The New York Times Gives Up On Journalism, Proudly

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Trusting The New York Times is no longer possible. They told us during the 2016 election that they were going to forego journalistic integrity because Donald Trump had to be defeated. Once Donald Trump won the election, they declared, “Alright! We are back to journalism now!”

Well, that didn’t last long (if it lasted at all.) The New York Times has now decided that they have talked about collusion all they possibly can. And with that talking point worn out – because it was proven to be a lie! – the Times has shifted to racism. As Byron York notes in the Washington Examiner: “New goal for New York Times: ‘Reframe’ American history, and target Trump, too”

Yes, at a “crisis townhall,” Times’ Executive Editor Dean Baquet declared the newsroom was going to shift from covering Trump and Russia to covering Trump and Racism:

We built our newsroom to cover one story, and we did it truly well. Now we have to regroup, and shift resources and emphasis to take on a different story.

They are working on something called the 1619 project, with 2019 being the 400th anniversary of when the first Africans were brought to North America as slaves. York:

This is what the paper hopes the project will accomplish: “It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.”

They want to focus only on 1619, not 1776. Not on all the people who fought against slavery, not on the truth that slavery was far from favored by the totality of the nation — forget all that. This is now the story. Why?

“I’m wondering to what extent you think that the fact of racism and white supremacy being sort of the foundation of this country should play into our reporting?” one staffer asked Baquet. “Just because it feels to me like it should be a starting point, you know? … I just feel like racism is in everything. It should be considered in our science reporting, in our culture reporting, in our national reporting.”

The staffer’s point brought Baquet back to the paper’s new initiative. “One reason we all signed off on The 1619 Project and made it so ambitious and expansive was to teach our readers to think a little bit more like that,” Baquet said.

The New York Times wants to change the entirety of what journalism is supposed to be. It’s not about reporting the goings on of the nation….it’s about setting the narrative for the nation.

There is a fantastic Twitter thread from Republican Senator Ted Cruz in response to the New York Times shifting focus:

There was a time when journalists covered “news.” The NYT has given up on even pretending anymore. Today, they are Pravda, a propaganda outlet by liberals, for liberals. These remarks at their “town hall” are a scandal & would be a firing offense at any real journalistic outlet.— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) August 18, 2019

The NYT is destroying itself w/ Trump hatred. And it’s ultimately bad for freedom of the press when “journalists” openly revel in being partisan propagandists. When our Nation is so tribalised that each side has their own “news” & “facts” and we don’t even talk to each other.— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) August 18, 2019

Let me be clear— there are still good reporters at the New York Times, I don’t think that can or should be denied. What must be denied is the idea that The New York Times is still the Gold Standard of journalism. Just because it appears in the pages of the New York Times does not mean it inherently has value. The New York Times has given up on journalism, and then demands that you accept their narrative-as-journalism as equally valuable to a free society. 

My advice? Don’t accept it. Don’t go along with propaganda. Search out stories, verify those stories and then share those stories. Hate rots the brain. And the New York Times is just rotten.