Whatever else might have once been said about liberal bias at the New York Times, at least you could say that they covered the elites. What else can you say about their wedding announcements section, which, as I think David Brooks once joked, reads more like a mergers and acquisitions page, since the couples spotlighted are invariably ivy league uber-overclass climbers.
But now it seems the Times mission is to provide cover for the elites. Their long story about the Hilaria Baldwin scandal a couple days ago reads like a Babylon Bee parody designed to ward off any criticism of lying about one’s identity on a grand scale. All these puff pieces about her in Spanish language publications? Hilarious Baldwin now says she didn’t see or read any of them. It’s all someone else’s mistake:
Ms. Baldwin is bilingual, and she speaks English with varying degrees of a Spanish accent depending on how happy or upset she is feeling, she said. She didn’t know that ¡Hola! magazine, for which she has twice posed for the cover and which has written some 20 items about her on its English-language website so far this year, repeatedly reported inaccurately that she was a Spaniard because she said she didn’t read articles about herself. She got confused about the word for cucumber because it was one of her first times appearing on live television and she was nervous (“brain fart,” she said). As for the C.A.A. bio, she can only assume the agency used unverified information from the internet to write a sloppy bio. “I rarely at all work with C.A.A. now,” she said. “It was very disappointing.” (A spokeswoman for ¡Hola! declined to comment. A spokesman for C.A.A. declined to comment.)
Hunch: ¡Hola! and CAA declined to comment because they know these claims are outright lies. But to continue:
But all these misconceptions are why she agreed to speak to a reporter for 80 minutes as she cuddled and nursed her infant son. “Today we have an opportunity to clarify for people who have been confused — and have been confused in some ways by people misrepresenting me.”
There follows a series of self-serving bobs, weaves, and ducks worthy of a bantamweight boxer all designed to keep the fundamental lie alive. This is fake news squared.
Read the whole thing if you want maximum amusement. But this example raises a deeper question: why do so many liberals feel compelled to embellish or make up stories about themselves? In addition to racial fakery like Rachel Dolezal, which connects to the diversity ideology of the moment at least, you have the fake war heroism of Richard Blumenthal, Brian Williams, and, most spectacularly of all, John Kerry. (And leave aside Hillary Clinton “landing under fire” in Bosnia, and supposedly being named for the mountaineer Edmund Hillary, even though his fame as a mountaineer didn’t arrive until well after Hillary Rodham was born.)
I suggest there is something about the fundamental nihilism at the heart of modern liberalism—the view that there is no truth, that the “narrative” is the only important thing, that creating your own “reality” is perfectly fine—that compels liberals to lie about themselves. And a newspaper that has employed fabulists as “reporters” (e.g., Jayson Blair, or the recent 12-part podcast series about the ISIS caliphate that turned out to be completely phony) is more than willing to fall into line to defend liberal fakery, when they are not faking it themselves (Janet Cooke, anybody?). Just as liberalism as a political ideology depends on lies (“gender is a social construct” “raising taxes won’t affect the economy”), individual liberals apparently can’t live contented lives without lying about themselves.