Billionaires vs. the Press in the Era of Trump

A small group of superrich Americans — the president-elect among them — has laid the groundwork for an unprecedented legal assault on the media. Can they succeed?

Comments: 198

  1. The newspaper that went out of its way to first ignore then destroy the Dem candidate who wanted to represent the people, pushing a war hawk corporatist instead.

    Don't portray it as a fight of billionaires vs the media, it is an internal fight between the elites who treat people like tokens.

    You are on your own.

  2. As bad as you believe the Sanders' coverage was, Trump and his billionaire buddies are aiming to making things a whole lot worse. And the people are the losers of this internal fight. This is not a fight about dominance among elites. It is war against free speech, freedom of opinion, and freedom of association

    But keep fighting the last war, if it makes you feel self-righteous. Enjoy it while it lasts.

  3. Whatever faults The Times or Hilary have you surely can't seriously think that they equal Trump's overt racism, sexism and xenophobia?

  4. Will Bernie supporters ever get over the fact that more Democrats VOTED for and preferred a centrist Hilary Clinton and more Americans voted for her than Trump?

    If you think an unfettered press isn't worth having you are not as "progressive" as you think.

  5. Things are only going to get worse. The Oval Office doesn't change who you are, it reveals who you are. Mr. Trump has consistently shown his vindictiveness and petty cruelty — he mocked one of your reporter's disability.

    But this paper may get little support from its base for it has failed them repeatedly during this campaign. Imagine instead of focusing on emails, emails, emails, the paper of record focused on that moment Mr. Trump mocked their reporter. Imagine if they not only covered that instance over and over and over again but also pointed out through personal interviews, examinations of policies, and talking to experts the ways in which each candidate would help or hurt persons with disabilities?

    During the election I went to both candidates websites to get a feel for how Obamacare would be changed or repealed. Mr. Trump webpage was pitiful in its lack on any details. But what made me cry was when I went to Mrs. Clinton's website. I saw a whole section on how she would HELP people with disabilities. She especially wanted to help create an economy where those high functioning disabled persons, like your reporter, could find meaningful work. As someone with two autistic children who fears for them finding a place in the world, it was a powerful moment. Mr. Trump was the person who would make fun of my kids. Mrs. Clinton was the one who wanted to help them. Perhaps if that story was told over and over again, we wouldn't find ourselves in a such perilous times.

  6. Yes, NYT is telling the story over and over again, and Trump is not happy about it. If he changes libel laws and limits first amendment rights, which he is planning to do, your fear for your children will come to pass. Trump plans to destroy the disabled, non-whites and anyone who interferes with his 'cleansing' of society. Look at his cabinet. God help us.

  7. As a high functioning autistic person myself, I empathize, but I don't think the answer is to hammer on any particular issue. Neutral coverage is what we need and it was sorely missing in the Times's coverage of this race (which isn't to detract from some excellent journalism that did occur, e.g., the disclosure that Mr. Trump pays no federal income tax).

  8. Most voters care little about policy details. News media focus on the latest developments. This is either a universal flaw or the purpose of news reporting. I voted for Clinton and reading Post and Times gave me plenty of information about her. I also learned lots about Trump -- all negative -- from these same sources. I voted for Clinton but she was an extremely flawed candidate. Good newspapers are not why she lost.

  9. “I spent a couple of bucks on legal fees, and they spent a whole lot more,” he told The Washington Post in March about the hefty sum he spent on the case against O’Brien. “I did it to make his life miserable, which I’m happy about."

    "The lesson, Scocca told his readers, is that “you live in a country where a billionaire can put a publication out of business.”"

    Frankly, I find this article chilling. It's the vindictiveness of Donald Trump I find so repellent, a quality that frankly undermines his Presidency as he will have far more power than before.

    I'd love to be a fly on the wall during the "off the record" portion of his interview today with NYT reporters. If we're reaching the point where a monied man can silence his media critics, what will stop him from silencing every critic, including the most humble citizen?

  10. He cancelled the meeting with The Times...Trump is unaccountable

  11. Nothing will stop Trump from silencing every critic. This is nazism at its best.

  12. We knew this about his earlier lawsuit many many months ago, but the "people" don't care that he is extremely vindictive, has thin skin, and has never read the U.S. Constitution.

  13. Among the important reasons for taxing the wealthy is the necessity to curb their
    power and influence. When there is an element whose wealth is so large that they can use it to harm their enemies, influence public opinion in favor of their economic interests, revenge themselves for real or perceived offenses, convince or bribe politicians with their large donations, they become a power within the country, without the consent of the people. The use of law suits by these people serves to intimidate those who oppose them because, often, the opposition cannot afford a long and costly legal battle. So, they bankrupt their enemies while they gladly spend a small percentage of their large wealth. Just as there is, as indicated in the article, a fund to sue the press, Media should create a similar fund to combat law suits and to dissuade possible suers who seek to punish economically unfriendly reporters.

  14. It is the multinational corporate conglomerates that have steadily bought up all news and entertainment media in the U.S. since the 1980s, laying off tens of thousands of bona journalists in newsrooms across the nation while also shuttering foreign bureaus. Anyone watching the BBC news vs. U.S. evening news would wonder why we even bother (tip: it is synergy...little more than to shill for stuff and other network shows within the evening news on ll broadcast and cable in this country).

  15. Maybe it's up to those of us who are concerned to create that fund. We should be using social media to build that fund to oppose legal challenges.
    We also need a way to support high quality reporting. What's required is leadership which would inspire the process and insure it maintains the integrity needed to build trust.

  16. Frank - all good thoughts, but.... it is not only media who should create a similar fund, most of them probably have some sort of insurance and reserve liability funds.

