The New York Times has declared war on Donald Trump and his administration.
Now, I believe, as did the Founders, that a free and honest press is not just a nice thing to have, but a prerequisite to a vital, healthy, free republic. That, in fact, is the problem. The Times, along with a number of other powerful newspapers and media entities, has/have become so extremely, brazenly biased, that they appear willing to stoop to any level to bring down a president and his administration, thereby deliberately causing the very news they are “covering.” Moreover, this weaponization of a “newspaper” is in direct contravention of the expressed wishes of a very significant portion of the citizens of a democratic republic, as well as the founding ideals of the nation. It also inevitably causes some push-back from the few objective or right-leaning media outlets, leading to everything being politicized and to a disturbing coarseness of communication and conduct, as well as a general weariness- a weariness that those attacking Trump and traditional American values use to their advantage.
It has recently come to light that some sources believe that the Times will soon launch a special investigative unit solely focused on discovering and exposing any potential conflicts of interest among Trump, his family and their business ties, as well as the financial dealings of everyone in his administration. Why didn’t the paper launch a special investigative unit solely focused on exposing conflicts of interest in the Clinton Foundation?
The top shareholder of the Times is Carlos Slim, who is often considered to be the richest man in the world, with a Forbes-estimated net worth of…wait for it…$79.6 billion. His NYT shares are valued at approximately $340 million, a figure that seems to have exempted him from getting negative coverage in his own paper, despite its otherwise skeptical approach to wealthy businessmen. What’s more, he derives the vast majority of his fabulous wealth from his ownership of Mexican telecom colossus América Móvil, which in turn has benefitted from industry cronyism in its home country. Even more fortuitously, the company has benefitted from the largess of a U.S. welfare program that gave out “Obama phones.” TracFone, a U.S. subsidiary of América Móvil, was one of the largest suppliers of the free phones handed out by Uncle Sam.
Sadly, the erstwhile “newspaper of record” is now the newspaper of discord, eschewing “All the news that’s fit to print” for “All the news misfits can print.” The New York Times, and everyone employed by it, from Mr. Slim to the lowliest intern, should themselves be the targets of a massive investigation. Anything less, and there should be protests in the streets. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, right? Who holds Arthur Sulzberger, Jr.’s, Paul Krugman’s, or Maureen Dowd’s feet to the fire? Who speaks truth to Thomas Friedman, Frank Bruni or Nicholas Kristof?
If it’s war they want, war they should have. It is time for the Gray Lady to be taken down.