When will The New York Times finally stop pulling punches and go after Donald Trump?
This is the question Joe Biden’s campaign asked this week. “For the political press corp (sic) —especially our friends at the Gray Lady,” writes the White House in a campaign email, “it’s time to meet the moment and responsibly inform the electorate of what their lives might look like if the leading GOP candidate for president is allowed back in the WH.”
The New York Times is, indeed, a friend. It “meets the moment” all the time. So, no, Biden isn’t working the refs here. He’s demanding obedience. And the fact that the White House can brazenly petition a supposedly free press to join his campaign effort tells us a lot about how little the contemporary Democrat cares for a free press.
Recall that on the rare occasions that the Times slips up and writes an honest headline, celebrity journalism “professors” and leftist Twitterati swarm and demand it be changed to something more suitable. More often than not, the Times obliges them. They will oblige this time, as well.
In this instance, the White House didn’t even profess they wanted a factual error corrected, which would be understandable. Biden was upset that the Times published a piece offering a quite banal, if inconvenient, observation about Trump and the issue of abortion.
In a piece headlined, “Why Trump Seems Less Vulnerable Than Other Republicans,” Ruth Igielnik points to existing polling data that “seems” — lots of hedging going on in the piece — “to have effectively neutralized abortion as an issue during the Republican primary” with “vagueness” and attempts to “to occupy a middle ground of sorts.”
This is inarguable. Trump, despite all the bluster, is perhaps the most ideologically moderate and malleable major Republican candidate to run for the presidency in a very long time. As the piece mentions, the former president has taken virtually every position on abortion during his political life. And while it’s true he’s nominated constitutionalist jurists, as a candidate, he now claims that Florida’s pro-life law is a “terrible mistake.”
And because Trump, who has a substantial lead in the polls, is already running a general election campaign, while his GOP primary adversaries are compelled to shore up conservative support, he can moderate positions — like every candidate ever.
Now, if the Times were responsibly informing the electorate, it would let everyone know that “devout Catholic” Joe Biden supports unfettered “access” to abortion until the baby hits the crib. Instead, we are inundated with the narrative that says radical abortion “bans” are sinking the GOP nationally. And the White House demands this notion be pushed at all times, with no exceptions.
As soon as the left stopped debating and knighted themselves sentinels of “democracy,” they had their justification to act in “undemocratic” ways. The notion that there is an overriding duty to campaign for Biden to save the nation rather than engage in mundane traditional journalism is widely held on the left.
The other day, John Harwood — who, until recently, was LARPing as a journalist at NBC — posted that the media had a duty to “better convey 2 realities: –the US economy is doing well, not poorly –Biden at 80 is handling the job effectively right now.”
Some people — sentient people — might argue the latter contention is dubious while the former one is highly debatable. Those debates should be left to pundits. But Harwood, like the celebrity “journalism” professor and institutions that crank out credulous activists rather than skeptical reporters, believes he has a higher purpose than letting voters figure these things out for themselves.
This is why the White House not only feels comfortable demanding the press ramp up efforts to help it win a presidential election but also directing private outlets to censor speech and creating a Ministry of Truth to ferret out alleged “misinformation” and threaten those who do not comply.
As for what the White House might “look like” if Trump is “allowed back?” Insane, I suspect. It’s possible Trump, like Biden, will also circumvent the legislative branch and engage in unprecedented abuse of executive power, blatantly ignore the Supreme Court to try and compel Americans to pay off the loans of strangers, allow tens of billions of dollars to flow to an Iranian terror states that murders Americans, sic the Justice Department on his political enemies, and demand journalist take dictation from the White House.
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