Michael Hoffman is, to say the least, not sympathetic about yesterday’s news that Donald Trump supporters are embarking on a campaign to make Trump’s media non-fans’ words reach public view:
On the front page of the August 25 edition of the New York Times, two reporters, Kenneth P. Vogel and Jeremy W. Peters, decry a new movement by Right wing researchers among Donald Trump’s base, aimed at sleuthing into the background and statements of journalists in the employ of the legacy media.
These investigations have been declared to be off-limits and “clearly not journalism.” So saith Washington Post’s Lord High Emeritus Executive Editor, Leonard Downie Jr.
He alleges that an “organized, wide-scale political effort to intentionally humiliate journalists and others who work for media outlets” is something new.
One wonders on what desert island he’s been sojourning. The censorship, doxing, boycotts and obstruction of revisionists, black nationalists and Conservative and Christian journalists don’t seem to register or even exist for media Brahmins of the upper crust.
Follow the money: the legacy media will brook no competition that harms its lucrative monopoly on news. Therefore, we dissident journalists are supposed to know our place and be content with our lot as virtually invisible. The many attempts to humiliate, libel, obstruct and remove us from Google, YouTube, Facebook, Amazon, Twitter and Instagram are of no concern to the High and Mighty in the legacy press.
“It’s one thing for Spiro Agnew to call everyone in the press ‘nattering nabobs of negativism,’ Mr. Downie said, referring to Agnew’s critique of how journalists covered President Nixon. “And another thing to investigate individuals in order to embarrass them publicly and jeopardize their employment.”
This is precisely what several corporate newspaper chains, cable television news, websites, blogs and podcasts have been doing for years, including the NY Times — calling for the dismissal and loss of employment of alternative reporters who have been smeared as anti-Semitic, racist, sexist, homophobic, and so on.
A. G. Sulzberger, the publisher of The New York Times, said in a statement that exposure of shady biographical facts about Times reporters was a case of taking Trump’s “campaign against a free press to a new level. They are seeking to harass and embarrass anyone affiliated with the leading news organizations that are asking tough questions and bringing uncomfortable truths to light,” Mr. Sulzberger declared.When such tactics are used against the “leading” news organizations they are immoral and wrong. However, when the Times, Washington Post and CNN smear, intimidate and prevent alternative journalists who work for smaller online operations from “asking tough questions and bringing uncomfortable truths to light,” then it’s not at all a matter for outrage. The news aristocrats have spoken. You may now kiss their designer shoes.
Mr. Sulzberger takes the moral high ground on behalf of his very profitable and powerful business behemoth:
“The goal of this campaign is clearly to intimidate journalists from doing their job, which includes serving as a check on power and exposing wrongdoing when it occurs. The Times will not be intimidated or silenced.”
What about journalists who seek a check on your monopoly power and wrong-doing Mr. Sulzberger? What of your newspaper’s endeavor to jeopardize our employment?
Mr. Sulzberger’s heresy-hunting NY Times has shown zero interest in defending conservative reporters who are not members of the legacy media from calumny and blacklisting.
Often the Times has been guilty of these odious tactics, which it now indignantly protests when its political rivals and business competitors employ them to deflate the reputation of the Times, and inform the public concerning the questionable character of some of its writers and editors.
In many cases Sulzberger’s newspaper has encouraged those attacks and covered up for thought police groups like Right Wing Watch and “Media Matters for America” that closely investigate and attack conservative journalists, and Sleeping Giants, which is sworn to threaten and shame any platform online that dares to host radical alternatives to politically correct dogma and revolutionary social change.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is a prominent thought police group campaigning for the censorship of history books at Amazon, the silencing of black leaders like Louis Farrakhan, and of activists who are outside the established boundary of permissible opinions about Israeli settler-colonialism and the racist creed of the Babylonian Talmud. Over the years, the New York Times has been a dependable mouthpiece for the ADL and complicit in its libel and intimidation—yet theTimes is horrified now that such tactics are being wielded against its own writers. Here we observe the grotesque hypocrisy of the entitled.
