Jill Abramson, former executive editor of the New York Times, recently said the paper has become “unmistakably anti-Trump”.
This is supposed to be a revelation? Her criticism of her former employer is unremarkable, banal, almost trite. Of course the Times is anti-Trump; it was previously anti-Romney and anti-McCain. The paper has been the official communications organ of the Democratic Party for the past thirty years. This fact is so self-evident and so incontrovertible, that Abramson’s comments are hardly going to raise any eyebrows.
Following the directive of its executive editor, Dean Baquet, the “paper of record”, crossed the Rubicon during the later stages of the presidential election when the campaign of their candidate of choice started to crater. Abramson’s critique is unenlightening, although she does belatedly agree with the proposition that the mainstream media has become the “opposition party.” As I noted in my book, The Story of How Trump’s Politics Changed the Mainstream Media Democratic Party Complex and Why He Continues to Drive Them Mad, the Times deliberately decided to drop any pretense of objectivity during the election and chose to openly advocate for Hillary Clinton.
The Times overt assault on Trump began on On August 7, 2016, when Times media columnist Jim Rutenberg posed the following question as the general election was underway,
“If you’re a working journalist and you believe that Donald J. Trump is a demagogue playing to the nation’s worst racist and nationalistic tendencies, that he cozies up to anti-American dictators and that he would be dangerous with control of the United States nuclear codes, how the heck are you supposed to cover him?”
Under long-established, sacrosanct and traditional principles of journalism, the answer to that question was obvious: a reporter with such a bias should not be permitted to cover Trump.
However, after quoting an editor who characterized Hillary as “normal” and Trump “abnormal”,” Rutenberg suggested “normal standards” didn’t apply. He admitted that “balance has been on vacation” since Trump began to campaign and ended by declaring that it is “journalism’s job to be true to the readers and viewers, and true to the facts, in a way that will stand up to history’s judgment.”
Shortly after Rutenberg’s article, the Times crossed the Rubicon, when executive editor Dean Baquet, enthusiastically supported the “Rutenberg Principle” of partiality, without the slightest reservation, intentionally abandoning any pretense of fairness or objectivity.
Baquet told an interviewer the Rutenberg article “nailed” his thinking and convinced him that the struggle for fairness was over.
“I think that Trump has ended that struggle,” Baquet boasted. “I think we now say stuff. We fact-check him. We write it more powerfully that it’s false.”
Even though Abramson’s candid comments are from her upcoming book, Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts, one must ask, why didn’t
She level her criticisms during the election when the Times bias was so manifest?