Above is the search result from the NY Times for the last week through today.
OK. Maybe “odal” is too obscure. How about “Nazi cpac.” Nothing — see image on the right — except a Colbert bit from a few days ago unrelated to the stage. I also tried “Othala” another variant. Nothing.
But today, the Washington Post did have a story about the stage, yet only after the Hyatt Hotels group issued a statement condemning use of hate symbols:
“We take the concern raised about the prospect of symbols of hate being included in the stage design at CPAC 2021 very seriously as all such symbols are abhorrent and unequivocally counter to our values as a company,” said Hyatt, which had faced pointed criticism for hosting the event.
But so far, the Times has been silent on this story.
On the other hand, the Times is concerned about criticism from liberals. It only took about a month for Maureen Dowd to revert to bashing liberals and Democrats, whining about how liberals expect the press to be on their side. In What a Mess, Eric Boehlert writes of Dowd’s column
Dowd’s scolding was immediately picked up by other elite journalists on Twitter, who lent their voices to the idea that liberals don’t understand how journalism works, and mocked Democrats for thinking the press should not hold their party accountable. (Spoiler: Zero Democrats actually think that.) By embracing that absurd claim, journalists feel free to dismiss criticism from the left, because they say it’s not based in reality. That’s a convenient dodge and it’s also delusional.
Both siderism is bad enough. But ignoring the CPAC Stage is one-siderism, and it’s the side Trump praised in Charlottesville.
UPDATE: I’ve done a lot of diaries bashing the Times, among the most detailed was Book Proposal: “No Clear Link: How the NY Times Helped Elect Trump in 2016.” With Table of Contents (is it too late for that? If not, anyone want to co-write?) But I have not canceled my subscription (I wouldn’t have been able to do the search without it.) Why not?
Whig in the comments asks “Why all the hate for the NY Times?” and gives examples of good reporting on R’s attempts to rewrite history about Jan. 6, and that prompted this Update:
With all its many flaws, the NY Times is essential. Except maybe for the WaPo, there is no comparable coverage of global and national news, no comparable resources. So I come here neither to bury or praise the NYT (h/t MA), but to try (to the extent stories here have any effect) to change it.
The CPAC Stage is an interesting case. The idea any group in the US today would intentionally use Nazi synbolism at an event with Senators and a President speaking is almost too horrible to contemplate. But the past four years have been a daily litany of things too horrible to contemplate:
- Trump campaign cooperation with a foreign adversary.
- Trump calling Nazis “good people.”
- The US having to extract a spy from Russia because our intelligence feared Trump would compromise him/her. (Remember that story? — so far unrefuted.)
- The President speaking and taking actions everyone knew would cause the deaths of thousands frm COVID. This is a particular sore point for me. If the media had called Trump’s rallies and White House superspreader events the manslaughter it really was, I doubt Trump would have come so close to winning.
So on the CPAC stage, I think it’s timidity by the Times. It’s not (yet) enough of an open and shut case for the Times to go out on what it thinks is a limb. Now that didn’t stop them from manufacturing and spreading dozens of limbs about Hillary in 2016, like pushing “Clinton Cash.” Or more recently, buying William Barr’s lies to headline “Cloud LIfted” on the Mueller results. (BTW — When do we see the unredacted Mueller Report?)
Old habits die hard. I started reading the Times when my fifth grade teacher required it, (my Dad got the Herald Tribune at home.) and it’s still one of my great pleasures to start the day with it, even if COVID made me switch from paper to digital.
As the Erics (Bohelert and Alterman) have pointed out for years, Republicans have successfully “worked the refs.” For the moment, that’s my strategy with the Times.