New York Times Fails Standard Again: Bias Surfaces

New York Times Fails Standard Again: Bias Surfaces

Angshuman Das 4 months ago

Recently, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested an undocumented resident while he was driving his wife to a hospital for a scheduled cesarean section. The New York Times, along with several other newspapers, covered the story. The Times’ coverage of this story and another recent story – the one on Trump’s disciplinary action against a senior Department of Justice (DOJ) official – again shows the newspaper’s strong liberal, anti-Trump bias. The Times is the face of the U.S. mainstream media, which Trump has called “the enemy of the people.”

Mark Penn, opinion writer at The Hill, says, “I will never call the mainstream media ‘the enemy of the people.’ But I will call them out for having strayed from fairly reporting some of the biggest stories of the last two years. No matter how egregious their errors, they insist on pointing fingers elsewhere and reinforcing political biases, in ways unimaginable to those of us who grew up in the Walter Cronkite era.”

Political bias can show in subtle ways; for instance, by omission of a certain fact or burying it deep in a story. In the case of the arrest of the illegal immigrant, the Times story noted that it “provoked outrage and fed into a growing anger toward ICE and the Trump administration’s sweeping immigration policies,” but failed to mention upfront that the ICE’s ground for his arrest was indictment for felony murder by the Mexican government, which sent extradition requests to ICE.

In the case of the action against the DOJ official, Bruce Ohr, whom The Times a called “little-known Justice Dept. official, the newspaper seemed to suggest in its reportage that President’s Trump’s order to review or revoke Ohr’s security clearance was arbitrary. The story says, “Mr. Ohr has found himself at the center of a right-wing conspiracy theory about the origins of the investigation into Russia’s 2016 election interference.”

Penn’s opinion piece, on the other hand, calls the developments leading to Ohr’s falling foul of the President “stunning” and says they suggest a “‘deep state’” conspiracy hidden even from superiors.” The developments involve a complex nexus among Ohr; a former British spy Christopher Steele; Hillary Clinton’s campaign; Ohr’s wife, who worked for an opposition-appointed political research firm, Fusion GPS; and the FBI, which paid Steele for information.

Ohr failed to disclose his connections with these agencies and individuals. Even though he was not officially part of the Russia investigation, he had more than 60 contacts with Steele, who was later fired by the FBI for lying.

The Times article does mention some of the facts, but it omitted Ohr’s lapses and his lack of full disclosure. The article makes it seem as though the developments implicating Ohr didn’t happen “and that this is a Justice Department guy picked almost at random for possible disciplinary actions by a rogue president,” Penn says.

He goes on to say, “The mainstream media in the United States should be at the vanguard of discovering corruption at the FBI and the Justice Department, rather than helping to cover it up. Only then will it earn the right to criticize others.”

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