Cruz: New York Times 'destroying itself' with Trump 'hatred'

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP signals unease with Barr's gun plan NRA says Trump administration memo a 'non-starter' Barr fails to persuade Cruz on expanded background checks MORE (R-Texas) on Sunday joined President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Pelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Trump to withdraw FEMA chief nominee: report MORE in lashing out at the New York Times over the paper’s coverage of the president. 

“The NYT is destroying itself w/ Trump hatred. And it’s ultimately bad for freedom of the press when ‘journalists’ openly revel in being partisan propagandists. When our Nation is so tribalised that each side has their own ‘news’ & ‘facts’ and we don’t even talk to each other,” Cruz tweeted. 

He called the paper a “propaganda outlet by liberals, for liberals.” 

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Cruz, citing a story published on the conservative blog Red State, claims a New York Times editor said “(in effect) ‘for 2 yrs, we covered ‘Russia, Russia, Russia,’ facts be damned; now we’ll scream ‘racism, racism, racism’ for 18 mos, and the rest of the media follow us.’”

“That’s not journalism,” Cruz tweeted.

Cruz and the blog he cited are referencing a meeting New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet had with staff regarding the paper’s coverage and a recent controversial print headline that said “TRUMP URGES UNITY VS. RACISM” in describing Trump’s response to a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, that killed 22 people earlier this month. 

Baquet reportedly called the headline, which was widely criticized by Democrats, a “f---ing mess.”

Cruz played on the headline controversy in his criticism of the paper. 

“It’s also deeply cynical—at a time when racial tensions are raw, for the NYT to be deliberately stoking the fires of racial tension & hatred. Ironically, their approach is the obverse of their original headline (before they succumbed to the mob): “NYT Urges Racism Vs Unity,” the senator tweeted.

A transcript from the meeting, reported by Slate earlier this week, does not appear to have the direct quote Cruz referenced. 

During the meeting, Baquet did discuss how the paper should focus its coverage going forward, based on the reported transcript. 

“Chapter 1 of the story of Donald Trump, not only for our newsroom but, frankly, for our readers, was: Did Donald Trump have untoward relationships with the Russians, and was there obstruction of justice? That was a really hard story, by the way, let’s not forget that...And I think we covered that story better than anybody else,” Baquet said, according to Slate’s transcript of the meeting. 

“I think that we’ve got to change. I mean, the vision for coverage for the next two years is what I talked about earlier: How do we cover a guy who makes these kinds of remarks?...How do we write about race in a thoughtful way, something we haven’t done in a large way in a long time? That, to me, is the vision for coverage. You all are going to have to help us shape that vision. But I think that’s what we’re going to have to do for the rest of the next two years,” he added.

Trump tweeted earlier calling out the Times, seemingly referencing the same meeting, calling the coverage a "racism witch hunt."