In other words, everything conservatives have said about editorial standards at the New York Times turns out to be true. After columnist Bret Stephens finally opened up some in-house criticism of the “1619 Project,” pressure built on the organization to respond to the accusations of editorial and intellectual dishonesty and inaccuracies in both the project itself and how the NYT comported itself afterward. Managing editor Dean Baquet finally responded just a few minutes ago by proclaiming that all of the issues Stephens identified — criticisms which have also percolated for months across the political spectrum — “fell fully within our standards as a news organization.”
Well, at least Baquet’s honest about intellectual dishonesty at the Gray Lady:
This column, however, raised questions about the journalistic ethics and standards of 1619 and the work of Nikole Hannah-Jones, who inspired and drove the project. That criticism I firmly reject. The project fell fully within our standards as a news organization. In fact, 1619 — and especially the work of Nikole — fill me with pride. Our readers, and I believe our country, have benefited immensely from the principled, rigorous and groundbreaking journalism of Nikole and the full team of writers and editors who brought us this transformative work.
Which part of these fills Baquet with pride?
- The NYT memory-holing the claim that 1619 was the country’s “true founding” without acknowledging their post-facto edits, let alone explaining them
- Hannah-Jones dishonestly denying she or the paper made that claim
- Ignoring input from actual experts in the field about the arguments and conclusions made in the 1619 Project prior to publication
- Ignoring repeated criticisms by experts in the field after publication
- Refusing to issue corrections to factual errors and misrepresentations
Baquet never addresses these issues. In fact, his statement is remarkable for its utter lack of response to either Stephens or to the myriad other critics of the 1619 Project and the Times, both substantively and ethically, for their handling of the controversy. In his silence, Baquet tacitly approves of all these tactics, and not just approves but positively embraces them.
If the media industry wonders why the American public ranks them below Congress in terms of trustworthiness, they should recall this stance from the “Paper of Record” — the one that stealth-edited the record and then proclaimed that it was proud of itself. Without ever answering any criticism or providing even a rudimentary form of accountability, no less. The message here is clear: We can lie to you with impunity, and we don’t even care if you catch us.
Message received, Mr. Baquet. Loud and clear.