Systemic Rot At The New York Times In The Age Of Trump

Donald Trump, Political…Genius?
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

I’m a nobody. I’m a failure. A loser. A rube who lives in a flyover state. But I would like to note the obvious — something’s amiss in the House That Ochs Built. The reason why it’s so dangerous to our apparently dying democracy is it’s systemic.

It’s not any one person — even though Maggie Haberman is a notable Trump suck up — but the very institution itself. It’s even more difficult to assess because The New York Times continues to be the premiere news organization in the world. It’s just that consistently since the dawn of Trumplandia the paper has gotten its overall coverage of our mad king wrong.

The reason why this is so dangerous is The Old Gray Lady pretty much sets the daily news agenda for most of the media ecosystem. So when they wilfully engage in the tried-and-true 2016 playbook of acting as though Trump and his minions are acting in good faith — when they clearly are not — that’s a serious, serious problem for the Republic.

If I’m so smart, what would I do differently? Well, I would have a townhall meeting of the entire newsroom and tell them to think of themselves as patriots first and reporters second. If that means burning some bridges so be it. If that means being extra-skeptical of whatever fucked up messaging House Trump is pushing then so be it. One notable example of this recently was when The Times cooed about how much money The Thousand Year Trump was spending on digital buys. That whole thing is political FUD meant to cower House Trump political opponents into thinking all is fucking lost.

Another issue is people like Maggie Haberman idly muse about how it is that Trump does demonstrably stupid things as if there was some other answer than, well, Trump is, in fact, stupid. At this point the only reason why I mention Ms. Haberman is she’s a fun to pick on. Anyone who sucks at the teet of House Trump that much and takes her self so fucking seriously deserves whatever snarky fate she may meet. You know who Maggie Haberman reminds me of? The guy who gave David Letterman the “GE Handshake” when he went to his new bosses with a gift basket.

I don’t know. It’s times like these when I wish Gawker was still around. It would be nice if Nick Denton had his old crew rant against what I’m talking about on a daily basis. It’s all very silly and yet extremely important given the stakes involved.

I love The Times. I just wish they would do better.

Author: Shelton Bumgarner

I am the Editor & Publisher of The Trumplandia Report

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