Wednesday, December 06, 2017
My hometown paper drives me crazy.
I read The New York Times because it often has good coverage. The newspaper pays to send reporters to dangerous places all around the world.
This weekend, the Times Magazine did a surprisingly fair profile of Sean Hannity, although they chose photos that make him look evil.
But mostly I read the Times because my neighbors read it, and I need to understand what they think.
Sadly, many think dumb things because most every day the Times runs deceitful, biased stories and headlines that mislead.
Opinion columns have license to do that, but these days, Times' smears extend to "news" stories.
A recent headline said that that President Trump's tweets had "united Britain in outrage." Wow. Really? The whole country?
Only if you read the entire story would you learn that the outraged people include "the opposition Labour party," "several" Conservatives and comedian John Cleese.
That's a whole country "united in Trump outrage"? Please.
Another headline said ending President Obama's net neutrality bureaucracy would be "hastening the Internet's death."
Ridiculous. I understand that many statists like the regulation, but all the net neutrality repeal really will do is restore some of the permissionless innovation that allowed the internet to blossom in the first place.
Yet the continuation of the Times story carried the headline "So long to the internet."
Give me a break. That's just irresponsible scaremongering.
Now that the Republicans' tax bill passed the House and Senate, some legislators say they will try to reform entitlements.
Yes! Finally! This is a responsible thing to do. But Times reporters hate Republicans so much that they twisted this new effort at reform into a headline that said: "Next objective -- cut the safety net."
That is just a smear.
Billions in entitlement dollars go to relatively rich people. The Times once applauded entitlement reform. But if Republicans support it, then it's bad. Apparently, Republicans' "objective" is not delaying America's bankruptcy; it's "cutting the safety net."
No wonder President Trump keeps shouting, "Fake news!"
But Trump gets plenty wrong, too. He often talks about "the failing New York Times."
But the Times isn't failing. In fact, they gained readers since he was elected -- 300,000 new subscriptions last quarter.
The Times also makes money selling ads. I find it funny that so much of that money comes from glitzy ads directed at the rich people who Times reporters constantly criticize. The newspaper's magazines are filled with expensive ads for lavish apartments, $2,000 purses and dubious beauty treatments that many people could never afford.
This weekend's fluff included a worshipful feature on Jay-Z by Times' executive editor Dean Baquet. Baquet didn't criticize the rapper for living in an $80 million mansion but instead asked him penetrating questions like, "Would you rather be a trend? Or Ralph Lauren?"
But this week's most disgusting feature was a nearly full-page "Style" section profile of black-clad antifa thugs. The Times made them sound fashionable and fun as they punch people who aren't looking for any physical fight, just spouting their beliefs.
The headline: "What to Wear to Smash the State."
The Times explained what a stylish vandal wears: "Black work or military boots, pants, balaclavas or ski masks, gloves and jackets, North Face brand ... makes it easier for saboteurs to take the offensive against storefronts..."
Gee, thanks, New York Times. I doubt that you'd be so enthusiastic about property destruction if the "saboteurs ... take the offensive against" your storefront.
Fortunately, Times readership is relatively small -- probably less than 1 percent of Americans. Unfortunately, that readership matters because many of those readers work for other media, so what the Times prints gets imitated.
Sometimes that's good. Much of what's in the "paper of record" is important and fact-checked.
Unfortunately, much of it is mean-spirited and absurdly biased.
I'll keep reading it, hoping to separate the good from the bad.
John Stossel is author of "No They Can't! Why Government Fails -- But Individuals Succeed." For other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit www.creators.com.
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