The back story is what happened to Tom Wright-Piersanti, a senior political editor (!) at the New York Times. It came to light a few days ago that he has a history of grossly anti-Semitic and racist tweets, most notoriously this one:
I was going to say ‘Crappy Jew Year,’ but one of my resolutions is to be less anti-Semitic. So … HAPPY Jew Year. You Jews.
The timing is unfortunate for the Times, as it fits with a growing perception that the paper has a serious anti-Semitism problem. The Times demoted, but did not fire, Wright-Piersanti. Other prominent liberal news outlets have experienced similar problems, including CNN, whose employee Mohammed Elshamy resigned over various anti-Semitic tweets, including “More than 4 jewish pigs killed in #Jerusalem today by the Palestinian bomb explode.” Written like a true journalist.
Elshamy played the victim card, which the Times is now doing as well. In an article yesterday, the paper headlined: “Trump Allies Target Journalists Over Coverage Deemed Hostile to White House.” “Targeting” journalists means exposing indefensible conduct on their part.
A loose network of conservative operatives allied with the White House is pursuing what they say will be an aggressive operation to discredit news organizations deemed hostile to President Trump by publicizing damaging information about journalists.
It is the latest step in a long-running effort by Mr. Trump and his allies to undercut the influence of legitimate news reporting.
Legitimate news reporting like “Crappy Jew Year” and “4 jewish pigs,” apparently. And the Times’s top newsman, Executive Editor Dean Baquet, is on record telling his staff that after two years of trying to destroy President Trump with the Russia collusion hoax, the paper will now admit defeat on that front and switch over to constantly accusing Trump of being a racist, in its ongoing attempt to destroy his administration. This is “legitimate news reporting”?
Four people familiar with the operation described how it works, asserting that it has compiled dossiers of potentially embarrassing social media posts and other public statements by hundreds of people who work at some of the country’s most prominent news organizations.
The group has already released information about journalists at CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times — three outlets that have aggressively investigated Mr. Trump — in response to reporting or commentary that the White House’s allies consider unfair to Mr. Trump and his team or harmful to his re-election prospects.
No fair! The Times apparently expected President Trump and his supporters to take the paper’s false and vicious attacks on him lying down. Once again, the president has defied the expectations of liberals.
It is not possible to independently assess the claims about the quantity or potential significance of the material the pro-Trump network has assembled. Some involved in the operation have histories of bluster and exaggeration.
The Times’s lack of self-awareness is remarkable.
It is Trump–naturally!–who is responsible for the pickle the Times and other news outlets find themselves in:
The campaign is consistent with Mr. Trump’s long-running effort to delegitimize critical reporting and brand the news media as an “enemy of the people.” The president has relentlessly sought to diminish the credibility of news organizations and cast them as politically motivated opponents.
Journalism, he said in a tweet last week, is “nothing more than an evil propaganda machine for the Democrat Party.”
This is a minor example of how the Times lies and deceives about the president every day, on just about every page. What Trump actually tweeted was:
…..”Journalism” has reached a new low in the history of our Country. It is nothing more than an evil propaganda machine for the Democrat Party. The reporting is so false, biased and evil that it has now become a very sick joke…But the public is aware! #CROOKEDJOURNALISM
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 18, 2019
Trump was denouncing fake “journalism” as practiced by the Times, not real journalism.
Times publisher “Pinch” Sulzberger followed up the paper’s news story with a memo to Times staffers that was thoroughly delusional. It was titled “A note to staff by New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger calling attention to a Times story about a campaign led by President Trump’s allies intended to harass and embarrass individuals affiliated with several leading news organizations.”
Yes, to “harass and embarrass” them by showing that they are self-acknowledged anti-Semites and racists. How unfair can you get?
We published an article today revealing a coordinated campaign by President Trump’s allies to attack hundreds of journalists in retaliation for coverage of the administration. This unprecedented campaign appears designed to harass and embarrass anyone affiliated with independent news organizations that have asked tough questions and brought uncomfortable truths to light.
Uncomfortable truths about Jews, blacks and Indian-Americans. How dare they question the New York Times?
The New York Times, which has distinguished itself with fearless and fair coverage of the president, is one of the main targets of this assault.
Dean Baquet does not even pretend that the paper’s coverage of President Trump has been “fair.” It has been intended to drive him from office and replace him with a Democrat at the earliest opportunity.
Unable to challenge the accuracy of our reporting…
My best guess is that this is NOT intended as a joke.
…political operatives have been scouring social media and other sources to find any possibly embarrassing information on anyone associated with The Times, no matter their rank…
It extends even to lowly senior politics editors!
…role or actual influence on our journalism. Their goal is to silence critics and undermine the public’s faith in independent journalism.
I think, rather, their goal is to undermine the public’s faith in partisan “journalism”–as President Trump put it–that consistently peddles fake news. Although, to be fair, there is scarcely any faith left in rags like the New York Times.