Jason Meister: To smear Trump, New York Times pivots from Russiagate hoax to racism

We live in the age of narratives, where propagandized storylines, not facts, matter.

Leaked remarks from a recent town hall meeting that The New York Times hosted for its employees show how a mainstream newsroom today transitions from one anti-Trump smear to the next. When will the fake news end?

The event in question was conducted by Dean Baquet, Times executive editor, who was grilled by his staff over the newspaper’s coverage of President Trump. The leaked transcript is a fascinating document, showing a newsroom in disarray, with staff writers champing at the bit to call the president a racist at every turn.

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Baquet’s remarks make one thing very clear: The Times is deliberately emphasizing Trump’s “racism” in response to the failed Russia collusion witch hunt.

As Baquet himself acknowledged, the main thrust of the newspaper's coverage “went from being a story about whether the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia and obstruction of justice to being a more head-on story about the president’s character.”

The problem facing the Times, he notes, is that “We built our newsroom to cover one story, and we did it truly well. Now we have to regroup, and shift resources and emphasis to take on a different story.”

The fact that Baquet is proud of the way the Times covered the Russian collusion hoax is appalling and reveals that the only standard against which the “paper of record” judges its coverage of Trump’s “racism” is how much it thinks it can damage the president.

The Times' Russia collusion coverage was a complete embarrassment by any objective assessment. If the paper chooses to cover the president’s “racism” in a similar way, they will cover themselves in shame. 

For more than three years, legacy media outlets such as the Times have made it their mission to take down this president. The Russia collusion conspiracy theory was their white whale, and they went certifiably mad in their hunt for anything resembling collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign.

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Now that we know the collusion conspiracy theory was a hoax from the start, the same media outlets are pivoting to a new anti-Trump smear: maligning the president’s character, particularly with thoroughly unfounded claims of racism and white supremacy.

Baquet’s glowing praise for the paper’s hyper-partisan Russiagate coverage should eliminate any doubt that this is political activism, not objective journalism.

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The Times' Russia collusion coverage was a complete embarrassment by any objective assessment. If the paper chooses to cover the president’s “racism” in a similar way, they will cover themselves in shame.

The Times has already indicated it will do just that. This week marked the launch of the 1619 Project, an attempt by the paper, in its own words, to “reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.”

Speaking about the project, Baquet said its purpose is “to try to understand the forces that led to the election of Donald Trump.”

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We already knew that the Times was willing to rewrite and weaponize the present in its crusade against Trump, but now the paper is going after the past, as well.

The answer, of course, is that the Times and other mainstream media outlets will never stop publishing anti-Trump smears, even as they fully discredit themselves in the process.

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