New York Times Exposes Democrats As Almost Sort Of Bad Like Republicans 2% Of The Time
The New York Times is simply not capable of covering this specific period in American politics. Fox News at least is executing its mission statement. It’s unclear what service the Times thinks it’s providing. Just check out this nonsense from reporter Maggie Astor, a self-described debunker of disinformation.
Astor’s piece "Now in Your Inbox: Political Misinformation” starts strong. She correctly calls out Rep. Dan Crenshaw’s lies about President Joe Biden’s domestic agenda, which he sends directly to his supporters in fundraising emails. This isn’t a new development, as Republicans regularly fundraise off lies and even the violence they’ve incited against Democrats.
Lawmakers’ statements on social media and cable news are now routinely fact-checked and scrutinized. But email — one of the most powerful communication tools available to politicians, reaching up to hundreds of thousands of people — teems with unfounded claims and largely escapes notice.
I question the extent to which Republicans’ lie-laced tweets are “routinely fact-checked and scrutinized.” People might dunk on Rep. Lauren Boebert’s atrocious spelling (so not the point) but the fact-free content is freely retweeted. Sure, Twitter occasionally deletes an especially egregious tweet, but most of Boebert and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s hateful drivel remains on the site. Democrats can challenge their lies but too often it’s perceived as two equally valid opinions. Astor will proceed to demonstrate this problem in her expose on political fundraising emails.
The Times reviewed more than 2,500 emails from 390 senators and representatives running for re-election in 2022. The obvious conclusion should’ve been that Republicans are singularly graceless liars and Democrats struggle to write compelling subjects lines.
Both parties delivered heaps of hyperbole in their emails. One Republican, for instance, declared that Democrats wanted to establish a “one-party socialist state,” while a Democrat suggested that the party’s Jan. 6 inquiry was at imminent risk because the G.O.P. “could force the whole investigation to end early.”
Hyperbole is an “exaggerated statement not meant to be taken literally.” Republicans aren’t kidding around. They’re liars who want their supporters to believe Democrats are un-American socialists hellbent on imposing permanent one-party role (by letting Black people vote!).
However, it’s not hyperbole to state that the investigation into the January 6 insurrection is over as soon as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hands her gavel over to Marjorie Taylor Greene. I think the GOP has been fairly upfront about this. They will end the inquiry and probably immediately open a new one into Hunter Biden’s laptop.
Astor concedes that "Republicans included misinformation far more often: in about 15 percent of their messages, compared with about two percent for Democrats” ... or not at all. Damn, two percent’s like a rounding error. Call me cynical but I usually assume even the best politicians lie at least five percent of the time. Your mother probably lies to you two percent of the time.
In addition, multiple Republicans often spread the same unfounded claims, whereas Democrats rarely repeated one another’s.
This is because Republicans collectively repeat shared talking points. That’s how propaganda works. Democrats are not part of an organized disinformation campaign. For instance, Senator
Foghorn Leghorn John Kennedy claimed that President Joe Biden is “giving every illegal immigrant that comes into our country $450,000.” While a great reality TV show premise, it’s also a total (and deliberate) lie.
The relatively small number of false statements from Democrats were mostly about abortion.
Oh no, are Democrats ramping up the “hyperbole” over the impending loss of Americans’ reproductive freedom? Astor tut-tutted Rep. Carolyn Maloney’s claim that the Mississippi law before the Supreme Court was “nearly identical to the one in Texas, banning abortions after 6 weeks.” See, Mississippi’s law actually bans abortion after 15 weeks and doesn’t rely on vigilante enforcement, which Astor considers the “defining characteristic of Texas’ law.” I’d argue that the lack of safe access to abortion is the "defining characteristic” of both laws, so Maloney isn’t lying when she says the laws are “nearly identical.”
A spokeswoman for Ms. Maloney called the inaccuracy an “honest mistake” and said the campaign would check future emails more carefully.
Campaign representatives for Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Crenshaw did not respond to multiple requests for comment. The Republican House and Senate campaign committees also did not respond to a request for comment.
This is the fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans, and the New York Times is too obsessed with its “both sides” agenda to see it.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."