In 2016, the New York Times was shocked by Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton. After multiple stories from the publication claimed that Clinton would win in a landslide the paper returned with its tail between its legs making claims it would rededicate itself to understanding “all political perspectives and life experiences.”
Four years later and The Times is at it again. Coverage of the 2020 election touted the same misleading narrative that Democrats would win in a landslide, days after the elections and it’s clear they’ve just made the same mistakes twice.
The Washington Free Beacon writes:
Four years ago, the paper wrote not one but two pieces arguing Hillary Clinton and the Democrats were making major inroads in Texas thanks to the state’s growing minority population. Clinton, reporters Matt Flegenheimer and Jonathan Martin wrote, was leading “a new offensive aimed at extending her growing advantage over Donald J. Trump while bolstering down-ballot candidates in what party leaders increasingly suggest could be a sweeping victory for Democrats at every level.” Trump went on to trounce Clinton by nine points.
Fast forward to last month, when Martin promised that this time, Texas was “a true presidential battleground, and either candidate could prevail.” The result: Trump by six.
The fake news wasn’t limited to one state. The Times covered Susan Collins’s impending demise: Susan Collins Hasn’t Changed Much, but Maine Has. Collins won by nine. They claimed Republicans were botching the Senate race in deep red South Carolina, where Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison was alleged to have a real shot at unseating Republican senator Lindsey Graham thanks to the state’s growing diversity—”surprisingly competitive,” a “remarkable feat.” That kind of credulous reporting helped Harrison raise nearly $100 million for his campaign. The result: Graham won by 14 points, just 3 points weaker than the pummeling he gave his last challenger in 2014.
The results of the 2020 election gave the lie to all that, but the Times has an explanation that you will be surprised to learn shifts the blame entirely from their shoddy and misleading reporting: “Whiteness,” star Times magazine writer Nikole Hannah-Jones wrote on Wednesday, “is expandable when necessary. A lot of folks we don’t think of as white think of themselves as white because the lines have never been entirely clear. That’s the beauty of white supremacy—it is extremely adaptable.”
Identity politics has become the bread and butter for The Times but they aren’t fooling anyone.