Leftists are in firm control at The New York Times, by Michael Goodwin.
The revolt of the paper’s newsroom over the publication of Sen. Tom Cotton’s op-ed and the craven surrender of management marks the end of any semblance of basic fairness. The gradual metamorphosis of the Times from a great newspaper into a leftist propaganda sheet is complete.
Stick a fork in the Gray Lady.
Her obituary is a sad day and not just for journalism. Because the Times is a singularly powerful institution in terms of shaping public opinion, its cult of conformity is a dark day for America.
Last week’s developments amounted to a hostile takeover of the paper, as a friend put it. It’s an apt description because the 800 staff members who objected to the publication of Cotton’s support for using the military to quell the riots declared their hostility to the fundamental traditions of journalism.
Previous op-ed pieces from American adversaries — including Vladimir Putin and the Taliban — brought no such staff complaints. Nor did one from Turkey’s strongman, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the world leader in locking up journalists. But Tom Cotton, an American senator, was beyond the pale. …
The turning point:
Events began when Trump said he would send in the military if mayors and governors didn’t protect their citizens from violent rampages connected to the George Floyd protests. Other presidents have deployed troops in similar situations and Cotton thought it was a good idea this time.
The paper’s op-ed staff contacted his office with an invitation to explain why in the pages of the Times.
That offer kept faith with the original intent of the Sulzberger family when it created the modern op-ed page 50 years ago. The point was to present ideas that didn’t conform to the paper’s own positions.
Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, was perfect for the job because of his credibility on military matters. The Harvard Law School grad was a decorated infantry leader in Iraq and Afghanistan and serves on the Senate’s Armed Services Committee. …
There was a staff revolt overt allowing Cotton’s piece in the NYT. The Editorial Page Editor James Bennett apologized and resigned, so the staff won.
When even what is printed as “news” became opinion (the “news” part had long slanted coverage simply by omitting facts they didn’t want readers to know, but at least had not written their opinions directly into the news stories):
Executive Editor Dean Baquet’s fingerprints are all over the revolt.
Baquet runs the newsroom, which is distinct from the editorial and op-ed pages. Or at least it was until the 2016 presidential campaign.
That’s when Baquet, after Trump secured the GOP nomination, opened the floodgates by letting reporters voice their opinions in supposedly straight-news stories.
Surprise, surprise, the result was a daily drumbeat declaring Trump unfit to be president, starting on Page One. That would have been shameful enough, but the Times also led the charge in spreading the Russia collusion story, which turned out to be false.
Although the paper did a mea culpa after the 2016 election by admitting its coverage failed to see the possibility of Trump’s victory, it never conceded that its collusion coverage was deeply flawed and misleading.
The core problem was Baquet’s decision to allow reporters to corrupt news articles with their personal bias. Without the check that fairness and restraint impose, the coverage reflected more leftist talking points than real reporting. …
The Times is no longer restricted by facts and reality. Its oppression narrative guides front-to-back coverage on everything, from politics to business to sports to entertainment.
As such, the 1619 Project and the revolt against Cotton are two aspects of the same obsession. Both reveal that the paper’s virulent anti-Trumpism isn’t just about him. More broadly, his America First agenda offends their elitist and globalist sensibilities.
Of course, it’s true that nearly everybody at the Times actually hates Trump. But it’s also clear that nearly everybody at the Times has contempt for most Americans, too.
From now on, nothing published in the Times will challenge their bias.
The NYT is no longer a newspaper of note, and henceforth its influence will decline because it is just a boring propaganda sheet and everyone knows it.
Bari Weiss, one of the saner voices at the Times, responded to her colleagues’ collective primal scream in a Twitter thread: