After Donald Trump’s victory shocked a media that was confidently and happily predicting a safe, historic win for Hillary Clinton, the New York Times seems to dimly recognize it has a credibility problem. Times media writer Jim Rutenberg noted in a front-page mea culpa on behalf of both his paper and his industry Thursday: “Most ominously, it came in the form of canceled subscriptions, something that will surely be monitored.” It turns out the Times can’t really shape public opinion, much as the it has tried over the years. The latest evidence is a fascinating story posted to Deadline on Friday, by former Times-man Michael Cieply describing how editors put news reporting on the backburner in favor of trying to shape the news itself, by establishing a narrative of coverage and then finding facts and assigning stories to fit it
Thursday’s New York Times, the first print edition to actually deal with president-elect Donald Trump’s Wednesday morning victory, wasn’t exactly elated, judging by the banner headline: “Democrats, Students And Foreign Allies Face The Reality Of A Trump Presidency.” The headline to the day’s lead story? “Grief and Glee as an Administration Once Unthinkable Becomes Real.” Yes, it’s a liberal nightmare come to life. Meanwhile, the paper's public editor had a radical suggestion: Talk to Red Staters.
In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s historic victory over Hillary Clinton in this epic election, the media descended into a state of total shock and surprise. On Wednesday’s and Thursday’s exclusive election editions of Morning Joe, the liberal commentators present conducted a series of serious self-critical discussions on doing their jobs as journalists, which at one point turned controntational toward the media.
During the New York Times rather sedate and solemn (wonder why?) live election night coverage, reporter Maggie Haberman whined that “the amount of open misogyny during this campaign has been really striking, from a lot of Trump’s supporters.” Sarah Lyall’s front-page story in Wednesday’s edition (before most of the results were in) also took a feminist angle: “Many Women Feel Echoes of History in Vote for Clinton.” Its laudatory lines about Hillary Clinton’s imminent triumph were overtaken by events: “Women across the country felt history tapping them on their shoulder, propelling them out the door, following them into voting booths.” And two Times media and TV writers got together to talk Trump lies and his deplorable supporters.
As the first presidential debate looms, fact-checking Donald Trump has become a New York Times obsession. Jim Rutenberg bewailed the candidate’s falsehoods and urged debate moderators to hit him hard in his Mediator column on Monday, “A Moment of Truth For Debate Moderators.” Meanwhile, James Poniewozik reviews a PBS Frontline biography on the two major candidates and was glad to see that it eschewed “false equivalence” and made Trump look scary.
In the weeks leading up to Monday night’s first one-on-one clash between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the liberal media have set the stage for NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt and his fellow presidential debate moderators to be rougher with the GOP nominee. Journalists from the New York Times to CNN have openly declared that Trump is so intolerably “polarizing,” “racist and sexist” that he must be treated to a completely different standard than the Democratic candidate.
A few days after New York Times media columnist Jim Rutenberg wrote a front-page piece about “[t]he challenge” of remaining objective when covering Donald Trump, he joined MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Friday morning to claim that despite Trump sucking up much of the media’s attention, the media have been able to aggressively cover Hillary Clinton and her many scandals.
On Monday, The New York Times published a front-page editorial on the need for the media to defeat Donald Trump....and one of their heroes was an alleged “frequent critic of liberal media bias” named....Joe Scarborough.
As if they hire “frequent critics of liberal media bias” at MSNBC? But Times columnist Jim Rutenberg offered Scarborough as some sort of hero for insisting Donald Trump should be nowhere near The Button.
On Monday, economist turned partisan hack Paul Krugman recycled his pompous lecture against what he calls “false equivalence," by which he means journalistic fairness toward Republicans. Every one of his examples of “false equivalence” coincidentally involves a Republican allegedly getting a free-ride in the news media -- which would come as quite a shock for NewsBusters readers -- while Hillary Clinton is unfairly slammed at every turn. And media reporter Jim Rutenberg warned the television media off of potential coverage of Benghazi and Bill Clinton’s sex scandals at the Republican convention.
When liberal newspapers attack less liberal newspapers: Jim Rutenberg’s Mediator column, “Fair Play in a Fact-Challenged Political Landscape,” on the front of the Monday July 4 Business Day, started with a media conflict involving a pro-Donald Trump commentator but pivoted to a denunciation of supposedly misleading journalism on Brexit from conservative newspapers before the vote. (The Times often singles out less liberal media outlets like the New York Post for scorn when events don’t turn out the way the paper wishes.) Then Rutenberg turned for Platonic political truth to...the liberal Politifact.
The New York Times lead editorial Wednesday on the Orlando massacre, “The Threat to Gay Americans,” was notable both for the words it did contain – names of Republicans who the Times repugnantly held responsible for fostering the hatred that led to the mass murder – and for the words it didn’t contain: “Radical Islam.” That’s despite Omar Mateen, the actual mass murderer, calling a local TV reporter and stating “I did it for ISIS. I did it for the Islamic State." Meanwhile, Andrew Rosenthal accuses Trump of fomenting Stalinist genocide, and Jim Rutenberg and Frank Bruni indulge in some bias by omission.
New York Times media columnist Jim Rutenberg likes how Comedy Central host Larry Wilmore “keeps it 100" (percent honest). So he declared in Monday’s newspaper that Wilmore and his fellow Comedy Central host Trevor Noah aren’t up the task of satirizing the 2016 campaign. In a story on Stephen Colbert revamping his Late Show on CBS, Rutenberg lamented there is a “Where Is Superman?” feeling about Jon Stewart and Colbert sitting this one out – not just in “Left America,” but yes, in “Media America.”