Bad Guys on the Right: NYTimes ID's Sex Offending Migrants in Germany as Hailing from 'Conservative' Cultures

It’s an old New York Times labeling trick: Find the bad guys, and stamp the “conservative” label on them -- even if they are Soviet Communists -- the enemy of U.S. conservatives during the Cold War.

That liberal media standard still holds today, as the Times insists on describing Muslim migrants, in the news for sex attacks in Germany, as hailing from “conservative” societies (then turning around and accusing Western conservatives of “Islamophobia”). Reporter Melissa Eddy wrote three articles from Germany, two on the sexual assaults by Muslim refugees in Cologne and other cities over New Year’s Eve, one on the controversial republication of Mein Kampf, the autobiography of Adolf Hitler. In all three stories, Eddy strangely managed to put the bad actors on the “conservative” or “far right” side of the political spectrum.

On Thursday, Eddy wrote about the outcry in Germany over the sex attacks by bands of Muslim refugees -- and the pathetic politically correct response of the authorities -- in “German Mayor’s ‘Arm’s Length’ Advice on Sex Assault Stirs Outcry.” But Eddy, in liberal fashion, labeled the bad actors as conservative, claiming that they hailed from “conservative societies” and suggested they were having trouble integrating into Germany’s “liberal, Western democracy.”  Isn’t it odd then, that it’s the left wing that’s vociferously demanding that more refugees be let in, and the conservatives, perhaps especially social conservatives, saying to slow down?  

Although the authorities have offered no concrete evidence that the attackers were among the hundreds of thousands of people who have poured into the country since mid-August, the incidents have laid bare the challenges Germans face in integrating young men from more conservative societies into their liberal, Western democracy.

Eddy also flipped the labels in her story on the front of Wednesday’s Times, “Attacks on German Women Inflame Debate on Migrants.”

The descriptions of the assailants -- by the police and victims quoted in the news media -- as young foreign men who spoke neither German nor English immediately stoked the debate over how to integrate such large numbers of migrants and focused new attention on how to deal with the influx of young, mostly Muslim men from more socially conservative cultures where women do not share the same freedoms and protections as men.

Eddy’s colleague Alison Smale came closer to the truth in her Saturday story that connected asylum seekers to the sexual attacks, showing that the migrants' supporters are overwhelmingly on the left and in the media: “Right-wing politicians have been accused of using the episodes to play on fears of the migrants and to limit their arrivals; liberal-leaning news media and left-wing politicians have been accused of ignoring or playing down a real problem for fear of stigmatizing the new arrivals.”

(The NYT had previously prostrated in front of Germany for letting in so many Syrian refugees, sending "a message that rebukes nationalist bigotry, defends human rights and reminds countries like the United States how to confront a humanitarian emergency." This was a week before some of those migrants caused their own humanitarian emergencies over New Year's Eve.)

Eddy’s report Saturday on the release of a scholarly edition of Mein Kampf tied it without evidence to “far right parties” making inroads in Europe due to concerns about migrants. Never mind that anti-Semitism isn’t exactly unknown in Islamic countries and that Mein Kampf has long been a popular book in Muslim countries.

Clay Waters
Clay Waters
Clay Waters was director of Times Watch, a former project of the Media Research Center.