When it comes to the Times, or for that matter, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review or any other so-called mainstream Media, one must consider the source when considering the news presented by the media. And by that, I mean you have to consider the reliability of the source, and judge that reliability when considering the probability of veracity in the reportage.
For if the source can’t really be trusted, whether or not you are Trump supporter (I am not, didn’t vote for him) doesn’t matter because the so-called “watchdog” media isn’t looking out for the truth, or looking out for you, its readers. But why does it matter?
Because we cannot know what’s behind the anonymous op-ed supposedly Written
by a White House staffer. In fact, based on the Times’ own admission of errors in such cases as the Stephen Glass scandal (the guy made up sources and stories to get attention in the NYT and got away with it for years), the letter written by a “Senior White House official” might be an outright fabrication. Why not? It’s happened before.
But another reason I call it into question is in no way meant to be a defense of Trump, because it is not: I wonder about the letter because I’ve worked with the NYT staffer who is behind publication of the letter—James Dao.
I first met Jim when I was covering the Sago Mine rescue for Reuters, and I heard him talking on the phone and realized he was from the NYT.
Do you ever need stringers, I asked. Sure, he said, call me and send me an email.
I did, and we worked on some stories together.
Each time I’d work on a piece with him and dutifully send him paragraphs of “color” as they like to call it when they are gyping you out of real wages and a byline because you are a stringer (“We just need some color…”), I’d ask him if I could get an end-credit. That’s when a freelancer’s name is mentioned at the very end of the article as having contributed reporting or writing to the article.
Jim would always respond to my query: “You’ll get one if we use anything you sent.”
I never got an end-credit on an article while working with Jim. And in fact never got one with them til years later, after they presumably changed their policy and began to give such credits. Glass and that other privileged d-bag at the Times who got egg on the newspaper’s face are what forced that move.
But that theft of worker recognition had been going on for many years—I knew a guy who’d been a freelancer for the Times who had stories entirely written by him changed on him, so a staffer’s byline was up top and his byline was relegated to an end-credit.
Do you trust people who snob on you? You're a fool if you do.
Still, the Times is a passel of snobs, as are many Mainstream Media
organizations. Their behavior is proof positive, you must actually deny it to yourself to not see it. And if you totally trust a source that is decidedly biased in any direction, you are kidding yourself because of your own bias.
All the news that’s fit to print? Naw…. Just more crony capitalism and Old Boy arm-patting, clothed in a lily liberal white robe.
Jonathan Barnes is a journalist and freelance writer who's written for Reuters, Fortune, ENR magazine, Newsday, New York Daily News and many other media. His corporate clients have included Facebook, Rolls-Royce, Procore, Xerox, GE, American Bridge Company, ARC Document Solutions and others.