An Example of Why I No Longer Trust the New York Times

I used to trust the Times to generally have the basic facts right; not anymore.

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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.

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  1. I wouldn’t trust the date at the top of the page of the NYT.

    1. Yeah! You find one at the bottom of a parrot’s cage, and it’s not even accurate!

      1. Of course; because the only options are news outlets that either cater to left-wing ideologs or right wing ideologs, right? THIS attitude is why it’s become impossible for any real conversations to take place anymore: “everything is black & white, with us or against us, those who have openings that differ from ours are evil” etc.
        You’re a Reverend huh? I can only imagine what the sermons are on Sunday at your church, if this comment is indicative,i imagine it’s something along there lines of “love your neighbor, BUT….”

  2. You’ll believe what your betters tell you. If the New York Times says 2+2 is 5, you will agree, or have it rammed down your throat, clinger.

  3. You are welcome to settle for FreeRepublic, Breitbart, Instapundit, RedState, Stormfront, the Daily Caller, Fox, the Washington Times, Limbaugh, Hannity, Ingraham, Gateway Pundit, Newsmax, One America News, and the rest of the right-wing separatist communications operations.

    1. Ha, my version of you is better than yours.

      1. You beat the clinger to his own punch.

      2. “Ha, my version of you is better than yours.”

        Yeah. Do better, Kirkland.

        1. Enjoy your final few hours of “Be Best.”

          Birthers and plagiarists among hardest hit.

          1. Why, what’s going to happen to my throat in a few hours, Arthur?

            1. Progress will continue to be shaped by America’s betters, against the wishes and works of our vestigial clingers.

    2. You didn’t address his point at all because you can’t. “Hey, these right leaning sites suck” does nothing to defend the bullshit from the NYT.

      1. No one can address the point because it basically amounts to “The NYT characterized these events as X, but I think it should be characterized by Y.” It’s an opinion about a description of an event that isn’t even the main point of the article. Bernstein objects to the description “isolated instances of property destruction,” yet even the article he linked to show the “full extent” of the damage of the protests says: “The protests that took place in 140 U.S. cities this spring were mostly peaceful.” No outrage about Axios being bullshit though, because Axios isn’t a well-respected liberal media institution for the right to target and try to take down in the name of Fox News.

        1. Well, if you want to believe that there were “isolated instances of property destruction” is in any way accurate. Why can’t the NYT bring themselves to utter the word “riot” when it applies to people they sympathize with politically? Because it would contradict their narrative, which is more important to them than accurate reporting.

          1. Actually, when I read the NYT article I realized I misread the point too. The article wasn’t describing the protests, riots, whatever you want to call them; the article was describing the Republican’s attempts to frame the demonstrations to their advantage politically. The full sentence is: “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.” Bernstein conveniently leaves out the verb “highlighting” in that sentence and how it relates back to the subject, Republicans, not the protests themselves. The NYT was describing Republicans efforts of using isolated extreme instances, calling attention to those instances, and then using them as a rallying cry for the election. The NYT was not describing the protests as a whole; it was describing the Republican election strategy.

            Also, they don’t use “riot” because that’s not an accurate word to describe all the protests in all 140 cities across the country. It describes some, but certainly not all, so it’s easier to use a more descriptively inclusive word. It’s also less inflammatory, a standard most journalists who don’t work for Fox or Newsmax or OAN strive for usually.

            1. I don’t think the word “riot” is necessary. I always used the neutral “civil unrest” to describe what happened in Los Angeles in 1992. (I also dislike lefties who say crap like “rebellion” as well.)

              But I do think Prof. Bernstein’s point is right about the substance. If it wasn’t isolated instances of property damage, a good newspaper shouldn’t say that. A good editor should take that out and tell the reporter to use a more descriptive term.

              I like the New York Times, but this shouldn’t have run in this form.

    3. I had no idea there was only two sets of media.

    4. Of course; because the only options are news outlets that either cater to left-wing ideologs or right wing ideologs, right? THIS attitude is why it’s become impossible for any real conversations to take place anymore: “everything is black & white, with us or against us, those who have openings that differ from ours are evil” etc.
      You’re a Reverend huh? I can only imagine what the sermons are on Sunday at your church, if this comment is indicative,i imagine it’s something along there lines of “love your neighbor, BUT….”

    5. Our reliable troll, bringing out his predictable whataboutisms to deflect legitimate criticism of his side.

      Is there ever a time where you try to actually rebut arguments in the article?

      Is there ever a time you don’t use maximumly inflammatory language designed to enrage?

      You never contribute to the discourse, you’re only a source of noise, and you do it for the typical trolls motivation of sadism that is intentionally causing distress and driving pleasure from it.

  4. The article you link to lumps together all disturbances throughout the country during two months in 2020 and compares them to short-term single-location riots that happened 30, 40, 50, 55 years ago, without correcting for inflation. No, the 2020 events were not on a par, not even close.

