The people who have made an industry out of destroying ordinary people’s lives over old social media posts and out-of-context comments are very upset that it’s happening to them. The New York Times, clearly worried by the recent exposure of blatantly anti-Semitic tweets posted by one of its reporters, and clearly worried that even more embarassing material is in reserve, tried to stop the hemorrhaging with a rambling article demonizing the independent journalists who uncovered the tweets.
In fact, much of the liberal media sphere went into panic mode, vehemently declaring that this particular exercise of the First Amendment is actually an attack on the First Amendment. The reason why liberal editors are so distraught that independent conservative journalists are publishing evidence of the racist, anti-Semitic, and otherwise vile sentiments expressed by their supposedly “objective” employees comes down — as it usually does — to power.
Many journalists are in the profession not to inform the public, but to gain the power to destroy people who question them — and they don’t like those tactics being turned against them. “[U]sing journalistic techniques to target journalists and news organizations … is fundamentally different from the well-established role of the news media in scrutinizing people in positions of power,” the Times wrote in its article — which was of course labeled “news,” not “opinion.”
The newspaper’s publisher, Arthur Sulzberger, added that “The political operatives behind this campaign will argue that they are ‘reporting’ on news organizations in the same way that news organizations report on elected officials and other public figures,” but he roundly rejected that claim, insisting that his antagonists are trying to “manipulate the facts for political gain.”
To their credit, not everyone in the elite media world is buying it. Erik Wemple of The Washington Post and Jack Shafer of Politico both wrote rebukes of The Times’s indignation. Neither is a conservative “political operative,” but both found Sulzberger’s statement hypocritical and incongruent with The Times’s own reporting on this story. As Wemple put it, “For decades now, representatives of the mainstream media have answered conservative critiques by imploring: Judge us by the work we produce, not by the fact that more than 90 percent of us are liberal/Democratic. Mainstreamers cannot have it both ways.”
Considering that Times recently held a staff meeting at which employees strategized over how best to undermine President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump awards Medal of Valor, civilian honors to responders in Dayton and El Paso shootings Texas Democrats unveil ‘path to victory’ plan for 2020 The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Congress returns with gun violence, funding atop agenda MORE, Sulzberger doesn’t have much standing to complain about media bias. Clearly, he thinks that his journalists deserve special privileges and protections because the targets of their attacks are so important.
Yet, the media outlets The New York Times is painting as victims used out-of-context video clips to claim that a group of teenage boys from a Catholic high school in Kentucky engaged in a racist attack on an innocent Native American Vietnam veteran. The story was a complete lie — fabricated by left-wing activists and circulated by some of the country’s most “prestigious” newspapers. They did it because those teenagers wore MAGA hats — and in the sick, twisted minds of today’s liberal journalists, that makes them and their families legitimate targets.
CNN, which the Times also portrays as a victim, went after an obscure social media user for making a meme of the president wrestling a figure with CNN’s logo. The Daily Beast, another left-wing outlet, once doxxed a black forklift driver because he posted a meme about “drunk Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiUS conservative leader: China is more ‘fragile than we realize’ Ten notable Democrats who do not favor impeachment Majority fear mass shooting in their community: poll MORE.”
Most hypocritical of all, however, is HuffPost editor in chief — and New York Times alumna — Lydia Polgreen. She called the prospect of journalists being held to the same standards as their targets “extremely alarming,” hypocritically arguing this “should worry anyone who cares about independent journalism” — even though people now being attacked by the establishment media are acting as independent journalists.
In the mind of leftist journalists, destroying people’s lives is “speaking truth to power” and “independent journalism.” It’s not. It’s a pure, shameless abuse of power by those who have it against those who don’t. It’s a deliberate exploitation of the far-left hate mobs that Big Tech still allows to organize on social media, even as the tech giants ban conservative users for “harassment” when they criticize journalists.
Just recently, The New York Times complained to a professor’s employer about a tweet referring to one of its high-profile columnists as a “bedbug.” The liberal media have made an art form out of digging up controversial tweets in order to attack ordinary Americans who support President Trump, and now that they’re being given a dose of their own medicine, they’ve discovered that they don’t like the taste. What goes around comes around, though, and those who live by the social media “gotcha” game shouldn’t be surprised if their eventual undoing comes by the same means.
Madison Gesiotto is an attorney and a commentator who serves with the advisory board of the Donald Trump campaign. She was an inauguration spokesperson and former Miss Ohio. She is on Twitter @MadisonGesiotto.