The New York Times Tumbles With All The News That Fits The Narrative
It would be difficult to overstate the prestige of the New York Times amongst journalists. In a business riven with partisan hackery, flawed reporting and self-serving grandees, the Times was the Grey Lady. A dour, down-the-middle testament to getting both sides even when it disagreed with one opinion or the other. Liberal, yes. But balanced.
All The News That Fits became a standard for those of us working in the coal mines of journalism where publishers would initial stories on their pals so you knew what to say about the subject of the piece.
But, like so much else in America since the election of Donald Trump, the Times has come unhinged by his victory. It refuses to accept the will of the American people. From the moment its 95 percent assurances of a Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election victory disappeared in smoke, the Gray Lady has resolved to leave its widow’s weeds behind. The Times decided it was time to risk everything on a partisan cause.
Audio from a meeting Times executive editor Dean Baquet held with staff recently shows the extent to which the current Times has come unmoored from its safe harbour. Baquet admitted freely that the Times had guessed wrong on destroying Trump’s election and mandate. This time it was their two-year full-throated obsession with the Mueller investigation’s Russian witch hunt. Baquet confessed that the paper had whiffed on the story and must now dedicate itself to a new theory of Trump Everything.
Racism. For the next two years, Baquet told his staff, the Times would turn its anti-Trump megaphone into a cudgel the would leave him exposed as the virulent racist that he is. And presumably,
the public would ignore how the paper had missed the the election and Mueller stories and still thank the Times as they tossed him from office.
Now, Baquet didn’t come to this decision on his own. Recent developments have shown that the staff assembled by the paper has gone off the deep end of revisionist ideology. The Times’ readership, too, has become consumed by Orange Man Bad. They demand loyalty to a narrative above facts.
When the paper recently printed a headline that fell short of deeming Trump the next Lester Maddox, the staff revolted, demanding a new headline that better satisfied their narrative. The management of the paper under Baquet turtled and changed the headline. Then called the staff meeting to allow the grievances of his staffers to be given the air.
In the process of said meeting, Baquet threw a bone to the radical chic club. It would be All Racism All The Time. In its stubborn refusal to accept the 2016 verdict, the Times and its liberal buddies were prepared to indulge in groupthink once again, hoping to do via reporting what those sorry voters had refused to do.
Part of that effort to get Trump via racist proxy is a project the Times called the 1619 project. Named for the year the first Africans were brought to North America to be sold as slaves, the Times’ opus is dedicated to the concept that U.S. success is explained by the slave trade. In short, the white, Eurocentric culture is a fraud bought with the blood and tears of black people.
The project is clearly a preamble for the Democratic contenders to demand slavery reparations as part of the party’s 2020 platform. Hailed the Times, “In the days and weeks to come, we will publish essays demonstrating that nearly everything that has made America exceptional grew out of slavery.” I will leave it to greater minds to parse the historical accuracy of the fevered prose regurgitated by the radicals inside the Times’ editorial department.
Suffice to say, any study of slavery will show you that the founders of America were people of a time where slavery was widespread and accepted outside a few Christian communities. Did the Founders willfully flout the law or conventions of the day to perpetuate slavery? Of course not. They did the opposite, infusing the Declaration of Independence with the dream of freedom for everyone.
That they didn’t succeed perfectly is now vilified by the rearview mirror of the 1617 project, which seeks to re-arrange history in some Go Back Machine. By casting America as the villain in its own story, the Times is wallowing in the vast ocean of white liberal guilt best expressed actress Roseanne Arquette, who bleated recently on Twitter, “I’m sorry I was born white and privileged. It disgusts me. And I feel so much shame.”
In this post-religious age there are armies of educated, bored dilettantes like Arquette who are consumed with having won life’s lottery. With no traditional grounding in morality and no contextual framework, they take their cues from overheated Marxist profs and MSNBC analysts who feed their need for guilt. Soon, they view everything they’ve achieved as a fraud (and ignore the monumental accomplishments of their caste).
It is truly pathetic to see vapid Hollywood hacks wallow in their ignorance of history. (It will be the same when the Times attacks climate with a similar project.) Almost as pathetic as seeing the Times sink its own reputation by declaring a fashionable fatwa on Trump. Baquet’s pusillanimous outreach to the hot heads on his staff is the inverse of leadership. The damage it’s doing will likely never be repaired.
Even those who support Trump would probably tell them this crusading fetish isn’t worth destroying the brand its protected zealously for almost two centuries.
Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the publisher of his website (http://www.notthepublicbroadcaster.com). He’s also a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada's top television sports broadcaster, he is also a best-selling author whose new book Cap In Hand: How Salary Caps Are Killing Pro Sports And Why The Free Market Could Save Them is now available on brucedowbigginbooks.ca