    1. True, they certainly weren’t short-term, single-location riots.

      1. They never actually stopped, the media just got tired of reporting on them.

        1. I can tell you through my own concerted effort at direct observation in NYC that in this city, with rare exceptions, the destructive protests almost completely stopped for months. This was after months of daily widespread destructive protests.

    2. The linked article contains a column with inflation adjusted numbers.

    3. He provided a link? I had to scour the NYT website before I found the story he seems to be talking about.

    4. You know that the second column, the one that says “2020 dollars”, is corrected for inflation right?

      1. No, he didn’t know that.

      2. Oops! You’re right. Sorry!

        (Guess I picked the wrong week to switch to decaf!)

        1. They make decaffeinated glue?!

        2. Oops! You’re right. Sorry!

          (Guess I picked the wrong week to switch to decaf!)

          Given your history here, that week was years ago.

    5. You know that the second column, the one that says “2020 dollars”, is corrected for inflation right?

      1. Won’t help to tell him twice 🙂

    6. Your reply, captcrisis, is disinformation and easily debunked.

      The Axios article David links to highlights BLM riots from May 26-June 8, 2020 as causing between 1 and 2 BILLION dollars in damages, making them the “costliest U.S. civil disorders” in history and far eclipsing any other of riots (from any other time and for any other reason).

      That’s not “two months” (as you describe it). Rather, it is in reality just 14 DAYS, inclusive.

      Accordingly, the use of the term TWO MONTHS is disinformation.

      The truth is TWO WEEKS.

    7. captcrisis, you are right that Bernstein’s comparison is ill-founded and tendentious. But there was an inflation-adjusted column to compare the losses. Problem is, as you mentioned, Bernstein left out major 1968 riots, while lumping together far more 2020 riots.

      And that isn’t the whole of it, because Bernstein also cherry picked his time intervals. If you want to allow that, you can take the twelve calendar months beginning from June of 1967, and compare them to calendar 2020. That combines the long hot summer riots in 1967, with the Martin Luther King riots in 1968, and delivers a notably different picture. Arguably, it was that combination which created much of the emotional and political impact of those times.

      Bernstein’s link is to an industry source, which compiles and sells insurance loss data to support insurance sales. Leaving aside any question of forthrightness in sales materials, was any such industry tabulating of riot losses even going on in the 1960s? Could you even buy insurance against riot losses then? Were insurance practices comparable? Same percent payoffs? More? Less? Same standards and practice everywhere?

      Were rioters in 2020 more likely to target heavily-insured high-value retail businesses than they were in the 1960s? Photographs suggest that may have been true in Minneapolis—some pretty ritzy-looking places burned. In DC, a great deal of what burned in 1968 was slum housing, much of which might not have been insured at all. Whole blocks stayed vacant for more than a decade afterward.

      After I read Bernstein’s last piece with its link, I spent some time Googling for photos of Minneapolis riot damage. First impression, it did look like more damage than the impression I took away from New York Times coverage. I thought maybe Bernstein had a point there. Maybe I still think so.

      However, those Minneapolis pictures did not impress me as comparable with what I saw in DC, where I was an eyewitness right in the middle of it. But the online photography available from DC was less dramatic than from Minneapolis. That reflected improvements in photographic equipment and technique, and also more sensationalistic photo editing. But there was one aerial photo taken at the height of the DC riot—a photo showing extremely extensive fires across many blocks—which struck me as better evidence of extensive catastrophe than anything I saw from Minneapolis.

      From Minneapolis, a lot of the pictures were multi-angle shots of the same few scenes—the ones a photo editor would choose as most eye-catching. Sometimes it took careful study to see that 4 or 5 pictures were all the same fire. Those pictures were sometimes widely separated among the search results, so it was easy to suppose you were looking at 5 big fires when there was only one.

      Also, it was easy to overlook that the Google algorithm was salting in a lot of burning-building pictures from other locations and other times. So the overall pictorial impression was notably more imposing than the actual evidence presented from Minneapolis. I think a lot of folks might have missed that. You type in, “Minneapolis Riot,” and up come the pictures. The only cue might be a different city name on some shoulder patch on a firefighter, or the door panel on a distant police car. I started looking for that stuff after I noticed that my Minneapolis Google search had turned up a burning building with palm trees in the background. Turned out, a lot of my Minneapolis search pictures were not from Minneapolis. A fair number I couldn’t assign for sure to any place, or to any time.

      I don’t know the answers to many of the questions I posed above. I am not trying to claim that the internet is deliberately rigging the results, let alone rigging them for any particular purpose. I do think that motivated searchers looking to prove how awful the rioting and burning was in 2020 will find plenty of photographic evidence to support that view. It takes care—and sometimes photographic expertise—to figure out how much of the apparent evidence actually applies.

