The paper of record repeats its false narratives like a broken record.
It was precisely the kind of red meat the voracious anti-Trump warriors and #Resistance fighters devour. The New York Times delivered a scathing report on Friday that was a perfect example of everything wrong with a Trump presidency. The paper detailed that Trump had brokered a quid pro quo deal with the NRA during a meeting with Wayne LaPierre, whereby he established if the organization lends its support to his campaign for reelection he would stop the games being played with gun control legislation.
Turns out the story was a little too perfect. It sure had all the proper outrage elements; an allegedly corrupt president, a despised organization, and a possibly illegal deal between the nefarious forces. This was the kind of scandal that would cement the expulsion of the president. With the supposedly grievous Ukrainian phone call outrage taking place already this additional legal behavior would make it required that he be driven from office.
Were any of it true. Turns out that the New York Times has fallen into a pattern with these groundbreaking stories. Release the report, frame it in such a way that generates the most outrage, and then much later quietly make a significant alteration that changes the entire interpretation. In the original release the paper described this arrangement as being done “in return for the support”.
Then in the early evening The Times altered this language, replacing this accusation with the completely neutral language of “During the meeting…”. The only indication of this shift in tone is a note at the end indicating only that the piece had been “updated”, with no specifics given behind the update, and no explanation what led to the change.
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) September 27, 2019
When your change of content is so blatant that Josh Marshal takes notice you know this was some journalistic malpractice. This is the same methodology used just weeks back when The Times supplied an “explosive” announcement of a new alleged victim of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and then later revealing that this supposed victim had no memory of the alleged events, whatsoever. The Times had that detail all along. It rested inside the very same book that the paper was promoting with its claimed “exclusive”.
What is most revealing about this technique is how it is warmly accepted by those who feel perfectly at ease screeching about every supposed factual error in the Fox News and right-of-center media. Brian Stelter is the self-anointed media arbiter at CNN, and his mission statement is to comment on press activities. Yet, after helping push the Kavanaugh lie, he has been uncritical of the vagaries in the Ukrainian story and misrepresentations in the press. Brian has been quite content pushing the narrative and perpetuating the inaccuracies
This weekend’s edition of Reliable Sources saw him incapable to find any time to mention the New York Times alteration. You would think a major paper with a major factual problem would warrant coverage by a media critic, but no such content was delivered. Instead, Brian dedicated a lengthy block of his air time to interview a Ukrainian whistleblower “expert” — actor Robert DeNiro. The telling part in all of this is Stelter’s co-worker at CNN, Jake Tapper, had a direct involvement with the alteration from The Times.
Tapper had sent out a tweet on Friday following the initial revelation by the paper. But once the alteration of the entire narrative was exposed Tapper at least did the proper thing and alerted his followers to the change in the story and pulled down his original post — something not even The Times could manage to do with its own change.
NYT edited a story after posting it, so i'm deleting my original tweet quoting language no longer in the story and tweeting out the new version.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) September 28, 2019
This is the state of contemporary journalism. Their actions have made it necessary that the audience has to work harder than media members in order to get the complete story.
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