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NY Times Pummeled Over Piece Focused on 8 Conservative Men Who Don’t Feel ‘Free to Be Themselves in the Culture’

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Some might say The New York Times is the king of normalizing views from the right, even views that could be considered disturbing or, in some cases, even dangerous to their fellow citizens, the nation, or the world. The Times’ pre-World War II profiles of a young Adolf Hitler are a legendary example.

In 2015 The Times republished what it calls “1922: Hitler in Bavaria,” patting itself on the back for getting “a lot of things right,” like its “description of his ability to work a crowd into a fever pitch, ready then and there to stage a coup.”

The Times that year also reported that “several reliable, well-informed sources confirmed the idea that Hitler’s anti-Semitism was not so genuine or violent as it sounded, and that he was merely using anti-Semitic propaganda as a bait to catch masses of followers and keep them aroused, enthusiastic, and in line for the time when his organization is perfected and sufficiently powerful to be employed effectively for political purposes.”

History knows how that turned out.

Fast forward to 2017, when The Times published a profile commonly referred to as “The Nazi Next Door,” originally titled, “In America’s Heartland, the Nazi Sympathizer Next Door,” which was written by Richard Fausset.

Salon’s Matthew Smith described the piece, bemoaning the “creepy trend of media outlets attempting to humanize Nazis and white supremacists.”

“Tony and Maria Hovater were married this fall,” Fausset’s story begins. “They registered at Target. On their list was a muffin pan, a four-drawer dresser and a pineapple slicer.”

“Ms. Hovater, 25, was worried about Antifa bashing up the ceremony. Weddings are hard enough to plan for when your fiancé is not an avowed white nationalist.”

A caption of a photo reads: “Mr. Hovater and others in the loosely defined alt-right movement are hoping to make their ideas less than shocking, even normal.”

Some felt The Times, intentionally or not,  certainly appeared as if it were trying to lend a hand. And in fact, after massive outrage, which forced a headline change (along with removing a link it included to “a webpage that sells swastika armbands,”) the Times’ editors defended publishing the piece by saying they thought “it was important to do so.”

Between 1922, and 2017, and after, no doubt the Times has published other works that normalize the radical right, extremism, and fascism.

Earlier this year a Twitter user posted his take on how the Times in 1935 covered a “large anti-Hitler protest in front of a Nazi ocean liner.”

And oh yes, 1924:

22,000 Nazis Hold Rally in [Madison Square] Garden; Police Check Foes,” was a front-page headline in the Times about a stunningly disturbing NYC event in 1939.

Meanwhile, fast forward to today.

These 8 Conservative Men Are Making No Apologies” is the headline in Tuesday’s Times Opinion section. The piece is by the Times’ deputy Opinion editor Patrick Healy and the Opinion section’s editorial assistant Adrian J. Rivera. And while no one should make a comparison to Hitler or Nazis, the question some are asking is why did The Times think it important to profile a group of conservative men, since conservative men have pretty much been in charge for decades?

“There was no talk of a stolen election, no conspiracy theories about voter fraud or rants about President Biden’s legitimacy. Yet listening to our 90-minute focus group with eight conservative men, you couldn’t help but worry for our democracy a bit,” it begins.

“The men didn’t see themselves fitting into American society today. They didn’t feel free to be themselves in the culture,” the piece claims. “Seven of them said they felt like a stranger in their own country. At a time when democratic institutions are under pressure — and even under attack — and the United States feels so ununited, what causes these Americans to feel so alienated from America?”

The Times, to my knowledge, has never done a focus group of, say, eight LGBTQ men over 50. Or eight LGBTQ people of any age. What about doing a focus group of eight Northeast Democrats? How about visiting a diner and listening to supporters of President Joe Biden? Or Senator Elizabeth Warren? Or Reps. Jamie Raskin or Val Demmings?

When does the paper of record start highlighting views of people from the left, rather than a Nazi from 1922 or conservatives from 2022?

Again, The Times defends its piece, claiming these are “Americans whose voices are often not heard in opinion journalism.”

The Times apparently has never heard of Fox News, Newsmax, OAN, Breitbart, The Daily Caller, The Daily Wire, or Facebook.

The Times piece includes one hour and 22 minutes of audio it titled, “8 Conservative Men On Being a Man in America Today.”

To give a taste, here are some of the men and their top concerns about America or American society:

Tony (white, 72, retired, Massachusetts): Government spending.
Derrick (Black, 63, software engineer, Georgia): Inflation.
Michael (white, 67, retired, Florida): Economy.
Christopher (Black, 51, small-business loan broker, Maryland): Elitism.
Danny (Middle Eastern, 47, Realtor, Florida): Disgraceful.
Joe (white, 37, apparel manufacturing, New York): Weak.

Joe says: “This is not the America I remember growing up in, and it’s just sad to see what’s going on.”

Robert says: “You’re not free to be yourself anymore because of crime. You’ve got to be concerned about ‘If I go out, am I going to be a victim of crime?'”

(Most crime is actually at historic lows, but you won’t hear that on TV or social media. The Brennan Center reports the “violent crime rate in the United States has decreased sharply over the past 25 years.”)

Later in the piece, Robert reveals, “I voted for Trump. I like Trump from when he was with ‘The Apprentice.’ I knew him as a businessperson. That’s why I voted for him. And then — oh, Lord — from church to every place, people just had a problem with it. You can’t have a different viewpoint.”

One interviewer asked questions like “What does it mean to be a man?” “Is masculinity important to you?” “Who would you all think of as good examples of masculinity or manliness these days? Who’s a good example?”

Responses to The Times’ piece were strong and appropriately unforgiving:

 

Image via Shutterstock

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COMMENTARY

Garland’s ‘Beautiful Chess Move’ Praised as Judge Sets Expedited Schedule to Unseal Warrant

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A federal judge has given Donald Trump until Friday at 3 PM ET to oppose the Dept. of Justice’s request to unseal the search warrant FBI agents used to enter Mar-a-Lago and confiscate possibly thousands of items including classified documents.

Many are cheering the Attorney General Merrick Garland who frequently has been the target of frustration on the left for appearing to not be acting expeditiously against Trump.

In what some have called a “beautiful chess move,” Attorney General Garland announced Thursday afternoon he has asked a federal judge to unseal the search warrant after Trump and his allies expressed outrage over the FBI’s Monday raid, and have been spreading agents planted evidence, a conspiracy theory that first appeared on social media but quickly made it to Fox News’ airwaves.

READ MORE: Watch: Merrick Garland Calls Trump’s Bluff, Strikes Back at MAGA World’s False Claims in Mar-a-Lago Raid

Many on the right have demanded Garland have the warrant unsealed.

Should Trump not oppose the unsealing the American people will likely be able to see what laws DOJ believes the former president violated.

Noted attorney Ken White on Twitter wrote: “By the way Trump could file something TODAY saying he doesn’t oppose unsealing the warrant and it would be public probably by tomorrow. Or he could just release his copy.”

READ MORE: Nearly Half the Country Supports FBI Mar-a-Lago Search – Only Republicans Are Opposed, New Poll Shows

The fact that the former president has not released his copy of the search warrant, which “is his right” as Garland noted Thursday, makes it more likely he will oppose DOJ’s motion to unseal.

One important note for those expecting an avalanche of information should the federal judge unseal the warrant.

“DOJ has asked to unseal the warrant and ‘Attachments A & B.’ Best I can tell from examples of recent federal search warrants, these attachments will describe the ‘property to be searched’ and the ‘particular items to be seized’ but will NOT include the affidavit of probable cause,” writes Harvard Law professor of criminal law and procedure Andrew Crespo.

“The government is not yet seeking to release what is known as the affidavit in support of the warrant,” The New York Times confirms, “a document that lays out all sorts of telling details about the larger investigation of Mr. Trump — chief among them the reasons prosecutors believed there was probable cause that evidence of a crime could be found at Mar-a-Lago.”

Many online are cheering Attorney General Garland’s decision to go head to head with Trump.

The Daily Beast’s Zachary Petrizzo writes, “merrick garland is out here playing 5d chess while trump & his team play checkers.”

USA Today opinion columnist Michael J. Stern summed up Garland’s action today:

“Merrick Garland to Trump: I’m going to let the world see the gobs of evidence we have that led to the search warrant…unless you object…in which case you will be signaling to the world that you have gobs to hide.”

This article has been updated with reporting from The New York Times.

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COMMENTARY

‘It’s So Gross’: NY Times Blasted for Negative Reporting on Biden by ‘Blindered Horse-Race Analysts’

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After President Joe Biden and Democrats in the House and Senate were closing an exceptional week of success after success on Saturday, pulling into a Senate vote that would transform the U.S. response to climate change, combat inflation, lower Medicare prescription drug prices and the federal deficit, and increase the energy supply, The New York Times published an article attacking the American president, depicting him as weak and ineffective, while speaking primarily, almost entirely, only to Republican pollsters, strategists, and politicians.

Critics, journalists, and even some New York Times readers are calling out the paper of record, and its top reporters.

“In Senate Battle, Democrats Defy Biden’s Low Standing (for Now)” was the title of the Saturday article that essentially was a megaphone for the MAGA crowd, published in the Times’ politics section.

The article’s subhead made clear what readers could expect: “’The billion-dollar question,’ as one Republican pollster put it, is whether Democratic candidates in crucial Senate races can continue to outpace the president’s unpopularity.”

READ MORE: Fox News Mocked for ‘Desperately’ Trying to Spin ‘Blockbuster’ Jobs Report Into Attack on Biden

“In a Senate split 50-50,” wrote the Times’ Shane Goldmacher and Maggie Haberman, “Democrats on the campaign trail and in Congress have zero margin for error as the party tries to navigate a hostile political environment defined chiefly by President Biden’s albatross-like approval ratings,”

Rather than describe historic legislation as productive for the American people, and literally, a massive undertaking that will have positive global effects, the Times reporters opted to frame the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) as a partisan, political scheme.

“In Washington, Senate Democrats are racing to bolster their position, pressing for a vote as soon as Sunday on a sweeping legislative package that represents their last, best sales pitch before the midterms to stay in power.”

Dan Froomkin, editor of Press Watch, latched onto the Times article and reporters.

READ MORE: ‘Ain’t No Recession’: Economists Praise ‘Huge’ Employment Numbers – ‘We’re Back, Baby’

“The only context that matters to these blindered horse-race analysts is Biden’s approval rating. The lies, the conspiracy theories, the threat to democracy,” he noted, presumably referring to Trump, “are irrelevant.”

Soledad O’Brien, the well-known former CNN anchor who now is chair of the Starfish Media Group, which she founded, and host of “Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien,” and is a frequent critic of the media offered her thoughts:

“It’s so gross,” she responded.

“And it gets worse,” Froomkin added. “Look who they quote: Republican pollster, anonymous Republican strategists, dude who runs Republican Super PAC, Mitch McConnell, one Dem pollster, Republican strategist, Republican Senate candidate, Republican Senate candidate, Republican strategist…”

Indeed, Haberman and Goldmacher quote “Robert Blizzard, a Republican pollster,” “Republican strategists involved in Senate races, granted anonymity to speak candidly,” “Steven Law, who leads the main Senate Republican super PAC,” “Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader,” “Geoff Garin, a Democratic pollster,” “Corry Bliss, a veteran Republican strategist,” Joe O’Dea, a GOP candidate, GOP Senate nominee Blake Masters, “Andy Surabian, a Republican strategist advising a super PAC supporting Mr. Masters,” and “Christina Freundlich, a Democratic consultant.”

READ MORE: ‘Trump Was Taking Saudi Blood Money – Biden Was Killing Terrorists’: Experts Weigh in on Historic Counterterrorism News

That’s seven Republicans, an unknown number of unnamed anonymous GOP strategists, and two Democrats.

In a negative article about President Joe Biden, The New York Times didn’t include any quotes from President Joe Biden or the White House. Not even anonymous ones.

The Times almost entirely ignored Biden’s accomplishments from the past week chocked full of wins.

Here’s how Haberman and Goldmacher served up those facts:

“With a strong job report on Friday, long-stalled legislation moving and gas prices on the decline — albeit from record highs — it is possible that Mr. Biden’s support could tick upward.”

By contrast, on Sunday the Associated Press reported on Biden’s “legacy-defining wins,” including noting that a “summer lawmaking blitz has sent bipartisan bills addressing gun violence and boosting the nation’s high-tech manufacturing sector to Biden’s desk, and the president is now on the cusp of securing what he called the ‘final piece’ of his economic agenda with Senate passage of a Democrats-only climate and prescription drug deal once thought dead.”

That economic agenda is what the Times called “a sweeping legislative package that represents their last, best sales pitch before the midterms to stay in power.”

A CNN opinion piece Friday noted “Joe Biden sure is suddenly notching up an impressive string of victories. And they’re not minor. In fact, Biden is on a roll when it comes to both domestic and foreign policy.”

Over a week ago, NBC News’ senior national political reporter Sahil Kapur noted, “If this deal passes,” referring to the Inflation Reduction Act, which did pass on Sunday, “Biden will have inked wins on: Drug pricing, Climate/ACA $$, Higher taxes on corporations, $1.9T Covid rescue plan, $1.2T infrastructure law, New gun law, Chips/China bill, KBJ on SCOTUS, 73+ lower court judges, VAWA re-up, Postal reform.”

He adds: “This is not a trivial agenda.”

That list did not include all the wins Biden had last week before the IRA passed, including: 528,000 jobs added in July, unemployment at a 50-year low (3.5%), the killing of terrorist Ayman al-Zawahiri, CHIPS Act passage, PACT Act passage to help veterans affected by toxic burn pits, and gas prices dropping daily.

Meanwhile, others continued to blast the Times’ reporting.

“Hard to believe this kind of bad, ‘conventional wisdom’ reporting is still happening, where they’re saying Biden is ‘albatross’ around Dem candidates’ necks and it’s all…a mystery….” tweeted Michelangelo Signorile, a veteran journalist, SiriusXM Progress host, and writer of books and a Substack newsletter.

Some New York Times readers in the paper’s own comments section were equally critical.

“Times pundits fail to distinguish between ‘job approval’ polls versus the relative popularity of the two parties’ agendas,” wrote Baxter Jones. “Republican candidates have no agenda beyond tax cuts for their big contributors, banning all abortions, voter suppression, and abolishing Obamacare with no clue of how to replace it. Oh, and climate change denial.”

Another reader wrote: “Nothing about abortion or extremism? No Democrats to quote? I hope there will be a follow up from a Democratic perspective.”

“Wow!” wrote yet another reader. “I can’t believe the premise of this article is so simplistic. Nothing is happening in this election other than how popular Joe Biden is. No mention of the anti-choice crowd and the shellacking they took in Kansas. Or how voter registration has vastly increased across the country since the Dobbs decision. (And one of the authors is a woman, presumably of liberal bent.)”

“No mention of the fact that the recent legislation passed (and passing, as I write this on Saturday night) by the Democrats is wildly popular with wide swaths of the populace, and even more popular with narrow swaths such as veterans,” they continued.

“If all you have to do to control the congress is lambast the incumbent president, then we should start doing that the moment another Republican gets into the White House. Whence all this ‘hate Joe Biden,’ stuff. Populism, or right-wing radio with nothing else to sell? I hope most Americans are smarter than that.”

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COMMENTARY

TikTok Influencer Ignites Backlash After Posting Homophobic and Racist Rant Attacking Home Depot Workers

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Amanda Marie, an influencer with around 14,000 followers on TikTok, is getting some backlash after she posting a video describing how she harassed a Home Depot employee while using homophobic language and telling him to “go back to your country,” Boing Boing reports.

The video shows Marie telling a Black employee that she’s going to get him fired. She then goes to her car and recounts the incident from her perspective, saying, “I said, ‘I’m not leaving.’ … I then turned around and said, ‘If you’re going to be rude, go back to your country. Go back to your country!’ ‘Cause he wasn’t from here.”

“So I turn around, and I say, ‘Go back to your motherf***ing country and learn some f***ing manners before you come here,'” she said.

IN OTHER NEWS: ‘Collateral damages to freedom’: Alex Jones skips trial for segment downplaying Sandy Hook deaths

She also tried to claim the homophobic slur “fag,” which she allegedly used against one of the employees, is not seen as an offensive term back in New York.

As Boing Boing points out, she deleted the video from her various platforms after the backlash.

Watch the video below.

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