On January 1st, New York Times publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. handed over the reigns of the newspaper to his son, leaving at least one man hopeful that 2018 could be the beginning of a new, more objective era for the “Gray Lady.”
“The Failing New York Times has a new publisher, A.G. Sulzberger,” Trump tweeted. “Congratulations! Here is a last chance for the Times to fulfill the vision of its founder, Adolph Ochs, ‘to give the news impartially, without fear or FAVOR, regardless of party, sect, or interests involved.’”
Trump went on to give the new publisher a few recommendations. “Get impartial journalists of a much higher standard, lose all of your phony and non-existent ‘sources,’ and treat the President of the United States FAIRLY, so that the next time I (and the people) win, you won’t have to write an apology to your readers for a job poorly done! GL.”
Trump is referring to the infamous message written by the elder Sulzberger and executive editor Dean Banquet a few days after the 2016 election. Of course, upon closer examination (and the benefit of watching the Times decline even further in the year since), you can see that the letter’s “apologetic” nature was overblown at the time. Indeed, it begins with what can only be described as a pat on the back for an election well reported: “When the biggest political story of the year reached a dramatic and unexpected climax late Tuesday night, our newsroom turned on a dime and did what it has done for nearly two years — cover the 2016 election with agility and creativity.”
While the letter does go on to ponder the idea that the Times might have overlooked some factors leading to Trump’s unexpected victory, they don’t even come close to anything resembling an apology:
As we reflect on the momentous result, and the months of reporting and polling that preceded it, we aim to rededicate ourselves to the fundamental mission of Times journalism. That is to report America and the world honestly, without fear or favor, striving always to understand and reflect all political perspectives and life experiences in the stories that we bring to you. It is also to hold power to account, impartially and unflinchingly. You can rely on The New York Times to bring the same fairness, the same level of scrutiny, the same independence to our coverage of the new president and his team.
Is that what readers got in 2017? Impartiality? Unflinching coverage of the new president? Journalism that unfolded without fear or favor? We submit that they did not rise to the standards they set for themselves and are exceedingly unlikely to restore those standards in 2018, new publisher or not. And frankly, it hardly matters. The American people have seen the Times and its likeminded rags for what they are – thinly-disguised shills for the left. They may as well “rededicate” themselves to that mission and drive it all the way to the bank…and then, when people grow tired of reading the lies…into a premature grave.