The New York Times recently published a story about the corruption trial of Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J). Ordinarily this would be a good thing, a sign of actual journalism, as most of the rest of the mainstream media skimmed over the story- or completely ignored it- even though this is the first time in at least nine years that a sitting U.S. senator has been put on trial for bribery. (And this is by no means the first hint of scandal that has surrounded the 63-year-old senior senator from the Garden State in his 11-plus years in office). However, in the entirety of the lengthy article, the Paper of Record never mentioned his Democratic Party affiliation.
Must’ve slipped their minds. Easy to forget! No bias here!
The story referred to Menendez as “Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey,” “Mr. Menendez, a senior senator,” “Mr. Menendez,” and “the senator.”
I’m surprised they didn’t also use “famous citizen of the Garden State,” “guy who was born in New York City,” “long-time politician,” “pol,” “Robert,” “Bob,” “mensch,” and “hail-fellow-well-met.”
Let me rewrite the story as it would have appeared in The Times if Mr. Menendez was a conservative Republican:
“Senator Robert Menendez (R-N.J.), the far-right congressman, has been put on trial for bribery…which is no surprise to those who know him. The dumpy, scandal-plagued, scofflaw Republican extremist has been thoroughly purchased by a doctor from Florida. The long-time Republican senator, who has also been rumored to be involved in various scandals in the past, including one of a sexual nature, now faces a staggering 18 counts of fraud and bribery. The staunch Republican divorced his wife in 2005, “coincidentally” just before entering the Senate with its perks and temptations. The bloviating bad-man has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which should be expected of a dishonest, radical, right-wing extremist Republican.”
Nick Corasaniti, the author of the actual New York Times story, tweeted that the omission was simply “an oversight on my part after drafts.” (Now tell us the one about the three bears!). The Times (“The Power of Truth!”) eventually updated the online version of the tale to include Menendez’s party affiliation. In the fourth paragraph. After being abused by many on social media.
If The New York Times had a nose, it would stretch from Manhattan to Miami.
You can’t make this crap up…but it does.
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