It’s no secret that very few conservatives and free-market advocates across the country believe their interests are being served by the national government. Even fewer believe big corporate media is fair, balanced, and distinct from the political ruling class. And yet fewer, if any, believe The New York Times has devolved into anything more than a high-class propaganda arm for those elite progressives.
Now, we have the closest thing to hard evidence to back up their beliefs. An exhaustive four-part, 24,000-word study in the widely respected Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) details how the Times – along with similar corporate media, taking its cues from the Times – served essentially as co-creators of the Trump-Russia collusion hoax. And most importantly, this expose cannot be dismissed as the rantings of some progressive-hating conservative, because it was authored by Jeff Gerth, a reporter for the Times for almost 30 years.
The study leaves few – if any – stones unturned in examining how The New York Times ginned up and amplified the phoniest scandal in American political history. Gerth reveals a fundamental problem at the “newspaper of record,” complete with the gory details you can read for yourself. “There is a lack of accountability and transparency in today’s media,” Gerth told independent journalist Matt Taibbi. “The trend has accelerated due to the abandonment of public editors at outlets like the Times … as well as the shifting revenue models that create tighter, reinforcing loops between subscribers and news organizations.”
New York Times Report Draws Tortured Excuses
The reaction on the left to this bombshell Magnum Opus is analogous to that of the laptop scandal – when hatchet men like David Brock arose from the shadows to defend Joe Biden from the slings and arrows of the new GOP House majority. Republicans are intent on uncovering every bit of dirt the Democrats swept under the rug over the last four years while they were tattooing the mark of the beast on Trump. That means progressives have had to reach deep into their excuse lexicon to discredit a study so exhaustive that it can hardly be depicted as shallow, incomplete, or insufficiently factual. And the fact that this series was the brainchild of a reporter who wrote for the Gray Lady for almost three decades removes any issue of bias.
Nevertheless, despite a lack of ammunition, longtime progressive David Corn took up the mantle of defending the Times and its breathless coverage of the Russia collusion hoax on the far-left website, Mother Jones. You can almost hear him stretching his mind to its furthest limits to find something to refute the irrefutable and deflate the CJR balloon. He tries to claim – without evidence, as the left loves to say – that the Steele “dossier” was not the impetus for the FBI setting the dogs loose on Donald Trump – when we know that it was. And he says nothing about the farcical allegations contained in the dossier ordered up by the Hillary Clinton campaign; most famously, the one about Trump, in the company of hookers, relieving himself on a hotel bed in Moscow in which Barack Obama had once slept. Why would anyone believe anything written in a document that contains such a preposterous claim?
Corn at times sounds infuriated – and perhaps betrayed by a fellow traveler on the left: “Gerth ends up bolstering Trump’s phony narrative that there was no Russia scandal …” At other times, he is forced to painfully stipulate that some vital facts are just plain irrefutable: “ [Gerth] quotes academic studies that conclude the secret Russian campaign to exploit social media—Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube—to influence the election did not have a significant measurable impact … the whole Trump-Russia scandal is mainly just a mess, with the Times and other news outfits misreporting the Steele dossier and often overstating the case for collusion.”
But the writer’s tacit admission that the long-trumpeted story that Trump committed treason by conspiring with Putin and the Russians was fabricated out of whole cloth, comes in a statement that effectively serves as what Washington calls a non-denial denial: ‘Trump might not have been directly colluding with Putin, but he was running interference for him.”
Um, excuse me, but that is distinctly not what Corn and his fellow travelers on the left were saying in the midst of the fabricated scandal. Elite media put all its weight behind the collusion narrative. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), then the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, publicly claimed to possess evidence of such collusion. Mr. Corn might have been better served by remaining silent in the face of this embarrassing unmasking of a once-great publication – instead of offering up his flimsy defense filled with stipulations that only serve to bolster the CJR conclusions.
This exposé won’t change the minds of those people – nor similarly elite leftist media and institutions – who continue to treat the NY Times with the same reverence as Catholics do the Pope, as the purveyor of secular scripture to be accepted ex-cathedra, meaning it is, by its very nature, inerrant. They will carry on as blind devotees of a newspaper once known for “all the news that’s fit to print” but now seen primarily as the lead warrior in the progressive war on all things conservative. But for the many who long accepted the Times’ relatively transparent liberalism as an acceptable price to pay in return for its unrivaled quality and depth, the jolting, full-throated turn toward undiluted wokeness described in such vivid detail in this seminal study should serve as the hardest evidence yet available that the NY Times is every bit as biased as we suspected – if not more.
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