The New York Times Reveals That It Will Move On From Its Three-Year “Trump Stole The Presidency By Colluding With Russia” Strategy For Undermining Him To A “Trump And Republicans Are Racists” Strategy For Defeating Him In 2020

How else can we interpret the opening statement by Times editor Dean Baquet in a recent staff meeting? Someone surreptitiously recorded the 75 minute question and answer session and leaked it to Slate, which put it all online. It begins with this (emphasis mine):

Dean Baquet: If we’re really going to be a transparent newsroom that debates these issues among ourselves and not on Twitter, I figured I should talk to the whole newsroom, and hear from the whole newsroom. We had a couple of significant missteps, and I know you’re concerned about them, and I am, too. But there’s something larger at play here. This is a really hard story, newsrooms haven’t confronted one like this since the 1960s. It got trickier after [inaudible] … went from being a story about whether the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia and obstruction of justice to being a more head-on story about the president’s character. We built our newsroom to cover one story, and we did it truly well. Now we have to regroup, and shift resources and emphasis to take on a different story. I’d love your help with that. As Audra Burch said when I talked to her this weekend, this one is a story about what it means to be an American in 2019. It is a story that requires deep investigation into people who peddle hatred, but it is also a story that requires imaginative use of all our muscles to write about race and class in a deeper way than we have in years. In the coming weeks, we’ll be assigning some new people to politics who can offer different ways of looking at the world. We’ll also ask reporters to write more deeply about the country, race, and other divisions. I really want your help in navigating this story.

But I also want to [inaudible] this as a forum to say something about who we are and what we stand for. We are an independent news organization, one of the few remaining. And that means there will be stories and journalism of all kinds that will upset our readers and even some of you. I’m not talking about true errors. In those cases, we should listen, own up to them, admit them, show some humility—but not wallow in them—and move on. What I’m saying is that our readers and some of our staff cheer us when we take on Donald Trump, but they jeer at us when we take on Joe Biden. They sometimes want us to pretend that he was not elected president, but he was elected president. And our job is to figure out why, and how, and to hold the administration to account. If you’re independent, that’s what you do. The same newspaper that this week will publish the 1619 Project, the most ambitious examination of the legacy of slavery ever undertaken in [inaudible] newspaper, to try to understand the forces that led to the election of Donald Trump. And that means trying to understand the segment of America that probably does not read us. The same newspaper that can publish a major story on Fox News, and how some of its commentators purvey anti-immigrant conspiracies, also has to talk to people who think immigration may cost them jobs and who oppose abortion on religious grounds. Being independent also means not editing the New York Times for Twitter, which can be unforgiving and toxic. And actually, as Amanda Cox reminds me, doesn’t really represent the left or the right. [inaudible] who care deeply about the Times and who want us to do better, we should listen to those people. But it is also filled with people who flat out don’t like us or who, as Jack Shafer put it, want us to be something we are not going to be.

The transcript is long, and while I recommend reading the whole thing,  not everyone has sock drawers they can neglect. The unavoidable take-away is that the Times and its staff, mirroring the American Left of which it is bulwark, is obsessed with race as well enamored of the tactical advantages race-baiting it confers in the ideological struggle for control over the levers of government power.

Later, there is this revealing exchange:

Staffer: Hello, I have another question about racism. I’m wondering to what extent you think that the fact of racism and white supremacy being sort of the foundation of this country should play into our reporting. Just because it feels to me like it should be a starting point, you know? Like these conversations about what is racist, what isn’t racist. I just feel like racism is in everything. It should be considered in our science reporting, in our culture reporting, in our national reporting. And so, to me, it’s less about the individual instances of racism, and sort of how we’re thinking about racism and white supremacy as the foundation of all of the systems in the country. And I think particularly as we are launching a 1619 Project, I feel like that’s going to open us up to even more criticism from people who are like, “OK, well you’re saying this, and you’re producing this big project about this. But are you guys actually considering this in your daily reporting?”

Baquet: You know, it’s interesting, the argument you just made, to go back to the use of the word racist. I didn’t agree with all of this from Keith Woods, who I know from New Orleans and who’s the ombudsman for NPR. He wrote a piece about why he wouldn’t have used the word racist, and his argument, which is pretty provocative, boils down to this: Pretty much everything is racist. His view is that a huge percentage of American conversation is racist, so why isolate this one comment from Donald Trump? His argument is that he could cite things that people say in their everyday lives that we don’t characterize that way, which is always interesting. You know, I don’t know how to answer that, other than I do think that that race has always played a huge part in the American story.

