Kaufman: “Worst of the Times”

The “paper of record” loves to promote diversity and inclusion but not of views or backgrounds. Until that changes, they’ll continue losing to podcasts and other alternative media.

A.J. Kaufman

Let’s start with a provocative statement: the New York Times is not the worst newspaper in America. Dishonest and left-wing? Yes. An abysmal editorial page? Sure.

But while the paper’s hard news is hit or miss, they have a massive global staff and huge financial resources, thus the Gray Lady obtains information others cannot, even though they continuously require multiple writers for a simple piece.

Coffee shops, schools and public libraries won’t stop displaying the rag, so let’s accept reality and critique where necessary, because there are many opportunities.

Recently their staff has been on a racially divisive, anti-American crusade — even amid a global pandemic when normal folks are uniting.

At the beginning of my journalistic career I published a piece listing the Times’ worst offenses. Nearly 14 years later, an update of the five most injudicious recent articles is a good idea.

  1. On September 11, 2019, this tweet made it past NYT editors: “Eighteen years have passed since airplanes took aim and brought down the World Trade Center. Today, families will once again gather and grieve at the site where more than 2,000 people died.”

Feeling the outrage over such irresponsible rhetoric, they quickly claimed, “We deleted an earlier tweet to the story and have edited for clarity.”

This is the same reason legacy media still refuses to discuss the actual perpetrators (Islamist jihadists) of the worst-ever terror attack on our soil, or show pictures of what occurred on 9/11 — including those of innocent Americans leaping from flaming buildings to their death. The Times doesn’t want to remind anyone what 9/11 actually was, so instead we talk about “airplanes.”

  1. Over Memorial Day weekend they ran a front-page piece listing names of the nearly 100,000 COVID deaths. (Noteworthy is the paper assumed we’d hit six figures over the weekend but death tolls are thankfully slowing.) The self-congratulatory style seemed odd. Where are similar stories of 100,000 dead Americans from opioids or something positive?

Unsurprisingly, the Times patted themselves on back for such “heart-wrenching” coverage. Not only was this shameless, but the writers, who posted celebratory “how we did it” tweets, made a lazy error that ordinary folks noticed. It’s hard not to be cynical and find the story ideological and seeking failure.

  1. Just as Democrats, fourth wave feminists and priggish celebrities have been exposed as #MeToo hypocrites, the paper avoided at all costs reporting on Joe Biden’s sexual assault allegations for nearly three weeks this spring. They instead ran interference and apparently still don’t care to be forthright. Compare this to their incessant and one-sided coverage of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings 20 months ago.

 

2. As Americans honored the country last weekend, the Times audaciously claimed our military celebrates white supremacists; this was so abominable even the Pentagon pushed back, noting in part, “The Department of Defense is the most diverse meritocracy in the country and the most powerful force for good in world history.”

Never resting, on a patriotic holiday Monday, the incorrigible paper commissioned a far left millennial professor to tell its readership that slavery, which ended 155 years ago, is why blacks are dying from coronavirus.

  1. The 1619 Project – a noxious smear of the founding — informed us our nation began not with the Declaration of Independence or a victory over British tyranny, but when Europeans transported slaves to the Virginia colony 400 years ago.

Men of letters denounced the project, including Civil War Scholar James McPherson, who was “disturbed by what seemed like a very unbalanced, one-sided account, which lacked context and perspective on the complexity of slavery. They’re not only ahistorical, they’re actually anti-historical.”

What’s sad is the project could have offered something but failed because progressives only sought self-loathing voices. Right-thinking Americans don’t mind analyses but they stand against pernicious revisionism. If the aim is to tell our country’s history truthfully, we should seek out everyone.

I worked as historian so I know our founders were conflicted, and their ideals were incompletely realized deep into the 20th century. I also know our compromise with slavery — despite sacrificing 650,000 men to eradicate the evil — undermined our founding principles. But to portray the American experiment as all about slavery is perverse. Colonists didn’t want independence in order to preserve their slaves.

The overarching problem is Times’ readership and staff are too insular. The current editorial team includes moderates David Brooks (raised in Manhattan by professors), Ross Douthat (raised in Connecticut) and Bret Stephens (born and raised in New York City), with all others on the hard left. Charles Blow and Jamelle Bouie are radical racialists, while Frank Bruni (Columbia), Maureen Dowd (Washington, D.C. native) and especially Michelle Goldberg (Berkeley) pen screeds constantly full of hatred and innate condescension. Tom Friedman and Paul Krugman have lied and been wrong so much they should not have columns. Too bad one of their better writers, Bari Weiss, is rarely given space these days.

 The “paper of record” loves to promote diversity and inclusion but not of views or backgrounds. Until that changes, they’ll continue losing to podcasts and other alternative media.