October 13, 2019

All that's old is new again. The New York Times continues with the aiding and abetting of the destruction of our democracy by again promoting right wing serial liar and author Peter Schweitzer, who did the hit job on Hillary Clinton with his lie-filled Clinton Cash book back in 2015.

ShareBlue's Eric Boehlert whacked The Times for failing to learn the lessons from the 2016 presidential election during a discussion on Shep Smith's departure from Fox on this Sunday's AM Joy:

REID: Eric, you know, and I think that Tiffany was absolutely right that it is unfortunate that more people don't have time to take in the sort of fuller context that you can get from print, but we're also... this week, had Shep not resigned, the other thing we going to talk about and one of the reasons we invited you is that The New York Times is now being criticized again for in a sense repeating the exact same scenario that got us where we were in 2016 by once again publishing Peter Schweitzer from this pretend organization that's supposedly looking out for government corruption, but who posits whole conspiracy theories, including him being on of the main person who has pushed this conspiracy theory about Russia not really attacking our elections, but it really being Ukraine who hid the Democratic server because the Democrats attacked themselves.

I mean, you have the print media who are also seeming to, I don't know if it is a sense of fear of challenging of really challenging a president that's becoming more autocratic, but if you have that happening at the Times, and then you have Fox losing really one of only two anchors who ever challenged the president. Now there's only one guy left. All you've got now is Chris Wallace, and he occasionally challenges the president .

How does that then impact us as we go into impeachment of somebody who is displaying very clear autocratic tendencies?

BOEHLERT: Yeah, I mean, if we've got such an important institution like The New York Times and not learning any lessons from 2016. I mean, Peter Schweitzer wrote this basically fictitious hit book on Hillary Clinton and The New York Times marketed that thing like it was the most important book in the campaign.

Every other news organization pointed out that book was riddled with errors. The New York Times had an exclusive with that book and somehow forgot to ever tell its readers the book was riddled with errors.

And now here we are in 2019 lo and be hold, you open The New York Times and there's Peter Schweitzer writing this op-ed about everything the Biden family did wrong and doing it in the name of corruption. He wrote an entire column about allegedly the family cashing in on their politicians, their family political roots, and the word Trump is never mentioned in the column. His kids were never mentioned.

REID: Or Kushner.

BOEHLERT: Right. So if we have, if, you know, the times" isn't going to learn any lesson from 2016, and the scary part is that the Times doesn't think there's any lessons to be learned from 2016, we're in trouble.

As Boehlert discussed in his post at Daily Kos this week, at least we're seeing some push back from the Biden campaign who also took The Times to task for the allowing the likes of Schweitzer a to use their publication to lie to the public.

It's about time: Biden, Democratic candidates punch back against shoddy press coverage:

Democrats running for president have a new message for the news media: We’re not going to take it anymore.

No longer willing to stoically suffer through bad, misleading press coverage, Democrats are borrowing a page from Republicans by going public with their complaints and demanding journalists do better. But unlike Republicans who often “work the refs” by griping about imaginary slights in hopes of better treatment in the future, Democrats are calling out the press with wholly accurate claims of media malpractice.

Last week, Joe Biden's presidential campaign sent a blistering letter to New York Times editor Dean Baquet, reprimanding the paper for helping spread Donald Trump's debunked conspiracy theory about Joe Biden and his son's business dealings in Ukraine. It's "part of a larger strategy not to let the same coverage that corrupted the 2016 election happen this time around," a campaign source told CNN's Brian Stelter.

The stinging critique from Biden came one day after the Times published an opinion column from discredited right-wing author Peter Schweizer, once again hyping the Biden/Ukraine story. Schweizer, who wrote a patently dishonest book about Hillary Clinton in 2015 alleging all sorts of made-up crimes—a book the Times helped market and promote during the campaign—has been peddling the Biden smear all year within the far-right media ecosystem.

It was the Times that trumpeted Schweizer’s book Clinton Cash as the "the most anticipated and feared book" of the 2016 campaign season. And it was the Times that forged an exclusive alliance with the Breitbart-backed book (published by a Rupert Murdoch-owned subsidiary), and used the factually erroneous tome as a guidepost for Hillary Clinton ‘gotcha’ articles.

As for this campaign cycle, even after mainstream news outlets had completely debunked the hollow claims about Biden that Schweizer was peddling, the Times invited the smear's architect, who has a soft spot for plagiarism, to spread more partisan attacks via the newspaper. Also, note that it was the Times that got caught last May trying to peddle the GOP's anti-Biden storyline about Ukraine in the first place.

And yes, the right-wing media feasted on the Times' handiwork last spring, and presented it as confirmation that Biden is corrupt. More recently, the Times often tied Trump's attempt to get a foreign player to interfere with an American election with the bogus allegations Biden has faced regarding Ukraine, suggesting that both Trump and Biden were being sullied in the process.

The Biden campaign’s aggressive response last week represents a new approach for prominent Democratic candidates. In the past, party stalwarts often ignored press slights, likely feeling that media critiques weren't why they were running for president and that candidates didn't want to get distracted from larger, more important issues. But after Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by 3 million votes yet still lost the election thanks to some of the most openly hostile, sexist, and unfair campaign coverage in modern American history, Democratic campaigns are moving faster and much more forcefully to call out bad behavior and pressure news organizations to do better.

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