New York Times and the Beltway Press Shamed Into Doing Their Jobs

08 Sep 2016

Shaming The New York Times’ and Other Beltway Hacks Into Doing Their Jobs

God bless Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman for consistently having the stones to take on his own newspaper. The New York Times’ political desk has engaged in a decades long campaign to ruin the Clintons, Hillary in particular, offering all manner of disrespectful crud about her that has been repeatedly disproved, though it still remains part of the Conservative and beltway press’ political porn fantasy lexicon.

Mr. Krugman reminds us how the press’ 2000 presidential election narrative painted Al Gore as a dissembling snot while lionizing – and normalizing – George Bush. That didn’t turn out so well for us. Now, Krugman rightly fears the same disaster is happening again as Hillary is daily “Gored” by the mainstream press. He writes:

“True, there aren’t many efforts to pretend that Donald Trump is a paragon of honesty. But it’s hard to escape the impression that he’s being graded on a curve. If he manages to read from a TelePrompter without going off script, he’s being presidential. If he seems to suggest that he wouldn’t round up all 11 million undocumented immigrants right away, he’s moving into the mainstream. And many of his multiple scandals, like what appear to be clear payoffs to state attorneys general to back off investigating Trump University, get remarkably little attention.

Meanwhile, we have the presumption that anything Hillary Clinton does must be corrupt, most spectacularly illustrated by the increasingly bizarre coverage of the Clinton Foundation.

Step back for a moment, and think about what that foundation is about. …Raising large sums for a charity that saves the lives of poor children sounds like a pretty reasonable, virtuous course of action. And the Clinton Foundation is, by all accounts, a big force for good in the world. For example, Charity Watch, an independent watchdog, gives it an “A” rating — better than the American Red Cross.”

So why, with a record of public service dating back forty plus years are media operatives so anxious to write Hillary’s political obituary – and to kill an organization that has helped millions?  As usual, Salon’s Heather Digby Parton rips off the Band-Aid to reveal the festering scab which comprises much of today’s beltway press and punditocracy:

“The main problem for Clinton is that people think she is a congenital liar. When asked what it is she lied about, most people can’t point to anything specific; they just know she’s  dishonest and corrupt. The fact that she’s been dogged by political enemies and investigated by special prosecutors, the media and Congress with unlimited budgets and every possible means of getting to the truth and has been exonerated doesn’t seem to register. Indeed, the fact-checkers all find her to be more honest than virtually anyone in politics while Donald Trump, by contrast, lies more than he tells the truth.

“To understand how this came to be, go back to a column from 1996 in The New York Times by vicious right-wing columnist William Safire who first dubbed her a “congenital liar.” All the crimes that he accused her of committing and lies he insisted that she had told later proved him to be the liar (or badly misinformed), but it didn’t matter. For many reasons, not the least of which was simple sexism, it was set in stone that this feminist, lawyer first lady was devious, calculating and power mad — Madame Defarge and Evita rolled into one. The political press has filtered its coverage of her through that lens ever since.”

I wrote a book about the horrid media treatment Hillary received in her ’08 Presidential run thinking that by exposing such bias, it would never happen again. Sadly, 2016 hasn’t proven any better.  Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald has been one of the lonely few to provide in depth research, debunking media’s blood-lust for Hillary’s head. A tweet-storm follows:

So, framed against Trump who is actually guilty of corruption, Clinton gets the blame and 10 times more scrutiny.  And by the way, no matter how smart or prepared her policy offerings, at every outing, she’s still told by knuckle-draggers like RNC head Reince Priebus to “smile.”

Hillary’s beltway news coverage is so bad that an organization dubbed Wise Women for Clinton penned an open letter to the New York Times demanding they do better.  They call out NYT’s demeaning characterizations of Hillary as well as their well-worn tactic of “stealth editing,” slyly correcting ill-researched stories days after their smears have been broadcast – having done the desired damage to her reputation.  No apology is ever forthcoming.

I encourage you to read their letter. It is an accurate outside counterpoint to Mr. Krugman’s condemnations of his own paper along with beltway press minions who repeat every Right Wing conspiracy theory, “questioning” Hillary Clinton’s character while never providing a smoking gun. Dragging her name through the mud to make it synonymous with controversy seems to be the endgame.

Given how terrifying a Trump presidency would surely be, one can only assume an overpaid, incestuous, elitist D.C. press feels protected enough behind their own fences to allow the country to go to hell without the solid leadership Hillary Clinton is prepared to provide.

Voters have no such luxury.

Krugman closes by imploring his media cohorts – and us:

“[F]ocus on the facts. America and the world can’t afford another election tipped by innuendo.”

But will they? As a result of Krugman’s words and the excellent work of MSNBC’s Joy Reid, Eichenwald and select others, a few journalists are attempting to vet Trump. A lot more pressure will need to be applied between now and election day if we are to move the needle. But since the corporate masters of Chuck Todd, Andrea Mitchell, Joe Scarborough, Brit Hume et al have too much invested in maintaining their older white male power structure to care — a woman is not welcome to apply for Commander in Chief — it’s going to be up to the voters to tune these hacks out.

Don’t allow them to talk us out of the facts we know we know as we keep calm, carry on and get out the VOTE.

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Comments

  1. Great- as usual. Where’s the share button?

  2. It is hopeless…

  3. Anne Harris Says: September 10, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    Thank you! As a member of WWFC (and a signer of our letter), I appreciate so much your rational take on all of this.

  4. […] Read NYT reporters Maggie Haberman, Amy Chozick or Patrick Healy. What do they have in common? The same set of negative frames and narratives sprinkled throughout the paragraphs of every article they write about her, whether the […]

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