And I do think that race and understanding of race should be a part of how we cover the American story. Sometimes news organizations sort of forget that in the moment. But of course it should be. I mean, one reason we all signed off on the 1619 Project and made it so ambitious and expansive was to teach our readers to think a little bit more like that. Race in the next year—and I think this is, to be frank, what I would hope you come away from this discussion with—race in the next year is going to be a huge part of the American story. And I mean, race in terms of not only African Americans and their relationship with Donald Trump, but Latinos and immigration. And I think that one of the things I would love to come out of this with is for people to feel very comfortable coming to me and saying, here’s how I would like you to consider telling that story. Because the reason you have a diverse newsroom, to be frank, is so that you can have people pull together to try to tell that story. I think that’s the closest answer I can come.

Still later, the Times Editor says,

Chapter 1 of the story of Donald Trump, not only for our newsroom but, frankly, for our readers, was: Did Donald Trump have untoward relationships with the Russians, and was there obstruction of justice? That was a really hard story, by the way, let’s not forget that. We set ourselves up to cover that story. I’m going to say it. We won two Pulitzer Prizes covering that story. And I think we covered that story better than anybody else. The day Bob Mueller walked off that witness stand, two things happened. Our readers who want Donald Trump to go away suddenly thought, “Holy shit, Bob Mueller is not going to do it.” And Donald Trump got a little emboldened politically, I think. Because, you know, for obvious reasons. And I think that the story changed. A lot of the stuff we’re talking about started to emerge like six or seven weeks ago. We’re a little tiny bit flat-footed. I mean, that’s what happens when a story looks a certain way for two years. Right? I think that we’ve got to change. I mean, the vision for coverage for the next two years is what I talked about earlier: How do we cover a guy who makes these kinds of remarks? How do we cover the world’s reaction to him? How do we do that while continuing to cover his policies? How do we cover America, that’s become so divided by Donald Trump? How do we grapple with all the stuff you all are talking about? How do we write about race in a thoughtful way, something we haven’t done in a large way in a long time? That, to me, is the vision for coverage. You all are going to have to help us shape that vision. But I think that’s what we’re going to have to do for the rest of the next two years….

Observations:

  • Funny, I thought what news organizations were supposed to do was to report events without characterizing them according to their own biases and agendas.
  • How can anyone expect an objective analysis from reporters who believe that “everything” is about race? Why would a news organization employ someone so obsessed?
  • These statements could sustain a scholarly treatise on confirmation bias.
  • “We won two Pulitzer Prizes…” One partisan biased organization honored another. Whoopie.
  • The Times editor basically endorses Hillary Clinton’s belief that deplorables elected President Trump.
  • “I mean, one reason we all signed off on the 1619 Project and made it so ambitious and expansive was to teach our readers to think a little bit more like that.” What’s the word for trying to make your readers think a particular way? It’s right on the tip of my tongue…begins with “i,” I think.
  • The Times editor really thinks that he has a diverse newsroom.
  • I suspect  Baquet also thinks that the President is the one dividing the nation. That is a completely counter-factual position. I think I have to add it to my Big Lie list.
  • The journalism ethics answer to the question, “How do we cover a guy who makes these kinds of remarks?” is “Exactly the same way we would cover anyone else: objectively, fairly and factually.”
  • Althouse, who I see also linked to the Slate coverage, got some excellent comments…

—“Yes, the problem is clearly that Donald Trump doesn’t get called a racist *enough*.”

—“Now the left will call us racist while they do their best to divide the country by race. Dem candidates have been doing it since Obama. Now it is worse than ever. Forcing tribes is how they got Trump. Now they’re trying to cow enough so he doesn’t get the vote. Personally, I like indoor plumbing and democracy. White privilege things.”

—“Does the DNC have to declare this in-kind contribution?”

— “Also interesting that “covering a story” is the standard NYT euphemism for ‘promoting a line of propaganda’.”

—-“My sister the commie, who wouldn’t move to Florida on account of all the Republicans, said to me that is has become clear to her that the newspapers are simply lying about Trump.”

Finally, President Trump, who should not tweet the way he does but who accasionally in his vulgar, meat-axe way cuts through the BS, tweeted,

Is the public aware?

I hope so.

18 thoughts on “The New York Times Reveals That It Will Move On From Its Three-Year “Trump Stole The Presidency By Colluding With Russia” Strategy For Undermining Him To A “Trump And Republicans Are Racists” Strategy For Defeating Him In 2020

  1. I suspect Baquet also thinks that the President is the one dividing the nation. That is a completely counter-factual position. I think I have to add it to my Big Lie list.

    So who is dividing the nation?

    How long have they been doing that?

    • “So who is dividing the nation?”

      I think it interesting to consider a Two America’s theory.

