Maintaining the New York Times’ strident, defensive stance of refusing to acknowledge any fault in the paper’s spectacularly failed 2016 campaign coverage, executive editor Dean Baquet last week insisted the paper made no mistakes covering Hillary Clinton’s historic run.
The denial comes as the press is faced with a stunning double standard used to cover Clinton and Trump and their handling of classified documents. In 2015 and 2016, the press, led by the Times, treated that topic and Clinton’s private emails as the defining issue of the day. Today, news that Trump smuggled boxes of top-secret documents out of the White House is treated as a minor event, by comparison.
“I don’t have regrets about the Hillary Clinton e-mail stories,” Baquet recently told The New Yorker. “It was a running news story. It was a serious F.B.I. investigation. The stories were accurate.”
The Times published hundreds of But Her Email articles and columns. Is Baquet vouching for all of them? Here’s one that was corrected twice and still contained a false claim.
Baquet suggests the paper dedicated so much time and attention to the emails because there was a “serious FBI investigation.” But the Times didn’t know the FBI was investigating until August 2015, five months after the paper began its relentless and hyperactive coverage.
It’s always startling to watch journalists who demand transparency from public officials refuse to provide it themselves.
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