NYT: Balance, Fairness and a Proudly Provocative Presidential Candidate

Jim Rutenberg writes for the New York Times today:

No living journalist has ever seen a major party nominee put financial conditions on the United States defense of NATO allies, openly fight with the family of a fallen American soldier, or entice Russia to meddle in a United States presidential election by hacking his opponent…

Gosh, I really feel for journalists. Must be tough. Poor things. Maybe they should quit and get other jobs? How awful they have to cover an exciting and unprecedented political season.

So what exactly is so horrible about covering a politician who puts financial conditions on the US defense of NATO allies? Why should journalists be emotionally involved on that score? Why do they feel the need to defend NATO against all questioning? What makes NATO sacred to journalists? Why is no questioning of NATO allowed in the MSM?

No politician has ever tangled with the family of a fallen American soldier? What makes a family with a dead soldier out of bounds for tangling? Just because a family lost a soldier does not make them great. On what basis would it? Because they have suffered? Suffering does not necessarily make people any better or wiser. It does not necessarily bestow anything but suffering. People who survived the Holocaust or any genocide are not automatically moral exemplars.

Donald Trump did not entice Russia to hack his opponent. Hillary’s email server is no more. It was destroyed a long time. How could anyone hack it?

“And while coded appeals to racism or nationalism aren’t new — two words: Southern strategy — overt calls to temporarily bar Muslims from entry to the United States or questioning a federal judge’s impartiality based on his Mexican heritage are new.”

So what? Covering something new is emotionally uncomfortable for journalists? Well, maybe they should become insurance adjusters. I am amused that Jim Rutenberg of the New York Times considers it hazardous duty for an American journalist to cover something new.

The role of the MSM in Jim Rutenberg’s view is to enforce political correctness and to enforce the worldview of the globalist elite by punishing and blacklisting those who question globalist assumptions.

If Jim Rutenberg and American journalists have so decisively chosen a side (the globalist side) and then devote all their resources to pushing one particular point of view, then they become legitimate targets for those with differing opinions. The MSM is our enemy.

“If you have a nominee who expresses warmth toward one of our most mischievous and menacing adversaries, a nominee who shatters all the norms about how our leaders treat families whose sons died for our country, a nominee proposing to rethink the alliances that have guided our foreign policy for 60 years, that demands coverage — copious coverage and aggressive coverage,” said Carolyn Ryan, The New York Times’s senior editor for politics.

What was Barack Obama’s outreach to the Muslim world? In particular to Iran? Was that not outreach to an adversary? Who exactly can you reach out to but adversaries. There’s no need to reach out to friends.

Obama’s Iran deal received praise and fawning coverage in the MSM. In their view, the Muslim adversary deserves outreach.

What families with dead soldier were shattered by Donald Trump? The Khan family attached Donald Trump and he responded. He should not respond to their criticism? He should ignore it. What exactly is so horrible about rethinking America’s alliances to make sure that they still serve America? You can tell that what is in America’s interest is not the concern of the MSM. They find it offensive to put America first. So who exactly do they want Americans to put first?

I wonder if the New York Times has a dog in these fights? From today’s nytimes.com:


Justin Raimondo writes in the Los Angeles Times:

Are the rules of journalism being rewritten this election year?

My local newspaper, the Sonoma County Press-Democrat, is so clearly in the tank for Hillary Clinton that I no longer take pleasure in my morning read. Trump’s acceptance speech, for example, was covered on the front page with two stories: on the left a straight, albeit somewhat judgmental, account of the speech, and on the right a “fact check” that disputed every point made by the GOP nominee. Clinton’s speech was covered with three front page stories, with headlines describing her nomination as “historic,” “inspiring” and “trailblazing.” A relatively mild fact-checking piece was relegated to the back pages.

This transparent bias is a national phenomenon, infecting both print and television media to such an extent that it has become almost impossible to separate coverage of the Trump campaign from attempts to tear it down. The media has long been accused of having a liberal slant, but in this cycle journalists seem to have cast themselves as defenders of the republic against what they see as a major threat, and in playing this role they’ve lost the ability to assess events rationally.

To take a recent example: Trump said at a news conference that he hoped the Russians — who are accused of hacking the Democratic National Committee’s computers — would release the 30,000 emails previously erased by Clinton’s staff. The DNC went ballistic, claiming that Trump had asked the Russians to commit “espionage” against the United States. Aside from the fact that Trump was obviously joking, Clinton claims those emails, which were on her unauthorized server during her tenure as secretary of State, were about her yoga lessons and personal notes to her husband — so how would revealing them endanger “national security”? Yet the media reported this accusation uncritically. A New York Times piece by Maggie Haberman and Ashley Parker, ostensibly reporting Trump’s contention that he spoke in jest, nonetheless averred that “the Republican nominee basically urged Russia, an adversary, to conduct cyber-espionage against a former secretary of state.” Would it be a stretch to conclude from this description that the New York Times is a Trump adversary?

The DNC emails, published by Wikileaks, reveal a stunning level of collaboration between important media outlets and the Democrats. Former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz sought to silence NBC’s Mika Brzezinski, who had found fault with the DNC’s role in the primaries. The emails have headings like “This must stop.” Incredibly, NBC’s Chuck Todd agreed to act as a go-between, even arranging a call between Wasserman Schultz and Brzezinski. Which raises the question: Why was a major media figure taking his marching orders from the Democratic party chair — and how did this affect his network’s coverage of the Trump campaign?

The DNC emails also show that Politico reporter Kenneth Vogel sent his copy for a story on Clinton’s fundraising operation to the DNC’s national press secretary, Mark Paustenbach, prior to publication. Politico has since apologized, but Vogel has his defenders. The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple said Vogel’s “prepublication generosity” was meant to give “the people you’re writing about … the opportunity to rebut all relevant claims in a story.” One wonders if the Washington Post does this for the Trump campaign. Somehow I doubt it.

Since last summer, Politico has been vehemently anti-Trump, and it’s only getting more extreme. It’s run several stories linking Trump to Vladimir Putin: “Why Russia is Rejoicing Over Trump,” “GOP Gobsmacked by Trump’s Warm Embrace of Putin,” “Donald Trump Heaps More Praise on Vladimir Putin” — and dozens of similar articles. The gist of these pieces is that Trump’s stated desire to “get along with Putin,” and his comments on the costs imposed by our membership in NATO, mean that Trump is essentially an agent of a foreign power. A recent article by Katie Glueck on Trump’s hacking joke said that Trump “appeared to align himself with Russia over his Democratic opponent” — as if he were a kind of Manchurian candidate.

Of course, Politico is not alone in what was once called red-baiting. The Atlantic also weighed in with Jeffrey Goldberg’s “It’s Official: Hillary Clinton Is Running Against Vladimir Putin,” and a Franklin Foer story in Slate was headlined “The Real Winner of the RNC: Vladimir Putin.” This coverage smacks of the sort of McCarthyism that we haven’t seen in this country since the most frigid years of the Cold War.

Any objective observer of the news media’s treatment of Trump can certainly conclude that reporters are taking a side in this election — and they don’t have to be wearing a button that says “I’m with her” for this to be readily apparent. The irony is that the media’s Trump bashing may wind up having the exact opposite of its intended effect.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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