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What the New York Times Doesn’t Get

What the New York Times Doesn’t Get

How did the NYT respond to Obama’s 2009 “version” of America?

The New York Times editorial board entitled their traditional post-inaugural address commentary, “What President Trump Doesn’t Get About America.”  What it reveals, however, is quite different.  While one can reasonably expect an op-ed to lean in a particular direction and address policy differences, the editorial board’s main criticism of President Trump’s inauguration speech is centered on his, to their minds, unflattering portrait of America.

Seemingly still reeling from “their” loss in November, the board focuses on the parts of Trump’s speech that Obama could have easily read in his own first inauguration.  Former president Obama’s 2009 inaugural address, however, was met with gushing enthusiasm for his unflattering portrait of America as “in decline” and “in crisis.”

The editorial begins by noting that Trump’s inaugural address was “graceless” in its presentation of America “losing its promise.”

President Trump presented such a graceless and disturbingly ahistoric vision of America on Friday that his Inaugural Address cast more doubt than hope on his presidency.

Instead of summoning the best in America’s ideals, Mr. Trump offered a fantastical version of America losing its promise, military dominance and middle-class wealth to “the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs.”

With sweeping exaggeration, Mr. Trump spoke of “carnage” in the inner cities . . . .

This “fantastical version” of America is exactly what we see, and to a lesser degree, what we saw in ’09. Indeed, during his inaugural address, Obama waxed on about how Americans were suffering due to “a sapping of confidence across our land — a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.”

For the past eight years, we haven’t seen any of that addressed.  Instead, we’ve watched as our president purposefully dismantled our great nation’s promise, worked intently to diminish not only our military but our standing in the world, and somehow found time to spend on decimating the middle class.

From Obama’s promise to “stop the oceans from rising” to his global apology tour to his feckless foreign policy that empowered our enemies and insulted our allies to his signature legislation and the middle class taxes buried throughout, Obama has played a large role in hastening the very decline he castigated President Bush for in his 2009 inaugural address.

While the NYT waxes eloquent about Obama’s economic recovery and his jobs record, out here in America, we know it’s not true because we see it, feel it, live it.  We know, too, that the number of people on food stamps is up nearly 40%, that real median income has dropped, that fewer Americans own homes, and that the number of Americans living in poverty is way up.

All of this in spite of Obama nearly doubling our national debt.  When he took office, national debt was so high at $10.63 trillion that he called it “unpatriotic.”  Fast forward to today, and our national debt is a staggering $19.96 trillion.

As to the military cuts, we are also familiar with these as Obama gutted our military, with the infamous plan to return the Army to pre-World War II levels and to make cuts across the armed forces,  purged its upper ranks of military leaders who did not share his naive view of the world, and weakened it with his imposition of political correctness.  As if that wasn’t bad enough, his micro-management of the military in the field resulted in incredibly stupid and dangerous rules of engagement; from ill-equipped and unarmed troops to pilots who had to request and wait for permission before doing their job.

We read about the astonishing murder rates in cities like Chicago, and we see 24/7 coverage of various organized SJW groups rioting, setting fires, overturning cars, looting, and chanting “pigs in a blanket, fry ’em like bacon.”

Yet the NYT editorial board, ensconced in their privileged towers and sheltered from the reality we experience, found President Trump’s description “apocalyptic” and “distorted.”

It was hard to make sense of Mr. Trump’s distorted vision of America’s past and present. But the passion was familiar in his promise to “make America great again,” as if the nation were in despair and yearning to retreat somewhere with him. The crowd cheered him repeatedly, particularly when he vowed to “unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate from the face of the earth.”

Interestingly, Obama’s 2009 inaugural address painted a pretty bleak picture of “a nation in despair,” as well.  He described it thusly:

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land — a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time.

All of this is as true today as it was eight years ago, and much, if not all, of it is measurably and unnecessarily worse.  Obama’s “version” of America, quite similar to President Trump’s, was hailed by the NYT editorial board in the most glowing, even fawning, terms.

