On Thursday morning, my friend who follows the New York Times’ coverage of the Afghanistan debacle told me that the Times was backing off somewhat from its criticism of Joe Biden’s handling of the pullout. The paper probably saw some hope that the U.S. could pull off a fairly effective evacuation with no loss of American lives.
We all hoped for this. However, the Times presumably intended to declare it a victory for which Biden could claim credit. It would not have been.
But now that our hopes for a peaceful exit have been dashed, Biden seems to be “losing” the Times again. My friend reports:
The Times isn’t covering for Biden today, although they had moved a bit in that direction yesterday. A news analysis by Michael Shear offers little comfort for Biden, despite indulging in a bit of “Republicans pounced” style rhetoric.
Harsh Republican criticisms are quoted, and it’s noted that even some Democrats are unhappy with Biden’s handling of the withdrawal. An article analyzing ISIS K and the general status of terror groups and their rivalries suggests that Afghanistan may soon become an important base for international terrorism.
The Times’ willingness to criticize Biden may be tentative, but it’s making the left unhappy nonetheless. That’s clear from this editorial in the New York Post. The Post cites an article in New York Magazine called “The Media Manufactured Biden’s Political ‘Fiasco’ in Afghanistan. ‘Straight news’ has chosen sanctimony over circumspection.”
As the Post’s editorial suggests, the second sentence fits the contemporary mainstream media to a T. “Straight news” at the New York Times and the Washington Post has been sanctimoniously leftist for decades now.
My friend says of the New York Magazine piece:
It seems mostly to be referring to tweets and pieces from NYT reporters that never make it into the print edition, but the point applies to the print stuff I’ve been reading as well. This is what the NYT shift we’ve been noticing has done to the left.
The New York Magazine article is dated August 25. Does the author still think the media has “manufactured” the fiasco? Probably. If not, give him and his fellow apologists a day or two.
I hope the New York Times takes longer than that before its usual pro-Biden service is resumed.