Last week’s Mirror Awards honoring media journalism, held at Cipriani 42nd Street, turned nasty, with The Nation media columnist Eric Alterman throwing some tough punches at the New York Times.
Alterman picked up an award for his piece on “false equivalency” at the Gray Lady. False equivalence is a term for putting two sides on equal footing when perhaps only one side is guilty of something egregious.
With both New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and Executive Editor Dean Baquet in the audience, Alterman said the paper was very important to him, but then began the body blows.
“I’m not going to go nearly as far as I’d like to for the sake of time and the sake of comity. There is a cancer at the heart of the New York Times’ political coverage, and that’s the cancer of false equivalence. It’s a very dangerous thing.
“I don’t think we’d have a psychopath as president today if the New York Times took the question more seriously. On the one hand, Donald Trump did this, but on the other hand, someone’s fingernails are dirty.”
Baquet got up to accept an award and quipped: “I’d like to start by congratulating Eric,” before defending the Times’ political coverage. The Mirror Awards are run by the Newhouse School at Syracuse University.