The Nine Worst New York Times (Failed) Hatchet Jobs of the Trump Era

October 29th, 2020 10:07 AM

Two years ago, right before the 2018 midterm elections, the New York Times scammed the media with an op-ed from an anonymous “senior administration official” trashing the President he supposedly served.

Now we know that media-glorified Trump critic was, in fact, Miles Taylor, who at the time was a minor official in the Department of Homeland Security. Yet the entire liberal media industry eagerly lapped up his Trump-trashing rhetoric, wrongly trusting that the Times was telling the truth about his status within the administration.

But their “anonymous” con was hardly the only anti-Trump or anti-conservative hatchet job engineered by the Times during the Trump years. They’ve produced “fake news” stories against the President, edited articles for the Joe Biden campaign, invented anti-American projects and even attacked a MAGA hat-wearing teen. These stories were lapped up by their eager allies in the broadcast and cable studios as they excitedly promoted them, only to have them blow up in their collective faces. 

In an August 8, 2016 front-page story “The Challenge Trump Poses to Objectivity” writer Jim Rutenberg offered his colleagues a rationale for discarding their last shards of professionalism to become aggressive activists against Trump: 

“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?...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. To do anything less would be untenable.”

This activist mindset has led to a series of journalistic lapses as the Gray Lady pursued a relentlessly anti-Trump agenda, even as they provided favors to Democrats and boosted a far-Left agenda. The following is a breakdown of just SOME of the worst hatchet jobs by New York Times journalists during the last four years. 


1. Phony Russia Story Using Anonymous Sources Against Trump 

On February 14, 2017, a bombshell New York Times story reported that “phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election” and particularly around the time of the DNC e-mail hacking. It was a fable that not even Trump critic former FBI Director James Comey could swallow.  

At a June 8, 2017 hearing, Republican Senator Jim Risch (Idaho) asked Comey directly about the story and whether it’s “a fair statement” to declare the piece to be “not true.” Comey responded that “it was not true.” He added: “The challenge, and I’m not picking on reporters, about writing on classified information is: The people talking about it often don’t really know what’s going on, and those of us who actually know what’s going on are not talking about.”

Yet the New York Times did not withdraw its claim, noting only in its write-up that “Mr. Comey did not say exactly what he believed was incorrect about the article,” and that the paper’s anonymous sources still stood by their claims: “The original sources could not immediately be reached after Mr. Comey’s remarks, but in the months since the article was published, they have indicated that they believed the account was solid.”


2. Phony Project to Discredit America’s Founding as All About Slavery 

In August 2017 the Washington Examiner’s Byron York reported on the New York Times’ ambitious crusade to define slavery as the dominant narrative of America, even to this day.  

This is what the paper hopes the project will accomplish: “It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.”

Another, more concise statement from the Times: “The goal of The 1619 Project is to reframe American history.”

The Times even spent $2 million on an advertisement during the Oscars broadcast in February. Glamorous singer and actress Janelle Monae stood on the sea shore selling their “1619 Project,” which dramatically insisted that America began 400 years ago when a ship carrying slaves from Africa landed at Hampton, Virginia. The commercial closed with the on-screen message “The truth can change how we see the world” and “The truth is worth it,” followed by the logo of The New York Times.

Yet the newspaper was embarrassed on March 6 by an article in Politico provocatively titled “I Helped Fact-Check the 1619 Project. The Times Ignored Me.” Five days later, on March 11, 2020, the Times felt pressed to publish an “update,” a “clarification” on this grand, brand-building project:

“The 1619 Project was based on the idea that slavery was ‘one primary reason the colonists fought the American Revolution.” It seems their point was not true. To imply that all of the American colonists were passionate advocates of slavery would be a jarring smear.”

“If the scholarship of the past several decades has taught us anything, it is that we should be careful not to assume unanimity on the part of the colonists, as many previous interpretive histories of the patriot cause did,” they wrote. “We recognize that our original language could be read to suggest that protecting slavery was a primary motivation for all of the colonists. The passage has been changed to make clear that this was a primary motivation for some of the colonists.”


3. Weird Ethics: The Taliban Is Okay, a GOP Senator Is Not

The Times apparently doesn’t actually believe in the First Amendment any more. On June 3, 2020, The New York Times opinion section dared to publish a column from a sitting U.S. Senator (Arkansas Republican Tom Cotton) who espoused a take contrary to The Times’s editorial board.

The Cotton column led to a mass uproar from Times employees suggesting that black lives were in danger because The Times published Cotton writing that President Trump has the authority to use the military to help quell rioting and violence across the country, done supposedly in the name of the late George Floyd.

