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.
The New York Times indulged in some self-owning irony on Sunday’s front page under the byline of Jim Rutenberg and Ben Protess. The subject was American Media Inc., the tabloid company that publishes the National Enquirer: "Federal authorities examining the work President Trump’s former lawyer did to squelch embarrassing stories before the 2016 election have come to believe that an important ally in that effort, the tabloid company American Media Inc., at times acted more as a political supporter than as a news organization, according to people briefed on the investigation." The high irony of that sentence evidently escaped The Times.
After insisting for months that President Trump has been undermining one of America’s most vital institutions with his attacks on the news media, the hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe briefly dropped their act. On Tuesday, host Joe Scarborough admitted that as a member of the media, attacking Trump is just “what we do.”
New York Times media columnist Jim Rutenberg’s essay for The Wilson Quarterly was hailed as a “behind-the-scenes look” at the paper coming to journalistic life after being attacked by Trump: “How ‘Fake News’ Changed The New York Times – and Didn’t.” The first subhead of the Wilson Quarterly piece gave the game away: “Suddenly, Our Mission Got Really Clear” (Right when Trump became president!) Remember that it was Rutenberg who penned the notorious front-page jeremiad on August 8, 2016, "The Challenge Trump Poses to Objectivity." He asked, “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....how the heck are you supposed to cover him?"
In covering the shocking firing of NBC Today host Matt Lauer over sexual harassment allegations, the New York Times chose to focus on the shocking results of campaign 2016 and the loss of their favored candidate Hillary Clinton. After two decades of Lauer’s liberal bias (and hypocritical criticism of sexual harassment by Donald Trump and Bill O’Reilly), the Times could only focus on how Lauer supposedly treated Hillary Clinton in unfair, biased, and sexist fashion during a September 2016 presidential forum featuring her and Donald Trump by actually conducting a tough journalistic interview with the candidate for a change.
Most establishment press outlets initially gave wildly disproportionate time and attention to the Monday indictment of March-August 2016 Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, to the exclusion or near exclusion of many other stories, particularly Russia-related items relating to Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, the Clinton Foundation and the Obama administration. Several outlets owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. have not — and the press is furiously and often dishonestly attacking them.