    It is us who should create one. There has never been a better time to get small donations from millions of people to support causes we believe in. In this case the internet is a wonderful thing, look what Bernie managed to do! A free press comes near the top of my broader issues to support.

  17. Yes they can succeed. They don't have to win any lawsuits. They only have to drain the resources of their target. A major media outlet that has staff attorneys can fight them off, but any smaller outfit or a startup cannot. Freedom of speech and freedom of the press includes both this paper and me writing this comment. Without strong laws and courts run by real judges, Trump might try to sue me for writing disparaging comments about him.

    I say real judges because the extreme right wants to stack the courts with politically aligned judges. In Kansas, the Republicans just tried to get all the lifetime appointed Supreme Court judges thrown out for that reason, but the people voted it down.

    When all those women came forward to claim that Trump assaulted them, his response was to sue them all. What about their right to free speech and the right of the press to report it?

    Make no mistake, our nation is being taken over by an oligarchy of right wing extremists. They have made a place at their table for white supremacists. They have hijacked the tax laws so they don't have to pay any. The trojan horse of their tax policy is to eliminate the estate tax. Doing so allows the formation of irrepressible dynasties that can control everything.

    There people now want to control the message the public hears through means of intimidation. Democracy is being replaced with totalitarianism. We are becoming a fascist oligarchy. We just elected one as president.

  18. This is just like the Third Reich and its Nuremberg Race Laws, for example. And now we're Vichy, thanks go gullible voters and even more stupid non-voters.

  19. We have been a fascist oligarchy for some time. America's Big Oil and Wall Street have run the show since Regan became President. Now it's finally coming out of the closet.

  20. Extremely terrifying. What are we going to do about it?

  21. The cult of CEO-worship (all-powerful when earnings are up, not responsible when things go wrong) has benefited from the decades of Forbes 400 listings, and no banksters being prosecuted for the '08 meltdown - contrasted with the S&L scandal of the '80s when 3,000 bankers went to jail, since the malfeasance occurred in places other than the media capitals.

    Now that there are 500+ Billionaire$ in the U.S., according to Forbes, why is anyone surprised they are turning their attention to the public's watchdog, especially when it comes to making sure that the most credible outlets and reporters are brought to heel fastest ?

    There are a lot of reasons to fight income inequality which makes more Billion$ for the Billionaire$, and there were many many reasons to have spoken out about the prez-elect during the campaign, but it seems the prez-elect's ' entitled ' posture (reinforced by such absurdities as his butler telling a roomful of member " all rise " as he enters a room in Mar-a-Lago) of being very litigious served him well in restraining the press from reporting and asking some questions that would have made him uncomfortable.

    In the final analysis, it may take something as radical as a $27 contribution to a fund to assist the press (similar to the mentioned fund available to sue the press) by each of the 60+ millions who voted for Hillary Clinton, and maybe some stray GOP'ers, to keep the press strong.

    Which is one of the reasons we pay for a digital Times subscription :)

  22. I renewed my annual NYT subscription today. Thank you NYT. We need you now more than ever.

  23. It will take the remaining few serious news organizations to turn on their global corporate owners to FINALLY go after Big Banking conglomerates that have yet to be held accountable of for their self-serving interest in the overarching manipulation of at least 2 branches of the federal government since 1980. Don't hold your breath. Has anyone inside Bank of America gone to prison? J.P. Morgan Chase? Wells Fargo? No, then there is the taproot, which controls and influences the current president and Congress. If the financial industry does that under a Democrat administration, then it does not take a rocket scientist to grasp how much more unfettered the existing corruption is when the veil is pulled back during Republican administrations.

  24. Not since Nixon has the press had an enemy the likes of Trump. And at least during the Nixon presidency, the press had a popular movement to cover their backs and liberalism was still alive. Even if the press generally rejected that movement, Nixon knew the press was watching and reporting on his administration and a segment of the population wouldn't tolerate his wrongdoing. Now, with the rejection of both liberalism and neoliberalism, the press needs to pay very close attention to the protest movement that has arisen to challenge Trump. And the press needs to pay attention of the opposition in the Senate to the most outrageous of Trump's policies.

  25. Just as was the case with Nixon's corrupt two administrations illegally utilizing both the IRA and FBI/DoJ to target his critics, Trump will do the same. As a teen Boomer already engaged in current civics and history of the U.S., this horrified me then. My heart just breaks for America that we so rarely learn lessons of history in our incessant desire to throw immature, self-serving tantrums that carnivorously harm our neighbors and the greater good. If only the electorate appreciated the often irrevocable damage they do when ignoring the subterfuge and delicate surgical power balance. Americans persist in naively seeing nearly everything as a binary team sport, a high school football rivalry, at best.

  26. A cowed, obsequious press is not a free press.

    But then that is the point of Thiel and Trump. The last thing they want is a press that investigates and reports. They want to keep their dealings private and also to control the message. They want to make the press a tool of the government.

    People can and should be upset with the quality of the campaign coverage by this paper and other news media.

    But the threat from Trump, Bannon and Thiel is much greater.

  27. They go hand-in-hand, Rita. WE must NOT allow the press to try to deflect their participation in this mockery of an election.

  28. The only unfair thing this paper did was to put stories about Trump on the front page day after day while virtually ignoring Clinton

  29. So for a minute feel, believe and want a free press which actually reports unbiased reports of wrongdoings by anyone in power. And further delude yourself into believing that would happen. Then what??

    The media is controlled as is the government at all branches and levels. Sweet dreams.

    The media today is no longer an independent mom and pop local news driven part of America. It is corporate or billionaire controlled as is the American version of the Roman Circus i.e. American freedom diversion sports.

    The controlled news direct the thinking or really more so the reaction of the dumbed down populace and to ensure that the populace is more concerned with an external enemy as they rush out to buy imported goods that depend on labor which is unorganized and totally abused. And at the same time they resent minorities, immigrants, unions and organizations they have been trained to hate.