In a statement through a spokesperson, The New York Times caved to the anti-First Amendment, far-left mob of journalists, as it offered what could only be interpreted as an apology for publishing a column that they not only disagreed with, but suggested the column’s very existence could kill African-Americans.

Yet one column the ultra-left New York Times staff had NO PROBLEM being published was by a Taliban leader. On February 20, 2020 the Times printed “What We, the Taliban, Want. I am convinced that the killing and the maiming must stop, the deputy leader of the Taliban writes.” by Sirajuddin Haqqani. 

More than 2,300 Americans have died fighting the Taliban since October 2001, after the then-rulers of Afghanistan refused to turn over the masterminds of the 9/11 terror attacks.


4. Editor Admits Biden Campaign Edited Their Sex-Assault Allegation Story

In a measure of some internal accountability, New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet submitted to a few questions from new Times media columnist Ben Smith about why the paper took 19 days to report Tara Reade’s sexual assault allegations, in contrast to how the newspaper quickly reporting the rape charges made against Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court confirmation. 

Baquet admitted they deferred to the Biden campaign’s wishes, including their complaints about the “phrasing” of the article: 

BEN SMITH: I want to ask about some edits that were made after publication, the deletion of the second half of the sentence: “The Times found no pattern of sexual misconduct by Mr. Biden, beyond the hugs, kisses and touching that women previously said made them uncomfortable.” Why did you do that?

DEAN BAQUET: Even though a lot of us, including me, had looked at it before the story went into the paper, I think that the [Biden] campaign thought that the phrasing was awkward and made it look like there were other instances in which he had been accused of sexual misconduct. And that’s not what the sentence was intended to say.


5. New York Times Reporter Sat on Liz Warren’s Pregnancy-Firing Lie Story for Months

In October 2019, Jack Crowe and Tobias Hoonhout at National Review discovered a reporter who now works for The New York Times sat on public records which he obtained six months earlier, in April 2019, that cut against Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s continuous claim in her campaign stump speeches that she was dismissed from a teaching job for being visibly pregnant.

The National Review reported: 

Reid Epstein, who was then working for The Wall Street Journal, filed an open-records request with the Riverdale Board of Education on April 2 seeking “to inspect or obtain” copies of public records relating to Warren’s time teaching at Riverdale during the 1970-1971 school year. In response to his request, Epstein received school-board minutes on April 10 that challenge Warren’s story, according to documents obtained by National Review through the New Jersey Open Records Act.

Epstein, who moved to the Times on April 19, never broke the story. Reached for comment, a Times spokeswoman said that the “records were inconclusive” and the potential story required further sourcing.

The Washington Free Beacon also obtained the school-board minutes, and reported that they demonstrated the Riverdale Board of Education had approved a second-year teaching contract for pregnant Elizabeth Warren in April 1971. Rather than accepting the Board’s offer of continued employment, Warren chose to tender her resignation, which was “accepted with regret.” 

One day after the Free Beacon reported on the apparent discrepancy, the Times published an article by Thomas Kaplan that disclosed Epstein had “contributed reporting from Washington.” It carried this weird headline: “Elizabeth Warren Details Her Account of Losing Teaching Job Because of Pregnancy, Ms. Warren said she had grown more comfortable talking about her experience over the years, explaining why her description of the 1971 episode in her stump speeches differs from how she discussed it in the past.”


6. Eagerly Forwards Baseless Smears to Destroy Trump’s Supreme Court Pick

In 2018, the New York Times launched an unprecedented attack on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Article after article smeared Kavanaugh with statements like “Judge Kavanaugh was a jerk….credibly accused of sexual assault,” “Lots of drunken parties,” “New allegations….growing doubts….kegs and innuendo,” “Accusations….blow to the moral authority” of the Court.”

The most famous accuser was Christine Blasey Ford, who testified against Kavanaugh but the Times also highlighted a different woman’s account, one that they had to later correct. 

NewsBusters’ Clay Waters reported in 2019

We were warned it was coming, and on September 17, 2019 it arrived: “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation,” by New York Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly.

An edited excerpt appeared in the Sunday Review, “Brett Kavanaugh Fit In. She Did Not.” That “she” is Deborah Ramirez, whose uncorroborated sexual allegation against Kavanaugh (from memories of a dormitory party at Yale University) were part of the frenzy of the Kavanaugh hearings.

On Sunday night, the Times offered this bombshell update: “The female student declined to be interviewed and friends say she does not recall the episode.”


7. After Failing in Collusion Quest, NYT Switches to Racism As Weapon of Choice vs. Trump

In 2019 the liberal website Slate published a leaked transcript about an internal meeting at the Times where Executive Editor Dean Baquet bragged about their Russian collusion conspiracy coverage but suggested shifting to “a new approach to taking down Trump.”  

