Since last summer, Donald Trump and the New York Times have been on completely opposite trajectories. At this time last year, Trump was a long shot to upset Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. Meanwhile, the New York Times was still one of America’s most trusted journalistic sources. Boy… times have changed.
Just as fast as Donald Trump rose to the White House, the New York Times has crumbled into nothing more than tabloid gossip. The fate of the once reputable paper has been a public spectacle, often labeled by Trump as the “failing New York Times.”
The demise of the Times can be traced back to their coverage of the 2016 election. As the campaign approached November, the Times made the conscious decision to abandon unbiased reporting in an attempt to push Clinton to victory. Not only was that effort a failure, but it cost the paper the trust of millions of Americans in the process.
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Despite promises to improve its reporting, the paper has only gotten worse since Trump took office in January. Like CNN, the Times grabbed the low-hanging fruit that was the Russia “collusion” conspiracy theory. Too often relying on anonymous sources, the Times has been consistently forced to retract key parts of their reporting. It’s become so bad, the paper was even called out by the New England Patriots for misleading the public.
If you think things couldn’t possibly get worse for the paper, you’d be mistaken. A few days ago, the Times ran a story so bad, even liberal media sources were attacking their credibility. Amid the firestorm, the Times was forced to make a correction to the story. However, the damage was already done.
From the Washington Post:
That correction, which sits at the foot of the story, dutifully straightens out the record. Yet given the magnitude of the screw-up, it should sit atop the story, surrounded by red flashing lights and perhaps an audio track to instruct readers: Warning: This story once peddled a faulty and damaging premise.
That premise suggests that the Trump administration is stifling a damaging draft report — part of the congressionally mandated National Climate Assessment — with dire warnings about climate change. “The average temperature in the United States has risen rapidly and drastically since 1980, and recent decades have been the warmest of the past 1,500 years, according to a sweeping federal climate change report awaiting approval by the Trump administration,” noted the lead of the article, which was written by Lisa Friedman.
Of course, that narrative was nothing but a bold-faced lie. In fact, the climate report had been public since January:
Though it may be the case that certain scientists maintain such fears, that’s a pretty tough position in light of the fact that the report “was uploaded by the nonprofit Internet Archive in January” and publicized by the New York Times in August.
The article was blasted by the Trump administration:
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders blasted away in a statement: “It’s very disappointing, yet entirely predictable to learn The New York Times would write off a draft report without first verifying its contents with the White House or any of the federal agencies directly involved with climate and environmental policy. As others have pointed out – and The New York Times should have noticed – drafts of this report have been published and made widely available online months ago during the public comment period. The White House will withhold comment on any draft report before its scheduled release date.”
Despite the fact that the paper is experiencing financial difficulties, forcing them to lay off staff, they continue to double down on the fake news tactics. It appears Trump was right: the once proud paper really if failing. Clearly, they only have themselves to blame.[Note: This post was authored by Michael Lee. Follow him on Twitter @UAMichaelLee]