NYT's Sunday Sore Loser Edition: Trump's 'Radical...Hard-Line' Picks, Conservative's 'Viral Nonsense'

December 18th, 2016 4:21 PM

Sunday’s New York Times may as well have been the sore loser edition, still obsessed with conjuring up links, no matter how tenuous, between Donald Trump and Russia, as shown in the off-lead story by Mike McIntire, “How Putin Fan Peddled Trump From Overseas – ‘Patriot’ Site Promoted Hoaxes to Americans.” Two other stories complained of Trump's "radical" and "hard-line" staff picks.

McIntire wrote:

The Patriot News Agency website popped up in July, soon after it became clear that Donald J. Trump would win the Republican presidential nomination, bearing a logo of a red, white and blue eagle and the motto “Built by patriots, for patriots.”

Tucked away on a corner of the site, next to links for Twitter and YouTube, is a link to another social media platform that most Americans have never heard of: VKontakte, the Russian equivalent of Facebook. It is a clue that Patriot News, like many sites that appeared out of nowhere and pumped out pro-Trump hoaxes tying his opponent Hillary Clinton to Satanism, pedophilia and other conspiracies, is actually run by foreigners based overseas.

But while most of those others seem be the work of young, apolitical opportunists cashing in on a conservative appetite for viral nonsense, operators of Patriot News had an explicitly partisan motivation: getting Mr. Trump elected.

Another front page story Sunday by Michael Shear, “Outsiders Selected by Trump Aim to Unnerve Washington,” termed Trump’s cabinet picks “radical.”

Some of those chosen -- 17 picks so far for federal agencies and five for the White House -- are among the most radical selections in recent history. Other presidents’ nominees, even when controversial, were often veterans of the Washington bureaucracy and generally believed in it. But a number of Mr. Trump’s most important selections have no experience in federal government and a great drive to undo it.

Inside Sunday’s edition, Shear and Jennifer Steinhauer profiled Rep. Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s pick for budget director: “Trump’s Pick for Budget Office Is Spending Hard-Liner.” Incidentally, “hard-line” is the same description the Times gave to Islamic radicals calling for the assassination of a novelist. The text employed the phrase too.

In Mr. Mulvaney, Mr. Trump has chosen for the Office of Management and Budget a spending hard-liner to join an economic team that could be ideologically in conflict, setting up possible collisions during major policy-making next year.... An early supporter of Mr. Trump during the campaign, Mr. Mulvaney has taken a hard line on spending during President Obama’s term, vowing not to raise the nation’s debt limit and embracing the term “Shutdown Caucus” because of his willingness to shut the government down instead.

Still more “hard-liners,” as Times reporter Michael Rosenberg melted down over the idea of Trump lawyer David Friedman as ambassador to Israel under the online headline “Trump Chooses Hard-Liner as Ambassador to Israel.” The print headline to the Friday story was no less hostile: “Trump Picks Lawyer as Ambassador Who Is Aligned With Israel’s Far Right.” For a counterpoint to this hyperventilating, The Washington Free Beacon has an excellent takedown here.