The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
I can't say I've ever fully trusted the Times to be accurate, but until recently I generally felt fairly confident that even if a story was slanted in perspective, the facts that were reported were basically accurate. Not anymore.
For example, here is the Times yesterday, in a news story on the front page (and linked here to the Baltimore Sun to evade a paywll): "For months, Republicans have used last summer's protests as a political catchall, highlighting isolated instances of property destruction and calls to defund the police to motivate their base in November." (emphasis added)
As I've noted previously, the property losses from the riots and looting last summer were on a par with the Los Angeles riots of 1992 and the totality of the 1960s urban riots. They included nightly riots in Portland, the destruction of a several blocks of Minneapolis, the establishment of a lawless anarchist zone for twenty-three days in Seattle, and riots in cities all over the country. I was in Omaha last summer, and I was surprised to find that the downtown was full of boarded-up shops whose windows had been smashed. A good friend from Albany, NY was just telling me about property destruction and looting there. I mention these because they did not make the national news, but there are many other examples from New York to Los Angeles.
In short, if I read this article in the Times and believed it, I would think there were just a few isolated incidents where property was destroyed last summer, and I wouldn't even know who undertook the destruction. If the Times had tried to convey the facts, it would have instead stated something like that the Republicans highlighted "the most destructive riots in decades, causing various levels of chaos and destruction in cities across the country, that grew out of the protests, mostly peaceful, over George Floyd's death."
In any event, the fact that I could read an article like this one and wind up *less* informed than I was when I started is why I don't trust the Times anymore. I'm hoping that once Trump is out of the way, the Times' reporters and editors no longer feel to skew their coverage for fear of helping Trump the way their coverage of Clinton's emails in 2016 may have helped him, but I have the feeling this is an indefinite change for the worse.