It was a throwback to the bad old days of laughably obvious labeling bias at the New York Times. Reporter Tiffany Hsu Stark demonstrated the other end of that stark double standard on Tuesday, with the news that “Nation Editor To Step Down But Stay On As Publisher.” Hsu’s piece contained not a single ideological label to identify the hard-left magazine that has dallied for decades with defending totalitarians on the left. Yet the Weekly Standard, a right-leaning anti-Trump publication that was far closer to the mainstream of American politics, was larded with labels in articles fabout the Standard’s controversial shutdown.
New York Times Magazine staff writer Jonathan Mahler and media reporter Jim Rutenberg teamed on a colossal, three-part investigation of Rupert Murdoch’s family drama and media empire that served as a hit piece on Fox News. The Times offensively attempted to tie the network to recent anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim terrorist attacks: "...some Fox News hosts and guests had been moving ever closer to openly embracing the most bigoted sentiments of the white-nationalist movement. A few days before the anti-Semitic attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue that killed 11 Jewish worshipers, a guest on Lou Dobbs’s show had said that a migrant caravan headed to the United States border from Honduras was being funded by the “Soros-occupied State Department.”
On Thursday’s edition of her CNN/PBS show, Christiane Amanpour invited on the New York Times’ Jonathan Mahler and James Rutenberg to promote their three-part investigative piece on Rupert Murdoch and indict Fox News as an “anti-immigrant” network that spewed the kind of “ethno-nationalist agenda” that stoked the New Zealand mosque shooter.
New York Times Magazine staff writer Jonathan Mahler and media reporter Jim Rutenberg teamed on a colossal, three-part investigation of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire (and family drama), using the mogul’s sale of his 21st Century Fox empire to Walt Disney as the catalyst for an incredibly noxious hit piece on Fox News, which is accused of virtually everything wrong with the world. The tone is amazingly ideological and personally hostile, perhaps the most virulent and conspiracy-minded attack on Fox News ever issued by the paper, certainly the longest one, against some stiff competition. It reads more like a paranoid left-wing screed from The Nation or In These Times than it does content for an objective newspaper.
The April 2019 issue of Esquire features a long, eye-opening article on how attacks on Trump may have permanently damaged the media’s reputation (always fragile) for objectivity. Boyer's main focus was the New York Times: “Donald Trump Changed The New York Times. Is It Forever? -- Donald Trump has shattered presidential standards. In response, The New York Times and other elite news organizations have scrapped their rigorous, long-held standards of objectivity. But will the Times’s changes have unintended consequences? And what does Trump himself think of all this?" The president had some criticism for one Times story in particular.
The front page of the New York Times Business Day on Monday featured two stories on Donald Trump and the media, one chiding his opinion journalism supporters, the other suggesting the mainstream press failed its mission by not stopping his election in 2016. Michael Grynbaum’s “Media Memo,” “2020 Looms, And News Faces Test Of Judgment” may have revealed more anti-Trump media bias than intended. Jim Rutenberg worries about Trump fans embracing Fox News-fostered "political conspiracy theories."
On the front of the New York Times Sunday Review, Frank Bruni warned his media colleagues not to fall for the old fairness ploy when it came to helping the Democrats defeat Donald Trump in 2020: “Will the Media Be Trump’s Accomplice Again” -- We have a second chance in 2020. Let’s not blow it.” Bruni more or less argued (as his colleague Jim Rutenberg had done in August 2016 on the front page) that it was the mainstream media’s solemn duty to defeat Trump:
Media reporter Jim Rutenberg’s column in Monday’s New York Times went after the National Enquirer for supposedly installing Donald Trump in the White House by withholding scandal dirt on him while throwing it at his opponents: “2016 Put Full Might Of a Tabloid On Display.” Curiously, Rutenberg didn’t come out against tabloid journalism per se, just its target; he would have preferred it to be directed toward hurting Donald Trump. The text box: “The Enquirer hid a story that seemed tailored to its mission.”
New York Times media reporter Jim Rutenberg branches off into global warming alarmism (while still mocking conservatives) with an oddity about a freelance environmentalist going viral with emotional videos of dead dolphins on the beach in Naples, Fla. that she blames on global warming: “Filling a TV News Gap With Just an iPhone.” The online headline: “News Networks Fall Short on Climate Story as Dolphins Die on the Beach.” Note how the Times steals a base, equating climate to the dead dolphins as if there is a clear, proven linkage (there isn’t).
Monday’s pre-Election Day New York Times was absolutely stuffed with bias. First, the front page featured Kevin Roose and Ali Winston’s web warning, “Web’s Far Right Can Hear Itself As Trump Talks -- Cheering the Spread of Once-Fringe Views,” which conflated Trump supporters with neo-Nazis. Reporter Michael Shear went to West Virginia to mock Trump supporters as trapped in a “presidential bubble,” from his own liberal bubble of snotty smugness. And Jim Rutenberg took a trip down “Racist Republican” memory lane with the Willie Horton ad.
Earth to Oliver Darcy, Don Lemon, Jim Rutenberg, Steve Schmidt, and Brian Stelter: Call your offices! Despite attempts by Morning Consult and Politico Thursday morning to put a spin on the findings of their latest poll, their poll found that more Americans blame the news media (by an eight-point margin) for dividing the American people than President Trump.
New York Times media reporter Jim Rutenberg tried to tar mainstream conservative figures as hateful inciters of violence in “There’s Money In Conspiracy, And Outlets Are After It." The online headline: “You Don’t Need to Go to the Dark Web to Find Hateful Conspiracy Theories.” The online version featured a prominent picture of Judge Jeanine Pirro underneath the "hateful" headline. Rutenberg also tried to make a link between Fox news and the Pittsburgh massacre.