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Political Twitter is Losing Its Mind Over Bernie vs. Hillary vs. The NYTimes

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | April 17, 2019 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | April 17, 2019 |


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This is very inside baseball, and as I said yesterday, of little or no interest to 99 percent of voters because, honestly, no one cares about the Bernie vs. Hillary wars anymore. And yet, there’s this weird feud playing out in the media between the two camps and the NYTimes, which stuck their foot in it while reporting on a story that is only of interest to people inside the beltway. The story itself is not that interesting to most people. But the story that’s come out of the story is … well, just bizarre.

So, here’s what happened: In an apparent effort to re-stoke the Bernie and Hillary wars, The NYTimes ran a front-page article covering the apparent feud between Neera Tanden, a Hillary loyalist who now runs the Center for American Progress (CAP), and Faiz Shakir, who runs Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. Now, CAP — founded in the ’90s by Bill and Hillary — has a lot of problems, not least of which was a (formerly?) cozy relationship with Saudi Arabia. It’s also funded, in part, by a lot of bogeymen to lefty Dems (Bain Capital, WalMart, Wall Street, big banks, etc.) It also runs ThinkProgress, a liberal website that is “editorially independent.” ThinkProgress recently released a video criticizing Bernie Sanders for basically being too rich to honestly run on his platform.

I’m not going to get into the Bernie vs. Hillary, left vs. center debate here. This post is not about that (although, I have no doubt that many of our commenters will choose to make this post about that!). The scuttlebutt that came out of this story, however, is that the Times interviewed Neera Tanden’s 78-year-old immigrant mother, Maya Tanden, for the story, and they pulled some good local color from her, like:

“[Neera] can be very aggressive … She’s not going to let anyone rule over her, and she has loyalty to Hillary because Hillary is the one who made her … Those Bernie brothers are attacking her all the time, but she lets them have it, too … She says Sanders got a pass [in 2016] but he’s not getting a pass this time … That’s what she does — she shows up at rich people’s places because she needs funds from them … That place runs on Neera Tanden.”

Personally, I don’t see anything in those quotes that reflect poorly on Neera, but that’s beside the point. The point is, the NYTimes decided for some reason to interview Neera Tanden’s mother for a story about the Bernie vs. Hillary debate. Neera (and her mother) were displeased, in part because Maya didn’t understand that her quotes would be used in a story that depicts Neera in an unflattering way:

One of the “unflattering” moments from the piece involves Neera Tanden at one time either “punching” or “shoving” Faiz Shakir in the chest, depending upon whose story you believe.

Political twitter — or at least, all those people whose political twitter most of you don’t follow — lost its mind, breaking down in three camps, basically. One camp was angry at the Times for interviewing the mother of Neera Tanden.

The other camp was angry that Neera Tanden purportedly punched Faiz Shakir.

There is also another camp defending the Times decision to call Neera’s mom.

And then this happened (Peter Baker is a Times political writer):

And then THIS happened (Williamson is also a Times reporter):

All of which is to say: NYTimes reporters are just like us! Petty, divisive, and condescending!

Meanwhile, The Washington Post is over here all 🍿🍿🍿🍿




Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.



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