In the wake of the headline scandal after President Trump’s speech on the recent shootings, the “newspaper of record” has decided that they NEED to take action.
The New York Times has decided that they need to be clear on their reporting of President Trump. A leaked transcript of what was billed as a “crisis townhall meeting” of staff members reveals that the newspaper is going to be even more overt in their bias against President Trump. The meeting was held on Monday with NYT Executive Editor, Dean Baquet saying that the paper had made several “significant missteps” in their coverage of President Trump, and the “missteps” stemmed from “something larger” — the approach that the newspaper takes in their coverage of Trump.
Baquet says, “This is a really hard story, newsrooms haven’t confronted one like this since the 1960s … It got trickier after [inaudible] … [it] went from being a story about whether the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia and obstruction of justice to being a more head-on story about the president’s character.”
He also says that they “built the newsroom” to cover the now-debunked “Russian Collusion” story, and now that that has fallen apart, they must “regroup, and shift resources and emphasis to take on a different story.”
The New York Times is at a crossroads.
It seems that they have chosen their path. (It’s the button on the left.)
In case you somehow missed it, the New York Times altered its headline for their coverage of President Trump’s address to the nation in the wake of two mass shootings just hours apart in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. The first edition headline read, “TRUMP URGES UNITY VS. RACISM” which was a completely correct reporting of the speech.
After facing backlash and threats of boycott from many on the left — including a handful of 2020 Democrat hopefuls — The Times changed the headline for the second edition to read, “ASSAILING HATE BUT NOT GUNS.”
Hey, @nytimes — what happened to “The Truth Is Worth It?”
Not the truth.
Not worth it. pic.twitter.com/N5tMTEoLln
— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) August 6, 2019
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 6, 2019
That’s not what happened. https://t.co/m6eIZOARcZ
— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) August 6, 2019
Lives literally depend on you doing better, NYT. Please do. https://t.co/L4CpCb8zLi
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) August 6, 2019
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
Even one of the Times own employees was critical of the headline:
I write for the NYT. This is a terrible headline. https://t.co/ODa8SUK9wf
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) August 6, 2019
Pollster and Editor-in-Chief of FiveThirtyEight said, “not sure ‘TRUMP URGES UNITY VS. RACISM’ is how I would have framed the story.”
FWIW (certainly better to do this than not IMO) they changed their headline between the 1st and 2nd print edition. pic.twitter.com/DOSAMFbvq0
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) August 6, 2019
The Grey Lady can’t just let this kind of thing go. They must ensure that the coverage of President Trump is clear — and includes the correct bias.
Baquet says that the Times covered the Russian story “truly well”.
BAQUET: Chapter 1 of the story of Donald Trump, not only for our newsroom but, frankly, for our readers, was: Did Donald Trump have untoward relationships with the Russians, and was there obstruction of justice? That was a really hard story, by the way, let’s not forget that. We set ourselves up to cover that story. I’m going to say it. We won two Pulitzer Prizes covering that story. And I think we covered that story better than anybody else.
The day Bob Mueller walked off that witness stand, two things happened. Our readers who want Donald Trump to go away suddenly thought, “Holy shit, Bob Mueller is not going to do it.” And Donald Trump got a little emboldened politically, I think. Because, you know, for obvious reasons. And I think that the story changed. A lot of the stuff we’re talking about started to emerge like six or seven weeks ago. We’re a little tiny bit flat-footed. I mean, that’s what happens when a story looks a certain way for two years. Right?
Oddly, Baquet simply glosses over the very important fact that, according to the exhaustive Muller Report’s conclusion, in the paper’s two years of coverage of the Trump campaign “colluding” with Russia — they were wrong.
But that’s ok. He’s got a plan for the coverage through 2020: focus on racism and division!
BAQUET: I think that we’ve got to change. I mean, the vision for coverage for the next two years is what I talked about earlier: How do we cover a guy who makes these kinds of remarks? How do we cover the world’s reaction to him? How do we do that while continuing to cover his policies? How do we cover America, that’s become so divided by Donald Trump? How do we grapple with all the stuff you all are talking about? How do we write about race in a thoughtful way, something we haven’t done in a large way in a long time? That, to me, is the vision for coverage. You all are going to have to help us shape that vision. But I think that’s what we’re going to have to do for the rest of the next two years.
The NYT wants to make sure that their readers get exactly what they want — news that confirms their pre-conceived bias that President Trump is a white supremacist that knowingly stokes racial division in America.
The New York Times should consider changing its slogan from “All The News That’s Fit To Print” to “All The Bias That Can Fit On The Page.”