In June the heresy-hunters at Google’s YouTube removed several legitimate revisionist history videos, together with many white supremacist and hate speech videos. Having accepted without investigation Google’s deceitful description of all the videos it removed from YouTube as constituting “hate speech,” the New York Times mechanically reported the entire ban in terms of taking down hate speech. Our video exposing Deborah Lipstadt’s hate speech toward historian David Irving was one of the films banned from YouTube. Consequently, our video which fulfilled a public service by advancing knowledge about the hate speech of an Establishment-revered Zionist celebrity (Lipstadt), was banned in the name of combating hate speech. TheTimes cooperated and was party to the masquerade. Revisionist researchers and activists are barely human in the eyes of the Times, and unworthy of the anguish and hand-wringing now being expended to defend their own hired hands from suppression and removal. This corrosive double standard undercuts Mr. Sulzberger’s protestations and reveals the corruption at the heart of his newspaper’s reporting. …
I can’t abide Trump but I consider these exposures of privileged members of the legacy media delightful, due to the fact that said media have acquiesced in massive censorship and denial of service on Facebook, YouTube, Google and in Amazon’s censorship of historians’ dissident books. In these instances involving alternative writers and journalists who compete with the NY Times and other legacy media, there has been little or no solidarity offered by your fellow reporters and editors.
In many cases where the harassed and interdicted alternative journalists are Conservatives, there have been expressions from members of the legacy media of satisfaction at the heresy-hunting, doxing and removals.
Now, when the shoe is on the other foot, we’re supposed to believe the process of sleuthing into journalists’ public and private foibles and failings is somehow an outrage against press freedom?
Freedom of the press does not begin at the gate of the legacy media. The Times, the Post, CNN etc. were the ones who first let the genie out of the bottle. You ought to deal with the karmic consequences without whining.
Better yet, work for the freedom of expression of your lumpen proletariat rivals online.
Nor is Streiff:
If you’ve ever watched CNN’s rainman, Andrew Kaczynski, aka @KFile, at work you know how this stupid gotcha game is played. You go back through the target’s writings, often delving into college newspaper columns, looking for untoward things that they may have said and then splash the findings across the internet as though they were particularly relevant. This is an example that is happening now where out of context and completely defensible statements are being manipulated by CNN to try to torpedo an appeals court nominee:
Steven Menashi, who is nominated for the Second Circuit, wrote dozens of editorials and blog posts in the late 1990s and early 2000s for a number of college and professional conservative publications.
— andrew kaczynski🤔 (@KFILE) August 22, 2019
So today, the New York Times reported that what was sauce for the goose will be sauce for the gander in 2020. …
The group, so far, has been responsible for the firing of a CNN photo editor who liked to tweet anti-Semitic stuff in his free time and it unearthed racist and anti-Semitic writings by a New York Times politics editor named Tom Wright-Piersanti
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) August 22, 2019There are more on the way:
The operation has compiled social media posts from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and stored images of the posts that can be publicized even if the user deletes them, said the people familiar with the effort. One claimed that the operation had unearthed potentially “fireable” information on “several hundred” people.
“I am sure there will be more scalps,” said Sam Nunberg, a former aide to Mr. Trump who is a friend of Mr. Schwartz.
Mr. Nunberg and others who are familiar with the campaign described it as meant to expose what they see as the hypocrisy of mainstream news outlets that have reported on the president’s inflammatory language regarding race.
“Two can play at this game,” he said. “The media has long targeted Republicans with deep dives into their social media, looking to caricature all conservatives and Trump voters as racists.”
They are also aggregating social media and other writings by spouses and associates of major media reporters. What I particularly like is that the group isn’t going after obviously hostile reporters, they are simply going after any employee of the organization. If nothing else, this should make some of the staff meetings in these outlets rather gothic.
Predictably, the media has been stopped by a bout of fecal incontinence:
But using journalistic techniques to target journalists and news organizations as retribution for — or as a warning not to pursue — coverage critical of the president is fundamentally different from the well-established role of the news media in scrutinizing people in positions of power.
“If it’s clearly retaliatory, it’s clearly an attack, it’s clearly not journalism,” said Leonard Downie Jr., who was the executive editor of The Post from 1991 to 2008. Tension between a president and the news media that covers him is nothing new, Mr. Downie added. But an organized, wide-scale political effort to intentionally humiliate journalists and others who work for media outlets is.
“It’s one thing for Spiro Agnew to call everyone in the press ‘nattering nabobs of negativism,’” he said, referring to the former vice president’s famous critique of how journalists covered President Richard M. Nixon. “And another thing to investigate individuals in order to embarrass them publicly and jeopardize their employment.”
