The New York Times (NYT) is facing a backlash after a leaked transcript from a staff town hall meeting which revealed the newspaper was struggling to cover racism based on a so-called 1619 project that “aims to reframe the country’s history.”
“The 1619 Project is a major initiative from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are,” the project intro reads.
Executive Editor Dean Baquet said, “One reason we all signed off on the 1619 Project and made it so ambitious and expansive was to teach our readers to think a little bit more like that …)\ race in the next year is going to be a huge part of the American story,” according to Slate.
Baquet’s remarks sparked criticism from conservatives and journalists.
Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz slammed the newspaper in a series of tweets, asking, “Does that sound like news? Or editorial?”
“A real ‘journalist’ (rather than a propagandist) might analyze the transcript, see what the Editor said, have a fleeting concern w/journalistic ethics,” he said.
E.g., NYT: ““One reason we all signed off on The 1619 Project [explained below] and made it so ambitious and expansive was TO TEACH OUR READERS TO THINK A LITTLE BIT MORE LIKE THAT.” Does that sound like news? Or editorial? (Remember, this was the “News” Editor.) 3/x https://t.co/xpXXOhaDLR
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) August 19, 2019
“There was a time when journalists covered ‘news’. The NYT has given up on even pretending anymore. Today, they are Pravda, a propaganda outlet by liberals, for liberals. These remarks at their ‘town hall’ are a scandal & would be firing offense at any real journalistic outlet,” said Cruz in another tweet.
There was a time when journalists covered “news.” The NYT has given up on even pretending anymore. Today, they are Pravda, a propaganda outlet by liberals, for liberals. These remarks at their “town hall” are a scandal & would be a firing offense at any real journalistic outlet. https://t.co/3xZiABaBYv
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) August 18, 2019
Former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich tweeted that “The NY Times 1619 Project should make its slogan ‘All the Propaganda we want to brainwash you with’. It is a repudiation of the original NY Times motto.”
The NY Times 1619 Project should make its slogan “All the Propaganda we want to brainwash you with”.it is a repudiation of the original NY Times motto.
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) August 18, 2019
Political commentator Jeffrey Lord told Fox News the NYT “wants to stir the narrative on race in the United States against President Donald Trump and in-favor of pro-Russian views.”
“What the New York Times has engaged in is the Stalinizing of American history. The left wanting to do a total re-write of American history, that we’re founded in racism and it’s all about race.”
“I’ve read the New York Times pieces, their so-called 1619 project, there isn’t a solitary mention that slavery and segregation were the party of Democrats,” he added.
The NYT’s leaked information raised questions as to whether readers can reach the truth when newspapers tend to write in a way that appeased its viewers.
Brandon Straka, who describes himself as a former democrat, a former liberal, changed his mind after the 2016 election and founded the #WALKAWAY MOVEMENT.
In a video titled “The Hard Truth, Episode 1: Media Bias #WalkAway Education Series,” Straka said that, in 1971, Republicans made up 25.7% of journalists and Democrats were 25.5%. But in 2019, 77% of reporters identify as Democrats while only 7% as Republicans.
Straka blamed the liberal media, which he had used to call “the truthful media,” for invoking racism, homophobia, xenophobia, transphobia, sexism, and bigotry in order to take advantage of people’s kind hearts.
“The media is keenly aware of a simple premise: if they can control how do you feel, they can control how do you think,” he said. “There is nobody more than our own liberal media who attempts to divide Americans by race & extreme ideology or who is conducting information warfare against the U.S.”