August 10, 2023
You probably think the job of a reporter is to report news. How old-fashioned, cis-gendered, white supremacist of you! That’s not it at all, certainly not at the august New York Times.
Instead, a reporter’s mission is to find out what kind of story would help the Democrats at any particular moment in time, and then write it, no matter how preposterous. Obviously, skills in sophistry and legerdemain are crucial.
Right now, nothing would help the Democratic Party more than somehow blocking Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida from becoming the Republican presidential nominee.
That’s a tall order. DeSantis is not only running on 70-30 popular issues, but he’s following through by actually enacting those policies — on everything from immigration to crime, to trans-mania, to anti-white racism. Most spectacularly, he made utter fools of the entire liberal brain trust over COVID.
This cannot stand. There’s a whole world of Times readers waiting for Pravda to land on their doorstep every morning to confirm their prejudices.
So what’s a liberal lackey to do?
I can now reveal the six takedown techniques taught to Times reporters on Day One — before they’re even taught that misgendering someone is a fireable offense — as illustrated by journalists Sharon LaFraniere, Patricia Mazzei and Albert Sun, in a million-word, front-page article on July 23.
1) The Kamikaze Run
Hit a person on his strongest point — he’ll never expect it. If the target’s loyal, call him disloyal; if he’s consistent, call him inconsistent; if he’s honest, call him a liar; if he’s good-looking, call him ugly.
And if he performed brilliantly during a global pandemic when almost all other government officials blundered, write an article saying: HEY, GOV! YOUR COVID RESPONSE SUCKED.
2) The Shocker Headline
Use a scary headline belied by the actual facts presented in your article.
Actual NYT headline: “The Steep Cost of Ron DeSantis’s Vaccine Turnabout … a grim chapter he now leaves out of his rosy retelling of his pandemic response.”
3) Hide the Ball
Deep within the story, bury the central fact that blows apart your narrative. Most likely, the reader will never get that far.
NYT, paragraph 6,000: “Overall, [Florida’s] death rate during the pandemic, adjusted for age, ended up better than the national average.”
4) The Ant’s Eye View
Find a brief, aberrational moment during the relevant time period that supports your phony premise.
NYT: “Floridians died at a higher rate, adjusted for age, than residents of almost any other state during the Delta wave … With less than 7% of the nation’s population, Florida accounted for 14% of deaths between the start of July  and the end of October.”
That’s four months out of a three-year-long pandemic. During that precious interval, Florida’s death rate was, in fact, higher than the national average — as opposed to across the whole pandemic, when Florida’s death rate was lower than the national average.
5) “Huh. We Forgot That.”
Do not mention other, more likely, explanations for the aberration.
Like all airborne viruses, COVID hit southern states hardest in the summer (when people are crowded inside for the air conditioning) and northern states hardest in the winter (when people are crowded inside for the heat).
If you didn’t already know that, it was being reported everywhere at the time. Here, for example, is NPR in the fall of 2021: “We’re certainly seeing [COVID conditions improve] throughout Florida, South Carolina, southern Texas in particular. … [But as] the surge eases in the South, it could ramp up in the North, like last year.”
Just last week, the Times quoted a Johns Hopkins epidemiologist who noted that: “This is the fourth summer now that we see a [COVID] wave beginning around July, often starting in the South.”
Won’t well-informed readers know this? Absolutely not. For Times readers, the world began this morning and ended this morning.
5) The Imaginary Causation
Ignore painfully obvious facts that ruin your bogus theory of causation.
Your thesis: COVID deaths soared in Florida during the Delta wave because Gov. Death-Santis did not encourage young people to get vaccinated.
In fact, it was the Delta variant that couldn’t be stopped by vaccination, finally forcing the CDC to admit that vaccination would not prevent either infection or transmission.
As CNN reported in July 2021: “CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said new data had convinced her the Delta variant was ‘behaving uniquely’ … [and] the evidence indicated that fully vaccinated people who have breakthrough infections involving Delta may be as likely to transmit virus to others as unvaccinated people are.”
6) The “What Isn’t Like the Other” Statistic
Lard your article with statistics made meaningless by combining like and unalike things.
— “Of the 23,000 Floridians who died [during the Delta wave], 9,000 were younger than 65.”
OK, but how many were younger than 60? Is there no difference between a 23-year-old and a 63-year-old? Also, how many were obese? How many had co-morbidities?
— “Despite the governor’s insistence at the time that ‘our entire vulnerable population has basically been vaccinated,’ a vast majority of the 23,000 were either unvaccinated or had not yet completed the two-dose regimen.”
“Unvaccinated” is completely different from “got one shot,” i.e., “basically vaccinated.” For all we know, everybody who died from Delta in Florida had had at least one shot, contradicting the whole point of that statistic.
To use a professional journalist’s technique: This Is the Steep Cost of the Times‘ Descent Into Mindless Left-Wing Activism … a grim chapter the paper leaves out of its history.