A. G. Sulzberger, the publisher of The Times, said in a statement that such tactics were taking the president’s campaign against a free press to a new level.
“They are seeking to harass and embarrass anyone affiliated with the leading news organizations that are asking tough questions and bringing uncomfortable truths to light,” Mr. Sulzberger said. “The goal of this campaign is clearly to intimidate journalists from doing their job, which includes serving as a check on power and exposing wrongdoing when it occurs. The Times will not be intimidated or silenced.”
In a statement, a CNN spokesman said that when government officials, “and those working on their behalf, threaten and retaliate against reporters as a means of suppression, it’s a clear abandonment of democracy for something very dangerous.” …
This is just bullsh**. The media has long ago given up the pretense of being anything but an adjunct of the Democrat party. Their reporters a closely affiliated with far left outlets. The leaking of John Podesta’s emails showed that reporters, such as the incompetent lecher Glenn Thrush, sent their stories to Democrat operatives for approval. They are a combatant and they need to be treated as such.
Streiff then posted:
If the New York Times thought the Fourth Estate was going to rally to their defense, they were sadly disappointed. This is how the Washington Post’s media critic treated it Breitbart burned the New York Times. And the Times really doesn’t like it.
They are bad actors. They are driven to suppress legitimate inquiry. They are by no means journalists.
And they read Twitter very carefully!
Those are the contours of an alarm rung on Sunday by the New York Times. “A loose network of conservative operatives allied with the White House is pursuing what they say will be an aggressive operation to discredit news organizations deemed hostile to President Trump by publicizing damaging information about journalists,” wrote Kenneth P. Vogel and Jeremy W. Peters.
And just what would this “damaging information” be? Illicitly obtained DMs? Gossip about their sexual habits? HIPAA-protected information?
Nope. “Four people familiar with the operation described how it works, asserting that it has compiled dossiers of potentially embarrassing social media posts and other public statements by hundreds of people who work at some of the country’s most prominent news organizations.” Bolding added to note that this “damaging information” is available not only to a “loose network of conservative operatives” but also to the loose network of everyone with access to the Internet.
I was on my second cigarette by the time I got this far. It gets better.
Yet at the same time, Sulzberger all but admitted that the information supplied by Schwartz and Co. can be relevant to the management of the New York Times: “No organization is above scrutiny, including The Times. We have high standards, own our mistakes and always strive to do better. If anyone — even those acting in bad faith — brings legitimate problems to our attention, we’ll look into them and respond appropriately.”
Good! There’s an incompatibility in the Times story and the Sulzberger memo: On one hand, there’s an attempt to tar the motivations of the “loose network of conservative operatives”; on the other, there’s a stubborn admission that they have brought actionable information to public attention. For decades now, representatives of the mainstream media have answered conservative critiques by imploring: Judge us by the work we produce, not by the fact that more than 90 percent of us are liberal/Democratic. Mainstreamers cannot have it both ways. Cut the idle and unverifiable talk about motivations. If the tweets presented by the “loose network of conservative operatives” are racist or anti-Semitic or otherwise problematic, take action. If they’re nonsensical distractions, ignore them.
In the meantime, the “loose network of conservative operatives” must be celebrating right about now, having triggered not only an extensive scolding in the Times, but also an eight-paragraph memo from its publisher.
He’s exactly right. All the frothing Sulzberger did on “bad faith” is just bullsh** and excuse-making. The allegations are either real or they aren’t. Their validity is not affected one whit whether they are brought to you privately to alert you to a problem or trumpeted across the internet to make you look hypocritical and rather stupid. Reporters having to live by the rules they have created, which is that a notation in a high school yearbook could result in a demand for your firing thirty years after the fact, is a very good thing.
The thing that struck me here was the rather gleeful tone. It’s almost as if reporters talk and they know which of their colleagues have posted stuff which would be, in the left’s vernacular, “problematic” if brought to light. The group working on this project claim “that the operation had unearthed potentially “fireable” information on “several hundred” people.” The subtext here, in my reading, is that there is some really bad stuff floating around that is common knowledge but that no one in the industry has done anything about because their first loyalty is to their group and ratting out a fellow journalist would get you blackballed. The whole “bring in on” attitude also makes it seem like that the writer thinks the New York Times is going to be uniquely stricken by the outbreak of truth that is about to happen. We can only hope.
It cannot be just the New York Times.