I think Randy Barnett is putting us on

It’s quite possible that Jonah Goldberg of NRO can’t tell the difference between an institution or a media outlet that is openly and committedly ideological and partisan and one that attempts, albeit imperefectly, to report facts as they are and to carry a variety of views. But Randy Barnett isn’t nearly that dumb, and I wish he’d stop pretending to be.

The New York Times and Newsweek, to take two of Goldberg’s examples, went after Bill Clinton viciously on Whitewater, Lewinsky, and the nonexistent Chinese spy scandal. None of the right-wing outlets he mentions would ever do the same to George W. Bush; all of them have, for example, actively or by silence, gone along with the Bush line on the Valerie Plame affair.

So the notion that the New York Times is a liberal outlet in the same sense that Weekly Standard is a conservative one simply doesn’t pass the giggle test. The same goes for the big three networks.

(And if the proposition is “trading places,” can the left have all the big corporations?)

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com