The New York Times, aka The Paper of Record, The Old Grey Lady or, as Peter Atrios of the Eschaton blog refers to it, That Fucking Newspaper, has been on quite a roll lately with their work to normalize fascism.
Yesterday, they posted one of their Fascists Fashion Shoots/Profiles about the Prettier Steve Bannon, Christopher Rufo. It featured the usual photoshoot, and stuff like this:
“To some on the left” is championship-level both-siderism. He’s quite clear about what he is up to (turning back the clock to 1950s America as far as race, gender, and sexuality), and is also clear that lying is a way to achieve it.
This is a guy who launched the critical race theory moral panic and is now pushing ideas like the majority of public school teachers are pedophile groomers as a way to destroy LGBTQ rights. The New York Times presenting him as a guy who “some on the left” view as dangerous is bonkers.
This is not the Times‘ first rodeo with this. In 2017, they caught some fire for their profile of an Ohio white nationalizer and Nazi sympathizer.
People were not happy because they presented an actual Nazi as this guy who sure had some bad ideas, but otherwise he was just a dude. The Times argued that such exposure “shines light” on some terrible, horrible, and dangerous views. As a lot of media critics have pointed out, this is doing nothing but normalizing such beliefs.
The Times hasn’t learned anything and, as is evident by their profile of Rufo yesterday, are content to just ignore critics. The danger here is I don’t think many people are aware of just how dangerous Rufo is. “Groomer” is a new slur used by right-wingers, and LGBTQ people are bigger targets than ever.
Some are optimistic that the new editor of the Times will initiate changes. Margaret Sullivan is one, her column yesterday was hopeful that Joe Kahn will listen to criticism, to try to do better.
She lays out the stakes:
No exaggeration detected. But will Kahn move the Times away from the failures of the Trump era? Hard to say. As Sullivan pointed out, they never admitted their errors in how they covered the Hillary Clinton email nonsense.
Some of us understand what the current stakes are. I just wish more of the DC political media did.
The last word goes to a whole bunch of people. I have been greatly enjoying this playlist, figured I’d share with the readers:
Welcome to the JANGLE, baby! New playlist A SPLINTER IN YOUR EYE: AMERICAN JANGLE 1982-1986 – a collection of proto-indie, power pop, and Paisley Underground in post-punk America
YouTube: https://t.co/tRiP9tvwLA pic.twitter.com/0Hg9mk51va
— Matthew Perpetua (@perpetua) April 24, 2022