His Girl Friday, But At The New York Times

There is a wiki level amount of coverage currently of the so called “Fourth Estate”. It seems so trite and antiquated now.

How will an honest press deal with an aberrant malefactor writ large like Donald J. Trump?

It is no longer a test question, it is reality. Do you continue to showcase the malefactors on the supposedly great “Sunday Shows” like ABC, CNN, NBC et. al. did last Sunday? Or do you do a bit of actual courage and work off of the journalism you claim to sit on?

Hey there Chuck Todd, Jake Tapper, George Stephanopoulos and John Dickerson, and others, sooner or later, even the Salena Zito deplorables you have cultivated to the disgrace of this nation, will catch on to your crap.

What will you do then Maggie Haberman, Peter Baker and the New York Times access squad? Hopefully it will not be too late.

21 replies
  1. Ben burn says:

    Vice News has impact through uncovered, ancillary subjects fleshing out his negative impact on culture but indirectly, hardly mentioning the President*

  2. Trip says:

    You left out Cuoma, who almost exclusively has Trump mouth pieces on to repeat propaganda ad nauseam.

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    MSNBC is marginally better, but CNN is often pathetic.  Their guest list is replete with obvious spokesidiots for Trump, who predictably stick to repeating infuriating talking points.  That’s not a debate, it’s stand-up.  It’s what they are hired to provide.  Why would CNN choose them?  Viewers learn nothing but how to turn off.  It’s as if CNN prides itself on deadening the minds of its viewers.  Chuck and Jake do rank high on my list of malefactors in this regard.

    • Desider says:

      Daily Beast let Erik Prince smugly accuse yhe mainstream media of getting it wrong rather than him lying, committing perjury, colluding et al, and then treated him like an elder statesman rather than a discredited bloodstained mercenary, with him waxing poetic and deviously current events. The disease is everywhere.

  4. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Maggie, have you asked your intimates at the White House where the little girls are?  Ms. Nielsen seems to have no information about them, she has not seen that “image”.

    Note to Ms. Nielsen:  Your boss’s predilection for image-only information aside, little girls are not images.  They are not photos of East European models that might pique Mr. Trump’s interest, should he find himself in need of another wife.  They are vulnerable children.

    As the head of one of the largest and most lavishly funded agencies in the United States, although one net yet subject to congressional oversight, your public employers demand a tad more information and a bit more sincerity than does Mr. Trump.  Do a better job, please, or relieve us by resigning.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Cowards afraid of losing their access.

      As I read it, a NYT reporter recorded Miller – On The Record – and published quotes from it.  When the WH heard – how, I wonder – that the NYT intended to use a portion of that Miller interview in a podcast, the WH demanded it not do so.  Maybe Miller has a squeaky voice or the WH was just fucking with the NYT.  The NYT decided that the terms of the interview were “unclear” and acquiesced.

      Not much of a fig leaf the Times crafted for itself.  The price of access journalism is that the junkie will do anything to maintain its supply.

      • Bob Conyers says:

        One of the things that drives me crazy about the NY Times version of access journalism is that they fool themselves into thinking there’s a need for them to practice it.

        They’re the NY Times. They have vastly more ability to call the shots than they admit. If they quit smoking on the pipe, they would lose a few scoops here and there, but by and large they would mostly be giving up dull, uninteresting stuff. It’s a rare scoop that lasts more than an hour these days anyways.

        In return for walking away from relentless currying of favor, they’d be in a better position to call the shots when someone approached with a specific story to sell. And there will never be an end to the people who come calling to the NY Times. But instead the end up giving in to stupid demands from people like Miller because they can never say no.

  5. Ben burn says:

    The 4th Estate devolved as a direct result of capitalist profitoligy legends.

    Cronkite/Paley successfully convinced bean counters that NEWS should have separation of powers privilege.   It should be autonomous from budgets requiring that division to be profitable like Public Service Announcements.   It remained so until greedheads eliminated their exemption in the early 70s.  Since then we’ve seen its precipitous decline until talking heads is all we have.



