How far left has the New York Times lurched?
Far enough to publish this editorial in today’s edition.
Here are the first paragraphs – in rust, with my comments in blue.
The revelation that Donald Trump’s son, son-in-law and campaign manager met with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer promising information that would “incriminate” Hillary Clinton was a true bombshell in an era when we have become almost inured to them. Here was proof that members of Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign had, at the very least, been eager to collude with Russia to influence the 2016 election. This is both tiresome and dishonest. Meeting with someone to get information about a political opponent – even a (gasp!) Russian national – is not collusion. It is getting information. Collusion is when you and the Russian national join forces in some kind of operation against your opponent. You know, like what the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s people did with Ukrainian government officials. Your obsession with a meeting that Donald Trump Jr. had with a Russian woman who had no official government capacity, while simultaneously ignoring the very real, very intense collusion between Clinton, the DNC and Ukrainian officials, takes you from being a news venue with an honest opinion to paid propagandists for Hillary Clinton and Democrats. It is pathetic.
No one could gainsay the facts: Mr. Trump’s own son published them on Twitter. And what were those facts? That he had a brief meeting which provided nothing of value? Wow and double wow.
As recently as five or 10 years ago, every major news outlet would have treated this set of facts as front-page news and a dire threat to Mr. Trump’s presidency. No, no, NO. Every major news outlet would have put it in the “and in other news” category, because it was nothing with nothing. The conservative press and Republican voters might disagree on certain particulars or points of emphasis. But their view of reality — of what happened and its significance — would have largely comported with that of the mainstream. This is a left wing fantasy. Your editorial might as well have been written by George Soros or those nice, “neutral folks at moveon.org he supports. You’d have had to travel to the political fringe of right-wing talk radio, the Drudge Report and dissident publications like Breitbart News to find an alternative viewpoint that rejected this basic story line. Yeah, OK. We get it. And what would they have done with the Ukrainian story? The one you are moving heaven and earth to bury, you hypocritical frauds?
Not anymore. Look to the right now and you’re apt to find an alternative reality in which the same set of facts is rearranged to compose an entirely different narrative. Wrong again. The “narrative” – that a politically unsophisticated son of a candidate had a short meeting with someone who, certainly for the optics, he should not have met with – remains the exact narrative. No need to change it because it’s a big fat nothing. On Fox News, host Lou Dobbs offered a representative example on Thursday night, when he described the Donald Trump Jr. email story, with wild-eyed fervor, like this: “This is about a full-on assault by the left, the Democratic Party, to absolutely carry out a coup d’état against President Trump aided by the left-wing media.” Dobbs had it 100% correct. And you are one of the left’s leading spokespeople.
Mr. Dobbs isn’t some wacky outlier, but rather an example of how over the last several years the conservative underworld has swallowed up and subsumed more established right-leaning outlets such as Fox News. The Breitbart mind-set — pugnacious, besieged, paranoid and determined to impose its own framework on current events regardless of facts — has moved from the right-wing fringe to the center of Republican politics. Translation: you don’t own the news anymore, other voices are being heard, and you are angry, bitter, resentful…and maybe scared excrementless about it.
There is more, and you can read it all by clicking on the link I’ve provided. But I think you get the idea.
That is the editorial quality of today’s New York Times.
The best thing about it is that I still enjoy doing the crossword puzzle.