      I can’t tell if I am getting that level of care and expertise from Bernstein. He does seem pretty motivated.

      1. Because you’re such a big fan of stuff being seriously edited to prevent the chaff, I thought I’d do it for you and fix your comment

        “I can’t tell if I am getting that level of care and expertise from Bernstein. He does seem pretty motivated.”

        1. Stephen Lathrop doesn’t say in three words what he could say in 27.

      2. It’s also possible that there is a higher dollar per square foot value today than back in the 1960s — both in terms of more inventory to loot and more expensive buildings to burn. Even police cars cost more now — for the electronics alone

        The difference is that these riots have essentially been sanctioned, they did not receive the suppression that earlier ones did.

      3. captcrisis, you are right that Bernstein’s comparison is ill-founded and tendentious.

        I can see why you would feel that way about someone having their partisan bullshit pointed out.

  5. The media was gaslighting us about BLM violence and terrorism all summer long. No surprise there. The NYT couldn’t even publish the words “riot” or “rioter” up until January 6, 2021. But discovered the word magically when some activists were invited into the Capitol and they took up the offer to engage in civil disobedience.

    Hope everyone is prepared for ideologic ‘total war’ because that is where we are headed.

  6. You finally caught up to where the rest of us were a decade ago or before. Congrats.

  7. Point taken, but then I think it is incumbent on Prof. Bernstein to tell us what media he does rely on for news and how he would rank say Fox News, CNN, the Washington Post and MSNBC with the NYT. And does he have any faith in the editorial section of the WSJ.

    If a person is going to post on the quality and accuracy of media it just does not seem sufficient or credible to isolate on a single media outlet. One might say that the Times is the worst, except for all the rest. (paraphrasing Churchill, I think, on democracy)

    I am assuming that OAN and similar sources are not even something he acknowledges exists, much less provide actual factual news, but then I may be wrong about that in which case his case against the Times does not work.

    1. “what media he does rely on for news”

      Who says there are any? Or perhaps you have to read multiple ones to discern the truth. Kind of like tea leaves (or Kremlinology, the 20th century version thereof).

    2. “the editorial section of the WSJ”

      In distinguishing between the news and editorial sections of the WSJ, you seem to underline something I understand to be the case – that they’re more centrist in their news section than in their editorial section. (I can’t be 100% certain of this because of their paywall)

      Certain newspapers, in contrast, show pretty much the same bias in their supposed news pages as in their editorial pages.

      1. The Wall Street Journal *used to* have a more liberal slant in their *news* reporting than the Times and Post, or some my most media-savvy friends would tell me; this was obscured by the conservatism of its prominent editorial page. But the other papers have moved dramatically to the left, and the Journal seems not to have.

        1. I think you will find that the WSJ news section which I read every day has moved from center to center right and the opinion section has moved from right to Attilla the Hun right. But most of their reporting is still first class and their Saturday sections are better than any other comparable daily publications.

          For entertainment when I read the WSJ opinion section I bet myself that if I cannot find at least five factual errors in the editorials or op-ed pieces I deny myself my daily coffee. I have not gone without since sometime back in the Obama administration.

          (Example: In today’s paper a headline on an opinion piece reads “Biden Destroys Restaurants to Save Them” which is a pretty good trick for a man who has been out of government for four years and and has yet spend even one day as President to have had the power to destroy anything. The ensuing piece does not say how many restaurants Biden has destroyed, but from here the answer looks like zero, since he has been a private citizen since January 2017. The factually correct headline would read “Biden Policy Will Have a Negative Effect on the Survival of Some Restaurants” but that of course is not sensational enough for a polemic like the WSJ Editorial staff)

          1. “Attilla the Hun right”

            Atilla the Hun wanted to redistribute wealth by force from other people to himself and his followers.

            1. Atilla just neglected to go through the modern, acceptable justification measure of a vote.

    3. This is nonsense, Sidney, and a strawman.

      The point isn’t who David reads instead of the NYT.

      The point is that the NTY is untrustworthy.

      As if that were a point that needed making. NYT untrustworthy, sky blue, water wet.

    4. I get all of my news just doing a search for “Republicans Pounce” in the last 24 hours to a week.

    5. Sidney,
      Explain why the standard bearers of left leaning news outlets used the word “insurrection” (not prefaced with alleged) while foreign outlets such as BBC, NHK and Deutsche Welle called the event a riot.

      1. Well, half it it is that they probably wrote “riot” out of their stylebooks last June 1stish

    6. Point taken, but then I think it is incumbent on Prof. Bernstein to tell us what media he does rely on for news and how he would rank say Fox News, CNN, the Washington Post and MSNBC with the NYT.

      No, it really isn’t.

  8. Journalism Code of Ethics requires the telling of all sides of a story. That makes all media unethical, save one, C-SPAN. Brian Lamb said he counts stories to keep a balance.

