Mainstream Media in the Age of trump


#1004

I believe CNN is actually right wing controlled, it is the only way to explain most of the shit they put on the air.


#1005

It is Saturday morning, and Rod Rosenstein still has a job.

So do Michael Schmidt and his co-authors at the New York Times. They shouldn’t.

On Monday a wave of rumor broke over DC: Rosenstein, said the rumor, was so ashamed about a NYT article about him published the previous week that he wanted to resign … immediately. There was a moment of high drama on Monday as Rosenstein headed to the White House for a previously scheduled meeting. Was the future of the Russia investigation in doubt? Was a constitutional crisis imminent? Dozens of news sources scrambled to get the story and make sense of a tangle of conflicting facts.

In the event, nothing happened. Rosenstein did not resign. A meeting was scheduled between him and Trump (who at the time was in NYC at the UN) for Thursday; on Thursday it was quietly rescheduled to next week. Meanwhile, Trump-connected sources like the WSJ let it be known that Trump wanted Rosenstein to stay on, at least until after the midterms.

The story never made a lot of sense. The NYT piece that allegedly caused Rosenstein such anguish was more of a muffled thud than a bombshell: it was so poorly sourced that even Fox News raised its eyebrow. None of the sources claiming Rosenstein was going to resign were Rosenstein himself or “people familiar with his thinking” i.e. his allies. The one and only statement about the whole thing attributed to Rosenstein himself was a statement on Monday morning to an aide that he expected to be fired - a vastly different scenario with entirely different ramifications than a resignation.

So a rumor turned out to be wrong. Any responsible and self-aware news organization would admit as much, and then turn to the question of who spread the rumor and why. Not the New York Times. Instead, on Monday afternoon (after Rosenstein didn’t resign) they doubled down with a story that said Rosenstein was absolutely, definitely going to resign on Thursday, that Rosenstein broke down and became “emotional” at the meeting on Monday, and that he begged to talk to Trump directly so that Trump wouldn’t be mean to him on Twitter. Their prediction of a Thursday resignation turned out to be completely and absolutely wrong. (As is its wont, the Times has scrubbed the aforementioned articles when it was clear Rosenstein wasn’t leaving: the articles now reluctantly admit that reality refused to obey the Times’s dictates.)

The NYT doubled down on a Rosenstein resignation on a specific date, putting its credibility on the line. They got it wrong. If they take the truth seriously, they should replace the fuckups responsible and find some new reporters who will try harder to get it right.

Schmidt et. al. would doubtless respond that they had multiple highly-placed sources for their story, but this is irrelevant. Trump administration sources have proven time and time again to be liars; and not even the greenest cub reporter would assume that any statement from them was based in fact. And of course it’s no surprise there were multiple sources, because the GOP is good at coordinating talking points. It was just last weekend, after all, that they made a ludicrous and ill-advised, but undeniably coordinated, attempt to convince the world that Kavanaugh had a doppelganger. No one should be surprised that they also had a coordinated attempt to get Rosenstein to resign in the works.

(If Rosenstein should eventually resign in the days, weeks, or years ahead, the NYT will doubtless also claim vindication. But this too is irrelevant: no one praises the skill of the weatherman who says, “It will rain … someday.”)

The Times won’t fire anyone, of course. They left responsibility and self-awareness behind long ago. When you’re wallowing that deep in self-regard you’re unable to admit that you’ve been played. Instead they’ll just scold anyone who points their reporting defects for not respecting their betters, while mentally planning where to put their next Pulitzer.


#1006

Well written. Thank you.


#1007

Kudos


#1008

You say fuck the New York Times a lot more eloquently than I do.


#1009

You should get this published as an op-ed. Seriously.


#1010

Agreed.


#1011

The old Gray Lady ain’t what she used to be.

-Tom


#1012

This column reiterates HT’s excellent post


#1013

This is an extraordinary piece of journalism by the NY Times. It is also how to guide in creative tax evasion.
Fred Trump, Donald’s dad, was one smart SOB, except for his faith in his 2nd son.

Warning, it took me about 45 minutes to read the article, and I’m pretty familiar with tax avoidance strategies.

The TL:DR is that virtually all of Trump’s wealth is because he inherited from his Dad, and the Trump family cheated Uncle Sam and New York state out of untold millions of dollars in estate taxes.

The Newshour summary is also very good.


#1014

And of course, the problem is that all the GOP politicians that could do something about this are stealing from the country too so we’re shit out of luck.


#1015

The message that Democrats need to use is this:
“You pay higher taxes because Donald Trump cheated and didn’t pay his.”


#1016

It is quite possible that Trump and his family stole more money from the taxpayers than all US politicians that have been convicted of crimes this century combined.


#1017

Edit: Someone dipped their toe into /r conservative and … here.

Ugh, why did I click? What a bunch of hypocrites and liars and all around assholes…

WHO GIVES A FLYING FUCK? The fact that this news tells me things are going great otherwise they would report on something relevant. The only reason why these idiots are putting out yellow journalism is because in truth the president is boring and we don’t have shit to worry about, so the media tries to raise a stink over petty stuff. If Trump did commit a crime it shows just how incompetent the government has been since the 70’s. I mean you think they would have busted him by now, but Tax Loopholes are not illegal. Which is why this article gets the IDGAF award!

These are the same people screaming “Lock her up” and “What about illegal don’t you understand?” to justify cruelly breaking apart families for legally seeking asylum.


#1018

Lots of people put partisanship over principles.


#1019

A good piece on the background to the NYT/Trump tax fraud article:

No info on the source behind all the leaked returns, though (which is the most fascinating part of the story. Everyone always suspected Trump of doing things like this, the issue was always proving it.)

It’s important to note that the reporters behind this story are all NYC based, and not the DC NYT I always complain about.


#1020

Selter’s story is good. I’m still in awe at the level of detail the times story went into.

David Frum has been tweeting all day on the folks who’ve gone to jail for tax evasion.

I’m also bother that there is roughly 3 or 4 times more time spent on CNN, MSNBC, and the networks on the latest rumors about Kavanaugh and his accuser than this monumental story.


#1021

Yeah, but I think I get why. This is an 18-month closed door investigation that a small group at NYT worked on in basically seclusion. There’s really nothing for the other networks to add, all they can say is, here’s some highlights, go read the NYT. Actually, I guess I am surprised they don’t have more talking heads and panels giving their BS about it. Maybe since it’s tax it’s just boring TV? They prefer the story with the heroes and villains, and the cliffhanger of whether he’ll end up on the supreme court or not. Entertainment, not news.


#1022

I think the major factor in the low air time of this story is that we all knew he was a complete fraud and con man, just not the specifics. So for most of us, it’s really not a huge revelation or anything, just confirmation of what we already knew was true. It’s amazing that 99.9% of Republicans don’t give a crap that he & his family have basically stolen hundreds of millions of dollars from tax payers.


#1023

There is just no bottom.