  6. GKJames says:

    Hasn’t big-press journalism, by and large, always been accountability-free? Access to power doesn’t play well with robust coverage. If someone squawks? Hey, we’re just reporting what he said. It’s not our job to make judgments; that’s for our readers/viewers customers, the very same people who drive our decisions on what we cover. We’re just giving them what they want. It’s a sweet, lucrative gig if you can get it. First Amendment and Fourth Estate notions enter these people’s heads only when there’s a direct tangible impact on them.

  7. Don Pasqueda says:

    NPR showing us what ALT-Center means with this title: “What We Know: Family Separation And ‘Zero Tolerance’ At The Border.”


    I especially like their daring ‘Zero Tolerance’ in quotes, as if their he/she said formulation of dueling catch phrases (or corporate policies) can actually avoid discussion of “the law,” like treaties, conventions on human rights, etc. Are children and families being subjected to ‘enhanced interrogation’ too, NPR? Just wondering…

    Now back to our regular pablum, already in progress.

    • Bob Conyers says:

      NPR is a disgrace. Absolute disaster.

      For me, the decision not to use the word “lie” distilled what is wrong with the organization. Michael Oreskes, their News Chief, decreed that without being able to look into Trump’s heart, it was impossible to know if he had lied.

      Never mind that any intro to formal logic class shows this is wrong – when someone says two mutually exclusive statements, one of them is a lie, even if you don’t know which one. As a practical matter, there is no way Trump can be sane and say things he does – unless NPR wants to claim Trump is insane, they must talk about his lies.

      But of course, NPR refuses. And Oreskes’s role is telling, because not long after his ruling, he was forced out for a series of harrasment incidents. Incidents which his management knew about, but instead of seriously addressing, punted down the road until NPR staff finally revolted. Top management, such as CEO Jarl Mohn, remains in place today.

      I think the squeamishness toward truth and lies at the organization is something that perfectly encapsulates a place with a rotten attitude toward harrassment. How, they wonder, can we know the truth? And how, they clearly feel, can we really know what harrassment is?

      The editorial position at NPR is informed by the same double standards and dissembling at Oreskes’s old employer, the NY Times. Give literal Nazis the benefit of the doubt, always amplify any hypocrisy and weakness on the left, create false equivalencies, and stick to the same tried and true narratives about liberals instead of actual analysis, while letting the right stonewall you. That, in he world of NPR, is balance, as long as you do it in the voices of aging college grads.

      • orionATL says:

        the corporation for public roadcasting. npr, and public television have been under republican budget attacks for years. now trump wants to privatize cpb, et al. obviously this would destroy it.

        the attacks on cpb, which have gone on for years are, are in the widest sense, part of the same strategy as voter suppression – insure that a republican minority of voters continues to occupy power and meet corporate demands for lower regulation and taxes for yesrs into the future despite a steadily declining voter base.

        more specifically, the attack on cpb is part of strategy over the years that led republicans to attack and discredit trial lawyers, acorn, progressive, anti-racist southern politicians like don seigelman and roy Barnes, and to seducec single-issue american jewish zionists and fundamentalists as their foot soldiers.

        back to cpb and its organization’s editorial timidity, the cpb has responded to republican pressure just like james comey did – they folded. cpb has responded just like the dept of justice did to trump’s pressure – they folded, or more fairly “moderated and accomodated” different viewpoints.

        this is always a potential danger with any public/government organization from local schools, to cpb, to national health plans, to national decision-making organizations like the supreme court or the federal reserve. they are always open to threat and to manipulation from those not operating without a good heart and without the public interest in mind.

        that is why, just as an example, we have had the insipid judy woodruff on for years, and why gwen ifill started out bold and truthful and ended up tamed. that is partly why drive-time public radio is full of good stories and carefully scripted and onlybcovertly critical news items. but then i’d bet so are the major television news programs cautious, excepting fox news which has a liscence to distort and propagandize because it is a protected republican political property.

