Why I finally canceled my New York Times subscription

The other day, I canceled my subscription to the New York Times. The paper’s circulation department says I’ve been getting it delivered to my home for 10 years, but I think it has been much longer.

I told the customer service representative that I was appalled by the paper’s “disgraceful” biased coverage of the presidential election. I told her to make sure she wrote that word down in the space that asked for a reason I was canceling.

It’s not that I back Donald Trump, whom I met for the first time 30 years ago but hadn’t heard from for many years — until after he announced in June 2015 that he was running for president.

And I certainly don’t support Hillary Clinton.

I think both are not only deeply flawed candidates but also damaged human beings.

But the role of a newspaper is — in its news pages — to cover an election objectively and fairly.

What a paper does on its editorial page and what columnists write is entirely different. That’s where the Times’ contempt for Trump should be expressed. And that’s where that paper — any paper — can go to town to gut the son of a gun.

The news pages, and certainly the front page, are sacred ground in the newspaper business where readers should trust that they are getting the facts and no opinion. But it’s not as simple as that.

Papers slant their coverage not only by choosing the words in a story but also by deciding which stories to run and which to ignore.

In the Times’ case, because it’s what is called a broadsheet — a big-size newspaper — there is also the issue of where a story is placed, especially on the front page.

The top right part of a paper like the Times is the most visible area. The bottom left of the page is the least visible.

It’s been clear to me for a while that the Times and other media outlets have been favoring Hillary over Trump. And that’s their right — in the editorial page and in columns.

If you feel the same way, you can dial the Times at 800-698-4637. They’ll offer you a deal to stay. I told them all I wanted was honest coverage.

And I fully understand why that is. Trump has given them tons of negative material with his often wacky and lurid comments. Plus, he’s an outsider not only in political circles but also in media circles and hasn’t built up a store of favors with the press that longtime politicians would have.

And, of course, some would argue that the mainstream media in the US always favor liberal politicians, which Trump isn’t.

But Hillary is no saint.

And the avalanche of recently leaked emails certainly has given the media enough bad stuff to publish about her and her campaign, including a conversation by Hillary’s aides against Catholics that didn’t make it into the mainstream media.

Trump has complained loudly about his treatment by some of the biggest papers in the US. In fact, he’s threatened to pull the credentials of the Times and the Washington Post.

But it wasn’t until very recently that proof surfaced (in leaked emails) as to just how much some of these papers were favoring — and doing favors for — the Clinton campaign.

For instance, the Times’ political reporter, Maggie Haberman (who once worked here at The Post), was called a “friendly journalist” by Clinton staffers who would tee up stories for their campaign.

Haberman was working at Politico when she won her “friendly journalist” status but is now with the Times.

A different leaked memo reveals that another Times reporter, Mark Leibovich, allowed the Clinton campaign to veto quotes given by Hillary before he put them in a story.

When the negotiation over the quotes was completed, Jennifer Palmieri, communications director for the Clinton campaign, wrote to Leibovich to say “pleasure doing business.”

It’s been clear to me for a while that the Times and other media outlets have been favoring Hillary over Trump. And that’s their right — in the editorial page and in columns.

To the Times’ credit, it did break the original story about Hillary using a private email server instead of a government-issued one like everybody else at her State Department.

And checking quotes for accuracy with a source isn’t unusual, although blanket veto power — if that’s what this was — isn’t proper.

I’ve been in this business long enough to know the tit-for-tat negotiations that go on between reporters and sources.

But allowing a source to have too much control over a story makes a paper nothing more than a puppet and destroys the notion of a free press.

This last example is perhaps the most egregious. Another leaked email from Palmieri on July 8, 2015, is a discussion with John Podesta, the Clinton campaign chairman, and others about a Times story on the costs of some of Hillary’s policies.

Palmieri writes: “I wanted to give you an update on NYT pending story on the costs of policy proposals . . . I had a pretty frank conversation with them about what an unfair story would do as a further setback in the relationship.” I assume that means relations between Hillary and the Times.

“Maggie thinks it is responsible and that we are not going to have a problem with it — it will have all the caveats that HRC [Hillary Clinton] has not actually proposed these policies . . . She [Maggie, I assume] is going to read me the story later today off the record to further assure me.”

I assume “Maggie” is Maggie Haberman, who — with another reporter — two days later published a 1,500-word story on Page 19 of the paper with the headline “Clinton Aims an Ambitious Economic Agenda at a Party Shifting Left.” Anyway, that’s why I canceled my Times subscription.

If you feel the same way, you can dial the Times at 800-698-4637. They’ll offer you a deal to stay. I told them all I wanted was honest coverage.

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One Response to “Why I finally canceled my New York Times subscription”

  1. daveyone1 Says:

    Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.

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