New York Times reportedly held pow-wow on narrative shift after ‘Russia collusion’ died

NEW YORK - JULY 23: A New York Times paper rack is seen July 23, 2008 in New York City. The New York broadsheet announced it posted an 82 percent decline in second quarter profits as compared to last year. It also announced it would raise its newsstand price 25 cents to a $1.50. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
(FILE PHOTO by Getty)

The New York Times, a 167-year old news outlet that purports to provide fair and balanced coverage despite its proven track record of pushing left-wing narratives plucked straight from the rants of far-left propagandists, has, it would appear, chosen to finally fully embrace its reputation as a propaganda arm of the Democrat Party.

On Monday the paper’s executive editor, Dean Baquet, held a town hall with his staff. And during that town hall, he essentially admitted that the paper’s core mission is, has been, and will remain to be:  #OrangeManBad.

“We built our newsroom to cover one story, and we did it truly well,” Baquet said, according to a transcript provided by Slate. “Now we have to regroup, and shift resources and emphasis to take on a different story.”

The “one story” that the Times had originally centered its coverage on was the now-debunked Russian collusion delusion conspiracy theory.

“Chapter 1 of the story of Donald Trump, not only for our newsroom but, frankly, for our readers, was: Did Donald Trump have untoward relationships with the Russians, and was there obstruction of justice?” he said. “That was a really hard story, by the way, let’s not forget that. We set ourselves up to cover that story. I’m going to say it. We won two Pulitzer Prizes covering that story. And I think we covered that story better than anybody else.”

But this narrative changed after former special counsel Robert Mueller testified to Congress last month.

“The day Bob Mueller walked off that witness stand, two things happened,” Baquet continued. “Our readers who want Donald Trump to go away suddenly thought, ‘Holy sh*t, Bob Mueller is not going to do it.’ And Donald Trump got a little emboldened politically, I think. Because, you know, for obvious reasons. And I think that the story changed. A lot of the stuff we’re talking about started to emerge like six or seven weeks ago. 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?”

And so after years of using a debunked conspiracy theory to try to cater to those “who want Donald Trump to go away,” the Times must now choose a new narrative to sell. And the narrative it’s chosen is that the president is a racist.

“I think that we’ve got to change,” Baquet said, adding that going forward, he wants the paper to focus more on race. “I mean, the vision for coverage for the next two years is what I talked about earlier: How do we cover a guy who makes these kinds of remarks?” Baquet said. “How do we cover the world’s reaction to him? How do we do that while continuing to cover his policies? How do we cover America, that’s become so divided by Donald Trump?”

Note how he automatically blamed the country’s divisions on the president.

A Politico and Morning Consult poll conducted late last year found that more Americans blame the country’s divisions on the media versus Trump.

“Just 30 percent of voters surveyed say Trump has done more to unite the country, while 56 percent say he’s done more to divide it,” Fox News reported at the time. “But in a bigger vote of no-confidence, 64 percent say the national media have done more to divide the nation, and just 17 percent say they’ve done more to unite it.”

“Put another way, the media are 47 percent underwater on the question, compared to 26 percent underwater for Trump, who has a fiercely loyal base.”

Dovetailing back to the town hall, despite Baquet’s insistence on keeping the glaringly partisan #OrangeManBad narrative alive, he faced push-back from his staff for not being anti-Trump enough.

Could you explain your decision not to more regularly use the word ‘racist’ in reference to the president’s actions?” one staffer asked.

The claim that the president and his actions are racist is an opinion — an easily debunked one –not a fact. Baquet replied to the question posed to him by arguing that it’s better to showcase the president’s alleged racism than to explicitly name it.

“Look, my own view is that the best way to capture a remark, like the kinds of remarks the president makes, is to use them, to lay it out in perspective,” he said. “That is much more powerful than the use of a word.”

“The most powerful journalism I have ever read, and that I’ve ever witnessed, was when writers actually just described what they heard and put them in some perspective. I just think that’s more powerful.”

Put them in left-wing perspective, it would seem.

It sounds as if the key, therefore, is to weave an #OrangeManBad or #OrangeManRacist narrative but to do so in an inconspicuous manner that isn’t blatant.

Had the transcript of the town hall not been released publicly, perhaps the Times would have succeeded in its mission. But now that the truth is known, the chances of success seem far slimmer.

Case in point why:


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Vivek Saxena


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