“We built our newsroom to cover one story, and we did it truly well,” Baquet said. “Now we have to regroup, and shift resources and emphasis to take on a different story.” In other words, stick a fork in collusion. We need a new approach to taking down Trump, “to write about race and class in a deeper way than we have in years.”

At the meeting most of the questions from Times staffers concerned the reluctance of Baquet and other editors to use the word “racist” directly to describe Trump...and the entire history of America, right up to the present day. This staffer question in general caught a lot of attention: 

“I have another question about racism. I’m wondering to what extent you think that the fact of racism and white supremacy being sort of the foundation of this country should play into our reporting. Just because it feels to me like it should be a starting point, you know? Like these conversations about what is racist, what isn’t racist. I just feel like racism is in everything. It should be considered in our science reporting, in our culture reporting, in our national reporting. And so, to me, it’s less about the individual instances of racism, and sort of how we’re thinking about racism and white supremacy as the foundation of all of the systems in the country.”


8. New York Times Defames Innocent Trump-Supporting High School Kids 

In January 2019, the Times used an old, unrelated local story to slanderously accuse Trump-supporting kids of racism. The charge was based on the now infamous viral video confrontation at the Lincoln Memorial between Catholic students, some wearing “Make America Great Again” hats, and an American Indian activist.

Members of the supposedly fact-based media have been obliged to furiously backtrack from their initial hot take of racist Trump students harassing a passive Native American activist Nathan Phillips.

Times reporters Nikita Stewart and Eliza Shapiro couldn’t resist attacking the students in Elite School in Uproar Over Students in Blackface.” The text box: “A video joined a spate of racist imagery as the nation prepared to honor King.” 

After more video clips surfaced, showing that the boys from the Catholic school, in town for the annual March for Life, had not only been unfairly smeared as racist but had themselves been the targets of racial animus by the Muslim group the Black Israelites, a later editor did damage control. That came too late for the paper’s early print National Edition, which let fly with accusations of “racist imagery.”

On October 1, 2020 a federal court in Kentucky denied the Times’ attempt to dismiss a defamation lawsuit by one of the Catholic school students, Nicholas Sandmann. 


9. Over and Over Again: Using Stolen Tax Records to Impugn Trump (and the rest of the media trumpets their agenda)

■ In October 2016 the Times rolled out a story on Trump’s tax returns, they may have been obtained and published illegally. This came just weeks after the top editor at the paper, Dean Baquet, said he would risk jail time to obtain them. At that time NBC’s Kate Snow dutifully reported: “Good evening. It happened on the first day of October, what may well be the kind of October surprise that shakes up this presidential race. While Donald Trump has refused to make his tax returns public, citing an ongoing audit by the IRS, someone mailed The New York Times several pages of Trump’s 1995 tax records. Those documents revealed the candidate reported a massive loss and suggest, according to experts, he may legally have not paid any income tax for years. Democrats jumped on the news and the Trump campaign went on defense today.”

■ In October 2018 NBC’s Kristen Welker relayed an “explosive report by The New York Times”: “The Times obtained tens of thousands of pages of financial records, documents NBC News has not had the opportunity to independently review. It found that Mr. Trump and his father built their fortune by engaging in a, quote, ‘pattern of deception and obfuscation,’ saying, ‘Much of this money came to Mr. Trump because he helped his parents dodge taxes. He and his siblings set up a sham corporation to disguise millions of dollars in gifts from their parents.’”

■ In May 2019, NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt highlighted another Times tax bombshell: “And President Trump is also firing back this evening after the New York Times claimed to have gotten a hold of his secret tax information showing he lost more than a billion dollars in the 1980s and ’90s. With more on that we turn to NBC’s Hallie Jackson. Correspondent Hallie Jackson: “The Times reporting in his core businesses largely casinos, hotels and retail space he lost more than a billion dollars between 1985 and 1994, saying, ‘year after year, Mr. Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer.’ The paper adds he didn’t pay income taxes for eight of those ten years.”

■ In September 2020, ABC’s Tom Llamas hyped: “We begin tonight with breaking news, that bombshell headline late today. The New York Times obtaining information on President Trump’s tax returns. The Times reporting the President paid just $750 in taxes in 2016 and again in his first year in office. In 10 out of the 15 years before that, he reportedly paid no taxes at all because he reported losing more money than he made.”

Fox News’ Howard Kurtz pointed out why this Trump tax story always fizzled-out for the paper: “Even the Times doesn’t claim that Trump broke any laws. He took advantage of a labyrinth of legal deductions that are available to people who traffic in real estate and investments...that’s the system approved by Congress. Who wants to pay more taxes than they have to? Amazon paid no federal income taxes for three years, and it’s got plenty of company.”