    All media are the David Duke website. He is the head of the KKK, and openly hates Jews and blacks. He reports only adverse stories about them. For example, Duke cited an article in an Israeli academic journal describing the history of Jews in Stalin’s KGB killing machine, implying Jews were Communist mass murderers. He is not a reporter and is honest about his hatred. He is more ethical than the media. They have duties they violate. They claim to be objective, when they repeatedly lie by omission, as David Duke does. No one may criticized Chinese, North Korean, or Iranian news outlets. American media are no better.

    1. There’s no way that “DaivdBehar” is an American. If the poster is even a human being at all.

  9. All you fuckers are imbeciles. Especially you, Rev.

    1. Clearly your parents need a better screen-unlock pattern.

  10. How many different news agencies labeled riots (actual riots, not demonstrations or isolated incidents where passions got out of control) and how many times were these claims repeated?

    I am not talking about some note in an article to provide balance, but in the headline and/or first line of the report? It became a damn mantra!

    Mostly peaceful!

    1. Local news seems to have generally been honest and reasonably unsparing in its description of local riots. But not CNN, NPR, the Post, the 3 networks, or the Times, though the Times to its credit did eventually, in August I believe, publish a good article on the devastation in Minneapolis and how badly it harmed the local, mostly black residents.

  11. Is this a proportionate response to a single NYT article?

    1. “For example”

      1. Ahh so yes! Thank you for clarifying!

        1. The NY Times covered up the Jewish Holocaust.

          1. Hunter Biden, General. Don’t forget Hunter Biden.

    2. I will tell you what,pick a couple of subjects you really know something about personally or professionally, that the times may have covered, then search the NYTimes archive for an article on that subject.

  12. So, one example.

    Do you seriously think that a review of say, Fox, or Breitbart, or the OAN, wouldn’t turn up ten examples for every one you can find in the NYT?

    Basically, nobody is perfect. Some try. Others don’t.

    1. See, “whataboutism” isn’t all that bad.

    2. “Hey, they’re dishonest too!!!!!”

      LOL.

    3. “Do you seriously think that a review of say, Fox, or Breitbart, or the OAN, wouldn’t turn up ten examples for every one you can find in the NYT?”

      Interesting hypothesis. Any evidence?

    4. It’s more than one example, it’s a consistent pattern.

      The answer is, you cannot trust the NYT. Certainly not alone. To have a reasonable appreciation of what’s actually going on in the world, you need to read a diversity of news sites from across the spectrum.

      If you limit yourself to just the NYT and “like-minded” media organizations, you’re deliberately blinding yourself.

  13. Not only the Times but all the major media have been gaslighting the public about nearly everything since at least 2008, when they started suppressing stories that questioned Obama’s history and intentions. Anyone here who believes Trump is insane or fascistic probably got the idea from the nightly fake-news on TV or cable. And probably believed in the Russia hoax and all the other fake scandals the fake news made up for the Democrats to use against him to pretend the 2016 election of Trump wasn’t legitimate.

    Don’t expect people like me to be any nicer to Biden for the next four years. What goes around comes around. But at least we’ll be telling what we believe to be the truth.

  14. Two words: Walter Duranty.

  15. How cute!

    You actually believed a paper that for 4 years pushed the Russian collusion story after it was debunked.

    You actually believed a paper that promoted the “good people on both sides” lie.

    You actually believed a paper that could not find one good word to say about Trump over 5 years.

    Tell you what. I have a bridge in Brooklyn I would like to sell. It’s mine, honesr!

  16. Reading the Axios article, I see 1 to 2 billion dollars for riots in many cities (500 million for the Minnesota unrest, from other sources); 1.42 billion 2020 dollars for the Rodney King riots in a single city. The riots last summer were directly caused by the casually brutal murder of a man who may have used a counterfeit $20 bill and apparently was high, but did not significantly resist arrest before he was handcuffed. The 1992 riots in one city were started by video of police beating a man after a high speed chase to avoid drunk driving arrest.

    The BLM movement has existed for 7 years, and has grown from never-addressed issues from long before, including Rodney King, and parallel incidents that continue to occur. Add in that the Axios list does not factor in deaths, and I’m left to wonder if those are viewed as not important next to property and money.

    Only 5% of BLM demonstrations involved demonstrators engaging in violence, per a report from the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project. All Black Lives Matter protests tarred for a small percentage of non-peaceful protests, some of which may have been caused or exacerbated by provocateurs seeking to discredit the movement? The New York Times doesn’t seem as far off base as David Bernstein wants to pretend.

    1. George Floyd was a violent criminal thug. Even if his death was “a brutal murder,” who cares? The world is better off with him in the ground.

      1. George Floyd was a violent criminal thug. Even if his death was “a brutal murder,” who cares?

        Anyone with even a nominal interest in justice, for a start.

        But we already knew you have no such interest.

