Editorial

New York Times isn’t fair and balanced

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Members of the national political media are actually blaming President Trump for their own fake news.

I agree with Washington Post Deputy Editorial Staff Editor Jackson Diehl that to “report the routine as scandalous” destroys the media’s credibility.

I would add that this reputation of “the national political media” is one of the reasons Trump was elected.

In this election, the Washington Post, New York Times, NBC, CBS, ABC, etc., etc., were all on the ticket as insider elites.

I disagree with Diehl’s presumption that this media can repair their reputation if the Trump Administration would just work with reporters to explain their policies.

The media is their enemy, not to be trusted with policy explanations over martinis.

For example, let’s look at the tip that the Trump Administration had demoted the director of national intelligence and the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from the National Security Council.

The New York Times “news” reporting and resulting editorial excoriated Trump for the supposedly “unprecedented” removal of these important and permanent members of the NSC. The Washington Post and L.A. Times echoed this falsehood.

Meanwhile, Diehl did what notorious-to-conservatives Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman at the Times failed to do: He checked the law and its history.

He committed journalism.

Diehl learned from former State Department legal counsel John Bellinger that there was no “downgrading.”In fact, the Trump organizational chart had been used by the Bush Administration.

The director of intelligence and chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff maintained every status at the National Security Council as well as the Principals Committee, which reports and makes recommendations to the NSC.

Laughingly, Thrush and Haberman actually printed a quote from disgraced Obama Administration national security deceiver Susan Rice of how “crazy” the supposed “downgrade” was.

Thus, Thrush and Haberman published another example of “fake news,” right alongside Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway’s “fake massacre” claim.

The difference is that Conway apologized for her mistake. I have yet to see a “correction” in the New York Times apologizing because the Thrush-Haberman tale was built upon a false premise.

Unfortunately, Diehl does lay blame at the feet of the Trump Administration, pleading, “Some quiet, professional, off-camera communication between White House staff and reporters ---- the mechanism that has usually ensured that the truth eventually gets out in previous presidencies ---- would help.”

Diehl suggests reporters didn’t understand some of the wording.

The fact that Thursh-Haberman would still falsely report the meaning of the presidential memorandum in the New York Times without understanding it is an astounding example of “fake news.”

Apparently, Trump spokesweasel Sean Spicer did reach out to reporters. Diehl even reported that at a press conference, Spicer said they “called several outlets who were misreporting the topic to better inform them” and Diehl recognizes the fact that Spicer was ignored.

There will be no appeasing the millions of voters, news readers and consumers of advertised goods and services that the national political press will be an honest broker of political or policy news.

There are plenty of sites for bias confirmation on both the right and the left, where ideologues, the angry, and the distrustful will go to find some semblance of tribal acceptance.

As for the New York Times, the reputation is beyond repair. As psychologists have noted, our politics are now “tribal,” in that anyone who disagrees with policies you support are the enemy: something is wrong with them and they must be destroyed.

Could the New York Times become a newspaper for all people? Perhaps, but that would entail a culture change in which reporters would share the good in some of Trump’s policies as they did with Obama, and the editorial staff would have to find some good in conservative policies and bad in liberal policies, celebrating and excoriating with the same passion they currently deliver in the opposite.

In other words, “Fair and Balanced.”

© Copyright 2017 Rick Jensen, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.