'Happy Jew Year'? The New York Times's double standard

'Happy Jew Year'? The New York Times's double standard
© Getty Images

When President TrumpDonald John TrumpFlorida GOP lawmaker says he's 'thinking' about impeachment Democrats introduce 'THUG Act' to block funding for G-7 at Trump resort Kurdish group PKK pens open letter rebuking Trump's comparison to ISIS MORE calls it “the failing New York Times,” he certainly has a point.

As New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin recently pointed out, rampant bias in news coverage at the direction of the paper’s leadership has swept away the “Gray Lady’s” position as a bastion of journalism. And the paper doesn’t seem to care.

Media bias, however unprofessional, is to be expected in the Trump era. Even as we sit here today and discuss the egregious implications of Times executive editor Dean Baquet’s leaked comments during a staff meeting, the headlines will fade, the commentators will stop talking, and the Times will follow through on its plan to paint the president as a vile racist, now that the Russian collusion narrative has failed to oust him from office. Although atrociously unprofessional, this seems to be par for the course in today’s media.

ADVERTISEMENT

Some things, however, are simply unacceptable. In the days that the Times’s editorial board spent preparing an entire column to lecture the president, they neglected to see the real problem standing right in front of them — more likely next to them, actually. Quite possibly in the same room.

Tom Wright-Piersanti is a journalist at the Times, serving as an editor on the political desk. He’s also the author of a litany of racist and anti-Semitic tweets uncovered last week. Most notable among them was his tweet to ring in the new year in 2010:

“I was going to say ‘Crappy Jew Year,’ but one of my resolutions is to be less anti-Semitic. So … HAPPY Jew Year. You Jews.”

As of today, he still has his job.

Let that sink in for a second.

ADVERTISEMENT

I imagine in the interview process for a position at the Times, he was vetted for past public writings such as these. Apparently the “Gray Lady” missed this, along with a litany of other racist and anti-Semitic diatribes uncovered here. He was hired. He was promoted. He was even allowed to reach the level of an editor of a major desk, all while being an admitted anti-Semite.

And still, not one person in the Times organization, let alone the editorial board that assailed the president for what they see as similar behavior, seems to care that this hateful ideology permeates their organizational structure. They release a public statement, the “journalist” locks his Twitter feed, and then everyone waits for the coverage to blow over.

Can you imagine, just for one second, if this were a conservative organization’s employee who wrote these hateful words while mockingly promising to be less anti-Semitic? He would be dragged through the headlines, fired from his position, and unable to take a role at any respectable publication ever again — and rightly so. But at the Times, and on the left more generally, as long as you’re on the team dedicated to the destruction of this president and everything he’s accomplished, you’re allowed to play by a different set of rules.

To see how true this is, look no further than when Candace Owens, an African American conservative activist, spoke in front of the House Judiciary Committee at a hearing on white nationalism. Rep. Ted LieuTed W. LieuTestimony from GOP diplomat complicates Trump defense Lawmakers, social media users praise photo of Pelosi confronting Trump Democrats eye Pompeo testimony MORE (D-Calif.) played, out of context, a partial recording of Owens discussing the differences between nationalism and globalism, in order to paint her as a supporter of Adolf Hitler. Mind you, this is the same Ted Lieu who tweeted that Ambassador David Friedman, our ambassador to Israel, should remember that his “allegiance should be to America, not to a foreign power.” Was he censured? Was there any recourse for his behavior? Of course not — he’s on the right team.

President Trump has a Jewish son-in-law, a Jewish daughter, and several Jewish grandchildren. The thought that President Trump hates his own family is absurd. Whoever tries to paint these narratives is either intentionally dishonest or entirely stupid. Trump's record on Israel and support of its right to defend itself from hostile neighbors is unprecedented for any U.S. president. But still, day after day, we see top voices at the New York Times and other major publications in this country trying to paint the president of the United States as a vile anti-Semite.

Journalism, as we once knew it, is dead. The days of Walter Cronkite presenting the facts and asking the viewers to think for themselves are over. And standing over its grave is the once great publication, the New York Times, that in a generation went from “All the News That’s Fit to Print” to “All the News that Fits.”

Ironically, Jonathan Weisman, also a reporter for the Times, faced ire after tweeting that Reps. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarSanders seeks spark from Ocasio-Cortez at Queens rally Biden endorsed by former Connecticut senator, 51 Massachusetts leaders Omar calls Trump hosting G-7 at Doral 'disturbing' MORE (D-Minn.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibSanders seeks spark from Ocasio-Cortez at Queens rally Biden endorsed by former Connecticut senator, 51 Massachusetts leaders Ocasio-Cortez mourns Cummings: 'A devastating loss for our country' MORE (D-Mich.), avid peddlers of anti-Semitic talking points themselves, aren’t truly “from the Midwest” — a very poorly worded way of saying the two representatives are demographically different from the target demographic of influence in the next election that lives throughout the states of Minnesota, Michigan and the like.

Unlike Wright-Piersanti, he was immediately demoted. Also, unlike Wright-Piersanti, he’s Jewish.

The double standards, not only against this president and conservative individuals but also against their own reporters, need to come to an end. The future of the paper, and journalism in this country more generally, may very well depend on it.

Corey R. Lewandowski is President Trump’s former campaign manager. He is a senior adviser to the Great America Committee, Vice President Mike Pence's political action committee. He is co-author with David Bossie of the new book, “Trump’s Enemies,” and of “Let Trump Be Trump: The Inside Story of His Rise to the Presidency.” Follow him on Twitter @CLewandowski_.