      2. At some point in George Floyd’s life, he accepted a plea bargain regarding a crime he probably did not commit in order to avoid a much longer sentence. This is a reality facing many African-Americans not blessed with enough wealth to afford Johnnie Cochran. As a consequence of his “record” he had a harder time getting employment. Maybe he did pass a counterfeit bill. That hasn’t been proven. At the time of his death and for at least several years prior, he conducted himself nonviolently, and his life was snuffed out in front of witnesses by someone who is supposed to protect and serve, not to snuff out lives. I am horrified that this happened and so are most Americans of all races. And if Aktenberg78 is ever a victim of police brutality, I will be horrified by that too. Even though I disagree with Aktenberg78 about the tragic loss of George Floyd, I would never say that the world would be better off without him/her.

        1. “At some point in George Floyd’s life, he accepted a plea bargain regarding a crime he probably did not commit…”

          According to wikipedia, your ‘at some point’ should perhaps be ‘at several points’:

          “Between 1997 and 2005, Floyd served eight jail terms on various minor charges, including drug possession, theft, and trespass.[9][15][13][note 2] In 2009, he was sentenced to five years in prison for a 2007 armed robbery in a home invasion…”

    2. Only 5% of BLM demonstrations involved demonstrators engaging in violence, per a report from the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project.

      And what percentage of the thousands of people who rallied in Washington on January 6 were involved in violence at the Capitol?

      1. Is anyone claiming everyone in DC was involved in the insurrection? No one is really caring about whoever came to DC and waived signs.

        But the thesis of the OP seems to be that the protests this summer must be tied to the riots.

  17. They lie by omission of facts.

  18. So much for diversity in thinking, I guess.

    Anyone writing off the NYT for stuff like this is just a partisan looking for less cognitive dissonance for their narrative. See also the previous thread and Bernstein’s hate for NPR. Or Bernstein’s super lame list of ‘liberal conspiracy theories’ You know, like JFK and how many white supremacists there are.

    Everyone is going to have bias. All you can ask is that some try and address it. NYT tries and has internal controls. Others don’t.

    Plus, as Magister noted in his last paragraph, depending on who you ask, this appears to have been a marginal error.

    1. They’ve basically quit trying as their general staff has become more woke.

      Editors and right leaning columnists are leaving or being pushed out as it’s discovered that they’re not singing from the right hymnal.

      I hate it but it’s true, Trump somehow caused the NYT, WaPo, and CNN to destroy themselves. I’ve reached the point that if I see the byline for the NYT or WaPo I don’t even bother, because I’m gonna have to waste time figuring out how much narrative bullshit is embedded in the piece.

      CNN has gone in a very short time from being the go to place to keep up when something really big is happening to a complete and total clown show. Somehow they’re worse than Fox News, and Fox News is appallingly bad.

      I haven’t figured out where to go to get good info anymore. A handful of objective bloggers maybe.

      1. They’re transparent about their internal controls. Unless you think they’re lying, the idea that they’re not trying is just confirmation bias.

        Columnists are a whole different area of the paper, and a whole different discussion. I’ve seen nothing about editors.

        The right has been pushing the media bias story hard for decades. It’s never been true, and it’s still not. I could find left wingers just as angry with NYT’s failed biased coverage on the other side.

        As I said, they’re not 100%; don’t take them as gospel. But to affirmatively not trust them is just closing your mind.

        CNN has always sucked.

        1. Outright lying is only one side of the coin. The other side is what you choose to report on, and especially how you choose to frame it.

          My favorite non-political example of this was a report that the rotational speed of the earth has been increasing such that clocks must be adjusted by several milliseconds a year to account for it. This was reported with the headline (I kid you not) of, “Earth is Spinning Out of Control!”

          1. Coverage choice is not what the OP is about.

            And it’s also unavoidable – part of why you should have different sources, if only to track the other narratives out there.

      2. “Follow the money”, as the saying goes. Journalism is a business, and like any business it caters to a target market.

        So, it’s not that the NYT, WaPo, and CNN have been “destroying” themselves, what you’re seeing is them changing their product to give their customers more of what they want to buy.

        These days, anger and fear are the top sellers.

        1. Money has a gravity, but not all choices are made to maximize profits.

          No one becomes a journalist for the cash.

        2. Matt Taibbi has an interesting article on the current financial incentives in media.

    2. It’s all part of Bernstein’s perpetual and performative disappointment in liberals and liberal media. Once upon a time, he had faith in them—he *trusted* them to tell the truth, gosh darn it!—but they’ve broken his heart. But now, man, he just doesn’t know about the world anymore. Be better, liberals, for all the innocent little David Bernsteins out there! Take it as a weird compliment, I guess, that he has no such expectations of right-wing media in that he sees no reason to ever write it off for heartbreaking lies and deceptions.