They wrote of Obama’s 2009 Inaugural Address:

In his Inaugural Address, President Obama gave them the clarity and the respect for which all Americans have hungered. In about 20 minutes, he swept away eight years of President George Bush’s false choices and failed policies and promised to recommit to America’s most cherished ideals.

With Mr. Bush looking on (and we’d like to think feeling some remorse), President Obama declared: “On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn- out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics.”

By contrast, the NYT characterized Trump’s inauguration speech as “vainglorious” and “‘preening.”

Vainglorious on a podium where other presidents have presented themselves as fellow citizens, preening where they have been humble, Mr. Trump declared that under him America will “bring back our jobs” and “bring back our borders,” “bring back our wealth” and “bring back our dreams.” . . .

I don’t think that many would disagree that Trump has a sizable ego and shows only the rare flash of humility, but to hear a publication that has spent eight years carrying the water for one of the most narcissistic, self-involved presidents in our nation’s history decry Trump as “vainglorious” and “preening” is a bit much to swallow.  I don’t recall Trump promising to stop the oceans from rising or to heal the planet; I don’t recall Trump snootily silencing the opposition party with “The election’s over. I won.”

Although bothered that Trump condemned the policies of presidents (and Congresses) that came before him, the NYT was particularly pleased when Obama condemned President Bush’s policies:

Mr. Obama was unsparing in condemning the failed ideology of uncontrolled markets. He said the current economic crisis showed how “without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control” and that the nation has to extend the reach of prosperity to “every willing heart, not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.”

After more than seven years of Mr. Bush’s using fear and xenophobia to justify a disastrous and unnecessary war, and undermine the most fundamental American rights, it was exhilarating to hear Mr. Obama reject “as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.”

They are not outraged on principle or merit that the incoming president blasted his predecessor in his presence; they are upset that Trump blasted Obama.  In this, they forfeit the moral high ground and lose all credibility.

Obama’s first inaugural address was no less harsh, no less “dark” in painting a portrait of America than Trump’s.  Indeed, in their descriptions of America, they could easily have read, with only minor revisions, from one another’s speeches.  It’s in their solutions that these two presidents differ, yet it’s the solutions, the policy, the hard work from which the NYT editorial board scurries, grabbing instead the low-hanging fruit and embarrassing themselves in the process.

The institutional bias and irredeemably-blinkered, deeply hypocritical assessment of Trump as reflected in this piece is a new low for a publication that was once, quite literally, the most-respected newspaper in the Western world.   The Gray Lady is no more, and truth be told, she seems to have died not on the date of their knee-jerk, infantile, and lazy 2017 inaugural address assessment but on or about January 2009.

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Comments

Great article, Fuz. Nailed ’em.

Will always think of the NYT in Michelle Malkin’s terms as the “fish wrap of record.” And that’s the nicest way I can think of to describe it.

Excellent post.

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | January 23, 2017 at 9:18 am

Terrific critique.

The first thing I did after hearing Trump’s speech was take a trip back to 1/20/2009. You are correct. Obama’s speech was all about how bad the United States is and how he’s going to set a new course. Two differences I’d like to point out. 1.) When Obama used the word “we” he meant “me”, and 2.) his vision was to make the U.S. lesser not better.

Obviously, they have taken off the knee-pads

This is a sample of the things to come from the msm. There will be almost nothing Trump can do and does that will garner any praise from them. We may as well get used to it and hope that Trump continues to communicate with us directly via any electronic media. That is the only way we will get his side of things.

CaliforniaJimbo | January 23, 2017 at 10:43 am

Unlike traditional Repbulican politicians (who believe they can get the press to like them), President Trump is under no such disillusionment. President Trump knows the MSM is coming after him. He will get zero positive coverage. As a matter of fact, “fake News” will be the story of the day (MLK Bust anyone).
The MSM does not know how to deal with someone who does not bow before them. The more they lash out the plainer it is to see that the MSM is trying to pick winners and losers. I’d rather have a press who wants to accurately portray the news rather than one that wants to change the world or to be the story.
Buckle up all. This is going to be one wild ride.

