- NYTimes Shifts from Russiagate to Racism, Insisting Orange Man(Trump) Still Bad
Patting itself on the back for getting the Trump-Russia conspiracy story right (they didn’t), the New York Times decided to pivot to calling the US president a racist, in a staff meeting whose shocking transcript ended up online.
On Thursday, Slate published the partial transcript of a Times “town hall.” It reads as a surreal “struggle session” between the rank-and-file outraged that the paper is not overtly anti-Trump and the management twisting itself into pretzels to argue otherwise, while attempting to argue for the virtue of subtlety.
To say there is no love lost between the Times and President Donald Trump would be an understatement. The Gray Lady had endorsed Hillary Clinton back in 2016 and gave her 90-percent-plus chances of winning, only to struggle with the unthinkable when Trump carried the vote instead.
After what seemed like a moment of introspection, the paper decided to do better – by going all in on the conspiracy theory that Trump “colluded” with Russia! What followed was two years of “bombshell” reports that amounted to nothing, less than nothing, or the wrong thing, over and over again. Yet the paper’s subscriptions rose and it won Pulitzer prizes for such coverage, as executive editor Dean Baquet pointed out at the staff meeting. And then…
“The day Bob Mueller walked off that witness stand… I think that the story changed,” Baquet said. “We’re a little tiny bit flat-footed. I mean, that’s what happens when a story looks a certain way for two years. Right?”
If you think that “tiny bit flat footed” sounds like the mother of all euphemisms for total failure, that’s because it is. Never fear, however, because Baquet has a “vision” for the Times to redeem itself: going forward, it will call Trump a racist!