The New York Times is doing some heavy duty soul searching these days as the 168 year old daily newspaper wrestles with the reality that everytime pen is put to paper, a key is stroked on a keyboard, or ink is printed on the page, untruths and fabrications seem to pour out of the Gray Lady like a devious meth addict spinning a yarn for their probation officer.
Reports out of the newsroom suggest editors are considering changing the newspaper’s motto from “All the news that’s fit to print” to “It’s not a lie if you believe it,” borrowing the advice George Costanza gave to his friend Jerry on the nineties television comedy Seinfeld. “All we’re trying to do is come up with the best possible lie,” is another Georgeism kicked around many a NYT editorial staff meeting.
In what appears to be a cry for help, the Times recently published a piece entitled “Free Speech Is Killing Us,” in which the author, Andrew Marantz, seems to admit what many have been thinking for awhile – someone needs to step in and restrain the Times before it does more damage to itself. If ever a daily newspaper was in need of an intervention, the Times surely qualifies.
Hardly a week goes by in which the Times doesn’t print something to embarrass itself and erode its credibility. Just in recent weeks, the Times got called out by most print publications for its misleading Kavanaugh reporting, Brett Stephens appeared to have an angel dust fueled bed bug freakout, and David Brooks is writing opinions based on imaginary conversations and he’s not even trying to pass them off as real. In the old days, a Times writer would at least try to create cover for their imaginary sources. Now, I guess they’re just putting their rich fantasy lives on full display. Following the Times is like watching a celebrity self-destruct in public. The Gray Lady is about one or two bullshit stories away from stripping off her clothes and wandering naked up and down Eighth Avenue.
Now the NYT wants the government and big tech to step in and put the brakes on free speech, arguing that dozens of lives would be saved by preventing young men from being radicalized in seedy online message groups. The Times does have some experience in this area having exposed YouTube’s diabolical algorithm and its sinister scheme to radicalize young men into the right wing. The Gray Lady’s efforts to suppress speech bore fruit as YouTube, and some social media sites, either deplatformed or severely restricted the content of a number of creators.
The Times is right. Free speech is killing the New York Times. Despite continuing to do valuable reporting, the Times can’t stop itself from undermining its credibility by foisting a lot of bullshit on the public. Emboldened by recent successes restricting the speech of others, the Times now presses forward with an even more ambitious agenda to sell out the First Amendment and censor detractors and competitors. I guess this is how the NYT plans to become ‘the paper of record’ again.