By Quin Hillyer at the Washington Examiner; 

There once was a rule of journalistic ethics that a “straight news” reporter refrained from gratuitous labels and judgments pertaining to the subjects of their stories. The New York Times clearly has forgotten those journalistic ethics.

Witness Saturday’s opinion column masquerading as a news report about a meeting Virginia Thomas, wife of Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas, and other conservative activists had with President Trump. The sneering contempt of the reporters for Mrs. Thomas — and their obvious desire to convince the readers that Mrs. Thomas is bad, bad, bad, bad I tell you, BAD! — is like something out of the left-wing the Nation magazine, rather than a major daily newspaper.

Note the words I’ve Italicized in this summary: The lead sentence of the story calls Mrs. Thomas’ group “a delegation of hard-right activists.” The fourth paragraph says that “Ms. Thomas has long been close to what had been the Republican Party’s fringes.” Later, reporters Maggie Haberman and Annie Karni accuse Mrs. Thomas of “promoting conspiracy theories,” and repeatedly report that she has been “criticized” for “inappropriate” potential “conflicts of interest,” “provoking controversy,” and hiring people thought to be racists….

[Later in the story:] 

throughout the whole story, there is nary a kind word said about Mrs. Thomas, while paragraph after paragraph details her supposed flaws — and those of some of the other conservatives who met with Trump last week.

As a matter of fact, it’s not even clear how hard the Times worked to try to verify its reporting with those not obviously hostile to the conservative activists in the meeting.

The Times reports that Mrs. Thomas herself “did not respond to an email seeking comment,” but did not say whether it tried to get comments from any others brought to the meeting by Mrs. Thomas…..

[The rest of the blog post is here.]

 

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