President Trump wished a sarcastic good luck to the new publisher of the “failing” New York Times, A.G. Sulzberger, who took the reins from his father on Tuesday and was welcomed with a warning to hire better journalists and stop showing liberal bias.
“The Failing New York Times has a new publisher, A.G. Sulzberger. Congratulations! Here is a last chance for the Times to fulfill the vision of its Founder, Adolph Ochs, ‘to give the news impartially, without fear or FAVOR, regardless of party, sect, or interests involved,’” Trump tweeted.
Trump continued: “Get impartial journalists of a much higher standard, lose all of your phony and non-existent ‘sources,’ and treat the President of the United States FAIRLY, so that the next time I (and the people) win, you won’t have to write an apology to your readers for a job poorly done! GL.”
Sulzberger, 37, started his run as publisher on Tuesday after his father, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., announced the transition last month. The elder Sulzberger will stay on as chairman and had been the paper’s publisher since 1992.
Back in November 2016, the Times published a letter to its readers admitting it underestimated Trump’s support. “As we reflect on the momentous result, and the months of reporting and polling that preceded it, we aim to rededicate ourselves to the fundamental mission of Times journalism,” Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and Executive Editor Dean Baquet wrote.
The new publisher penned his own note to readers on Tuesday, noting his great-great-grandfather, Adolph Ochs, purchased the Times in 1896 and said the opinion section should “invite intelligent discussion from all shades of opinion.”
Sulzberger seems to agree, writing, “This mission feels particularly urgent to me today as I begin my work as publisher of The New York Times. Our society is again being reshaped by political, technological and environmental forces that demand deep scrutiny and careful explanation.”
The Opinion section of the paper has been noticeably anti-Trump and it has even used the official @nytopinion Twitter account to advocate against the GOP agenda.
Sulzberger also invoked the old quote from his great-great-grandfather that Trump mentioned in his congratulatory tweet, except the president typed the word “favor” in all capital letters to add emphasis. Trump, and many media watchdogs, have noticed the paper has a significant lean to the left -- something the president clearly hopes changes under its new publisher.
“More than 120 years after Adolph Ochs’ vision was printed in these pages, the need for independent, courageous, trustworthy journalism is as great as it’s ever been,” Sulzberger wrote. “The Times will hold itself to the highest standards of independence, rigor and fairness -- because we believe trust is the most precious asset we have. The Times will do all of this without fear or favor -- because we believe truth should be pursued wherever it leads.”
Trump has maintained a bizarre relationship with the Times in recent memory, as he often mocks the paper as “failing” but also gives exclusive, high-profile interviews to its writers on occasion. Last week Trump spoke with Times reporter Michael Schmidt for an impromptu 30-minute interview that made global headlines with a series of news-making quotes.
Trump even stopped by the Times' office in midtown Manhattan after winning on Election Day to meet with the paper's leaders. However, despite President Trump’s wishes, readers shouldn’t expect a noticeable difference in the near future.
“I don’t expect there to be some flurry of change,” A.G. Sulzberger said last month when the move was announced.