The New York Times, long regarded as the U.S. paper of record, has had plenty to write about recently. Two Middle East wars, immigration, the slumping economy and the fifth anniversary of Katrina, to name just a few currently hot topics.
So it’s curious that, amid all that weightier news, the Gray Lady found space on its editorial page to support a draft USDA regulation on livestock sales out of the obscure Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration. (Read the editorial here if you must.)
True, the regulation gave the Times another opportunity to rail against many of its favorite farm-related evils, including big ag, modern ag, ag-related water pollution and even antibiotics given to livestock to keep them from getting sick. And, yes, the disastrous GIPSA rule is a hot topic in farm states such as Iowa, Nebraska and Colorado.
But still … the New York Times editorializing on the GIPSA rule? On its face, it doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense.
On the other hand, the rule appears to be in serious trouble after the recent hearing in Fort Collins, Colo., where dozens of real pork producers from around the country -- California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Utah -- explained just how it would affect them. Could someone on Independence Avenue have appealed to the Times for help on the besieged regulation?
We’ll never know for sure, of course. But, if true, it would be hard to miss the irony: media colluding with government over a regulation aimed at ending (alledged) collusion in livestock sales!