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The New York Times is accepting, even supportive, of liberal Democrats who protest the disappointing results of free and fair elections. Democratic Georgia gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams' classless attempts to poison the well after her close defeat at the hands of Republican Brian Kemp were greeted with consolation on the front page of the New York Times. The paper also supported attempts by liberals to overturn Donald Trump’s victory in 2016. But after Trump hypothetically raised the possibility pre-election of not respecting the results, there were accusations of dictatorship.
The New York Times has truly taken sides in the upcoming Georgia governor’s race pitting Republican Brian Kemp versus (from the online headline deck): “Stacey Abrams, a Daughter of the South, Asks Georgia to Change -- In an election steeped in issues of race, voting rights and the South’s past, present and future, Ms. Abrams is trying to become the first black woman elected governor of any state.” The Times literally gave Abrams a Hollywood makeover in the lead: "Let’s say you were making a TV movie about Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate for governor in the reliably Republican state of Georgia. Where would you begin?"
The labeling bias came straight from the very top of the New York Times lead National section story Monday. Richard Fausset reported from Georgia under the headlines, “A Race Pivots on Guns, Saws and Trucks – In Georgia’s heated G.O.P. runoff, two candidates for governor court voters on the far right.” Fausset played up the controversies and heated rivalry in Georgia, while a story on the emerging Democratic 2020 presidential choices was sedate and politely headlined: “Warren Is Warming Up for 2020. So Are Many Other Democrats.”
In the wake of the killings in Parkland, Fla., the New York Times is pressing for gun control and targeting the National Rifle Association. Reporters Richard Fausset and Tiffany Hsu reveled in a purported split between the GOP’s supposed natural allies, big business and the influential gun-rights group, in a front-page story Wednesday, “N.R.A. Battle Pits Business Against G.O.P.”
The front of the Sunday New York Times featured a 3,300 word story from Michael Kimmelman, “Houston After Hurricane Harvey: The Essence of America’s Struggle,” suggesting reckless free market building policies in Houston contributed to the massive damaged caused by Hurricane Harvey -- a reckless liberal charge in itself. Kimmelman’s hostility for Houston’s “runaway development” seeped out on Sunday’s front page: "For years, the local authorities turned a blind eye to runaway development."
New York Times reporter Richard Fausset once again chided the "bizarre" conservative, anti-Washington sentiment of Texas after Hurricane Harvey, seeming to appreciate the red state being brought down a peg in his story for Tuesday’s front page, “After Proudly Defying Washington, Hard-Hit Texas Needs Its Aid.”
Showing the timeliness and sensitivity it’s renowned for, the political left is using the tragedy of Hurricane Harvey in Houston to excoriate it as an example of an untrammeled free market run amok, and suggests such laissez-faire policies made the damaging storm even more dangerous. The front page of Thursday’s New York Times featured Manny Fernandez and Richard Fausset's “A Limitless City, Now Envisioning New Limitations -- Progress, With a Price -- A History of Sprawl at Odds With the Forces of Nature.” From that liberal headline you know what's coming. Sure enough Fernandez, who finds Texans “ultraconservative” and shifting “further to the far right,” thinks Houston's free-market policies have doomed it to environmental danger.
The front of Thursday’s New York Times featured more wishful thinking on the part of the paper, which is still waiting for that off-year anti-Trump electoral surge: “Atlanta’s Suburbs Wonder if Newcomers Will Turn Them Blue.” Fausset threw some old, extraneous accusations of racism into the bargain, while emphasizing alleged conservative intolerance of liberals (in a world where the evidence of political intolerance is weighted in the other direction).
Georgia Democrat and newly minted liberal hero Jon Ossoff may have failed to take advantage of glowing media coverage and huge out-of-state donations by falling short in a special election to fill a congressional seat, but Thursday’s New York Times front page used Ossoff’s moral victory (?) to spur national Democrats to fight in another special election, for a House seat in Montana. Inside the paper, reporter Richard Fausset hyped Ossoff optimism even after he failed to win on Tuesday.
The Democrats’ mid-term election hope, the man who may turn the Trumpian tide, is Jon Ossoff, a young progressive candidate for the Georgia congressional seat vacated by Tom Price. Ossoff hopes to triumph in the open primary in Georgia’s congressional district to be held April 18, and he has the whole of the New York Times reporting staff solidly behind him. On Wednesday, Trip Gabriel and Richard Fausset enthused, “Georgia’s Long-Silent Liberals Come Out for a Congressional Race," but that was only the latest bit of cheerleading.
Are U.S. elections reliable? Should the results be universally respected and accepted? Can one challenge the results without being smeared as a threat to society or at least a poor loser? The New York Times can’t make its mind up. After Donald Trump refused to say he would accept the election results two weeks before the election (when the media was already crowning Hillary the winner), the Times was crammed with stories about the dictatorial dangers of refusing to accept election results. But when liberal anti-Trump protesters engaged in violent protest in the wake of Trump’s surprise victory, there was no problem. Similarly, the NYT seems fine with Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s expensive recount. No wailing about how the $7 million Stein has raised to fund the recount could have fed a hungry child or helped save the planet, just mildly encouraging reports with no hint of impropriety or threat, in the face of Stein hinting at vote fraud and refusing to accept the results of a free and fair election.
The New York Times still has the racially hostile, bathroom-bigoted state of North Carolina on its mind and in its political crosshairs. Tuesday’s full-court front-page press coverage of the ongoing LGBT-rights and bathroom-access controversy was joined by some hand-wringing about a recent GOP court victory that will tighten previously loosened voting rules, an action that liberal groups (and the Times) consider racially motivated. The Times had a similar outburst earlier this month, with reporter Richard Fausset throwing around the “far right” label against North Carolina conservatives.