Once again, we see the New York Times falling over itself to paint Trump in as good a light as possible, like it did earlier when it refused to use the term ‘racist’ to describe his nakedly racist tweets. It is part of its long-standing policy of deference to the powerful and wealthy.
Let this front page serve as a reminder of how white supremacy is aided by – and often relies upon – the cowardice of mainstream institutions. https://t.co/ynjgtT66yI
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) August 6, 2019
After an outcry, the editor Dean Baquet acknowledge that the headline was not appropriate and changed it in later editions but the damage had been done because it is the first edition that gets sent around the nation. It revealed once again the real politics of the paper. After every such ‘mistake’ provokes outrage, the outlet sometimes apologizes and promises to do better but it never does.
Meanwhile David Bromwich shows how the newspaper has gone after presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard because the congresswoman had the temerity to criticize US global hegemony.
The Times full spread hit piece on Tulsi Gabbard is a new low, even for the Times. It is yellow journalism half disguised as human interest, with a few random points of political information.
Headline: “Unorthodox Campaign Shows Isolationism May Have a Hold.”
Opening sentence: “Tulsi Gabbard is running for president of a country that she believes has wrought horror on the world.”
Their initial strategy was simply to starve her out – no coverage, no candidacy. Now, because she’s still in and lately told a truth that weakened the Times choice Kamala Harris, they are giving her the Bernie 2016 treatment: i.e. this candidate is outlandish, absurd, unaccountably heartless (her sister fell off a horse while the story was being written and her reaction was lacking in warmth), mystical (she spoke at a solar panel dedication event), a tool of the wicked (she points out that Syria never went to war against the US) – and possibly a Russian agent.
Among Times readers, fewer than one in 50 is likely to be a supporter of Gabbard, but turning off voters is the secondary purpose of such an article. The primary purpose is to shape attitudes at CNN, MSNBC, CBS, NBC, ABC, NPR, the Washington Post, and the Times sister publication The New Yorker. Legitimize flat-out condescension and contempt in the influential outlets and you keep her numbers down, since people won’t hear her voice at all.
A war veteran, an experienced and respected lawmaker, and a woman of color, but she commits the unpardonable error of criticizing worldwide US hegemony and so they follow the corporate reflex: make her a laughingstock.
Recall the same tactic was also used on Dennis Kucinich in previous elections when he had he audacity to challenge the war machine and opposed American military intervention in Iraq and Libya and called war a ‘profitable racket’ and he was of course right. But he was labeled a gadfly and made the butt of humorous articles that portrayed him as a flake and ignored his serious policy stances.
How the media behaves makes sense once you realize that the purpose of the major media like the Times is to set the narrow boundaries of what is allowable in policy discussions, so that the pro-war, pro-business interests are preserved.