When I was in college, the New York Times was lauded by my professors as being the most credible source of news for any research-type assignment. So should a news source that claims to be credible and strictly about informing the public in an unbiased way outwardly campaign for certain political outcomes and policies? I think we can all agree with a resounding ‘NO.’
But that’s exactly what the New York Times decided to do in late November during the run-up to the Senate’s vote on its tax bill. Instead of running competing stories on the pros and cons of the Senate’s tax reform bill, perhaps from a liberal and conservative point of view, the Times decided only to run opinion pieces that were critical of the bill.
On the Twitter account for NYT Opinion, the Times not only tweeted anti-Senate bill pieces but they ran an all-out tweet campaign against the bill. The account tweeted: “This morning The New York Times Editorial Board is tweeting here to urge the Senate to reject a tax bill that hurts the middle class & the nation’s fiscal health.”
The Twitter account then went on to tweet the contact information for the offices of several Senators known to be undecided votes and urged followers to contact the Senator and “tell him why #thetaxbillhurts.” Even the Twitter account for the regular news section of the Times retweeted Margot Sanger-Katz, a known liberal NYT journalist, who shared a graphic showing all the programs “subject to automatic cuts” should the tax bill pass.
Such a disappointing display of bias from a news outlet that is constantly lauded in higher institutions of learning for being credible and informative is likely very frustrating for average American citizens, especially during such an important debate.
The New York Times should know that tax reform is an issue high on the list of priorities for American families and getting an unbiased and fair source of news during a debate that could change their financial situation for generations is what they want most right now, not a barrage of one-sided opinion.
At a time when politics has become so divisive, the last thing a major news outlet like the Times should be doing is adding to the flames.