McCarthyism And The New York Times
I felt a full measure of disgust today while reading those applauding the New York Times for taking the unprecedented step of using an anonymous author who claims to be a Senior Official in the White House, to smear the President.
It is truly unconscionable that the editors in charge of the Old Gray Lady believed they were serving a higher good by granting a platform to a person bragging about taking charge of the government from the man duly elected to the post. In fact the author cited numerous other officials involved in the same conspiracy to take down the duly elected administration and all without letting us know who they are.
During Joe McCarthy’s War on Washington the late now disgraced Senator would level accusations with little foundation but plenty of vitriol. At the height of the outrage he would wave pieces of paper in front of Senate colleagues and shocked onlookers and declare, “I have names”. However just like the New York Times this week- his accusations were anonymous. He didn’t produce the names of the accused but waved the threats in the air anyway.
Is The New York Times still so upset over getting beaten to a pulp by The Washington Post covering the whole Watergate saga that is willing to destroy its credibility entirely in the hopes it can now bring down a President more than 40 years later? Watching the anonymous sources getting promoted to being writers in the Op-ed Department one has to wonder.
For all of those self-congratulatory slobs that are cheering this disgraceful behavior I ask this; what if it were you? How would you respond to the flood of allegations from anonymous sources, many of which are discredited almost as quickly as the sensational stories they purport to contribute to? What would your opinion be if the opinion piece being written by an anonymous source were denigrating you, your family, your team and your every move? I am guessing that would change your opinion.
I don’t need to consider this any further. What the New York Times did was wrong. Period. There is no debate here. To give a platform to a self-serving professional bureaucrat was simply irresponsible and indefensible.
Would The Wall Street Journal or Washington Post stooped to that level to get as many clicks as possible on its “breaking news”?
This nation was founded in part on the idea that we could not be attacked by anonymous sources in the shadows. The idea is enshrined in the 6th Amendment to the Constitution itself. This is not a matter that crosses that line, at least not yet but it crosses the line of responsible journalism and one must ask ‘have you no decency’ to the editor who made this regrettable decision.
The only ones able to defend this farce are those that had long ago lined up against the President and The White House.
The very thing The Times decried in its coverage of the late Senator Joe McCarthy is exactly what they are guilty of today. The Old Gray Lady has resorted to smear tactics and hearsay that reads more like a gossip column than a respected newspaper.
McCarthyism has come to be known as the reckless pursuit of people, based on accusations that cannot be confirmed and coupled with public attacks on character and competence. McCarthyism is also defined by ideological attacks on a person’s politics or patriotism. Does this sound like what you have been witnessing these past couple of days? Yes, of course it does. In fact it sounds exactly like what we have witnessed ever since the early morning hours of November 9 th 2016.
If this anonymous author is in fact real then they have only one path to follow. They must resign immediately and go public with their accusations. There is no other way this story is credible and if it is then our very republic depends on it.
If the story is not credible then the entire management staff at the New York Times must resign immediately. There is simply no other way journalism will survive such a scourge.
I grew up watching Walter Cronkite each night on TV. I cannot help but think The Dean of American News would not allow such a travesty as an anonymous Op-Ed writer to get away with such a thing as attacking the American President.
Appearing on the program ‘See It Now’ legendary journalist Edward R. Murrow said this of watching Joe McCarthy at the pinnacle of his fame; We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine and remember that we are not descended from fearful men and not from men who feared to write- to speak- to associate and to defend causes that were for the moment unpopular.
The New York Times and the anonymous author of the hatchet job on The President should both heed those words in these difficult times. Further, I would ask The Old Gray Lady and Anonymous both one more thing- Have you no sense of decency?