Wednesday, June 10, 2020
The New York Times' New Credo: "All the News That's Woke to Print."
The New York Times and Philadelphia Inquirer have crossed the line from objective reporting to abject wokeness. The mainstream media has leaned liberal for decades. President Nixon well-understood and felt the media’s bias. He once said to the media after losing the California governorship election in 1962 to incumbent Pat Brown: “You don’t have Nixon to kick around anymore!” Of course they did, with Nixon proving the maxim: “Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.’ The editorial pages are expected to be partisan, but the news section independent. The Wall Street Journal still maintains that wall. Op-eds could present alternative views. The New York Times and LA Times decided Donald Trump was unacceptable as President. They dropped any sheen of objective news, not yet reaching the depths of CNN and MSNBC. They crossed the Rubicon with the horrific homicide of George Floyd. The vast majority of Americans support the protests, marches, and demonstrations calling for Justice. But not riots, looting, arson, and violence. The riots were out of control in Minneapolis, Chicago and D.C. Senator Tom Cotton (R. Ark) penned an op-ed, published in the New York Times: “Send in the Troops.” His view was that under the Insurrection Act of 1807 the President has the power to call out the military to restore public order, a power which has been exercised scores of times in the nation’s history. James Bennet, the Opinions Editor of the New York Times, authorized the publication to present both sides in informing the public of the issues. That was not good enough for Times’ staffers. Bennet defended the publication, as did A.G. Sulzberger, the publisher of the Times, and Dean Baquet, Executive Editor. A.G. emailed the staff: “I believe in the principle of openness to a range of opinions, even those we may disagree with, and this piece was published in that spirit …. But it’s essential that we listen to and reflect on the concerns we’re hearing, as we would with any piece that is the subject of significant criticism. I will do so with an open mind.” A wonderful statement of a free and open press. The staff rebelled and subscribers cancelled subscriptions. Over 800 staffers signed a protest letter. Over 160 planned a virtual walkout. Staffers tweeted “Running this puts black @NYT staff in danger.” The staffer's missive said: “We believe his message undermines the work we do, in the newsroom and in opinions, and violates our standards for ethical and accurate reporting for the public’s interest. It also jeopardizes our journalists’ ability to work safely and effectively on the street.” Bennet, once a rising star at the Times, resigned. Sulzberger and Baquet apologized. The Times stated the op-ed’s editorial process did not “meet our standards.” Senator Cotton responded: “The New York Times editorial page editor and owner defended it in public statements but then they totally surrendered to a woke child mob from their own newsroom that apparently gets triggered if they’re presented with any opinion contrary to their own, as opposed to telling the woke children in their newsroom this is the workplace, not a social-justice seminar on campus.” He also tweeted “Does@nytimes have any standards left, beyond keeping the woke mob happy.” Senator Cotton, a Harvard Law School grad, is now a rising star in the Republican Party. Erik Wemple, media critic of the Washington Post, wrote: “Crisis of conviction at the New York Times.” He said that in only two days the Times had ‘alienated staffers, readers, liberals, conservatives, free-expression absolutists of all political persuasions and Tom Cotton.” “Standards”? The Times has published op-eds from the Taliban, Vladimir Putin, and Recep Erdogan. “Standards”? The Times bought into the bogus Russian Conspiracy Theory hook, line, and sinker. It has never apologized. It’s now official the Times has gone woke. The Woke Age of trigger warnings, safe spaces, micro aggressions, and White Privilege of the younger generation has taken over the media. They do not understand that there are two sides to every story and reasonable minds can disagree. For them, only one side exists; their’s is The Truth. Today’s educational system no longer exposes, much less teaches, critical analysis and critical thinking. Their education may be at the nation’s most prestigious institutions, but large gaps are missing, such as history and the Constitution. One of the challenges of a law professor today is getting law students to understand there are at least two sides to every story. Here’s the mindset of some of the Times staffers. New York Times Pulitzer Prize Winner Nikole Hannah-Jones in a CBS interview said: “I think we need to be very careful with our language. Yes, it is disturbing to see property being destroyed. It is disturbing to see people taking property from stores, but these are things. Violence is when an agent of the state kneels on a man’s neck until all of his life is leached out of his body. Destroying property, which can be replaced, is not violence.” Tell that to the minority business operators whose business has been destroyed. Her claim to a Pulitzer is the 1619 Project which posits America is built on slavery, which began in 1619. Bari Weiss, writer and opinion editor of the Times, explained the younger staff’s perspective: “The civil war inside the New York Times between the (mostly young) wokes the (mostly40+) liberals is the same one raging inside other publications and companies across the country. The dynamic is always the same. The Old Guard lives by a set of principles we can broadly call civil libertarianism. They assumed they shared the worldview with the young people they hired who called themselves liberals and progressives. But it was an incorrect assumption” She talked about the Times motto “all the news fit to print.” She said one group emphasizes “news” and the others “fit.” Let’s remember Jack Nicholson’s Line in A Few Good Men “You can’t handle the truth.” Stan Wischnowoski, editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, also fell on his sword. He spent 20 years at the paper, helping it navigate through treacherous financial times. Doesn’t matter – no loyalty. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Inga Saffron, architecture critic, wrote an article on the future of Philadelphia’s buildings and civic infrastructure in light of the riots. He attached “Buildings Matter, Too” as the article’s headline. That was a mistake in these charged times. The staffers rebelled. They sent a letter to management: “An Open Letter From Journalists of Color at the Philadelphia Inquirer.” The gist “Things need to change.” Stan’s resignation accompanied by editorial apologies followed. The senior editors posted the headline was “offensive” and never should have run. All the News That’s Woke to Print!