Michael Goodwin: Swede and sour times

For a moment, I thought the New York Times might put its anti-Trump agenda aside and report straight news in straight fashion. But once again, politics triumphs over facts.

A front-page story on its website headlined “Violent Clashes in Sweden Highlight Trump’s Remarks” suggested the Times was about to admit the president was essentially right — that Muslim refugees had created a crime wave in Sweden, even though he muddied his message by suggesting there had been a violent attack last Friday night.

The Times story went partway there — but never used the words Muslim or Islam about violent disturbances Monday and Tuesday in a Stockholm suburb. Instead, the 20 to 30 young men throwing rocks, torching cars and battling cops were called “residents” and “refugees” and “immigrants.” Their town was described as “economically deprived” and populated by people with “immigrant backgrounds.”

The story is not fake news, but neither is it honest. Concealing the religion of the perps blinds readers to a crucial fact, which is certainly relevant given that the paper had wet its pants in two previous stories mocking Trump’s initial statement.

Is the omission protecting Muslims? Or is the Times twisting itself into knots to avoid admitting Trump was onto something?

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