      1. He’s more like a commenter these days than a Conspirator.

      2. Here’s the thing, Mr. Hook. The New York Times, until recently, purported to be objective, not liberal. It actually tried to at least give that appearance. So far as I know, the Times still does not purport to present a liberal/progressive perspective on the news, the way MSNBC is liberal and Fox conservative do, but still purports to be “the paper of record” rather than a partisan/ideological outlet. So, yes, I have higher expectations for factual reporting from such an outlet than from overtly ideological ones. If your criticism is that it was incredibly naive to ever believe the Times’ own self-image, well, fair enough… but I never quite believed *that,* I did believe that despite a general liberal (and establishmentarian) slant, I didn’t have to fact check the Times. At some point, the Times went to “news analysis,” which allowed its reporters to express opinions in news columns, and gave a signal to the wary to be less trustful of the take. But now many news columns read like the op-ed page, which, notoriously, was never into fact-checking or corrections. This is not a positive development.

        1. Okay, I’ll assume you’re being sincere here and say, yeah, you were deeply naive. The notion of objective journalism is for doe-eyed undergrads. Not everything is an outright falsehood, but a larger narrative is and always has been pursued by every media organization, with evidence privileged, omitted, and molded or sometimes mutilated. Some organizations are obvious, some are subtle. So complaining about the New York Times instead of the corrosive state of American media as a whole is either naive or lazy sniping—take your pick.

          1. “It actually tried to at least give that appearance,” e.g., no editorializing or misstating facts in the straight news columns.

  19. It’s very possible that the boarded up windows you saw in Omaha were due to storm damage, if it was after August 11.

    1. Wait, what?
      Storms are socialist?

      1. Why not? At least one is fascist.

    2. Hardware stores in the Omaha area and Lincoln area were completely out of wood for a ridiculously long time due to the riots. Wanted to build new stairs but couldn’t because there just wasn’t any to be had.

    3. We left Aug 10. We were actually scheduled to leave Aug 11, but didn’t like Omaha, the few things we wanted to do what shut down, so we left a day early–and just missed having our return flight canceled by the storm the next day.

  20. Just think of the liberal establishment, including Bigtech and the mainstream media, as enemies of Western civilization. It’ll make it a lot easier to get over the moral qualms good conservative patriots will have about exterminating them after the civil war starts.

    1. Aren’t you the racist?

      Or maybe you just play one on the Internet.

  21. It’s not untrue. There were tens of millions of people protesting in thousands of cities across the country. How many people convicted for property damage were actually linked to the left? There were several done by far right groups during the unrest, Boogaloo, Three Percenters, etc.

    1. How many people have been convicted at all for crimes during the riots? That would be practically warp speed for our justice system.

      There are a lot of crimes from those riots that can be solidly placed at leftist agents. Trying to blame them on the right is akin to blaming the January 6th riot on leftist provocateurs: there is solid evidence of some such activity, but most of it seems to be done by exactly who it looked like.

      1. There are several confirmed cases in different states involving far right groups like Boogaloo. But this is getting off the point. The comment he cites as why he doesn’t trust them isn’t even false. Tens of millions protested across the country.

  22. The violence in Minneapolis was started when a Trump supporter white supremacist threw a hammer through an AutoZone window. Google “Minneapolis umbrella man”.

    1. And that justified Trump non supporters trying to burn the city down, right? Makes everything else okie dokie.

    2. Lol, yes, the single mysterious white man caused days and days of rioting and hundreds of millions of dollars of property damage.

      1. “Oh, look, a strange white man breaking a window. This is contrary to what we stand for – we shall set aside for a brief moment our complaints about the police and turn this vandal over to the authorities – otherwise who knows how this might escalate?”

        /Something that probably didn’t get said, or if it was said it didn’t take

    3. And then it turned out there was no evidence it was a Trump supporter. And all the rioters turned out to be, you know, the usual leftists.

      1. There was totally a search warrant, though! That’s practically proof! For gullible morons, anyway.

    4. Similarly, I’ve decided Sebastian Cremmington is a Trump supporter just pretending to be a dumbass to give the right cover.

    5. Does anyone know how that was eventually resolved? Googling finds lots of coverage in just a few days in late July, saying that ‘Umbrella Man’ was identified as an outlaw biker, white supremacist, etc, and that a search warrant had been issued. Then it is justcrickets. The man in question doesn’t seem to have been arrested in 2020. I didn’t see that he was cleared, or anyone else arrested. What eventually happened?

    6. Someone on another thread asked how far down the rabbit hole you’d need to go before you found someone arguing that the violence last summer could be attributed to white supremacists. This far down.

    7. “The violence in Minneapolis was started when a Trump supporter white supremacist threw a hammer through an AutoZone window. Google “Minneapolis umbrella man”.”

      There’s a Minneapolis version of the Capitol antifa theory? That’s awesome.

