What the hell is Wrong With the Grey Lady?

As I’ve often said, the hugely influential New York Times does some excellent and very important investigative reporting. As I’ve also said:

As much as I respect the Times for some of their invaluable reporting, I also hate them for their sometimes absurdly prissy insistence on an even-handed “respectability” that amounts to non-reporting. 

Case in point:

The Times contacted election officials in all fifty states, to determine whether any of them had seen the kind of fraud and irregularities Trump’s lawsuits keep insisting are widespread and have resulted in a rigged election with a fake result. They ran this unequivocal headline over a fine piece of reporting:

The Times Called Officials in Every State: No Evidence of Voter Fraud  [1]

The Times then contacted top federal election officials and ran this headline, over another excellent bit of reporting:

Election Officials Directly Contradict Trump on Voting System Fraud 

Then, inexplicably, they ran an article headlined:

Trump Election Results Lawsuits Don’t Have a lot of Good Evidence

containing this grotesque example of the maddening, status quo supporting schizophrenia of the Grey Lady:

While these suits have alleged systemic fraud in at least five states, the evidence they have offered has been different. At least so far, it has been limited, narrow and, according to several judges and experts, unlikely to affect — let alone to overturn — the outcome of the race.

Editor– does that “different” at the end of the first sentence refer to “not systemic” evidence or what? Is “different” really the best word to characterize the “evidence” submitted by Trump’s lawyers? Trump brought these baseless lawsuits in “in at least five states”? I suppose the nonzero number of 40 or 50 states (his army of lawyers brought something like 300 election-related lawsuits nationwide) would fall under “at least five”. Though, in fairness to the Times, the article is about post-election lawsuits, contesting results, of which there have been at least five, but less than the hundreds Trump initiated prior to the election.

Calling no persuasive evidence “limited and narrow” evidence is not as accurate as stating that Trump’s lawyers have presented “virtually no evidence of fraud or irregularities”, as found in lawsuit after dismissed lawsuit, and confirmed by officials in all 50 states and by federal officials — as definitively reported by the New York Times.

“According to several judges and experts” is, one could argue, a high-minded way not to cite the New York Times itself for the propositions noted above, one supposes. It is also like saying “according to several scientists and experts, global warming is exacerbated by human activities”. Would those “several judges” be an overly even-handed reference to every judge who dismissed virtually every Trump election lawsuit nationwide? Would it be fair to assume that the term “experts” includes virtually every lawyer and legal scholar in the country, and internationally, as well as all citizens who read the arguments and decisions in these cases and apply common sense?

“Unlikely to affect– let alone overturn” — goddamn it, you fucking idiot! “Unlikely?” Do you read your own newspaper? It does some excellent investigative reporting, you know.

On the good side, and another reason to look favorably on the Times, they published this fine letter by my cousin yesterday. I almost never read the letters to the editor, or write them, but last night, for whatever reason I did and — wow! Good letter, cousin Marcy!

To the Editor:

Re “Trump Marshals Federal Power to Overturn His Election Defeat” (front page, Nov. 11):

President Trump’s outrageous refusal to accept the election results — and the appalling lack of integrity shown by most Republicans, who are apparently willing to risk what’s left of this country’s democratic traditions by once again failing to stand up to Mr. Trump — is even more troubling when viewed in a historical context.

Until now, all presidential hopefuls have put the country’s institutions, values and stability before their own ambitions. Four years ago, despite winning three million more votes than Mr. Trump, Hillary Clinton graciously conceded. In 2000, Al Gore accepted the ruling by the Supreme Court that installed George W. Bush as president.

It’s bad enough that Mr. Trump won’t concede — no one really expected he would suddenly set aside his autocratic leanings, megalomania and vanity for the good of the nation — but the craven absence of integrity on the part of other Republicans is inexcusable.

Marcy Stamper
Twisp, Wash.

 

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