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The New York Times just won a Pulitzer Prize for “public service.” I’ve never met this “public” to whom the New York Times has provided some great service.
Perhaps that is unfair. After all, the last article I read in the Gray Lady was actually enlightening.
I had just finished my cultural enrichment with “The Myth of the Criminal Immigrant,” a masterpiece by Anna Flagg, and was set to edify the unenlightened wretches I call friends with the knowledge that “immigration does not increase crime,” when I was informed that a colleague’s home had been raided by the FBI!
My colleague (who will remain unnamed) rolled awake to a team of plainclothes agents pointing guns at him. They politely asked for a word. The agents revealed that my colleague’s father-in-law had unknowingly hired a mechanic who makes most of his “hard-earned” cash as a narcotraficante—not exactly the contribution to GPD we were promised from mass immigration.
Why would I assume that a notorious narco is likely either to be an immigrant or second generation? Call it informed prejudice.
Living in one of the last “conservative” bastions of California, that also happens to be more afflicted with criminal immigrants than most areas, I wondered which routine of intellectual gymnastics Flagg, or anyone else in the New York Times’ salon, might perform to rationalize the existence of this particular criminal immigrant. Also unexplainable, the recent kidnapping attempt at an outlet mall near the border; the Border Patrol’s discovery of 231 pounds of methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine stuffed by a mother into her van full of children; the more than 158 gangs not infrequently comprised of, however mythological, criminal immigrants; the men beaten and carjacked in broad daylight at a San Diego college, held hostage by the perpetrators as they drove toward the border, and then ejected from the vehicle so that the stolen car could be driven into Mexico.
Lest the reader conceive independent thoughts, Flagg would remind you, “as immigration increases in American metropolises, crime decreases.”
The days of the New York Times as a reliable, salient, or sane source of news have passed. It exists now as an ideological apparatus of the progressive state, shilling for the hard-Left and the bureaucrats who pander to them. It is least of all doing good work for the public. A look back at one of their worst propaganda pieces in recent history is instructive, not only on the sad state of the New York Times, but mass media overall.
“Ten days after Donald Trump became the Republican presidential nominee, the New York Times published a blockbuster article,” writes Sharyl Attkisson. “Crossing the Line: How Donald Trump Behaved with Women in Private,” by Michael Barbaro and Megan Twohey, is a liberally embellished interview with Rowanne Lane, an ex-girlfriend of Trump’s. Then, The New Yorker published its own longform piece by the same authors to compliment The Times article.
According to Attkisson, embellished is to say, “garnished with the slanders of Barbaro and Twohey, and skewered into a political character assassination of then presidential nominee Donald Trump.” Throughout the article, Barbaro and Twohey present their commentary as established fact.
“They spun it to where it appeared negative. I did not have a negative experience with Donald Trump, and I don’t appreciate them making it look like that I was saying that it was a negative experience because it was not,” wrote Lane in her Time magazine response to the Barbaro-Twohey hit piece.
Yet nothing happened after Lane publicly refuted the New York Times. The paper issued no retraction. In fact, the Washington Post accused Trump of putting spin on the story, calling it “laughable backlash,” while The Atlantic took a different angle to rebuff Lane’s refutation. In the end the truth didn’t matter, because the ideological homogenization of mass media utterly buried it.
According to Muck Rack, a database with “up-to-the-minute information on what journalists are writing about and sharing on social media,” that tracks social sharing across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon and Google+; the Barbaro-Twohey hit piece registered 134,491 social shares, 14,310,299 journalist reach hits, and 284 journalist shares. Compare that to Lane’s Time magazine refutation and response in defense of Trump: 239 social shares, zero journalist reach hits, and no journalist shares.
“Journalist reach” is the total number of people following journalists who share a specific article on Twitter. For added measure, I plugged in a variety of outlets featuring Lane’s response: Politico, Fox News, CNN, The Daily Caller, the New York Post, Time, the Washington Examiner, The Hill, The Washington Times, and Reuters combined registered under 25,000 social shares.
Between three articles from the Washington Post, The New Yorker, and the New York Times, Muck Rack registered 27,090,255 potential views from journalists sharing over Twitter; Lane’s refutation received a fraction of that number in potential views. Why the disparity? When Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Apple are owned and operated by leftists, not just liberals, but hard-left ideologues who cannot help but censor the views of people with whom they disagree, it stands to reason that the opposing side is at a unique disadvantage in the digital age.
Not only are major outlets like the New York Times getting away with peddling propaganda, but the vast majority of journalists are so blinded by their ideological bias that they aren’t aware of the problem. The message, like the fictitious one in the Barbaro-Twohey piece, conforms with the liberal-left view of how the world is or ought to be, and therefore will be rationalized one way or another.
Trump is a “deviant,” a “fascist,” and a “tyrant” to these people. Regardless of what the truth is, they will find a way to conform the truth to their peculiar worldview—and they want you to see the world like they do. Attkisson writes in her book, The Smear:
[F]irewalls that once strictly separated news from opinion have been replaced by hopelessly blurred lines. Once-forbidden practices, such as editorializing within straight news reports and the inclusion of opinions as if fact, are not only tolerated—they’re encouraged. The result: It’s never been harder for Americans to separate news that’s real from news that’s not.
The New York Times should pat itself on the back for receiving an award it played a part in reducing to utter worthlessness. Yes, the moment Kendrick Lamar won the Pulitzer for sonic garbage, what we might consider “musical affirmative action,” the prize lost what was left of its legitimacy. The New York Times should pat itself on the back, because it has served as a monolith from which the rationale of the casting couch culture that inevitably resulted in the #MeToo “movement” has emanated. In effect, the Times won an award for a problematic phenomenon it helped to foster in our society.
For setting the bar low, for peddling propaganda, and for encouraging women to continue degrading themselves and use political Title IX to climb the ladder of success, Americans salute the New York Times.
Photo credit: Volkan Furuncu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images