    8. Google “Minneapolis umbrella man”

      You can also Google “Bigfoot” and “Loch Ness Monster” and get similar results.

  23. You would have thought that Russiagate and the 1619 project would have blown the NYT’s reputation for most people.

  24. How well I remember the howls of rage over Kellyanne Conway’s formulation about “alternative facts”.

    Little did we know that the Times was just taking notes on how to do it.

  25. I don’t think Bernstein has much of a complaint here. The sentence Bernstein quotes is about Republican messaging. That messaging was misleading because it suggested that the protests were typically violent. The Times shouldn’t repeat the messaging without giving some indication that it was inaccurate. (The US Crisis Monitor lists 9,427 protests and 626 riots associated with Black Lives Matter.) I think that the quotes sentence does a good job of doing that without getting sidetracking into a discussion of the protests.

    Bernstein suggests that the Times should have written the following:

    “For months, Republicans have used last summer’s protests as a political catchall, highlighting 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 and calls to defund the police to motivate their base in November.”

    That’s a mess with (I think) multiple misplaced modifiers. The original is quite a bit better in terms of clarity and conciseness.

    Bernstein complains that the original sentence could lead a reader to be *less* informed after reading the article than before, but the same is true of his proposed alternative. His proposed alternative suggests that the protests were solely about George Floyd’s death, when in fact they were about a pattern of police killings which included most specifically the death of George Floyd, but also the deaths of Brianna Taylor and others.

    I don’t subscribe to the Times, but I assume that readers who are interested in the protests were provided with plenty of coverage by the Times. Bernstein’s concern appears to be that some Times readers will ignore all that coverage and instead turn to a subordinate cause referencing the protests in a news article about a different topic. Those readers are not going to be well informed about the protests because a subordinate clause will inevitably leave out important facts about the protests. Tweaking the contents of the subordinate clause won’t change that.

    1. “I don’t subscribe to the Times, but I assume that readers who are interested in the protests were provided with plenty of coverage by the Times.”

      I don’t subscribe to the Times either, but I know that the Washington Post either under-reported or didn’t report at all on a lot of the destruction caused by the BLM “protests”.

      1. …just to catch up, we have two people who don’t read the New York Times arguing about the level of coverage the Times gave to something …

        In order to respond to someone who regularly concern trolls the subject, “Oh noes, the New York Times broke my heart by not being the stalwart symbol of what I expected to hear. Why can’t they be unbiased, like OANN?”

        This might be the best example of pure, unadultered internet I have found recently.

        1. …just to catch up, we have two people who don’t read the New York Times arguing about the level of coverage the Times gave to something …

          That’s an odd take, given that the post to which you’re replying didn’t say a single word about the level of coverage the Times gave to anything.

          1. ““I don’t subscribe to the Times, but I assume that readers who are interested in the protests were provided with plenty of coverage by the Times.”

            I don’t subscribe to the Times either, but I know that the Washington Post either under-reported or didn’t report at all on a lot of the destruction caused by the BLM “protests”.”

            A: I don’t subscribe to the Times, but I assume it had plenty of coverage of X.

            B: I don’t subscribe to the Times, but I subscribe to a similar paper that had no coverage of X {and therefore the Times likely had no coverage of X}.

            I was wrong. The reply to me, attempting to make a profoundly stupid argument when none was needed for no good reason … that was pure internet straight to the veins.

            YEE-HAW!

  26. Hence why I don’t trust this rag. Considering they were nationwide and there are opportunistic assholes everywhere, I’m not really surprised.

    The quote is accurate. Does that offend you?

  27. When will we change the name of the country to The United States Where Black Lives Matter?

  28. The lying didn’t start with Trump. It won’t end with him gone.

  29. [slow clap]

    trumpski is not even gone and you continue the fake news mantra

    good going

    Oh, and inflation

    1. Oh, and inflation

      So you’re not even smart enough to benefit from someone else making that same stupid mistake a day before you.

  30. There’s a certain brand of consevative that is deeply enamored with, and idolize, the New York Times (and other so-called “normative institutions”), and are deeply upset when the New York Times and other institutions don’t kow-tow to their insanity.

    It’s odd.

    I don’t know any “liberal” that wants to “fix” Fox News. Some may want to kill it dead, thinking it’s a trash fire that’s contributing to moral and civic decay, sure. But none want to rehabilitate it.

    But there’s a weird number of die-hard conservatives that hate, absolutely hate “liberal institutions”, but don’t want to see them destroyed, just want to see them on “their side”.

    It’s like you’re more concerned with the “prestige” of the institution then any actual virtues.

    1. “But there’s a weird number of die-hard conservatives that hate, absolutely hate “liberal institutions”, but don’t want to see them destroyed, just want to see them on “their side”.

      It’s like you’re more concerned with the “prestige” of the institution then any actual virtues.”

      This is great point! But maybe it doesn’t mean exactly what you think.

