NY Times Borrows Obama Operative Criticism: Trump ‘Stoking Grievances’ in Fans

February 29th, 2020 3:30 PM

The New York Times caught up to last month’s huge Trump rally in New Jersey, reporter Katie Rogers devoting a full-page National section lead story Friday to denigrating Trump supporters: “Stoking Grievances, and Collecting Data – Online Tools That Bring Trump Followers Into the Fold, and Keep Them There.” Note that charged term, “grievances,” for future reference (click “expand”):

“If you want your children to inherit the blessings that generations of Americans have fought and died for to secure,” President Trump told a crowd of supporters in Wildwood at one of a string of campaign rallies he has held this winter, “we must devote everything that we have toward victory in 2020.”

Sitting a few yards to the president’s right, a 53-year-old retired police officer, Jacqueline D’Angelo, was taking Mr. Trump’s words to heart. Sitting with her 14-year-old son, Lorenzo, she pumped her fists as Mr. Trump’s voice rose and fell. She waved her made-for-TV sign -- “Women for Trump” -- and jeered along with the crowd when the president ran down the list of his villains: Democrats, Nancy Pelosi, the news media, Nancy Pelosi again. Mostly, she was having fun.


Ms. D’Angelo heard about the president’s appearance through a friend who helps her operate a pro-Trump Facebook page she created before the 2018 midterm elections. Like most Facebook groups that support Mr. Trump, hers is a cascade of links to conservative websites, Trump White House social media posts and doctored photos of the president’s enemies, including Ms. Pelosi.

Democratic social media groups constantly post mean-spirited parody photos of Trump & Co., yet Trump fans get accused of sharing sinister “doctored photos” of Pelosi:

At Mr. Trump’s rallies and campaign events, his words are fine-tuned to appeal to white, Christian, blue-collar voters. Ms. D’Angelo, who is white, said his overtures to the military and law enforcement communities helped win her over....

Reporters never fact-checked Obama fans who spouted factually questionable points, but Trump supporters are fair game for such scrutiny:

Finding friendly faces nearly everywhere in the crowd, Ms. D’Angelo complained with a stranger about the rough deal Mr. Trump got by inheriting the Obama-era national deficit. When a reporter pointed out that the president had actually helped widen the national debt -- despite a campaign-trail pledge to erase it within eight years -- she said that Mr. Trump had come into the job with a lot on his plate.

Roger conveniently found an Obama operative to call Trump’s strategy dangerous:

But Teddy Goff, the Obama campaign’s former digital director, said the Trump campaign had taken traditional digital tactics in a new direction by spreading misinformation and news of the president’s latest political skirmish -- basically, keeping supporters angry enough to vote....“I think the Trump campaign probably makes its people feel like they’re being well served in that he validates all of their grievances,” Mr. Goff said.

Notice how the paper borrowed the Obama guy’s unflattering descriptor (“grievances”) for its own, supposedly objective, headline!