I hate the New York Times, reason #6,858,944.


Hey, remember that one time I invented the world’s bestest ever and also most useful ever acronym ever? You know: #muschniwogdowis?

Of course you remember! It is simply unforgettable! And, it just rolls off the tongue like the smoothest chocolate ganache. Prediction: #muschniwogdowis will continue to be of critical importance to our national discourse until it is no longer true that Most US Citizens Have No Idea What Our Government Does Or Who It Serves.

There are many reasons for this sad state of affairs. One of them is, indisputably, the fucking New York Times. Yes, I know. The Times has done (and continues to do) some truly excellent work. But its journalistic sins far outweigh its Pulitzer prize-winning triumphs. And its sins are magnified multifold, given that the so-called “paper of record” enjoys an enormous and fiercely loyal audience among certain influential segments of society, which tend to skew liberal. This includes a level of respect bordering on reverence among other prominent media outlets. Why?

No seriously, why? The paper’s (in)famous reputation for “liberal bias” is utterly astonishing to me. Easily the most damning and consequential refutation of that myth is that its editorial board has not opposed a single US war since Ronald Reagan invaded Grenada in 1983 – and even then its opposition was tepid.

Very often, what The Times does not publish is at least as egregious as what it does. I will never, ever forgive The Times for enabling Bush-Cheney’s second term. Or for its endorsement of the Iraq War. (The Iraq War. JFC.)

In more recent times, let us recall that in the long leadup to the 2016 presidential election, the entire editorial board and stable of opinion writers at The New York Times operated with unabashed certainty that Trump would lose to Hillary Clinton…right up until the election returns came in.

Which brings us to today’s mendaciousness. This came to my attention upon a quick scan of The Times’ daily email briefing:

A good election for progressives

Five conservative Democrats in the New Mexico state legislature lost primaries on Tuesday, partly because of previous votes to uphold an abortion ban. In Philadelphia, a socialist candidate for the state legislature, Nikil Saval, beat an incumbent Democrat.

This is not only fantastic news, it is reported succinctly and factually. And then, another sentence:

The wins were notable because the most progressive wing of the Democratic Party has generally struggled to win races in the last few years: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is an exception; not a single competitive House district is represented by a Bernie Sanders-style Democrat.

WHAT.

First of all, Bernie Sanders is not a Democrat, he is an independent. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is not “an exception” to progressive candidates who have allegedly “struggled to win races in the last few years.” AOC was elected in the 2018 midterms, along with a glorious wave of lefty congresscritters, including Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, collectively referred to as “The Squad.” Those are just four, who happen to be women of color. Also, the 2018 midterms actually occurred less than two years ago.

I am fairly certain that everyone at The New York Times is fully aware of all of this.

Even if it were true that the lefties were consistently losing to more conservative Democrats (it’s not), wouldn’t readers want to know why that might be? I know I sure would!

As it turns out, the Democratic Party establishment does everything in its power to ensure that progressive candidates have no support, even going so far as blacklisting campaign consultants who dare to work with progressive primary candidates challenging shitty conservative incumbents. On the other hand, the party will eagerly support conservative primary challengers to progressive incumbents.

I am fairly certain that everyone at The New York Times is fully aware of all of this, too. And this information is highly relevant: progressives are not only beating conservative Democrats, they are doing so despite the party leadership’s active resistance. Yet it is not only missing from the reporting, in its place we find duplicitous bullshit instead. Why, it’s almost as if the “liberal” New York Times loathes the left as much as the Democratic Party establishment does!

Late night comics love to lambast the likes of Fox News; conservatives are notoriously untethered to reality, which makes them a rich source of hilarity, at least in their more harmless manifestations. But the real problem with our media is not bias per se. It is much more insidious than that. The problem is holding on to the fiction that we ourselves, and our sources of information, have no biases. Media does not exist without bias, because humans do not exist without bias.

I cannot in good conscience bring myself to purchase a Times subscription. Of course you do you – no judgement here. But if you do consume The New York Times on a regular basis, please do yourself and the rest of the world a favor: do not for one second believe that you are being informed about what the real power players in the US government are actually doing.

“”If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.” -Malcolm X

Comments

  1. Mano Singham says

    I too do not subscribe to the NYT for the same reasons as you. The attitudes of those at the top and their editorial policies are awful.

    I do however link to their articles occasionally. They do have some good reporters and they have resources to do reporting but you have to dig through the muck to get to the good stuff.

    When I was director of the university teaching center, I had two representatives of the paper come to my office to promote the idea that the university should buy subscriptions for all its students. I asked them why we should do that and they said that it was because the newspaper was the best source of information, or the best newspaper, or something like that.

    I replied that I thought it was a terrible paper and would not support the plan. They were clearly shocked by my reaction and quickly left.

  2. StevoR says

    But the real problem with our media is not bias per se. It is much more insidious than that. The problem is holding on to the fiction that we ourselves, and our sources of information, have no biases. Media does not exist without bias, because humans do not exist without bias.

    Quoting for truth.

  3. says

    @Mano: I agree they do some very good work, and I link to them occasionally too if I am unable (or too lazy…lol) to find a different source. In searching for good citation links for this post, I came across a great read at CJR:
    Why the Left Can’t Stand The New York Times.

    The author extols the virtues of reading The Financial Times (!) instead. Money quote:

    [W]hen it comes to journalism, committed capitalists are always better materialists than the liberals. And that’s why I read FT. Sure, they’re rooting for the other team, but at least they know the game.

    BOOM.

    StevoR: Thanks! Now if I can just fit that quote on a coffee mug to sell it, I’ll make miiiiilllllllions! ;)

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