Another NYT Hit Piece
Yet another public figure with the “wrong” political views has been smeared in a journalistically bankrupt hit piece by the New York Times. The article opens with the statement, “Representative Matt Gaetz, Republican of Florida and a close ally of former President Donald J. Trump, is being investigated by the Justice Department over whether he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old and paid for her to travel with him, according to three people briefed on the matter.” It is only seven paragraphs later that the Times admits that the Justice Department told Gaetz’s lawyers he is not the target of the investigation and that Gaetz believes the investigation is part of an extortion scheme. Responding to the report, Gaetz told Tucker Carlson:
What is happening is extortion of me and my family involving a former Department of Justice official. On March 16th, my father got a text message demanding a meeting wherein a person demanded $25 million in exchange for making horrible sex trafficking allegations of me go away. Our family was so troubled by that we went to the local FBI and the FBI and the Department of Justice were so concerned about this, that they asked my dad to wear a wire. Which he did with the former Department of Justice official. Tonight I am demanding that the Department of Justice and the FBI release the audio recordings that were made under their supervision and at their direction which will prove my innocence. These allegations aren’t true and they were meant to bleed my family. This former Department of Justice official tomorrow was supposed to be contacted by my father so that specific instructions could be given regarding the wiring of $4.5 million as a down payment on this bribe. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that tonight somehow The New York Times is leaking this information, smearing me, and ruining the investigation.
When is enough, enough? How long will we put up with this kind of lopsided and vitriolic reporting based upon scant evidence and virtually no investigative footwork? Reports such as this are an embarrassment to true journalists, and they ought to disgust us.
Determining What God Hates
Certainly, we have every reason to believe such reports disgust God: “There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers” (Prov. 6:16–19). Our politically correct Christian culture tends to shy away from strong words like “hate” and “abomination.” As such, it is easy to become indignant over the notion that God may hate something as integral to our culture as the New York Times. Nevertheless, the Grey Lady’s consistent actions these last few years implore us to ask the question: Does God hate the New York Times?
A case can be made that the Times embodies God’s list of abominations:
- Haughty Eyes
Often reporting from a privileged framework, the New York Times, like the Economist and the New Yorker are symbolic of a high-class status and lifestyle. The Times prides itself on being the paper of record favored by academics and coastal elites.
- Lying Tongue
The New York Times was awarded a Pulitzer prize for coverage of a conspiracy that, according to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report to the Department of Justice, did not exist. Likewise, the Times’s 1619 Project received a Pulitzer prize for reimagining American history in a manner for which “there is no evidence” and which historians called “not true” and “riddled with mistakes and exaggerations.”
The Times staunchly supports abortion at any stage for any reason.
- Heart that Devises Wicked Plans
The Times contextualizes headlines and manipulates language to promote agendas, such as referring to George Zimmerman as a “white Hispanic” when touting the shooting of Trayvon Martin as unprovoked and motivated by racism, or referring to the fetal heartbeat as “embryonic pulsing.”
- Quick to Run to Evil
Certain agendas are quick to receive lavish support and defense from the Times, such as LGBTQ+ issues, pro-abortion policies, and radical feminism.
However, space only permits us to focus this article on the issues of providing a false witness that breathes out lies and sows discord.
A Pattern of Lies, Deception, and Division
Incredibly, a single week in history sufficiently exemplifies how the New York Times needlessly fosters division within America by offering a false or misleading witness and produces division. On September 9, 2019 the New York Times deleted a tweet that posted their 1976 front-page report on Chairman Mao Zedong’s death. The tweet said, “Mao Zedong died on this day in 1976: The Times said he ‘began as an obscure peasant’ and ‘died one of history’s great revolutionary figures.’”
After receiving criticism for failing to mention that Mao’s communist policies lead to the death of 45 million people—many times the number killed in the Holocaust—the Times deleted the tweet because it “lacked critical historical context.” Ironically, the Times had felt the need to contextualize its headlines so as not to make President Trump appear presidential when the paper believed he wasn’t, but it apparently wasn’t concerned about elevating the world’s most ruthless Communist leader at a time when numerous elected officials and presidential candidates were openly advocating Marxist policies.
