I’ve been supportive of the new commitment to “truth” by The New York Times even after it helped Hillary Clinton lose the presidential election because of its breathless and untruthful reporting of her personal web server, but now that it let columnist Ross Douthat blame liberals for the rise of the pathological liar President Donald Trump I’m not so sure.
Columnists, such as Paul Krugman and Charles Blow, are writing outstanding and truthful commentary in The Times. The newspaper is calling out Trump’s lies in headlines. But why even run Krugman’s and Blow’s columns if it’s all going to be undercut with the inane, borderline fascist drivel of Douthat? Why not be consistent in the resistance to Trump? Douthat is obviously part of the conservative deployment to normalize Trump, and these are not normal times.
It’s the same old and now unethical journalist equivocation of “here is this argument and here is this other argument” but one side—the Trump side—is neofascism or just plain fascism or a growing authoritarian government, which Douthat blames liberals for because, well, we don’t have the right narrative or story. It’s our fault. That’s a complete lie, and Douthat knows it, or maybe he thinks he’s a great writer and thinker and everyone in huge numbers reads what he writes and he’s so wonderful, brilliant. He’s so great, huge, the very best.
So here’s one narrative, Ross: The mainstream media, like The New York Times, didn’t report the truth for years and years about the rise of fascism in this country because they couldn’t comprehend it, and it was also complicit with it through its corporate model. The Corporation seeks profits. That’s why it exists. Exaggerated headlines and stories about Hillary Clinton’s personal server make money just like Douthat’s blatant lies about the lack of a liberal story that would have supposedly save the day for democracy.
Here’s the column, which, I do concede, is written in language at a decent enough intellectual level that I’m sure Trump couldn’t even get through it. That’s not sarcasm.
My main argument against the post is that Douthat omits all the ominous warnings about what’s happening under the Trump presidency just so far in the last two weeks, ranging from all the president’s and his surrogates’ pathological, compulsive lying to decisions that will destroy the economic foundation of the middle class to signs that new wars, perhaps a major world war, are on the horizon.
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