    The issue is not Trump or even billionaires. It is the collapse of a fraud that has gone on too long. Native Americans, women, people of color, and anyone who does not the party line have lots to be thankful for for the next eight years.

    But the Kerensky government of Trump will fail in the end as the next revolution starts.

  30. Unfortunately in this country, money rules.

  31. Yeah, the corporate news media is so rich now that only billionaires can take them on. Heads of news media are paid multi-millions a year. Good luck if one of them decide to publish your sex tape or tax return for click baits.

  32. "Only 40 percent of the public ...trusts the media “to report the news fully, accurately and fairly”..."

    When I know before reading a single paragraph that The Washington Post will report information one way and The Washington Times the opposite, the damage is already done. There are countless numbers of us readers who are interested in news and are interested in facts and are willing and able to make up our own minds based on both. I despair that the media will ever return to the days of information rather than 'color'. While everyone has an ax to grind or an ox to gore, reporting needs to remain set in neutral. Let the tabloids provoke hourly anxiety and outrage. The NYT and other big outlets need to be the place to turn for news - truthful and dispassionate news.

  33. Sad how the Times has slipped in that regard. Just this morning I was reading an excellent article on Trump, and then suddenly it devolved into editorializing, of a kind that would never have appeared in a news column a few short years ago. They don't seem to get that this departure from the tradition of objectivity weakens the newspaper's impact, rather than strengthening it.

  34. Didn't the NYT abrogate its status as an organ of free speech by its authoritative stance on Hillary Clinton? By that I feel it is fair to say that rather than presenting me, the reader, with facts allowing me to make my own political choices didn't the NYT in a very clumsy manner attempt to convince me to vote for Hillary Clinton? And now the NYT wants to hide behind the banner of "free speech"? Now the NYT wants to further incite class warfare by purporting that those "Billionaires" are attacking the poor , little NYT? Give me a break, you guys got exactly what you deserved.

  35. Sure, the Times was a cheerleading squad for Clinton but, sad as that is, right now, it's one of a few beleaguered organizations that stands between us and dictatorship. So I'd say be careful what you ask for. This isn't about declining journalistic standards at the New York Times; it's about survival of the free press, without which nothing stands between us and dictatorship. Just look at Putin's Russia, or Turkey under Edrogan -- the moment the press is under control, there is no hope of change.

  36. The NYT officially endorsed Hillary, didn't you know? As did almost every newspaper in this country. Many of us felt they were too lenient on Trump leading up the election.

  37. I'm baffled that a president-elect who greatly benefitted during the campaign from non-stop false-equivalence would have anything to complain about. Like many mainstream publications, the NY Times helped Trump by downplaying the numerous facts about him that would give anyone pause. Trump served up stories on a platter, but the media rarely if ever followed up substantially to remind voters who he was.

  38. Of course they can. The already have, including the New York Times.

  39. I'm confused--is this an article about Putin's Russia, Erdogan's Turkey, or about the United States of America?

    They're on a fast track to becoming indistinguishable.

  40. Wish Trump voters held the 1st amendment in the same regard as the second.

  41. Let's hope so!

  42. No one has done more damage to the press than the New York Times and the AP.

    The months of biased coverage by the Times during the Democratic nomination process, so bad that your the public editor called you out on it repeatedly, was stonewalled, and finally resigned.

    The AP, in collusion with the Clinton campaign as we now know from Wikileaks, sending out that never substantiated article the day before the California primary saying that Clinton had enough delegates to win, but not naming them then or afterwards, in an old style political dirty trick to discourage voter turnout in a state where a win for Bernie would have been a major advance.

    The lack of the media exposing the widespread election fraud by the Clinton campaign.

    How could you do such damage to the formerly respected press? How could you remove the most important defense people have against corrupt government? Calling your behavior shameful does not begin to describe it.

  43. Hear, hear.

  44. The best part of Trump's actions these days is how he chided the communication media. All the communication media across the globe, including those in India, my country, had hilariously supported Hillary. The outcome was Trump got elected. This shows that the communication media is either detached from reality or biased.

  45. I get more frightened and depressed every day as this disaster unfolds before my still incredulous eyes. I get some, albeit cold, comfort from the fact that most of us didn't vote for him, but, nonetheless, there he is and here we are.

    The man is clearly not to be trusted to act for the commonweal and the media are quite literally all we have to try to contain this demagogue- in-the-making; please keep him and his under a finely focused microscope.

  46. The NYT is not finely focused, and by relying on it to keep you informed of the so called impending disaster that it wants you to believe will happen, is what is creating this fear. Try tuning out the NYT and read other publications that actually report. A lot of us DID vote for him, which the NYT is still unable to digest, 2 weeks after the election.

  47. Press is completely out of control. They are not the story. Don't care about their advocacy. Just report the news fairly, accurately and don't select your own facts to highlight.

  48. The NYT's extreme and continuing bias against Trump is childish and unforgivable. I hoped that maybe NYT would shape up after the election but see no sign of that. I am leaving NYT to find a more fair and impartial news source.

  49. I'll bite, please provide some examples of this bias.

  50. Ah Suzanne,that will basically show nothing because many Americans who believe in free speech will subscribe,me included will sign up

  51. Could you tell us what was wrong with the coverage of Trump? He lied throughout the campaign and it was reported (only partially, in my opinion). Emails and Benghazzi were overly emphasized, so stop complaining.

  52. Forget about all the other rich guys. Mr. Trump has single handedly re-written the rules of power by beating the media at its own game. He knew that the media is on auto pilot, locked and guided by the profit motive only. He figured out how to exploit that weakness and now he toys with the media like a cat toying with a dead mouse. The media pretends he doesn't control it by over compensating and being dismissive and critical. That won't work.

