NY Times Now Whining Trump Won't Play Dictator: 'Ceding...National Leadership' on Virus

April 18th, 2020 2:31 PM

Make up your mind! The New York Times, which has criticized Donald Trump for playing dictator during the coronavirus pandemic, is now criticizing him for “ceding any semblance of national leadership on the pandemic” on Saturday’s front page: “Right-Wing Protests Find Megaphone in Trump.” Michael Shear and Sarah Mervosh’s highly partisan report began:

President Trump on Friday openly encouraged right-wing protests of social distancing restrictions in states with stay-at-home orders, a day after announcing guidelines for how the nation’s governors should carry out an orderly reopening of their communities on their own timetables.

In a series of all-caps tweets that started two minutes after a Fox News report on the protesters, the president declared, “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” and “LIBERATE MINNESOTA!” -- two states whose Democratic governors have imposed strict social distancing restrictions....

These are not so much protests against standing six feet apart than they are against heavy-handed moves like Michigan’s arbitrary bans on buying gardening and home improvement items, which barely gets mentioned.

His stark departure from the more bipartisan tone of his announcement on Thursday night suggested Mr. Trump was ceding any semblance of national leadership on the pandemic, and choosing instead to divide the country by playing to his political base.

Echoed across the internet and on cable television by conservative pundits and ultraright conspiracy theorists, his tweets were a remarkable example of a president egging on demonstrators and helping to stoke an angry fervor that in its anti-government rhetoric was eerily reminiscent of the birth of the Tea Party movement a decade ago.

"Eerily reminiscent"? How biased can you get?

Then the Times berated Fox News for...covering news events:

Shaping their views has been Fox News, which has devoted extensive coverage to the protests that took place this week, reminiscent of the way it provided a platform for Tea Party activists early in the Obama administration. For the past several days, the network has shown videos of the crowds gathered outside State Capitols and aired interviews with organizers who fumed at their governors.

The story concluded with another “far-right” label:

Mr. Trump is also providing support to some of the darkest corners of the internet, where far-right activists have encouraged the protesters to defy Democratic governors...

A “Poll Watch” by Giovanni Russonello also denigrated conservative protests on behalf of the suffering and unemployed by comparing them to the Tea Party : “Small but Angry Protests Reveal Crack in the Quarantine Consensus.” The online headline: “What’s Driving the Right-Wing Protesters Fighting the Quarantine?” Left-wing protesters are never called “angry” or “left-wing” in the Times.

....polling shows that these right-wing activists probably speak for only a small minority of Americans -- or even of all Republicans....in states with an already intense partisan divide -- like Michigan, Ohio and North Carolina -- a small, vociferous protest movement is arising...The Tea Party -- which, like some of this week’s anti-restriction protests, was backed by well-funded interest groups ....

The left has no "well-funded interest groups"?