear Politics)

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.