    The media is his captive and has fallen in love with its captor.

  53. There is no such thing as "free" speech anymore. If there was, politicians running for office wouldn't have to raise massive sums of $ to pay for tv and print advertisements. In the 1950-60s there was such a thing as public service announcements...those are gone by the wayside in favor of "National Enquirer" scandal type reporting with massive profits, all to those who tell you that our first amendment guaranteeing free speech is under attack, but the media are the ones who are attacking it by charging, and writing what sells

  54. Stockholm Syndrome in spades.

  55. Mr. Trump is not a genius. He only knows one thing: Fight dirtier than the other guy and you will win; it's how he got to where he is today.

    There are plenty of good, solid journalists in this country who do not plan to write "nice" stories about him. And you should thank god, for that, because when he makes a unilateral decision that will hurt you and your family, you will at least get fair warning.

    You will also be able to keep track of the things he doesn't do for you, like bring back coal and manufacturing and so on.

  56. I have voted for Hillary, while holding my nose.

    NYTimes is complaining about unprecedented assault. What was really unprecedented in these elections was a blatant, Orwellian lie and efforts by you, yes you, NY Times, to sway elections in a desired way.

    First, you sabotaged Bernie by not calling out Clinton super-delegates. Clearly, enthusiasm was on Bernie's side.

    Secondly, you tried to convince everyone that general election is a mere formality, yet you pretended and famously continued to try convince others that you are impartial.

    Please understand. Just because we, the readers do not vote republican, that does not give you the license to continue fabricating news for us. Your newspaper, your editors and executives, deserve a thorough spanking. Many of us liberals are disgusted at your bigoted siding with the elites and your treatment by the president elect is something you deserved.

  57. The populist backlash against the press has come from both ends of the spectrum.

    One only has to peruse the comments sections from this very newspaper to see the invective from the left over the coverage of the democratic primary candidates.

  58. Well NY Times, this is where you prove your metal. Are you going to fight Trump and Bannon everyday they're in power? Are you going to be an unflinching bastion of the truth? Or are you going to lay down and let Democracy die? It's that serious.

  59. A bastion of the truth? Hello, did you read the Times corrupt coverage of the nomination process? How about when they pulled a favorable to Bernie article 3-4 hours after it was posted, took out all the favorable parts and replaced them with attacks on Bernie by Clinton supporters? How about when their Top Comment of the week was a blatant lie about Bernie, giving rise to the Public Editor's column Does the Top Comment of the Week have to be True. And etc.

  60. Kat,

    I agree with you. These techniques of deception and manipulation that were employed should be revisited and explored in more depth.

    It was dishonest reporting. People notice.

  61. The definition of media and news organization is evolving and threatening the entrenched parties. Disruption can be an uncomfortable experience.

  62. It is pathetic about the lack of objectively in the press. Why is every story viewed through the prism of sex, race, politics, or ethnicity? The press has an agenda and objectivity is too often relegated to last place on the priority list. There is an old adage that the truth hurts. So why must the press polarize a topic that it disagrees with as anti this or anti that? The Hearst empire didn't report the news but rather it made the news.

    By the way I did not vote for Mr. Trump.

  63. Trump is too thin-skinned to be President. By his rules, he should have been sued for libel for the birther issue.

    I hope the press is mercilessly fair towards Trump. He deserves nothing but the truth.

  64. There hasn't been any news, merely infotainment, since the W administration.
    When journalists realized that they might not get an invite to the best parties in Washington, real news ended.
    Watch it get even worse as Trump goes after freedom of the press, and they roll over and make nice.

  65. Another example of exagerating the story in favor of the NYT. This is not journalism.

  66. This appears the day after Trump by-passed the press and TV networks to appear as Big Brother on You Tube to make his first "public" appearance since a 60 Minutes interview.

    That video appeared the same day Trump called the barons of media to chastise them as "liars."

    Trump has held no press conferences and none are planned.

    He has brought groundless libel suits and threatened to make such suits easier for other thin-skinned billionaires.

    Of course the media has many faults, including bubble living and, on cable, talking heads who are free or cheap and "report" what they read in the NYT or Washington Post or hear from campaign consultants. But we citizens rely on them for basic news reporting and as a check on abuse of power -- the Fourth Estate. The best -- the Times, The Post and other print dinosaurs -- are in trouble financially.

    Trump, who would go off the rails or be shown to be the shallow, cruel, ill-informed, vapid person he is at any event he does not control, hates the press because it exposes him.

    The Times reports Trump told his staff he wants to appear before large rallies he controls because they make him feel good. Nuremberg, anyone?

    World, we are in very serious trouble.

  67. This article doesn't mention other super-rich rightwing bullies, but Dacre and Murdoch (who also owns Fox News) have been feeding fake news to the British public for decades, to the point where the place can remind one of an ideological echo chamber. They backed Brexit, of course, so no amount of economic reason could prevail.

    We live in scary times.

  68. Every fascist state started out with the media being 'aligned' to the leaders views, both by legal force and public discrediting, initially. Next comes violence and arrests. We should keep a very close eye on what happens.

  69. We have a fascist state right now Alex Linux! All media was aligned with Obama's views (the leader) promoted his desired successor (Hillary) and trashed everyone else, publically discrediting Trump and sowing violence at his rallies.

  70. Lets hope so. The NY Times, the Washington Post, and the other media elites absolutely botched their election coverage which was horrifically biased. Trump is right.

  71. “I did it to make his life miserable, which I’m happy about.”

    Ah, the sound of a Trump presidency.
    Won't America be great.