Two days later, on the anniversary of 9/11 and only a few months after the controversy of Representative Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) comment regarding 9/11 that “some people did something,” the New York Times tweeted, “18 years have passed since airplanes took aim and brought down the World Trade Center. Today, families will once again gather and grieve at the site where more than 2000 people died.” Believing the Times to be downplaying one of the most significant events in modern American history because of its ongoing support for Muslims—including extremists—many Americans were outraged. They noted that the actual death toll was 33 people shy of 3,000, and it was Muslim terrorists who took aim at the Twin Towers—not airplanes—prompting the Times to delete its tweet and to revise its article.
Four days later, the New York Times posted a lewd tweet framing new allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh as factually accurate, “Having a [male genitalia] thrust in your face at a drunken dorm party may seem like harmless fun. But when Brett Kavanaugh did it to her, Deborah Ramirez says, it confirmed that she didn’t belong at Yale in the first place.” For the third time in a single week, the New York Times deleted its tweet, and it again revised the attached article. Surprisingly, it was not removed because it was factually misleading; instead, the tweet was deleted for being offensive.
The article about Justice Kavanaugh appeared in the Sunday Review under the label “news analysis.” It was an adaptation from a forthcoming book titled The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation, written by two New York Times reporters, and it focused on the experience of Deborah Ramirez—one of Brett Kavanaugh’s accusers during his Supreme Court nomination. Of her own admission, Deborah Ramirez had significant gaps in her memory due to excessive drinking, such that she could not recall with certainty what Brett Kavanaugh’s role in the alleged incident may have been. Moreover, the New York Times refused to publish her story, reporting at the time that “the Times had interviewed several dozen people over the past week in an attempt to corroborate her story, and could find no one with firsthand knowledge. Ms. Ramirez herself contacted former Yale classmates asking if they recalled the incident and told some of them that she could not be certain Mr. Kavanaugh was the one who exposed himself.”
Nevertheless, Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly wrote in the Times’ Sunday Review that they found Ramirez’ allegations to be credible, apparently based solely upon a handful of individuals who were not present at the event but say they had heard about the incident. Furthermore, they reported another “previously unreported” allegation, stating, “A classmate, Max Stier, saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his [genitalia] into the hand of a female student.” This was said to have been corroborated with two officials who had communicated with Max Stier.
In actuality, it was not the authenticity of the account that was corroborated; instead, it was the mere fact that Stier had made the allegation that was corroborated by two officials. In fact, Max Stier failed to meet with the reporters, so the allegation actually comes from the two “corroborating” officials who were simply relaying Stier’s explanation of the event. This is journalistic malpractice. The officials served as both the primary source—not Max Stier—and the reporters’ corroborating testimonies proving their own allegations. Despite the fact these reporters were unable to secure Stier’s testimony or find true corroborating testimony, the article implies that the allegation was verified by supporting witnesses.
Moreover, the authors failed to identify Max Stier as a partisan witness who had a contentious history with Brett Kavanaugh, instead calling him a “respected thought leader.” Stier served as Bill Clinton’s defense attorney during the Whitewater investigation when Brett Kavanaugh worked for independent counsel Ken Starr. He also worked closely with lawyer David Kendall who defended Hillary Clinton against allegations of illegally handling classified information. Furthermore, the authors neglected to mention that the alleged victim refused to be interviewed, and that her friends said she had no memory of the incident—something the authors said was originally included but removed by the New York Times editors.
Finally, it turns out a competing newspaper—the Washington Post—was aware of this allegation against Justice Kavanaugh a year ago but refused to publish the accusation because the allegation came from two intermediaries who “declined to identify the alleged witness and because the woman who was said to be involved declined to comment.” In other words, the allegations failed to meet the minimum journalistic standards for publication, but this didn’t stop the New York Times from publishing it a year later.
In response to the article, several Democratic presidential candidates immediately called for the impeachment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted, “Last year the Kavanaugh nomination was rammed through the Senate without a thorough examination of the allegations against him. Confirmation is not exoneration, and these newest revelations are disturbing. Like the man who appointed him, Kavanaugh should be impeached.” Likewise, then-Senator Kamala Harris tweeted, “I sat through those hearings. Brett Kavanaugh lied to the U.S. Senate and most importantly to the American people. He was put on the Court through a sham process and his place on the Court is an insult to the pursuit of truth and justice. He must be impeached.” Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass) even introduced a resolution seeking an impeachment inquiry.
