Media outlet or political organization? And where does the New York Times fit here?

Wednesday, the NYT turned their opinion-devoted Twitter account into an activist page lobbying against the tax reform bill passed by the Senate Budget Committee Tuesday.

Using the hashtag #thetaxbillhurts, the NYT encouraged readers to contact Republican Senators who have yet to commit to voting for the bill.

After receiving a just amount of criticism, at least one NYT writer defended the publication’s decision to play DNC communications staff for a day:

And it’s a fair point. While publications do publish opinions, those posts are typically concluded with some sort of blanket, italicised disclaimer stating the opinions published therein are not representative of the opinions or values of the publication itself. It’s certainly not standard practice to use an opinion section to lobby for legislation. And of all things, the tax bill? Really?

The role of the fourth estate is simple: publish facts and allow voters to draw their own conclusions. But as we’ve discussed at length, the political press corps increasingly sees itself as a collective body entitled to take an active role in the crafting of legislation and in so doing, governing rather than reporting.

All of this: