If someone asked you to name the most prestigious national newspapers, you might be tempted to name the Washington Post and the New York Times. Both papers enjoy wide circulation, and they both used to have a reputation for honest journalism. But lately, people have been accusing them of publishing fake news stories in order to benefit the Democrat party. What is the truth?
Well, consider this article from The Federalist about two recent news stories, one from each paper.
The Washington Post is standing by its August 29 report that the Trump administration is cracking down on potentially fraudulent passports, although it is marked by a stunning number of reporting failures, detailed most thoroughly by The Huffington Post on Monday. Reporters and editors on the story got facts wrong, misled readers, left out key data contradicting the premise of the article, and failed to reach out to the family of a deceased man accused of fraud in the story.
The initial story claimed the Trump administration is taking unprecedented action against thousands of Hispanic people living near the southern border suspected of having obtained false U.S. birth certificates. It was based largely on anecdotal evidence from immigration lawyers working in the area who said they are seeing a surge in the number of passports under scrutiny.
Within hours of its publication, a Slate reporter pointed out the practice of denying passports to people issued birth certificates from midwives suspected of fraud began under the George W. Bush administration, and continued through the Barack Obama administration. The story was corrected Aug. 31 to reflect this error. The story also asserted the Trump administration is newly targeting people delivered by a Texas doctor suspected of fraud, but HuffPo reports that practice also predates this administration.
After the State Department released numbers contradicting the story’s premise a few days after publication, editors added a new claim — that the Trump administration was newly denying passports to people living far from the border. HuffPo found this too was a practice that predates the Trump administration.
Those numbers provided by the State Department showed that not only has the rate of passport denials declined under Trump, but the number of passports under scrutiny has also declined. Editors issued a Sept. 1 correction to reflect that the rate was lower, but left out the numbers indicating the total number of passports under scrutiny is also lower.
Following these two major corrections, reporters continued to find problems with the paper’s handling of the facts and new contradictory information, particularly about the deceased doctor named in the story. The reporter did not reach out to the doctor’s family for his side of the story, although he is named as under suspicion of fraud by the government. And he was wrongly identified as a gynecologist, when he is in fact a general practitioner.
The family reached out to the paper immediately after the story was published, hoping to correct the record, but the paper ignored them for nearly two weeks, until HuffPo asked about the inquiries. Finally, the paper issued a third correction on Sept. 13 incorporating the family’s perspective.
And what about the New York Times?
On the same day Washington Post issued its third correction to this story, The New York Times published a hit on Nikki Haley that was problematic in a less complicated way, but more brazen in its disregard for the basics of reporting. The remains of this report are comically banal. It was initially a “bombshell” implying Haley should be potentially removed from her post as ambassador for needlessly lavish spending as the State Department implements budget cuts, but is now a toothless report on the Obama State Department’s years-old decision to buy pricey curtains for a new ambassador residence.
The first headline read, “Nikki Haley’s View of New York Is Priceless. Her Curtains? $52,701,” and was splashed next to a photo of Haley. Buried in the piece, however, was a line contradicting the impression the article was framed to create — “A spokesman for Ms. Haley said plans to buy the curtains were made in 2016, during the Obama administration. Ms. Haley had no say in the purchase, he said.”
After initial criticism, editors moved that line up several paragraphs, but eventually rechecked the facts and overhauled the entire frame of the story. One Obama administration official said the curtains were chosen in part for security reasons.
Now, if you look at all the corrections made by the progressive mainstream media, what you’ll find is that their mistakes almost always punish the Republican party, and almost always benefit the Democrat party. No exceptions. These newspapers are allies of the Democrat party, and they know that for every 100 people who see the fake news story, only 1 person will see the correction. And this is how they sway public opinion. Fake news now, correction in a few weeks, to keep up a patina of respectability.
What do the studies show?
Here’s a UCLA study on media bias.
Of the 20 major media outlets studied, 18 scored left of center, with CBS’ “Evening News,” The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times ranking second, third and fourth most liberal behind the news pages of The Wall Street Journal.
Only Fox News’ “Special Report With Brit Hume” and The Washington Times scored right of the average U.S. voter.
The most centrist outlet proved to be the “NewsHour With Jim Lehrer.” CNN’s “NewsNight With Aaron Brown” and ABC’s “Good Morning America” were a close second and third.
“Our estimates for these outlets, we feel, give particular credibility to our efforts, as three of the four moderators for the 2004 presidential and vice-presidential debates came from these three news outlets — Jim Lehrer, Charlie Gibson and Gwen Ifill,” Groseclose said. “If these newscasters weren’t centrist, staffers for one of the campaign teams would have objected and insisted on other moderators.”
The fourth most centrist outlet was “Special Report With Brit Hume” on Fox News, which often is cited by liberals as an egregious example of a right-wing outlet. While this news program proved to be right of center, the study found ABC’s “World News Tonight” and NBC’s “Nightly News” to be left of center. All three outlets were approximately equidistant from the center, the report found.
“If viewers spent an equal amount of time watching Fox’s ‘Special Report’ as ABC’s ‘World News’ and NBC’s ‘Nightly News,’ then they would receive a nearly perfectly balanced version of the news,” said Milyo, an associate professor of economics and public affairs at the University of Missouri at Columbia.”
Here’s a Harvard University study on media bias.
The programming studied on Fox News offered a somewhat more positive picture… of Republicans and more negative one of Democrats compared with other media outlets. Fox News stories about a Republican candidate were most likely to be neutral (47%), with the remainder more positive than negative (32% vs. 21% negative). The bulk of that positive coverage went to Giuliani (44% positive), while McCain still suffered from unflattering coverage (20% positive vs. 35% negative).
When it came to Democratic candidates, the picture was more negative. Again, neutral stories had a slight edge (39%), followed by 37% negative and 24% positive. And, in marked contrast from the rest of the media, coverage of Obama was twice as negative as positive: 32% negative vs. 16% positive and 52% neutral.
But any sense here that the news channel was uniformly positive about Republicans or negative about Democrats is not manifest in the data.”
From the Washington Examiner, a study of the political contributions made by the mainstream media.
Senior executives, on-air personalities, producers, reporters, editors, writers and other self-identifying employees of ABC, CBS and NBC contributed more than $1 million to Democratic candidates and campaign committees in 2008, according to an analysis by The Examiner of data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.
The Democratic total of $1,020,816 was given by 1,160 employees of the three major broadcast television networks, with an average contribution of $880.
By contrast, only 193 of the employees contributed to Republican candidates and campaign committees, for a total of $142,863. The average Republican contribution was $744.
[…]The data on contributions by broadcast network employees was compiled by CRP at the request of The Examiner and included all 2008 contributions by individuals who identified their employer as one of the three networks or subsidiaries. The data does not include contributions by employees of the three networks who did not identify their employer.
The CRP is the organization behind OpenSecrets.org, the web site that for more than a decade has put campaign finance data within reach of anybody with an Internet connection.
President Obama received 710 such contributions worth a total of $461,898, for an average contribution of $651 from the network employees. Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain received only 39 contributions totaling $26,926, for an average donation of $709.
Those are the facts about media bias.
So when you read stories in conservative news media, such as The Federalist, Daily Caller, Daily Wire, Daily Signal, Washington Free Beacon, etc. about how the leftist mainstream media printed fake news again, and have to correct it, you understand why this is happening.
6 thoughts on “Are the Washington Post and the New York Times trustworthy or fake news?”
Definitely fake news! They and others have a literal statement on their pages that says they will “hold Trump accountable” and publish story after story about how Trump is horrible and will spell doomsday, or some snowflake SJW opinion piece! Never any conservative views are even acknowledged! I’d even read the Wikipedia article on Trump which was written in an overwhelmingly negative tone and didn’t also say what supporters thought, and any social justice topic, it has an obvious bias and doesn’t represent the conservative view point fairly! It’s insane and we must call them out!
Headlines seen by millions and re-Tweeted ad nauseum.
Retractions seen by hundreds and not re-Tweeted.
Not an accident.
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“The Washington Post is standing by its August 29 report that the Trump administration is cracking down on potentially fraudulent passports, although it is marked by a stunning number of reporting failures, detailed most thoroughly by The Huffington Post on Monday.”
When the Huffington Post folks are the honest ones in the room, you know we’re in serious trouble.
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It would be interesting to see a retraction report on trump issues for these papers. Much like retraction watch oversees science journals. We could use a news retraction watch site to record how many retraction and late edits of articles occur.
I am sure it would even surprise us to see the number of them in one spot
Remember Donald Trump’s Fist Pump at a 9/11 memorial.`? Here is a link from a report from CNN https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNLg3XjiKDM and how the real facts look like; https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/trump-fist-pump-911/
The question in the headline of this blog post answers itself.