Let’s assume for a minute that the New York Times’ months-long and now frantic campaign to remove Biden from the Democratic ticket is based on a sincere desire to keep Trump from getting back into the White House. (I don’t assume this, given the Times’ incessant normalization of Trumpism for years, but let’s stretch our imaginations here.)

Let’s also assume that this has nothing to do with the Times’ entitled-brat unhappiness that Biden hasn’t given into their demand that he sit for the interview that the org deems its manifest due, not an option.

With me so far? Remember, we’re assuming only honorable motivations at the NY Times news and editorial desks, not to mention the publisher’s office. But you have to wonder whether the people running the Times’ old school newspaper crusade — as Melanie Sill aptly put it — have thought past their (understandable!) disappointment with Biden’s debate appearance.

For instance:

— Biden doesn’t respect the Times. Won’t this full-court press stiffen his resolve to stay on the ticket?

— The Times writers — and all the other journalists saying Biden “must” step back — are doing magicians’ hand waves to get from a Biden withdrawal to a Democratic ticket that a) draws support from the party’s disparate factions; b) doesn’t emerge from a convention blood bath that tears the party to shreds; and c) will reassure the public at large.

Do they have a plausible scenario? I’ll wait…

Here’s what happened after the debate. They panicked.

Panic almost never produces smart outcomes. It’s contagious, and leads to things like market collapses and trampled people fleeing danger, perceived or real. It’s a foundation for bad decisions.

Add arrogance, which no news organization demonstrates more consistently than the Times, and it’s even worse. That arrogance also seems contagious lately, at least in the political journalism sphere, where humility is essentially nonexistent.

But political journalists have always run in herds, and they still have influence they don’t begin to deserve at this point. Given the routine malpractice in their work, they do a lot of harm.

Maybe Biden will step down in the end. It’s his (and his party’s) decision. But it’s laughable to imagine he’ll take directions from a herd of above-it-all people who a) take no risks; b) suffer no consequences when they are — as they are so often — dead wrong; and c) have disgraced their profession for years with political coverage that has been one of the chief enablers of criminals like Trump.

Real journalism is vital. Journalism with integrity is essential. We need it. Now.


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2 thoughts on “Journalists ordering Biden to quit the race — really?

  1. Dead on, Dan. This is precisely why we no longer subscribe to NYT, and we’re beginning to wonder about WaPo too. Care to recommend some papers to fill the void?

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