When Obama gave his first State of the Union Speech a Facebook “friend” posted that it was the most magnificent speech she had ever heard. Having heard it myself, I was not as impressed.

To respond to her post, I first downloaded transcripts of Obama’s State of the Union Speech and Sarah Palin’s keynote speech before the RNC which she delivered a few months earlier. I then annotated the transcript of Obama’s speech with excerpts from Palin’s speech to show that both had said essentially the same thing on many issues and their respective vision for the future resolution of such issues.

After I posted the annotation to her timeline, she went apoplectic and became completely unhinged. She then posted a reply calling me every derogatory name known and unknown. She accused me of harboring sexual fantasies for Palin stating that my lust for her was the sole motivation for what she perceived as blasphemy against her idol (and it was idolatry). BTW, that was our last contact, with friends like that …

“With sweeping exaggeration, Mr. Trump spoke of “carnage” in the inner cities…”

Have these people never seen what is going on in Detroit, or Chicago? How far out does your bubble have to be to term what Trump described as “exaggeration”? Somewhere past Pluto, perhaps.

    MadisonS in reply to navyvet. | January 23, 2017 at 5:48 pm

    I live in that bubble known as the San Francisco Bay Area. Yes, there is gang violence and random shootings in Oakland and Richmond. The bubble-ites here generally consider these problems as social justice issues.

    I grew up in Chicago and return frequently to visit friends and family. I knew from long ago the safe and not so safe neighborhoods. What I see now is expansion of the not so safe. What the SF Bay Area bubble-ites cannot comprehend are the subhuman living conditions foisted upon the urban poor by progressive housing and urban development zealots. In turn, these living conditions have caused a complete breakdown of any semblance of humanity wherein life itself has become worthless. I try to explain that the worst places in Oakland are minuscule compared to the miles of urban blight one may encounter in Chicago, and that the worst of Oakland may seem like Beverly Hills to someone from the Chicago south or west side.

Henry Hawkins | January 23, 2017 at 6:15 pm

If anyone runs into the MSM, please ask them why they think all the tactics that failed before the election will work after the election.

On second thought, don’t ask. Let them proceed digging the hole.

The disgraced New York Times was caught in flagrante delicto by Wikileaks.

The paper did not report on the recent Presidential election, it colluded with the Clinton Campaign to support their efforts to engage in character assassination in lieu of a campaign on the issues.

The following is a quote from a verified email from Patrick Healy, National Political Correspondent, New York Times, to members of the Clinton campaign. Circulation information is available, as well.

https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/59194

“We’re told that President Clinton (like Mrs. Clinton and some other Dems) thinks that Trump would be a formidable opponent in the general election, and that Dems are in a form of denial if they dismiss Trump as a joke who would be easily defeated in November. President Clinton, like others, thinks that Trump has his finger on the pulse of the electorate’s mood and that only a well-financed, concerted campaign portrayed [sic] him as dangerous and bigoted will win what both Clintons believe will be a close November election. ”

“We’re told that President Clinton (like Mrs. Clinton and many other Dems) thinks the single greatest weapon against Trump is Trump’s own instinct to make outrageous, divisive, even hateful comments that can come across as unpresidential. He, Mrs. Clinton, and the campaign all agree that they will need to seize on opportunities to paint Trump as extremist and recklessly impulsive. ”

and to protect the Clinton Campaign.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-02/wikileaks-exposes-collusion-between-clinton-campaign-state-department-and-new-york-t

The New York Times is nothing but a propaganda arm for a portion of the Democratic Party. It is not a news organization, and it has been making in-kind contributions to the Democratic Party. The Clinton Campaign and the DNC should be charged for its services, and its articles should be marked “Advertising.”

2008 crisis is exact same as 2016 crisis.

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