  72. What's to worry if the independent media are sued out of existence? We'll still have Fox and Breitbart as watchdogs over the public interest. Buckle up, folks. If Trump and his minions can wreak this much havoc before taking office, God help this country four years from now.

  73. Freedom of the press is one of the first principles upon which our freedom rests.
    Attacking the press (and therefore the freedom of the press) is anti American.
    The founding fathers seemed to have thought so...

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, OR OF THE PRESS; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

  74. Rich people used to employ thugs and ruffians to get their way, now they hire lawyers instead.

  75. The reason the media misread this election year so poorly, not to mention the publics sentiment, is that journalists are part of the elite creating this gap. Journalism, much like medicine and law, is a bastion of the middle and upper classes and we're trusting them to interpret the news for us... this election has made it apparent they aren't in touch with much outside of the nearest Manhattan Starbucks.

  76. So Medicine and Law are the bastion of the middle and upper classes? Would you have these professions the bastion of the lower classes, which unfortunately consist mostly of people with much less education? Do you want journalists and reporters to not have proper education regarding literature, history, grammar, spelling, and government? All the Republicans seem to need are people with ears to listen to talk radio and eyes to watch Fox News and hence they know, just know what is wrong with America and what needs to be done.

  77. Don Imus started making Trump more appealing by having him call in to his morning radio program in the 1980s. Imus claimed he only revels in the freak parade and the agony of others while doing some good charitable work for veterans and children with cancer. Now that he will be President we will see if the nuanced Trump is more than a builder and celebrity brand enhancer.Remember the Macy's ads? The NY Times deserved to take a hit with the Barbaro feature on his old girlfriends but most of its coverage has been fair aside from the columnists ranting about beware Trump. Maureen Dowd also takes a hit for being too phone cozy with him,earlier. CBS News has not distinguished itself either in the Election coverage of Trump.If you can,take a look at the LA Times which has done better for quite a while and had the only polling that correctly predicted his victory. The Press will only be as good as those of us who pay for it and tell editors and Publishers to do better work.

  78. Even CNN is reporting Most people say he Trunp will do a good job. And the NYTimes continue to portray him as pure evil. NYTimes used to just liberal but is now becoming just opinion. Stop sending me postcards to renew my subscription.

  79. There are many times when the NYT and other media outlets break and publish stories that need to be heard. Thank you.

    Unfortunately, there are so many more instances when the NYT and other media outlets use the press as a mechanism to push forward their own liberal agenda. This is done by failing to report some stories and reporting others with an implied liberal value underlying the story. From the perspective of whether the person or issue in the story damages or supports the viewpoint of the reporter.

    As Liz Spayd has been desperately trying to communicate to the NYT reporters, readers want fair, balanced coverage of issues which do not succumb to the temptations of salacious sound bites or dumb down complex and multi sided issues into polarizing, oversimplified and often false "this or that" choices. That is the first level of dissatisfaction with the press. The second level is the effect this type of reporting has on the readers and the nation...we all now think of each other in unidimensional, polarized stereotypes because of cheap, biased reporting. People are asking for more and better, and in pretty clear language, but the reporters just can't see it.

    If, in general, the press could use self-control to limit itself to quality, balanced coverage of actual news, maybe the public would be more supportive when a few bullies try to reign them in.

  80. The press is controlled by the people that own it. They are not liberals. They are billionaires that want tax cuts, deregulation, and fat government contracts.
    Wake up.

  81. Let's make it clear that the Times does not have a Liberal agenda. Liberals supported Bernie. The Times supported a corrupt warmonger 1%er. Nothing Liberal about that.

  82. And who would deem what that "balanced coverage of actual news" be, Ann? As far as I can see, the "liberal" NYT spent infinitely more space and effort on Hillary Clinton's emails than on the myriad of displays of Trump's lack of experience or respect for the job of POTUS.

  83. Do your job and quit worrying about your existence. Trump is throwing another black cat on the table....the rich v media....and you are treating it as an existential threat. The threat is the joker who defrauded thousands of ordinary people through a scheme called "Trump University". He admitted guilt (times 25MM). Who pays that kind of money for a frivolous suit? You have to keep this story alive independently of some raging congressman....you did a good job with emails....this is a bigger story as is his tax returns and his conflicts of interest by using the office of The President to enrich himself. For Ms Clinton that was "pay for play"....what do you call it when Trump does the same thing?

    He gathers you for a confidential meeting to "reset" and plays you by then allowing Drudge and Brietbart to declare that he slapped you around. When will you learn?

  84. In a related article today concerning Trump's Tuesday meeting with The New York Times-

    "...there is also a short off-the-record session planned, which Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for Mr. Trump described as an opportunity to discuss past and future coverage."

    That president-elect Trump wants to continue to air his grievances about his "very unfair" coverage during the campaign is unsurprising, but that he wants to know more about how future coverage will be handled is as outrageous as it is terrifying.

    Our message to Donald Trump about First Amendment Rights can only be-
    "DON'T TREAD ON ME!"

  85. Remember, the NYT is owned by billionaires, i.e. NYT, INC. They control what the NYT writes and prints. The whole system stinks to high heaven. Karl Marx got it right. Capitalism without checks and balances leads to eventual mayhem!

  86. Continued bias coverage, front page of paper and now magazine filled with it.
    All the news that fits we print, RIP NYT.

  87. DJT continuing Twitter assault on you tells me one thing... you're hitting hard where "he lives". I'm rewarding you by buying a years subscription... Stay vigilant and keep busy. The world has rarely needed a free and vocal press more than it does right now.

  88. Ah this is why he canceled the NY Times meeting today! Don't roll over NYT - you done us wrong during the election and now you can redeem yourself by making the bully (or bullies) squirm!

