NY Times Finds Anti-Trump Hero: That 'Frequent Critic' of Liberal Bias, Joe Scarborough?

August 10th, 2016 7:27 AM

On Monday, The New York Times published a front-page editorial on the need for the media to defeat Donald Trump....and one of their heroes was an alleged “frequent critic of liberal media bias” named....Joe Scarborough.

As if they hire “frequent critics of liberal media bias” at MSNBC? But Times columnist Jim Rutenberg offered Scarborough as some sort of hero for insisting Donald Trump should be nowhere near The Button.

Mr. Scarborough, a frequent critic of liberal media bias, said he was concerned that Mr. Trump was becoming increasingly erratic, and asked rhetorically, “How balanced do you have to be when one side is just irrational?”

So the “frequent critic” of media bias is employed to explain why it’s absolutely necessary. The Times made no mention of how Scarborough and Trump were comfy-cozy during the Republican primaries -- Scarborough even compared Trump to Pope Francis -- but after that nomination was secure did the MSNBC host suddenly find Trump unsuitable for office.

Rutenberg then followed up: “Mr. Scarborough is on the opinion side of the news business. It’s much dodgier for conventional news reporters to treat this year’s political debate as one between ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal,’ as the Vox editor in chief Ezra Klein put it recently.”

Rutenberg also saluted CNN Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter for trashing Sean Hannity and other Trump-enablers in the conservative media. “Brian Stelter called upon journalists and opinion makers to challenge Mr. Trump’s ‘dangerous’ claims that the electoral system is rigged against him. Failure to do so would be unpatriotic, Mr. Stelter said.”

Stelter is only 30, but he’s old enough to remember the years of Democrats “unpatriotically” complaining the system was rigged against Al Gore in 2000.

Rutenberg also turned to his own newspaper colleagues to argue the case for blatantly damaging Trump’s chances:

“If you have a nominee who expresses warmth toward one of our most mischievous and menacing adversaries, a nominee who shatters all the norms about how our leaders treat families whose sons died for our country, a nominee proposing to rethink the alliances that have guided our foreign policy for 60 years, that demands coverage — copious coverage and aggressive coverage,” said Carolyn Ryan, The New York Times’s senior editor for politics. “It doesn’t mean that we won’t vigorously pursue reporting lines on Hillary Clinton — we are and we will.”

Carolyn Ryan is a bit of a joke when she says this. Liz Spayd, the brand-new “public editor” or ombudsman at the Times, recently noted the paper utterly ignored Hillary Clinton’s unabashed four-Pinocchio lying to Chris Wallace in a Fox News Sunday interview. Guess what Ryan said when asked about this obvious oversight: We will continue our aggressive coverage of Hillary!

I asked Carolyn Ryan, The Times’s political editor, about the decision not to cover Clinton’s remarks about the email controversy. Here’s how she responded: “It is a subject we have covered aggressively -- especially how her comments compare to what the F.B.I. found -- and will continue to do so.”

Then take Washington Post managing editor Cameron Barr, who lamely claimed to Rutenberg that when they set out to damage Trump, it’s not really their fault, it’s Trump’s fault for “producing news” or controversy at a different rate than their favored candidate, the one they’re all voting for in November:

You can fairly say about Mrs. Clinton that no presidential candidate has secured a major party nomination after an F.B.I. investigation into her use of a private email server for, in some cases, top-secret national security information. That warrants scrutiny, along with her entire record. But the candidates do not produce news at the same rate.

“When controversy is being stoked, it’s our obligation to report that,” said the Washington Post managing editor Cameron Barr. “If one candidate is doing that more aggressively and consistently than the other, that is an imbalance for sure.” But, he added, “it’s not one that we create, it’s one that the candidate is creating.”

Will an aggressive elect-Hillary tilt hurt the news media’s reputation? Rutenberg suggests only with people who already hate them:

While there are several examples of conservative media criticism of Mr. Trump this year, the candidate and his supporters are reprising longstanding accusations of liberal bias. “The media is trying to take Donald Trump out,” Rush Limbaugh declared last week.

A lot of core Trump supporters certainly view it that way. That will only serve to worsen their already dim view of the news media, which initially failed to recognize the power of their grievances, and therefore failed to recognize the seriousness of Mr. Trump’s candidacy.

This, however, is what being taken seriously looks like. As Ms. Ryan put it to me, Mr. Trump’s candidacy is “extraordinary and precedent-shattering” and “to pretend otherwise is to be disingenuous with readers.”

What’s being “disingenous with readers” is arguing in favor of liberal bias , and then treating it as a strange “longstanding accusation” that there is such a thing.