      On one side are those who actually want to revolutionize America in all areas. They see Old America as a flawed entity and they are fighting with all their might to define the New America. This is why the ethnic and race question is always prominent. They desire to import as many non-whites as possible because they discern that America’s problem is rooted in its racial component. After all, the horrifying racism that they identify with the Original (flawed therefore) America is racist because it is white.

      There are two possible strategies: One is to train whites not to be racist. This is a rather complex manoeuvre that involves changing the way whites view themselves, their culture, their achievements, their present and their future. The other is to eliminate whiteness as a category through race-blending.

      It seems to be true that this progressive, New America is also beginning to take on the look and feel of a (somewhat) revolutionary social movement geared toward socialism-processes. This fits in with a great deal of the rhetoric of the revolutionary Sixties. It was there that the New America was conceived and the plan of achieving it laid-out. It is wise to at least consider that the chief architect of this New America is found in the ideology of a person like MLK. It is steeped in or presented through Christianism and yet, in truth, it is revolutionary Marxian doctrine at its core. It has evangelical flavor and power and in this way — absent of typical pietism — feeds a social movement of people seeking revolutionary outcomes and *transformations*.

      The other America is a quite a bit harder to define. One part of that America — mostly toward the center and away from urban concentrations — that does not have to face the conflict or disillusionment that arises when facing ‘displacement’ or ‘dispossession’ only responds abstractly to the issues of race- and ethnic-conflict. These are the ‘classic Americans’.

      The other pole(s) of another America is in whites within urban centers, or in other areas, where excessive other-populations have been brought in. These whites do deal with ‘displacement’.

      I have noticed that some of the people who talk most about ‘white nationalism’ are people who grew up in removed enclaves most of their life. Take Greg Johnson as an example. The other group are those who have lived in close proximity to a) our own domestic populations of POC or b) of foreign influxes and have grown to dislike those ‘other people’.

      This is a simple schemata of course but not inaccurate. Or it is a place to start in order to categorize the present. One must begin to see that the POC / Progressive Movement (what other term should be used?) are only acting out of their sense of proper principles. The ‘America’ they envision cannot be seen as nor be said to be ‘bad’.

      But what of those who desire to define and defend an America that can only be described as ‘more former’? Or who resist ‘where things are going’? This is where things get sticky because the New Americans describe what the Former Americans did and do and desire as largely ‘bad’.

      One because they are the cause of all that the New America has suffered under (so to speak), and two because they are not ‘getting with the program’.

      It is not in my view ‘who is dividing the nation’ that is the real question. But rather what specific policies, especially in respect to ethnicity, have been developed, encouraged, taught, and therefore come to be accepted as good, necessary, inevitable, and ‘the way of the future’.

      All the rhetorical and emotional power available to those who work for the New America must now be brought out in full force. This will take shape both through *idea* and discourse (in some sense) but I submit that it is really something that takes place somatically, in the body.

      The best way to illustrate this is with a visual example.

  2. “I suspect Baquet also thinks that the President is the one dividing the nation. That is a completely counter-factual position. I think I have to add it to my Big Lie list.”

    Absolutely! More projection from the left, accusing Trump of the very thing they strive to do daily.
    The left needs to remember that most “tribes” on the right, while generally peaceable and tolerant, are likely better armed and more prepared than the tribes on the left, should push come to shove (or shoot). Their continuing efforts at division can come to no good end.

    • The tribes on the right are better armed, but they will almost certainly go along peaceably with the results of the election, even if it is stolen by outrageous lies and blatant voter fraud.

  3. Theoretically, dividing the nation began with the first appearance of political parties.

    Methods of division have simply been refined. You can thank the marketing geniuses that developed the notion of market segmentation and the development of computer data analysis for the exacerbation of the divisions.

    But, for all the tools available to slice, dice, and make jullienne fries out of the American people simply look to those tools to develop their talking points.

    The irony of the big lie that claims Trump is dividing us is that in his us versus them statements it is the U.S. versus non U.S. interests. For the others it is one U.S. interest against another.

    I will leave it to others to figure out who uses the latter.

  4. Dean Baquet is the Times first African American executive editor.

    Therefore, the New York Times editorial staff is diverse.

    Therefore, whatever comes out of the New York Times editorial staff is correct and vastly superior to whatever may have previously come out of the New York Times editorial staff, and it’s also unassailable.

    Quod Erat Demonstrandum.

    Any questions?

    • By the way, let’s not ignore the fact Baquet admitted the entire Russia Collusion story, and its “coverage” by the Times, was northing more than a fabricated attempt to undo the 2016 election.

  5. “that requires IMAGINATIVE USE of all our muscles” (bolds/caps mine)

    In other words…LIE! The NYT is a joke, and not a funny ha-ha one.

    And Dean Baquet, where have I heard that name before?

