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A NYTimes Political Reporter Tells a Critical Infectious Disease Expert to 'Move On.' It Did Not End Well

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | March 31, 2020 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | March 31, 2020 |


Like a lot of people, the first thing I do when I wake up each morning is check the latest news on the NYTimes. For an overview of the latest — especially in NYC, which is the center of the outbreak — it’s a great source of news, in spite of the Times’ horrendous op-ed writers (how are David Brooks and Maureen Dowd and Bret Stephens still allowed to write regularly for the country’s paper of record?).

The political desk, meanwhile, also remains as embarrassing as it was in 2016, in part because Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman often appear to prioritize access to the White House over good reporting. Even in a pandemic, the NYTimes’ political section is both-sides’ing this and turning a viral outbreak into a rat-race and dog-and-pony-show where politicians compete to win the day. I don’t really understand why. Trump trashes the paper on the regular, and the Times response seems to be to bend over backward to provide as much false equivalence as possible.

This morning an infectious disease expert, who works at Yale, rightfully took issue with this headline.

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That is the very essence of he said/they said. The NYTimes is not reporting the facts. It’s reporting what Trump says are the facts, and Trump doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground. Gregg Gonsalves felt compelled to say something.

Jonathan Martin, a political reporter at the NYTimes, offered this reply.

Bad move. Martin poked the bear. Martin should not have poked the bear.

This is not about selling papers. It’s not about a race. It’s not about who is winning. It’s about saving lives, and right now, aside from PPE, ventilators, and tests, there is nothing we prize more than reliable information. No one provides less reliable information than the President. The Times should say as much.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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