Molly Hemmingway at the Federalist has called this “journalistic malpractice” adding, “Having an allegation that runs wild for days without mentioning that the supposed victim does not even recall the incident is unacceptable.” Such malpractice only divides our nation by serving as a false—or at the very least, an unreliable—witness sowing seeds of discord.
A Consistent Pattern
Incredibly, these examples are not exceptional for the Grey Lady. For years, there has been a consistent and disturbing pattern of false and misleading reports from the New York Times that have divided the nation, such as the report that 17 U.S. intelligence agencies agreed that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election, that Trump’s travel ban was based upon his business connections, that Trump fired FBI Director James Comey because he asked for more resources for the Russia investigation, or that churches were primarily responsible for spreading COVID-19. The new hit piece on Representative Matt Gaetz is merely the latest in what has become a long and consistent tradition at the New York Times.
At some point we should be compelled to pause and seriously examine the fruit of the New York Times. No longer can it be said to provide a consistently reliable witness. Even its factually accurate reporting is often editorialized so as to drive a wedge between Americans on everything ranging from social issues to public policy.
Considering that God explicitly declares His hatred for those who bear false witness and who sow division, we are hard pressed to conclude that God is a fan of the New York Times. Indeed, we have every reason to believe, based on Proverbs 6, that He hates a significant portion of the Times’ reporting.
What then does this mean for us as Christians? The implications are numerous, but perhaps we can start by simply answering one key question: Should we continue to permit the New York Times to adjudicate truth from error? Why should we as Christians rely upon a publication that embodies the very things God says He hates to dictate how we think about our nation and world? Perhaps it is time we reject the “paper of record” mantra and seek-out an alternative source for reliable news coverage.
For more information about how God looks at our news media, be sure to download a FREE copy of Timothy Zebell’s book Culture of Lies: Understanding Fake News and Its Spiritual Ramifications.
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27. Ross, Chuck (@ChuckRossDC). 2019. “Plot thickens. Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly claim that the qualifier about the other alleged Kavanaugh accuser not remembering an incident at Yale was included in the initial NYT draft but removed.” Twitter, September 16, 2019, 11:43 p.m. https://twitter.com/ChuckRossDC/status/1173804572273512448.
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31. Warren, Elizabeth (@ewarren). 2019. “Last year the Kavanaugh nomination was rammed through the Senate without a thorough examination of the allegations against him. Confirmation is not exoneration, and these newest revelations are disturbing. Like the man who appointed him, Kavanaugh should be impeached.” Twitter, September 15, 2019, 1:42 p.m. https://twitter.com/ewarren/status/1173290967773982722.
32. Harris, Kamala (@KamalaHarris). 2019. “I sat through those hearings. Brett Kavanaugh lied to the U.S. Senate and most importantly to the American people. He was put on the Court through a sham process and his place on the Court is an insult to the pursuit of truth and justice. He must be impeached.” Twitter, September 15, 2019, 11:03 a.m. https://twitter.com/KamalaHarris/status/1173250953103007745.
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34. Osburn, Madeline. “Mollie Hemingway: New York Times’ Kavanaugh Story Is Journalistic Malpractice.” Media. Federalist, September 17, 2019. https://thefederalist.com/2019/09/17/mollie-hemingway-new-york-times-kavanaugh-story-is-journalistic-malpractice/.
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37. Rosenberg, Matthew and Matt Apuzzo. “Days before Firing, Comey Asked for More Resources for Russian Inquiry.” Politics. New York Times, May 10, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/10/us/politics/comey-russia-investigation-fbi.html.
38. Conger, Kate, Jack Healy and Lucy Tompkins. “Churches Were Eager to Reopen. Now They Are a Major Source of Coronavirus Cases.” US. New York Times, July 8, 2020, 5:00 a.m., ET. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/08/us/coronavirus-churches-outbreaks.html.
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40. Gryboski, Michael. “Al Mohler Denounced NY Times, Media Blaming Churches for Spreading COVID-19.” Christian Post, August 5, 2020. https://www.christianpost.com/news/al-mohler-denounces-ny-times-media-blaming-churches-for-spreading-covid-19.html.
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