    Oh yeah, in that hilariously devastating Beat Down provided by former employee Michael Cieply mere days (11/10/2016) after HRC was supposed to have won in a landslide of epic proportions, and as Lefty Inc was gearing up for a non-stop, never-ending, full-throated, freaking out, melt-down.

    Lefty continually forgets, to their eternal peril, that REALITY_BATS_LAST!

    An integrity acknowledging editorial dynamic? The NYT don’t need no such a thing; they’re News Makers…literally!

    To wit: “We were occasionally asked to map a narrative for our various beats a year in advance, square the plan with editors, then generate stories that fit the pre-designated line.”

    And in a Page One meeting, editors hubristically slobbering: “We Set The Agenda For The Country In That Room.”

    Small wonder the red ink hemorrhaging Gray Lady awaits transfer to an Alzheimers unit.

    • And in a Page One meeting, editors hubristically slobbering: “We Set The Agenda For The Country In That Room.”

      “The media’s the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that’s power. Because they control the minds of the masses.” Malcolm X

        • “Has it gotten better, stayed the same, or gotten worse?”

          The media is much, much worse at trying to intentionally manipulate public opinion with propaganda now than it has ever been in my lifetime. Was their bias before, yes, but not completely scrapping real journalism in favor of writing predetermined narratives.

          I really think that some news outlets have shifted from being journalistic news outlets to become PAC’s and should be treated as such.

  6. So essentially The New York Times has become a full blown PAC. They’re using their publication to promote a political agenda and not present unbiased news. They should be required to register as a PAC and all of their sales should be considered in-kind contributions to the political left.

    Also anyone that “contributes” to this PAC should have to register their “donations” as political contributions. I suppose that kind of thing could be applied across the board to any other partisan publications regardless of which side of the aisle they directly and indirectly support.

    I know; that won’t fly.

    • Well, given that very recently we have had lawyers argue that paying off a porn star constitutes a campaign expenditure.

      Maybe similar creative interpretations can be used against the New York Times.

  7. This is why Trump is President. Trump campaigned on “America is a great country and Americans are great people” and he made the Democrats oppose that message. The Democrats have opposed that message for a long time, but Trump made it very apparent. Instead of walking this back, the Democrats have decided (in typical fashion) that the problem isn’t their message, it is that they didn’t force the message enough. When leftist ideology is shown not to work, leftists typically insist they just didn’t try hard enough and throw more money at it (education, Detroit, Chicago, LA, etc). This just makes it worse, but they have to do it because they are not interested in fixing problems, they are interested in spreading their ideology.

    The left has had a consistent message for decades that the West, whites, and especially US whites are uniquely tainted by the sins of the past. All other groups in history have been much better in all ways. In fact, they have been and are sinless and righteous. US whites must repent of their sin. For awhile, US whites agreed. The US gave 620,000 lives in ending slavery. After the Civil Rights movement, the US has spent around $20 trillion to address racism and poverty. It isn’t enough, the public is told. The entire US is based on slavery and racism, we are told (and the NYT is not going to let us forget). The US is hopelessly tainted by the sin of racism and cannot be redeemed. We are told that endless repentance that can never result in forgiveness is what is required. It will and can never end. More and more severe repentance will be required. This is the message the New York Times is selling us in their new campaign. This is the message the flow chart from the South Dakota freshman orientation conveys. It tells the majority of this country “You are unclean”, “You are evil”, “You are unredeemable”, “You are a second-class citizen”, and “You must submit and bow before everyone else to make up for your birth”.

    They Democrats see themselves as Pharisees campaigning among Samaritan, telling the Samaritans that they are unclean because of the actions of their ancestors. The Pharisees feel that they are righteous and justified in requiring continual repentance from the Samaritans, but they will never forgive and healing can never occur. They are appalled that the Samaritans don’t gladly and willingly accept this message, and it merely convinces them more of the fallen nature of the Samaritans, those deplorable people.

    • “It all boils down to this; you can’t fix stupid but you can stand side-by-side with other intelligent people and speak out against the emotional driven lunacy that stupid people are presenting as the only valid truth. If we continue to allow stupid people’s voices to be the only public voices that are being heard the stupid people will continue to think they’re right and they’ll suck in more stupid people into their irrational delusions.”

      Source: Apathy Fertilizes A Breeding Ground For Stupidity

  8. “Trump campaigned on “America is a great country and Americans are great people” and he made the Democrats oppose that message. The Democrats have opposed that message for a long time, but Trump made it very apparent.”

    Donald Trump didn’t create the left’s hate, he revealed it!

    • That was my take during the campaign. I thought it was a brilliant strategy. The press didn’t understand because they are incapable of believing that anyone could actually like the US for any reason.

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