An internal squabble over media coverage of President Donald Trump at the respected Wall Street Journal is being played out in the pages of the once-respected New York Times.
Journal editor Gerard Baker apparently fired off an email to the newsroom in recent days, chiding them for blurring the ethical line between news stories and personal opinions. The reporters responded with their own criticism – then the exchange of emails found its way to the Times.
“Could we please just stick to reporting what he said rather than packaging it in exegesis and selective criticism?” Baker asked in one email, after he read a supposed news story describing Trump's campaign-style rally in Arizona in which he skewered the media and defended his record.
Tim Graham of the Media Research Center says The New York Times happily reported on the squabble, since it allowed the newspaper to needle a competitor and dump on its hated rival, Trump.
"It's trying to whip everybody into shape," Graham says of the Times and its message. "You're not allowed to be objective. You're not allowed to be decent and kind or civil. All of that is counter-revolutionary."
The storied New York Times began publishing in 1851, winning more Pulitzer prizes – 122 – than any other publication. It is owned by the Sulzberger family, which has been overseeing the newspaper's operation for four generations.
Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. sent a memo last November, immediately after Trump won election, vowing that the Times would "rededicate" itself to reporting about "America and the world, without fear or favor, striving to understand and reflect all political perspectives and life experiences in the stories that we bring you."
Yet the newspaper, like many other large-city dailies, is famously liberal and now finds itself struggling in the Internet age with other news sources and with conservative bloggers and media watchdogs such as MRC.
PJ Media writer Andrew Klavan (see video below) frequently skewers the Times as "The New York Times, a former newspaper" for its left-wing reporting.
And then there is the likes of Twitter sage David "Iowahawk" Burge, a self-described libertarian atheist who often calls out politicians and the media.
"Anybody else starting to get seriously creeped out by the Times?" Burge asked in a tweet that shared three New York Times stories nakedly celebrating communism and socialism.
On the same day the Times reported on the Wall Street Journal debate columnist Nicholas Kristof suggested in a pearl-clutching column that he is concerned for the very lives of reporters who cover the White House and President Trump.
Graham says that kind of left-wing hysteria is nothing new for the liberal media, recalling that the Left was pining for impeaching former president George W. Bush, too.
He wonders where the media has been lurking for the last eight years.
"We all saw eight years of Obama where these people were not a check on power," Graham complains. "They were a cheerleader for power. They were stenographers to power."