      After all, there is a reason that people (rich people, conservative people, etc.) still send their kids to Harvard and Yale.

      There is a reason that smart people still read the New York Times, and the WSJ, and the Economist, among others.

      There is a reason that those terrible people in Silicon Valley and Hollywood make for such convenient targets, and yet they still do okay, and keep pumping out movies and tech, and despite people saying how terrible they are, it’s not like Kirk Cameron is going to overtake the world box office anytime soon.

      …and so on. Maybe it’s not just about the prestige. Maybe, just maybe, it’s possible that there is some kind of value in some of these institutions?

      Who knows?

      1. But maybe it doesn’t mean exactly what you think.

        Nah, I meant what I said.

        You are free to argue that such folks are just bitter about merits, but I’m not interested in making that argument. If they want to claim Yale is worthless, then I’m gonna assume that they just want the reputation of a Yale grad for the kid, and have no interest or concern in their kid actually getting educated.

        Which is to say… I understand the argument you are making, I’m just not making it myself.

        1. “Which is to say… I understand the argument you are making, I’m just not making it myself.”

          Fair enough!

          I don’t think that’s it, though. For the most part, I think that it’s performative. In other words, sure, you do have some people who truly don’t know any better. Who believe that nothin’ good comes out of those places, no way.

          But for many people, it’s just a convenient punching bag to show solidarity. I mean, think of Hawley and Cruz; both of them are products of the elite system of “liberal institutions,” yet both of them like to scream about the terrible-ness of it.

          It’s like this anecdote I’ve seen repeated:

          1. One afternoon, Gene mentioned whatever the current outrage du jour on Fox was.

            He fixed me with his baleful, watery stare, and said, “Obama was born in Kenya, you know.” […]

            So I dead-eyed Gene and said, “You don’t really believe that. I know you don’t.”

            I will never forget the look that crossed his face. Because it was familiar. It was the same shit-eating grin my racist stepfather used to wear when spouting Rush Limbaugh dittohead shit at the dinner table. It was the same wink-wink-nudge-nudge all the fucking white supremacists and Satanic Panic a–holes give.

            Gene absolutely, positively did not believe that Obama was born in Kenya. But he would continue to say he believed it, no matter who asked, to the end of his life. Because he thought saying he believed it absolved him of responsibility.

    2. and are deeply upset when the New York Times and other institutions don’t kow-tow to their insanity

      So objecting to partisan bullshit is “insanity” now.

      1. “President Biden won the 2020 presidential election” isn’t “partisan bullshit”, ya know.

  31. Then of course there is the ‘compared to what’ aspect

    Go find facts on faux or one ‘merica or wherever

    then argue with an adjective in the Times

  32. One definition of isolated is “having minimal contact or little in common with others”. Correct me if I’m wrong but I haven’t seen any reliable evidence that the rioters in various cities over the summer had any contact with each other. While the protests were coordinated, no evidence the violence was coordinated. Furthermore, there’s little connection between the peaceful protestors and the rioters who took advantage of civil unrest. (Conta the Capitol insurrection that was preplanned and coordinated to attempt to interfere with Congress.) If you don’t want to read one of the most read newspapers in the world, that’s fine. They won’t suffer because your lack of readership. That’s the free market.

    1. The first couple of sentences here give sophistry a bad name.

      1. The sophistry is coming from you, David Bernstein. Adabsurdum is correct. Many Americans protested the murder of George Floyd, police violence, and police bias against Blacks. A few other Americans piggybacked on those protests and looted businesses and public property. Those who looted should be tried, and upon conviction, assigned an appropriate penalty. But unlike the Capitol insurrectionists, they didn’t use social media to plot attacks (“Here’s how we’ll take over Macy’s…”). They didn’t construct gallows. They did not attempt to overturn the will of the people. Even Mitch McConnell is outraged. But David Bernstein thinks it’s sophistry to point the differences. If I worked for The New York Times I would wear his scorn as a badge of honor. I agree that The New York Times is not perfect, but it gets the story right a lot more often than Fox News.

  33. Why can’t we all just get along?

  34. And, just for a chuckle, the Washington Post has turned comments off on almost all of its stories (rather than just the local crime stories, as usual), apparently because they’re afraid someone will say something inappropriate.

    1. I wonder what gave them that idea.

      1. Their comment sections have been famously stupid and toxic (yes, they’re significantly worse now from the VC days)

        1. Is that possible that they are worse than here? huh. Like I’ve said recently, the only thing this niche blog has going for it, is that it’s the same usernames for the most part, so you can be fairly certain that they aren’t paid shills.

          They shill for free!

          1. I mean, when I comment regularly†, I regularly get accused of being a “tulpa” just because I don’t toe the party line here. So I’m not so sure that “only thing” holds too well.
            ________
            †My comment rate tends to ebb and flow and crater for weeks on end.

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