Let us take them in turn.
The New Yorker's endorsement of Barack Obama suggests that it's a constant struggle to see not only what's in front of one's nose, but also what's been published in the pages of one's magazine. President Obama "has renewed the honor of the office he holds," the editors assert, adding that he possesses "a first-rate political temperament and a deep sense of fairness and integrity." They go on to posit that "a two-term Obama Administration will leave an enduringly positive imprint on political life," for Obama's America "progresses, however falteringly, toward social justice, tolerance, and equality," even as it "represents the future that this country deserves."
Extravagant praise, is it not?
The editorial is the latest example of journalists who cannot help but be familiar with Obama's most serious failings almost totally neglecting to mention or assimilate them when retelling the story of his first term. The New Yorker has dedicated tens of thousands of words to Obama's broken promises, executive-power excesses, and transgressions against civil liberties. Those powerful, vital stories survive in the magazine's archive. How do they inform the 3,700-word editorial? "Perhaps inevitably, the President has disappointed some of his most ardent supporters," it states. "Part of their disappointment is a reflection of the fantastical expectations that attached to him. Some, quite reasonably, are disappointed in his policy failures (on Guantánamo, climate change, and gun control); others question the morality of the persistent use of predator drones."
That's it. A single parenthetical! And a clause noting that some people "question" the morality of drones. Is the morality of a tactic that has killed hundreds of innocents insufficiently consequential for the editors to bother judging it themselves? What of the blowback that's been warned against in their pages? Were they unpersuaded by their own coverage? There isn't anything wrong with The New Yorker endorsing Obama, or warning its readers away from Romney. To do so in this abridged fashion is an affront to New Yorker writers who have shown through painstaking work that these issues matter -- that they demand far more than a passing acknowledgement that there is controversy!
This article on whistleblowers matters. So does this item on state secrets, this item titled "Kill or Capture," this item on Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, and this item on Libya and the War Powers Resolution. What makes all these stories important enough to cover, often in great detail, always with significant concern, but renders them totally unworthy of mention at report card time?
Presidential behavior is shaped by what they're graded on.
Alas, the New York Times endorsement is even worse. The newspaper has produced more than its share of pieces detailing the excesses of the Obama Administration, especially its secret kill list and the practice of presuming that any dead male of military age it kills is a "militant."