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An Open Letter To NYT Staffers: Leave The Plantation And Join Us


The Times has exaggerated the importance of things like the  Iowa caucuses and primaries in terms of giving the public false confidence they actually have a say in what is an increasingly tenuous democracy. It played a central role in the  rush to war with Iraq, and a lack of investigative rigor on the real reasons for intervening in  Libya. It has been so terrified of being labeled as “conspiracy theorists” that it has ignored important legitimate reporting on 9/11 and the inconsistent government explanations of the raid that “got”  Bin Laden .

It has shown cluelessness on  Occupy Wall Street . Its columnists  defended a friend instead of investigating him for fraud. It has been excessively soft toward “acceptable” candidates like  Mitt Romney and rough on those who would ruffle feathers.

The Times investigates the establishment, up to a point. But in the end, it upholds the establishment. It is a wholly owned subsidiary.

Think of the hoary old discredited memes, like the  Warren Report, that the spirit of the place  keeps flame for some reason. Think of its preference for bland middle of the road candidates who can do nothing to stop this country’s slide to the bottom. And for “order,” when what we may need, in a country increasingly experiencing corporate-driven chaos, is a little more healthy disorder.

Corporate-owned media has been “in charge” of providing the dominant national narrative, helping us understand where we are and why, and what we can do about it. And how good a job, would you say, it has done, overall? Are things much better after this long reign?

Most of you are fine people—some are my friends—and many of you do great work, or at least the best you are able under certain constraints. But in the end you are on the plantation. You may petition your owner, as you have, but he’s got the upper hand. He certainly isn’t going to give up a lot so that you may keep your pension.

I understand you want to keep your job and your benefits. But does it really feel that good being on the corporate plantation?

Come join us. Ask the deep questions, write whatever you learn. No holds barred. Work in an outfit that takes itself a little less seriously—but takes the truth very seriously indeed.

Help us collect the people and the resources, and build a more perfect journalism.

WhoWhatWhy plans to continue doing this kind of groundbreaking original reporting. You can count on it. But can we count on you? We cannot do our work without your support.

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WhoWhatWhy is a non-profit, non-partisan investigative journalism website founding by Russ Baker, author of the best selling Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, The Powerful Forces That Put It in the White House, and What Their Influence Means for America. Follow us  on FacebookTwitter and of course at WhoWhatWhy.