The New York Times, other outlets crying ‘wolf’ over Trump
It’s now Day 13 since the media declared it needed to do some serious soul-searching and rethink the way it covers Donald Trump.
Here are your headlines in today’s New York Times:
Reince Priebus, Normalizer in Chief: As Mr. Trump’s new chief of staff, the lifelong G.O.P. loyalist will have to guide an outsider president and his band of radicals through a city they’ve pledged to upend.
And these New York Times editorials:
All told, all but one of these stories and editorials can safely be deemed anti-Trump. Only one analysis can be considered to be down-the-middle: “Let’s Say Obamacare Is Repealed. What Then?” And of course, the editorials especially are so far off the rails in terms of negativity that it’s almost comical in its hysteria.
This “coverage” comes just one week after New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger and executive editor Dean Baquet promised in a letter to readers that the paper to “rededicate” itself to “…hold power to account, impartially and unflinchingly.” They wrote:
As we reflect on the momentous result, and the months of reporting and polling that preceded it, we aim to rededicate ourselves to the fundamental mission of Times journalism. That is to report America and the world honestly, without fear or favor, striving always to understand and reflect all political perspectives and life experiences in the stories that we bring to you.
It is also to hold power to account, impartially and unflinchingly. You can rely on The New York Times to bring the same fairness, the same level of scrutiny, the same independence to our coverage of the new president and his team,” the letter continues.
We cannot deliver the independent, original journalism for which we are known without the loyalty of our readers.
David Axelrod, President Obama’s 2008 campaign manager who was appointed to the role of Senior Adviser after the election, cautioned the Times of its hyperbole while showing the paper simply hadn’t done basic homework in its rush to judgment.
We hadn’t made any major appointments at this point in 2008. I don’t remember being criticized for it. https://t.co/3yXvA8g6bL
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) November 17, 2016
But there is hope that the Grey Lady is getting the message that major changes need to be made to way it goes about its editorial decisions.
Liz Spayd, the Times’ public editor, says complaints to the paper are at its highest in 15 years.
Since the election, I have been on the phone with many Times readers around the country, including [reader Cindy] Capwell, to discuss their concerns about The Times’s coverage of the presidential election.
The number of complaints coming into the public editor’s office is five times the normal level, and the pace has only just recently tapered off. My colleague Thomas Feyer, who oversees the letters to the editor, says the influx from readers is one of the largest since Sept. 11.
Many people are commenting on the election, but many are venting about The Times’s coverage. Readers are also taking to the comments section of Times articles to talk about it, says the community editor, Bassey Etim. Others are calling into customer care at multiple times the usual rate. … I can tell you there is a searing level of dissatisfaction.
We’ve all heard the story of the boy who cried wolf. Now we’re seeing the story written before our eyes of a media that not only hasn’t learned a thing from its election coverage where it completely embarrassed itself to the point it may never recover from an integrity perspective.
Call the Times “The Media That Cried Wolf.” And we all know what happened to the boy who cried wolf too often: People stopped listening.
And it’s not just the Times. Visit the Washington Post or Politico or any cable news outlet not with the letters F, O, or X in it on Monday and you’ll see an overwhelming wave of negativity.
That’s not to say, of course, Trump should get a pass or extended honeymoon here. It’s just a simple plea: Cover the good stuff with the same vigor and focus as the bad.
For example, Trump is ahead of schedule on cabinet appointments when compared to past transitions. And Trump did state it was “good news” that Chuck Schumer would be leading the Democratic party in the Senate, also noting he always got along with the senior senator of his home state of New York.
I have always had a good relationship with Chuck Schumer. He is far smarter than Harry R and has the ability to get things done. Good news!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 20, 2016
A look again at major political/traditional publications or outlets shows we’re not seeing much or any coverage of the two very newsworthy items above. If it is actually covered, the stories are buried under coverage about Hamilton, Saturday Night Live, fake news and/or the alt-right.
It’s a simple mantra.
Unfortunately, advocacy journalism has no time or tolerance for such a foreign concept.