  8. gmoke says:

    NYTimes ran an article over the weekend about Republicans and Democrats both opposing Trmp’s family separation, kiddie gulag policy without mentioning the Senate Democrats have all, except maybe Manchin, signed on to a bill to stop it. No Republican Senate has signed on yet.

    Monday night, PBS Newshour did essentially the same thing.

    And these moral morons still don’t know enough NOT to lead with the lie but the accurate facts. Leading with the lie repeats the lie and repeating the lie reinforces the lie. This is Propaganda 101 but our esteemed news organizations continue to do it. George Lakoff suggests a “truth sandwich”: lead with the accurate facts, mention the lie if you absolutely have to, but then end with the accurate facts again. This lets the lie commit suicide. Simple but, somehow, Pulitzer Prize winners are too stupid to figure it out.

    • Dev Null says:

      Manchin signed up yesterday, so it’s 49 Dem senators signed onto DiFi’s bill, and a big fact zero Republican senators. The only Republican who has been reported to have an interest is Mike Coffman in the House.

      Cruz has proposed his own bill – a sham, which should surprise exactly no one – and Трамп promptly shot it down. Cornyn is supposedly working on THE GOP bill for the Senate. I assume that it too will contain provisions that Dems will find unacceptable, because otherwise why not embrace DiFi’s “clean” bill?

      And Politico reports that in a private meeting with GOP senators Трамп lost his temper and yelled at them for failing to fund his beloved wall to the tune of $25B.

      And then there’s “infest” …

      So “both sides do it” …

  9. Dev Null says:

    @Bob Conyers: “Oreskes’s role is telling, because … he was forced out for a series of harrasment incidents. Incidents which his management knew about, but instead of seriously addressing, punted down the road until NPR staff finally revolted.”

    (Sorry, the reply-to-comment button isn’t working for me. Again. Nor is the formatting toolbar present, so I’m limited to unformatted plaintext.)

    I don’t disagree with your points, taken separately, but I think that harassment and editorial integrity are (mostly) disjoint issues. I have a relative who has worked in several highly-regarded overseas humanitarian NGOs … and the stories I hear from this relative are not what you might expect of an ethical humanitarian NGO. One specific example: Oxfam lost its UK funding this year in the aftermath of a sexual abuse scandal in Haiti (see e.g. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-oxfam-aid/oxfam-cuts-operations-after-sex-abuse-scandal-hits-funding-idUSKBN1JB2DX). Oxfam!

    I have the impression that a *lot* of humanitarian NGOs are now scrambling to re-evaluate their harassment policies in the wake of the Oxfam debacle … which suggests that scandals of this sort are unlikely to be unique to Oxfam.

    This is a very prolix way of saying that sexual harassment is so widespread that it probably isn’t predictive of other specific classes of lack of integrity.

    Sure, bash NPR for both, but the causal connection you imply seems to me too far a leap.

    EDIT: OK, so NOW the toolbar shows up. Grrrr.

    • Bob Conyers says:

      That’s a fair counter-opinion. I’d argue that the high incidence of harrassment in workplaces all over is a child of rotten management, and rotten management in the media also begets a shallow interest in truth and analysis.
      Which is to say it’s not a causal relationship, but it is more than coincidental – think siblings rather than parent and child.

      I recognize that there is sometimes a disconnect – there are people who in general are incredibly ethical, but in a particular area (sexual harrassment can be one) have a major problem. But overall I think sexual harrassment is generally driven by larger malignant values regarding power, and those issues regarding power can also spawn horrible attitudes and assumptions in reporters and editors.

      • Rusharuse says:

        . . then there’s testosterone, external genitals, social conditioning. Plus the most basic urge- to replicate one’s genes. I’m not hopefull!

      • Dev Null says:

        @Bob Conyers: I agree with all of this except your 2nd sentence:

        … the high incidence of harrassment in workplaces all over is a child of rotten management,…

        I think it’s more accurate to view harassment as a specific form of management corruption, rather than as a product of management corruption. But perhaps I’m quibbling.

        In any case, yeah, harassment is one class of abuse of power.

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