Gaslighting Brought to You by the New York Times

(The opinions expressed in guest op-eds are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of

By Bob Hoge

An Asian woman shoved to her demise in front of an oncoming subway car in New York’s Times Square Station.  A 70-year-old nurse randomly attacked and killed at a bus stop near LA’s Union Station.  A UCLA grad student with a promising future knifed to death while she was working at an upscale furniture store in LA’s tony Hancock Park area.  


These three gruesome and apparently random murders occurred in just the last few days.  Many other recent atrocities too – an off-duty Sheriff’s deputy massacred while house-hunting in South Los Angeles, a 19-year Burger King worker gunned down in Harlem — after she had given the robber the money.  And so on and so on.

What the heck is going on here?  Lucky for you, on Tuesday morning the New York Times put together a handy-dandy helpful newsletter to try to explain.  “Good morning,” it starts. “We explore why murders surged in the U.S.”  (Good Morning?)  Murder rates went up by 27 percent in 2020, and more again in 2021.  What were the causes?  They list three: 1) the pandemic, 2) changes in policing, and 3) more guns. 

Their reasoning is so tortured, so devoid of any logic that it reads — as many writers have pointed out about mainstream media stories these days — like a Babylon Bee parody.  The pandemic?  Seriously, I’m so angry about having to wear a mask that I think I’ll just push a random stranger in front of a train?  “Changes in policing.” What an Orwellian description of what actually happened – a year-long, ritualized humiliation of our nation’s police — except the Capitol Police of course – and the very deliberate defunding of them.  But no, the Times says, that’s not it, it’s because “police may have pulled back on proactive anti-violence practices” for fear of becoming caught up in controversy, or because people have lost “confidence” in the police after George Floyd’s death.  Riiiiiiight.  It couldn’t be that NYC disbanded its 600-force plain-clothes anti-crime unit, or that LA’s Mayor Garcetti yanked $150 million from his police department’s budget in 2020.  Or the myriad similar measures introduced in cities across the nation.  


“Americans bought many more guns in 2020 and 2021 than they did in previous years,” they continue.   Wonder why?  Could it be thousands of Americans felt unsafe after the 2020 riots and wanted to protect themselves?

What’s so preposterous about this newsletter isn’t what’s included.  OK, sure, I give you that the pandemic, “changes in policing,” and more guns may have contributed to our soaring murder and crime rates.  

But it’s what isn’t included that is so jarring.  No mention of California’s Proposition 47, which turned many felonies into misdemeanors (now you can go steal up to $950 from your local store and suffer almost no consequences); no mention of New York’s no-bail laws, which mean you can rob a bank, get caught, and get out in time to rob another one the very next day; no mention of crusading left-wing DA’s like LA’s George Gascon, Philadelphia’s Larry Krasner, or San Francisco’s Chesa Boudin, none of whom have ever met a convict they don’t want to set free.

The sad truth of it is that every time lately that we hear of a tragic senseless murder, we can virtually write the ensuing story ourselves.  “The suspect now in custody is XXKK, and he has a 17-page rap-sheet including battery, sexual assault, and armed robbery.” He is either out on parole or awaiting a hearing on another matter.  


So blame COVID, blame the police, blame guns, but ignore the real and obvious reasons behind the rapid decline in safety in America: the revolving doors at our courthouses where lax crime laws and extremist DA’s are releasing thousands of violent criminals onto our streets in unprecedented numbers.  

But you wouldn’t know that if you relied on the New York Times for your news.  

Manhattan’s new District Attorney Alvin Bragg just announced a slew of crimes he won’t bother to prosecute, and is making calls for armed robberies to be prosecuted as misdemeanors – so long as the perp didn’t “create a genuine risk of physical harm.”  (Tell that to the victim who just had a gun pointed at their head.)

A year from now, after Bragg’s policies have had time to fester, the New York Times will be trying to figure out why crime has suddenly skyrocketed even more in the Big Apple.  My guess is they’ll finger Global Warming Climate Change.


Bob Hoge is a father of four who moved to Southern California to live the American Dream. He owns a small business and, along with his wife, isn’t leaving Los Angeles without a fight.


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