In the interest of getting all supposedly relevant information out there for the public to see, the New York Times amassed an extraordinary array of journalistic resources — three reporters, three who "contributed reporting," and two others who "contributed research" — to what they must have thought was an important, underappreciated element of the saga which ended with the brutal ambush murders of NYPD Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in December.
The three reporters — Kim Barker, Mosi Secret and Richard Fausset — composed roughly 2,500 words as a result of that eight-person effort. Their resulting work was posted online on Friday and appeared on the front page of the paper's January 3 New York Region and National print editions (above the fold, top right). Their mission was to sympathetically portray cop-killer Ismaaiyl Brinsley, which was bad enough. But their ultimate objective, which I'm sure was achieved in the minds of many fever-swamp liberals (example here), was to convince readers that the link between Al Sharpton and his "we want dead cops" crowd and Brinsley's motivations was not all that direct, i.e., that "Brinsley’s short life and violent end is probably less political and more accidental than initially portrayed." The rest of us will find their attempt troubling, but utterly unpersuasive in that regard.