  89. Actually, he changed his mind. The NYT wouldn't interview with Trump folks insisting on having Trump's words off the record; Trump wanted the publicity, ergo, the interview was on the record. PBS NEWS HOUR reported this tonight.

  90. you reap what you sow

  91. ...“knowing or reckless disregard for the truth.” Do as I say not as I do, eh Mr. Trump?

  92. So correct!

  93. Hiding underneath the name tag "media" doesn't give you the right to slander, lie and defame people. I--an American of average means--strongly support the billionaires who have the means to fight against the liberal mass media. 60% of Americans distrust the media according to Gallup. Your reputation precedes you. Many Americans suspect that your NYC based newspapers are propaganda machines that support a very "extreme left" New York brand of radical liberalism. Freedom of the press isn't a pass to freely lie about people. We have laws to handle slander and libel.

  94. Lol. Calm down donny. Your NYC dictator just got us hacked into a new Russian puppet state. You need to get an education to understand what is going on now. Libel, your rhetorical strategy of projection worked well enough for the last year. You object when somebody else does it.

  95. Even a press that gets it wrong will be corrected, whereas a dictator President will not and has all the forces of government to use against others. Take your pick, sir, there is no middle ground in the fight against a demagogue.

  96. Where are the examples of "a pass to freely lie about people?" If there are examples of these lies, where are the slander and libel based lawsuits?

  97. Whilst I do not condone video releases of private sex acts by news media , the NYT must take comfort in that it is the most referenced newspaper in the world.
    Keep up the good work .

  98. If the person elected to be president DARES to start chomping at freedom of the press, he can expect to never have any peace. The one thing the USA has that keeps us from ever being RUSSIA, is speaking freely in the press. We will never be Russia, you insane clown.

  99. I assume this is irony.

  100. You watched them do it to the Democrats and particularly Hillary Clinton, and you barely bothered to notice. Now they're coming after you. Be ready to fight with everything you have, because the people are in danger, and we need you. We did all along.

  101. The media gave billions in free press to tRump because he is ..he sucks all the air out of the room. The media got sticky elyeballs and used tRump as click bait. And the real story of the super con got lost. The hacking of the DNC servers and the use of that to steal the election was not pursued. Why? The press is already under the control of those in power. And it ain't the liberals. Saying the press is liberal is a rhetorical projection strategy. Blaming the other guy for exactly what you're doing. tRump and his cronies used that over the last year. The 'free' press never called them on it. Liberal press, fat chance.

  102. I don't know, are you going to let them?

  103. Long live the press! Thank you, New York Times.

  104. Soft fascism much? This is how a democracy dies, the already awful mainstream press will become more obsequious, there will be two sides to every story, 'pedophilia - yes /no' no matter how absurd, terms such as "alt right ' will be used instead of neo fascist, white power racist, etc, and it will all be normalized, welcome to the world of oligarchs and white Christian zealots, buckle up, it's going to be a bumpy ride

  105. Germany, before the war. You might care to read about it.

  106. Depends who has the better lawyers and the judges on their side. Sorry America but the deck is stacked in favor of the billionaires.

  107. The NYT's and it's chicken little (Tump is failing) reporting, helped Trump get elected and proved the establishment media was as crooked as Hillary Clinton.
    So now it's TIME 4 UR Payback.

  108. Money has become the "volume control" of loudspeaker and freedom of speech. This is another example of how money can increase the volume to deafening levels for others.

    Can the role of money in the society be redefined, the volume control be reconfigured to throttle it back with an equalizer?

  109. On January 1st this country will be on sale to the highest bidder.

  110. It has already been bought and paid for by those on K Street. Where have you been?

    As if Trump had a part in this. Look to the D's candidate pick to see who was on sale.

  111. In the First Amendment, the "Bill of Rights" provides for 'Freedom of Speech' and 'Freedom of the Press,' which liberal media organizations (like the NYT and CNN) have used to attack or fail to defend our other "Rights" including the "Right To Bear Arms!"

    The New York Times (and liberal media) has failed in their responsibility to defend all parts of the Bill of Rights. Did the media speak out against wars and aggression? Did the media speak out against the abuses that Snowden revealed? Did the media speak out against the "Patriot Act?" Did the media speak out against illegal wiretapping? No, you did not. Your failure to defend all of our rights is part of the reason our country is in this mess. You failed to learn the lessons Martin Niemöller taught and warned us about!

    Don't come crying to the public when the government turns its attention on the press... you didn't help defend those rights that were important to me and others!

  112. Speaking of undue influence, does anyone out there remember?:

    A quote from Bill Gates, "Business is war." My recollection is this was publicized and Mr. Gates then felt compelled to retract the statement.

    Every now and then I try to find reporting on this episode on the Web to no avail.

    In any event, business is war.

  113. Im for a free press, but the more often than not the press tends to pander to the prejudices of its readers.Im all for newspapers to have a political leaning but that doesn't mean one has to criticize everything that comes from other party.

    The press cant pick and choose what to report and what not.

  114. Mr Singh- but it can. It is supposed to be a free and open marketplace of ideas.

  115. For the roots of this problem, look to the telecommunications act of 1996. This opened the gates for a few to control the voice of the media, and remove diversity.

  116. The Conservatives have long since believed that the truth somehow (inconveniently) had a liberal bias. That was the driving force behind Ailes and the creation of Fox and their alternate, truth-free media. Trump has been getting the benefit of that truth-free media for at least six years; most of it air time from Fox.

    That will continue on into the future, with Fox, Breitbart, and some select others becoming essentially State-run media not unlike something out of Eastern Europe. Everything else will be deemed non-patriotic, much like what we saw after 911. But how to deal with it?

    To answer that, I do believe that one should also read a companion piece, also in the NYT, from Luigi Zingales, "The Right Way to Resist Trump", in which he relates that successful politicians "treated Mr. Berlusconi as an ordinary opponent. They focused on the issues, not on his character."

