Monday, November 14, 2016

The Times is self-flagellating today because of  "The Upshot" self-facial cumshot it suffered.

I get that which is why I've always believed strongly in verbal and physical violence to correct behavior.

But the Times seems to be, I am not quite certain, kicking its own ass over its beat reporters coverage of Trump. That its coverage of Trump was biased or too negative. These are the money shots from the letter to Times readers from its publisher and editor-in-chief:

After such an erratic and unpredictable election there are inevitable questions: Did Donald Trump’s sheer unconventionality lead us and other news outlets to underestimate his support among American voters? What forces and strains in America drove this divisive election and outcome? Most important, how will a president who remains a largely enigmatic figure actually govern when he takes office?
...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.

Yeah, I think they are. "Redicate," "report...without fear or favor."

They were afraid in that election eve editorial, hooo-doggie!

It was justified. We got hit with the eyewall of Hurricane von Clownstick.

Favor: I didn't see much. Let's assume there was since its their favor. That leads into the next quote. Before we get there, I hope the Times isn't conflating their Digital Wizard, Nate Cohn, he of The Upshot, who is an excellent candidate for verbal and physical violence, with their reporters. They're throwing he baby out with the bath water if they do.

One more point en passant: The Times earlier this year kicked its own ass for giving Trump so much free media attention, $2 billion worth of free media; of not being MORE critical of Trump, not doing ENOUGH fact-checking. Okay, now the quote, from a Timesman this past August:

Trump Is Testing the Norms of Objectivity in Journalism

If you’re a working journalist and you believe that Donald J. Trump is a demagogue playing to the nation’s worst racist and nationalistic tendencies, that he cozies up to anti-American dictators and that he would be dangerous with control of the United States nuclear codes, how the heck are you supposed to cover him?

Um. By printing what he says and fact-checking same? Peut etre?

Because if you believe all of those things, you have to throw out the textbook American journalism has been using for the better part of the past half-century, if not longer, and approach it in a way you’ve never approached anything in your career. If you view a Trump presidency as something that’s potentially dangerous, then your reporting is going to reflect that. You would move closer than you’ve ever been to being oppositional. That’s uncomfortable and uncharted territory for every mainstream, nonopinion journalist I’ve ever known, and by normal standards, untenable.

I totally admit that I'm stupid. What is journalistically-text-book-trashing about that? If you're a Times pencil and you hear Trump say, "I don't think Barack Obama was born in America," do you write what he said and not fact-check it?

If you hear Trump, in his announcement speech, categorize Mexican illegal immigrants as, inter alia, "rapists," whaddya like make that "practitioners of involuntary sexual intercourse"?

"Grab them by the pussy, don't even wait"-What do you do with that as a Times pencil, somehow turn that into Lincoln's Second Inaugural?

"If you believe" from listening to his own words that Donald Trump is a dangerous, unqualified, racist, demagogue and sexual predator, should you not be "oppositional"? Don't like alert the nation?

How WOULD The New York Times have had its journalists cover Hitler's rise if it had been The Berlin Times? Sanitize the words? Make pretend Hitler was Mitt Romney without the Mormon underwear?

Trump IS all of those things, you can look him up. The Times reporters didn't write about Trump based on what other "elites" said about Trump, they heard Trump say dangerous, ignorant, racist, demagogic, things. Bet they even listened to Trump's words on that bus tape. Betcha.

The condition precedent to all of the above, however, is this: How can you NOT believe those things about Trump?

And if you cannot, if you listened to Trump a zillion times and listened to your own journalistic heart and concluded that he was a dangerous, ignorant, racist, demagogue, is it being journalistically "objective" to write Trump's words and characterize them as your heart-of-heart directs you to do?

It is.

Would it be journalistically "objective" to sanitize his words so as not to be "oppositional"?

No, it would not.

So, Times, these are the answers to your questions:

1. Yes.
2. Race
3. See Il Duce.