Three-Year New York Times Smear Against Boris, Brexit Flopped on Election Day

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The New York Times has invested three years of hostile coverage on Brexit and the mockery of the (once) hopeless crusade of Boris Johnson to become British Prime Minister. Once in office, Johnson was vilified for attempting to lead the United Kingdom out of the European Union, after the country horrified the elites by voting that way in 2016.

Since that dark day, the Times has blamed the Brexit push for, among other things, shorter life spans; racist and Islamophobic attacks, even “Talibanization.” Brexit supporters were mocked for “virtually cultlike certitude," while an opinion contributor insulted Brexit voters as “old people, 80 and above, wearing blank stares.” Classy!

Feverish anti-Brexit, anti-Boris bias emanated from the Times in the run-up to Election Day December 12, which ended up wildly successful for the Conservative Party and Johnson, who made “get Brexit done” a rallying cry.

On December 11, reporter Benjamin Mueller tried with “British Health Service’s Challenges May Hurt Johnson’s Bid.”

With Britain on the precipice of an election that could soon lead to a decisive break with the European Union, Brexit looks to many people more like a threat to their cherished health service than its salvation. The system has already deteriorated under the watch of Mr. Johnson’s Conservative Party, with beds overflowing, waiting times swelling and nurse and doctor vacancies piling up....

The same day, Adam Satariano and Amie Tsang wrote on campaign disinformation allegedly spread almost solely by the Conservatives:

The use of disinformation techniques by political leaders, particularly the Conservatives, led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, reflects an evolution in how the internet is being used to grab attention, distract the news media, stoke outrage and rally support.

Another headline: “Worried, Scared and Paralyzed: Lives Caught in Brexit Limbo.”

Steven Erlanger on Thursday filed “An Exasperated Nation Trudges Toward Brexit.” “Some who voted for Brexit have since had a change of heart, seeing some of the consequences, especially for trade with the Continent, Britain’s largest market.”

Even after Johnson’s shockingly lopsided win and clear vindication of the voters’ 2016 decision on Brexit, the paper’s tone was muted and pessimistic. Mark Landler on the front page: “Brexit Is Going to Get Done. But Which One?”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s landslide election victory Thursday clarifies British politics in one important respect: Efforts to reverse the Brexit referendum are now dead. Britain will leave the European Union next month. But on what terms it will do so remains unclear, perhaps even more so in the wake of the election.

The paper had previously tried to downplay the import of Johnson’s big lead in pre-election polls under headlines like “Boris Johnson Has Big Lead in U.K. Election. That Might Not Mean Much.”

The same day Stephen Castle dubiously credited Johnson’s win to “the nation’s predominantly right-wing press, all painting [Labour leader Jeremy] Corbyn as a dangerous radical who would lead the nation to economic ruin.” Sounds accurate, actually.

Landler sulked about the original vote: “Britain’s angry vote to leave the European Union was seen as a canary-in-the-coal-mine for Mr. Trump’s insurgent victory over Hillary Clinton five months later.”

Finally, reporter Ceylan Yeginsu on Tuesday blamed future terror in Northern Ireland on -- you guessed it: “Brexit Plan May Doom Irish Peace At Border – Paramilitary Groups Are Filling Vacuum.”

One last amusing point: The Times did a full flattering story on Love Actually actor Hugh Grant going door to door canvassing for anti-Brexit votes. All the candidates he lobbied for lost. There was no Times follow-up.

Brexit Vote New York Times Stephen Castle Mark Landler Boris Johnson Hugh Grant
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