    Mr Zingales was delivering advice to the Democrats, but that same logic should hold true with the media. Instead of focusing on the flash and trash (and there will be plenty of it), focus instead on the issues straight up. That is what the Times does so well, and is why Trump is trying to destroy it.

    Like any good attorney/writer, Emily has eloquently quantified the risk, but the discussion should now turn to strategic planning to convert that risk into reward. It starts with not giving in to the flash and trash, or the head games. Dig relentlessly for the facts, and hammer it home. The threat is real.

  117. Possibly, Trump is taking his cues about how to relate to the press from his buddy, Putin.

  118. The media, now more than ever, needs to remain strong against criticisms from the Right. The country is so totally dependent upon our media to get the unmitigated truth out and not the propaganda, lies, and misinformation that Trump would love to shove down our throats. Don't be bullied or railroaded by Trump. The country needs a "free press" now more than ever!

  119. Maybe if both the NYT and the WP hadn't run, nonstop, daily multiple articles about every utterance that came from Trump the country wouldn't be in this disastrous mess right now. It was nonstop coverage of Trump and Sanders until Hillary was nominated. Then it was 9 or 10 articles on Trump and 1 on Hillary. I literally would count them it was so obvious. No sympathy here.

  120. We must have been reading two different issues of the Times, it was All Hillary all the time. When they did run a story on Bernie they somehow turned it around and made it into a Hillary story. Sanders to them was an afterthought.

  121. This is how it starts. My son is a high school history teacher and during the campaign his students brought up to him how similar Trumps tactics were to Mussolni's. He noticed it too but did not point it out because he didn't want to be seen as biased.
    A quick read on these type of tactics is "God's Banker" by Gerald Posner. Just read the first six chapters or so.

  122. Thanks. References and citations are much appreciated.

  123. After hearing that Trump refused to meet with your paper because you wouldn't play his game, I promptly went online and paid for a subscription. I had always used my ten free articles a month, always wishing I subscribed but today, I took the plunge because I feel I can trust the New York Times. Thank you.

  124. Good move. The Washington Post should be right there with the NYTimes on your "trust" team. It's currently being blackballed by Trump for, amongst other reporting, standing up to his threats of removing access. It hasn't hindered their reporting–on the contrary, they still find easily accessible ways to report on his shenanigans, and very assertively. See today's edition for more.

  125. Waiting eagerly for Woodward and Bernstein.

  126. Today's W&B aspire to work for Facebook, ESPN, and porn sites. The news business has always eaten its young and failed to even adequately pay its most dedicated and hard working journalists out in the non-urban heartland, until they give up and out of poverty take a job in another industry or corporate marketing/PR.

  127. I love this comment, I've thought the same thing many times since 11/9. Come on, NYT. Bring out your Woodward and Bernstein, 2016 edition.

  128. Don't hold your breath. Woodward has become something of an apologist for the right of center and Bernstein does not appear to be in the business of investigative reporting any longer, as far as I can tell. Under the Trump/Theil approach to media, the Woodward & Berstein of old would have been stopped in their tracks with threats of litigation long before Deepthroat gave them the last bit of actionable information. Fascism could then have taken hold long before 2017, the year of its likely debut.

  129. I wish you'd keep Gawker out if the freedom of the press issue. Gawker got in trouble for things that weren't journalism. Publishing a sex tape isn't journalism.

    They also famously reported that a non-famous, mid-level, married Conde Nast executive used male prostitutes. What was the public interest value in that? None. They were a claque of Mean Girls, not journalists.

  130. Why keep Gawker out of the freedom of press issue. Gawker and other publications of this sort is where people think they are getting legitimate news. How do you think a reality TV star got to be President?

  131. Rolling stone ran a story falsely accusing a group of men of rape, and another group of people of covering up a rape. That was clearly a case of libel. This is hardly an example of the press being threatened by billionaires.

  132. I disagree
    Most Americans would be disgusted by that and withdraw their financial support of a business that hired people like that
    It's called morals which New York isn't known for
    If it's true then it should be published
    Privacy means that you get to have prostitutes but you can be outed for it

  133. This excellent, longform piece can be boiled down to one message: these people are complete and utter cowards. They sit in their towers with their money, their yes men, and their carefully manicured information. The quiver if anyone challenges them and lash out like overtired children. They're too sensitive to live in a world with hard facts and complexity, so they want to cancel that world using their fun money. They're so insecure about their mediocrity that they have to go after people who display signs of excellence.

    Never forget this: they like to bluster and threaten because deep down they're weak individuals who can't reckon with a complex society and are too frightened to stand up for ideals.

  134. Vanadias- an excellent description of DJT!

  135. There is a low regard for the press today but a great demand for the legitimate press to defend liberties and free speech. At the end of this election we learned that many respected media outlets were in fact distorting and misinforming the public about the poll results to provide a more positive momentum for Hillary Clinton. Factual reporting seems to have been tossed out the window by writing opinionated stories for their readers consumption and hopefully ride a subscription surge just as what occurred with the election of President Obama whereas the readers became "Obama's people" and saved the circulation and viewers of the mainstream media elite. We should not fall prey to this again and allow disinformation to be distributed ever. Opinionated writings are just that and must always be neatly tucked under the "Opinions or Publisher's viewpoints" columns so that uninformed readers are not duped into thinking that opinion is fact, it's not, it's only the writer's viewpoint. This is very important folks otherwise we might as well read free Russian newspapers every day!

  136. Just wait, it's only going to get worse!!

  137. Media particularly;TV reporters and also News papers have displayed below average intelligence in reporting the events and statements by the presidential candidates. Reporters must repoert the situations as they are and not the way they want the outcome.

