The New York Times’ Smoking Gun Op-Ed

Robert Leonard is the news director for the radio stations KNIA/KRLS. He wrote a jaw-dropping op-ed yesterday, one that only could be written and voluntarily made public by someone completely committed to the idea that the news media should decide what the public thinks, and who should run the government. That the New York Times would publish this unethical, biased and anti-democratic screed is signature significance. If the Times editors had any respect for the nation’s democratic processes or the proper boundaries of journalism, it would have regarded the column as risible and an embarrassment to its profession. Instead, the Times published Leonard’s piece in the prime left-hand column of its op-ed page.

Let’s begin with the creepy headline: “Want to Get Rid of Trump? Only Fox News Can Do It.”

No, you arrogant jerk, only democratic elections can “do it.” The entire premise of Leonard’s essay, and it is the premise that the mainstream media now believes, though won’t admit, is that journalists have the power and the obligation to take down a government they don’t approve of. That is what it is trying to do, and that is what the Times is trying to do in concert with the rest. If this was not the case, the Times would not allow such an incendiary headline in its paper.

The op-ed begins with a lie, at least a lie by the kinds of standards applied by the Times in assessing what constitutes “lying” by the President:

“President Trump’s administration is in crisis, consumed by fears of what Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russia’s meddling in the election, might find. Everyone’s lawyering up — even the lawyers have lawyers.”

The Trump Administration isn’t in a crisis according to any facts in evidence. It’s a crisis because the news media wants it to be in crisis, and keeps publishing whispers from leakers  trying to undermine the administration as it says so. Everyone is “lawyering up” is a pejorative phrase intended to imply guilt: in a government investigation, anyone likely to be questioned or come under scrutiny gets legal representation, and this partisan hack knows it. Nevertheless, he is making an innuendo suggesting guilt. Nor does he have any justification that the Trump administration is “consumed by fears of what Robert Mueller might find.” That assumes there is something incriminating to find,  a false assumption, and thus a false statement.

Normally, I would stop reading at that point. This is an incompetently cooked stew of partisan, anti-Trump propaganda, not worth my time, written to appeal to the Times’ “resistance” subscribers. I continued however, because I sensed a vivid illustration of how estranged from objectivity, moderation and responsible writing the Times has become.

The op-ed continues…

But here in rural Iowa you might never hear about any of that. What I do hear from my conservative friends — most still ardent Trump supporters — is a collective yawn at the Washington maelstrom. Few care about his tweets — even about Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough and the CNN body slam. The whacking of James Comey? About time. President Obama’s appointee anyway. Mr. Trump’s asking if Mr. Comey could drop the Michael Flynn investigation? It was a simple question, not obstruction of justice. The Comey testimony? Vindication for Mr. Trump! Mr. Comey is a leaker, he lied under oath, and he’s going down. He’ll be lucky if he doesn’t serve prison time.

No, the big stunner in that testimony was Mr. Comey’s statement about former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton — that’s where the real obstruction of justice lies.

This is an amazing passage. In the time honored technique of all those who preach to a pre-biased, uncritical  and friendly crowd, Leanord writes as if the opinions in that pathetic back-water of Iowa are self-evidently deluded and idiotic. The problem is that the tweets mentioned were wrong but trivial, Comey did deserve to be fired–he wasn’t “whacked,’ a cheap gangster allusion—and proved why in his testimony, Trump said that he “hoped” Comey would drop the investigation, and did not ask “if he could”—words matter when you are claiming obstruction. Comey is a leaker, by his own admission. Nevertheless, Leonard implies that these conclusions are on par with believing in Big Foot.

And Comey’s revelation about Lynch was “a stunner,” and both Republicans and Democrats thought so.

The piece continues in this dishonest vein, setting up positions that the author signals are ridiculous in his view—so much so that simply mentioning them is sufficient to prove the low-grade intelligence of anyone foolish enough to be adherents.

