[ this post has updates below ]
WTAF is wrong with The New York Times? Glad you asked.
Quick backstory: the Times really stepped in its own flaming pile of dog poo during Election 2016, partnering with “Clinton Cash” paint-huffers on a Hillary hit piece. Not to mention the Grey Lady pushing “But Her Email!” until John Podesta wept. (The paper, naturally, has been a sausage-fest for decades.)
“In just six days, New York Times ran as many cover stories about Hillary Clinton’s emails as they did about all policy issues combined in the 69 days leading up to the election.” — CJR via Vox
I’m writing this post today as coda to “The Fourth Estate is Dead” from 2016, wherein I highlight how our nation’s news media—desperate for profit and hate clicks—has failed us.
If I wanted to be lied to I’d watch Fox (so-called) News—Cranky Yank Vol. 76
NYT is essentially two disparate antagonistic publications operating at odds with each other; its “Respected Edition” wins Pulitzers for enterprise investigative work on, for example, Donald’s inauguration* money-laundering and meeting at Trump Tower in 2016.
The Times’ “Donald Publicity Edition”—led by “Trump whisperer” Maggie Haberman—types up fluffy bullcrap about Donald and his hangers-on like she’s their personal-marketing life coach.
Hope Hicks, one of the best-known but least visible former members of President Trump’s White House staff, is facing an existential question: whether to comply with a congressional subpoena https://t.co/8NXpfQvxQL pic.twitter.com/L7aWVMsIdq
— NYT Politics (@nytpolitics) May 24, 2019
Above story is not journalism—it’s a modeling brochure. These are serious questions of witness compliance here, not to mention potential for yet another Trump hooligan to flout legally required testimony.
What’s further revealing: as of this writing Haberman’s screed appears nowhere on her Twitter feed, like she doesn’t want to claim it. I mean I wouldn’t want to take ownership either; just pointing out the lack of pride in one’s own carefully crafted PR work.
Maggie Haberman is not going to stop normalizing Trump while simultaneously pretending she isn't. pic.twitter.com/U5ajbcNe5T
— Jay McKenzie (@JamesFourM) October 29, 2018
Haberman’s not alone in her creepy Donald cheerleading on A1 of New York Times. This PR-masquerading-as-journalism is a phenomenon that knows no political ideology nor media company. But that’s a story for another time.
For now I’ll close with this: The New York Times is the Sybil of Journalism and we’d all like her to please take medication immediately. 😡
This may be the NYT’s most pathetic, mewling use of the passive voice ever. pic.twitter.com/CzFWeUqVS1
— Dan Froomkin/PressWatchers.org (@froomkin) January 13, 2020
UPDATE: Dan Froomkin (PressWatchers) dragged NYT on Twitter for using passive-headline writing to describe one of Trump’s grandiose lies. Why is this so dangerous? Because the lie in question is “oh jeez I want to stop endless wars!” when in reality his actions with “his military” prove the opposite is true. THIS is why Rachel Maddow regularly tells viewers to treat this administration* like a silent movie. I’ve added Dan to my Trusted Newsers list, too, for his relentless work cataloging media failures.
Will Pollock is a perpetually crabby New York City escapee based in Midtown Atlanta. He’s a freelance multimedia journalist, media analyst and author of two books (award-wining Pizza for Good & Leaving Triscuit), with more on the way.
In 2001, Will earned his Masters from The Medill School of Journalism, graduating with highest honors from the magazine sequence. As permanent member of Journalism’s National Honors Society, he’s been active in monitoring, writing and blogging about media and journalism ever since he graduated.
Obsessed with good storytelling and journalistic excellence, Will uses snark, humor and reason to distill dumb shit and make it fun. He’s a seeker/maker of non-consensus news, and helps you cure crankies by finding the nut in every story.
As for-profit media continues to fail us, it’s more important than ever to find reliable sources. Authentic storytelling exists—you just have to look for it. On this blog you’ll get ideas, not ideology. Sass with class. Reporting with rapport. Evidence with a touch of evil. You get the idea.
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