Documentation. Witnesses. Facts. Truth. That's what they're afraid of.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Am I Being Too Harsh on the Times?

My Twitter friend Linda Fader responded to my last couple of posts about the New York Times with a thread:

It's not that I think the Times, collectively, is asking themselves, "what can we do to ensure Donald Trump wins a second term?” But it just can't be 100% about balance and false equivalence. In the age of Trump, and after the 2016 election debacle, are the editors of the Times still blind to the fact that one side mostly lies to them and wants to do bad things to people, and the other mostly doesn't? It's hard to chalk this up to narrative building for narrative building's sake.

In trying to maintain the forced balance they’ve been giving us for at least 25 years, with the Republicans going so far to the right as a party that they’re literally bringing Nazis into their coalition (which remains an unbelievable thing to type without being hyperbolic), they've plucked out this narrative of "The Republicans are in disarray, but so are the Democrats. The Republicans may have a genocidal element to their ideology, but, my God, some Democrats want Medicare for all! The horrors! And furthermore, it's tearing the Democratic Party apart!"

And to do so, they're now citing people who aren't even Democrats. That's two columns of that nature in two weeks. It's inventing controversy to sell papers, as well as to a wealthier readership who still think to themselves, "Well, one side has Nazis, but the other is going to raise my taxes!" Only that sort of reader would look at the Times Op-Ed page and say that Paul Krugman and Ross Douthat are both providing something valuable to the conversation.

I do agree that their investigative reporting is better than their op-ed... but still, they gave us Clinton Cash and e-mails on the pages of their newspaper:

The WaPo's been impressive, and I actually subscribed to them a few months back -- the first time I'd subscribed to a newspaper in well over a decade.

Here's another example of the Times's bad behavior:

Click through to read the whole thing.

How can they "both sides" this? Yes, publishing news coverage is complex, but there has to be at least partly a simpler explanation somewhere. If none of what they're doing is deliberate, then the editors and writers at the newspaper widely regarded as one of the smartest publications in this country are really, really stupid and are incapable of learning from their mistakes.

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