So much for those New York Times slogan “Truth. It’s more important now than ever.” Digging up old social media postings to use against public figures (usually conservatives) is the kind of “investigation” the Times and the rest of the press have being doing for years. But now, as a recently uncovered pro-Trump project is revealed to be targeting journalists in similar fashion, the tactic is suddenly disreputable, even dangerous.
(Article by Clay Waters republished from NewsBusters.com)
Holding journalists accountable for their own offensive statements and behavior is somehow dangerous, as if they’re a protected class with a special dispensation to research publicly available social media posts. The Times is putting itself in the awkward and hypocritical position of opposing the reporting of publicly available statements and facts when done by conservatives.
The tactic can damage careers, but the newspaper’s outrage comes off hollow, given the press’s history of doxxing Trump supporters for making pro-Trump or anti-Democratic “memes” they didn’t like, and the Times itself, for publishing an op-ed advocating the “doxxing” — revealing personal information on private citizens for the purpose of targeted harassment — of U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents.
Times reporters Kenneth Vogel and Jeremy Peters reported in Monday’s edition (online headline): “Trump Allies Target Journalists Over Coverage Deemed Hostile to White House.” Vogel’s jittery reaction on Twitter began in all caps: “NEW FRONT IN THE WAR ON THE PRESS:”
As if the Times itself hasn’t declared itself at war with Donald Trump on its front page.
Vogel and Peters fretted:
A loose network of conservative operatives allied with the White House is pursuing what they say will be an aggressive operation to discredit news organizations deemed hostile to President Trump by publicizing damaging information about journalists.
It is the latest step in a long-running effort by Mr. Trump and his allies to undercut the influence of legitimate news reporting. Four people familiar with the operation described how it works, asserting that it has compiled dossiers of potentially embarrassing social media posts and other public statements by hundreds of people who work at some of the country’s most prominent news organizations.
The group has already released information about journalists at CNN, The Washington Post and The New York Times — three outlets that have aggressively investigated Mr. Trump — in response to reporting or commentary that the White House’s allies consider unfair to Mr. Trump and his team or harmful to his re-election prospects.
Read more at: NewsBusters.com