For many conservatives, they support Mr. Trump because he’s their de facto leader in a cultural war.

That’s exactly why they support him, and that is very defensible on their part.

Liberals mock Christianity and demean Christian morals.

This is often the case.

Conservatives respect our police and military, while liberals romanticize street thugs.

Leonard’s constant trick is to pair fact with absurd hyperbole as if they are equivalent. Conservatives are in fact more supportive of police and the military. Nobody accuses Democrats of “romanticizing street thugs.” Making every black victim of a police involved shooting by definition a victim of racism and police hatred of minorities? Huh-–I’m sure I’ve heard that accusation somewhere..

Conservatives’ tax dollars help pay for public schools and colleges that indoctrinate liberal values.

Verdict: true. This is objectively demonstrable. It is Leonard who is proving his delusion by denial, and how bias has made  him stupid.

Out here some conservatives aren’t even calling them “public” schools anymore. They call them “government schools,” as in, “We don’t want to pay for your damn ‘government schools.’ ” They’re afraid to send their kids to them.

They should be afraid. Again, the partisan indoctrination in the public schools should not be a matter of debate. Every parent and every citizen should be concerned. But the news media has allied itself with the political forces that see this indoctrination as a virtue

Eventually, we get to this…

“Regardless, my conservative friends should ask themselves, what has President Trump accomplished that a President Mike Pence couldn’t have, without all of the drama? And what matters more: President Trump or their conservative values? Here, I believe it’s the latter. Mr. Trump, after all, was runner-up to Ted Cruz in the Iowa caucuses.”


Why is that a question they should ask themselves, any more than whether Gary Johnson, Mitt Romney, Hillary Clinton,  George Clooney or Kathy Griffin would be a better President? Who cares about the Iowa caucuses? The author, like much of the Democratic Party, still refuses to accept that its candidate lost, and that Donald  Trump is the President for four years at least. In a masterpiece of non-self awareness, Leonard had written earlier, again in his “Can you believe this?” tone,

“A prominent businessman here, for example, views the “whole fake Russian story” as “a coup attempt by the media.”

Can you imagine? What a paranoid nut case! Now on to how we can remove Trump from office…

“I see only one thing that might give my conservative friends pause about turning against Mr. Trump — Fox News. After all, it helped create him. Most people here watch Fox News, and have for a generation…To me, only that network has the power to convince conservatives that, if one or more of the investigations raises the question of impeachment, it’s in the best interest of the party and the conservative agenda to dump Mr. Trump.”

Here is the kind of vile, public-deriding, journalism-abuser  who is running news rooms across the nation. If investigations “raise questions,” then that’s all we need to impeach the President, as in “reverse the vote of the American people.” All that is necessary, he thinks (along with the Times, the Washington Post, CNN, CBS, NPR, ABC, NBC and MSNBC and the majority of his 95% Democratic-voting colleagues) is to convince the public that the Vice-President would be “better,” and that, in this government by pollsters, is sufficient to “dump” a duly elected President.

If Fox News is our firewall against the scenario Leonard envisions and is rooting for, then it has become an unlikely  national treasure and an institutional Ethics Hero. He is advocating that  actual misconduct and high crimes and misdemeanors shouldn’t be required to enable an impeachment, just  distrust and unpopularity, seeded by agenda-driven journalists allied with an opposition party.

Once this occurs even once, our Constitutional democracy is finished. Any President’s election will be subject to being undone by rumor, lies, coordinated attacks, and Soros-funded newsmedia-political activist coalitions. All these self-appointed authorities on what should be will have to do is convince sufficient numbers of citizens that “someone else” would be a better Presdent of the United states, and if the news media turns on him, then someone else. No leader can lead under those circumstances, but then, leaders favored by journalists won’t have to.

Guess what party those leaders will belong to.


Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership, This Helps Explain Why Trump Is President

20 responses to “The New York Times’ Smoking Gun Op-Ed

  1. “This is an amazing passage. In the time honored technique of all those who preach to a pre-biased, uncritical and friendly crowd, Leanord writes as if the opinions in that back-water of Iowa are self-evidently deluded and idiotic. “

    And also couching his own opinions with a tone that they are foregone gone conclusions or settled fact.

    • Was I clear enough how much I loathe this op-ed, and the condescending hack who wrote it? Because It really infuriated me as few things do. Even with its daily Trump attacks, I didn’t think the Times could stoop this low.

      • Steve-O-in-NJ

        After last year’s complete abandonment of objectivity in the name of preventing a Trump presidency, the NYT really didn’t have much lower to sink. They already host Charles Blow, who is the Ahab to Trump’s Moby Dick.

        • Other Bill

          Steve. That’s really, really unfair to Ahab. My theory is that Ahab suffered from a severe case of PTSD. He’d been hunting whales since he was twelve. As a harpooner, to start. Think how talented and skilled he was. He could sail from Nantucket to the western Pacific, around the Horn and find a particular whale in an ocean. An incredible accomplishment. He was just worn out buy the guys who invested in cruises for that era’s petroleum. All they wanted was a return on their investment and didn’t give a damn about their greed’s toll on a genius whaler. It’s a great book and he’s a great character. Let’s not foul Melville’s work with Charles Blow. Please.

      • I gathered there was a modicum of disgust.

        But loathing? I couldn’t tell.

  2. JP

    This is where democracy goes to die on the darkness. The WP would be wise to write a rebuttal. However, I won’t hold my breathe.

  3. Minutes since CNN has last discredited itself: 0

  4. luckyesteeyoreman

    What Robert Leonard wrote in the Times is simply the new normal. It’s a disgusting normal, but then, “disgust” is too easily dismissed as “ick,” and the world is suffering quite an abundance of new normals that used to just be ick. I agree with Leonard’s drift, i.e., that Trump would not have been elected President, had Fox News not covered him as extensively as they did.

    • Uhhh, Fox News is in good company. The Hillary campaign, the DNC, and the MSM conspired to give us Trump, assuming he would be easy to beat.

      • I stand by what I say: No Fox News—>no President Trump.

        • Notice I am not disagreeing with you, lucky. I believe Fox News could not have put him over the top alone: many who voted for him likely would never listen to Fox, but got interested because of the free press a progressive conspiracy gave him.

        • Lets not forget that Trump boycotted a Fox News debate just before the Iowa Caucus. During the primaries, it was CNN and the others who promoted Trump to the detriment of the other Republican candidates. Fox News was relatively even-handed during the primaries and only started to promote Trump when it was clear he would be the nominee.

          • Fox was HARDER on Trump that the other GOP contenders before the nomination. The first Fox debate featured Megyn Kelly calling Trump out for his misogyny, and Charles Krauthammer ridiculing his debate performance.

  5. ““Regardless, my conservative friends should ask themselves, what has President Trump accomplished that a President Mike Pence couldn’t have, without all of the drama?”
    Thank you for pointing it out so well. There is no strategy too low for these people to make in their quest to get rid of Trump. I simply stand in awe of their ability to make cretinously stupid statements that they fondly believe to be completely sensible and justified.

    • Matthew B

      I know the answer to that. Pence could have never made the “resistance” lose its collective mind. Jack’s next story covers how CNN has lost all semblance of sanity and is acting nuts; Pence could have never done that to them.

  6. JRH

    In retrospect, after having lived through it, this has been building since Watergate. Because Nixon chose to resign, rather than go through the impeachment process, the Media, and Democrat Elites have assumed they could “force” a President to resign again. It’s been building since President Reagan, when the Press focused on many of the same things, scandals, Reagan’s mental capabilities, etc. I believe if Nixon had consented to Impeachment & Trial, we might be in a different place. Just my opinion.

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