  138. Citizens, it is our duty to demand a free press and not allow the rich and powerful to become more rich and powerful. Because despite winning the vote of the "little guy," the President-elect is one of the elite.

  139. As Trump attacks the media, aiming to remove perspective from journalism, we should remind ourselves of another tragic but ultimately failed attack on the media: "Je suis Charlie."

  140. Thank you Mr. Theil for your action in supporting the Gawker litigation. Less financially capable people have no chance when the publishers of questionable journalistic value run free. The press since the Sullivan decision have felt free to say anything about anyone considered in the remotest sense a public figure.

    Historically, the considerable freedom of speech granted to the free press was balanced against the duty of that free press to report responsibly and, by responsibly, I mean accurately and fairly. It seems to me that the competitive growth between news sources has encouraged increasingly the headline grabbing half-truths that do less to inform than often to simply tar, feather and destroy.

    The NYT coverage of the 2016 Presidential election is a case study of internal bias driving its headlines, content and editorials. A little more work to separate truth from fiction coupled with writers who try and understand the competing forces around any issue is needed. Keep your opinions in your editorials.

  141. I have issues with the NYT reporting in 2002-3, but not during the recent election. It's not the paper's fault that so many legitimate polls were wrong, although the fact that Hillary is approaching 2 million more votes than DJT suggests perhaps they weren't so wrong after all.

  142. It amazes me when I hear Republicans and conservatives argue how we need a strong second amendment to protect us from government tyranny. The second amendment protects us from nothing of the sort. The only protection this country has from tyranny is the free press and the right to vote, both of which are under assault.

    The free press or the fourth estate is what keeps governmental, business and individual actors in check and to keep the American public informed. Being an informed citizenry means the press at times having to dig deep and expose culprits. We can expect nothing less from the press.

    Make no mistake the press is under assault today. Democracy and democratic institutions are just empty words without the press and its fierce protections of our freedoms. The press is made up of humans that have made mistakes, but on the whole does a pretty damn good job.

    You want to protect yourself from government tyranny Conservatives? Don't buy a gun; support and strengthen the press.

  143. The media must understand that this is a war. Give no quarter and ask for none. The media folks who met with Trump are Pollyannaish fools.
    Be sure of the accuracy of your reporting before publishing.
    Realize the plutocrats are not trying to control what you publish; they are trying to destroy you.
    Always mention your adversary's most significant companies and products, so the public can avoid using or purchasing them.

  144. "the president-elect among them"

    "Can they succeed?"

    They already did. One of them, a supporter of (if not outright among) white supremacists, a journalist-harassing* anti-fact antisemitic internet mob, and the forced-pregnancy right, is now the president-elect. That's certainly beyond even their wildest dreams and expectations.

    *See: Megyn Kelly and the president-elect's "beautiful Twitter account".

  145. One thing to mention is a new challenge to British journalism. A new Press Regulator, Impress, backed by Max Mosley, has recently been recognised by the Press Recognition Panel - despite having no major newspapers or magazines signed up to it. There is the possibility that Newspapers that do not sign up to impress (who's impartiality are suspect) could face legal penalties under a proposed new law that would require them to pay both sides legal costs in the event of a libel suit - even if they won!

  146. A cold, hard truth when it comes to interactions between the press and the elite is something that I read from a blogger about 10 years ago. "You can't be friends with the people you are supposed to be writing about." Too many in the media have personal friendships/connections with elite individuals ranging from politicians to the silicon valley CEOs. Too many considered it a status symbol to be able to ring an elite up on their personal phone for a comment, one of those elites being Donald Trump. As was pointed out in another article, the process was to excoriate the press in public, and offer conciliatory winks in private to media associates in order maintain personal contacts and shallow coverage. The media got hoodwinked by these people, and are now spending time trying to figure out how to regain their dignity.

  147. Not hoodwinked, Renee. Agreeably connned. But they get to go to the "best" parties and are "called" to the tower to kiss The Con Don's ring.

  148. In media land, they are called SOURCES, and one needs sources in order to check and recheck FACTS.

  149. While not to condone for a heartbeat Trump's increasing cries of "Luegenpresse" to his fans, not as campaigner but as future president, I think this is a moment for the fourth estate to dig deep and reflect.

    First, what continues the "press" these days? Venerable institutions like NYT or also fifth estate places like Breitbart news, hyper sensational TV cable networks, twitter? Fifth estate is here, and it will be trump's chosen (and possibly only) medium for communicating with the public. We must accept this.

    Second, many media should consider going nonprofit. One reason that only 40% might say they trust the press is because of the business model. Trump has been both the news media's obsession and piggy bank for over a year; the press has stoked the fears rather than explain what's really going on. This was a business move, not a public service. That much is transparent. Remove that motive, and you may get reporters doing the unsexy, unglamorous job of digging for the truth and then reporting it, rather than capitulating to the biases of their core customers. For as long as "the press" behaves as a business, Trump will be able to attack it as just another business.

    Finally, the NYT has to stop hanging out only in the corridors of power and take a healthy interest in the rest of the country. Don't act like an elite. Send reporters to the small red states and keep them there until, to quote the future president, we 'can figure out whats going on.'

  150. One has to wonder if all of you would be preaching to the Times the way you do....go to the red states etc., etc., if Hillary had won.....I sincerely doubt that very much. For nearly two years into her campaign did any of you lefties consider the plight of those in the red states? Doubtful.

  151. I'm not sure who this "you Lefties" is, considering I've been a proud Independent for over a decade. But I did in fact believe that most Americans in the end would reject Trump on the sheer fact that his character is so vulgar and nasty. Mocking a disabled person to get a cheap laugh? Starting a twitter war and calling a former Miss Universe fat? C'non...who really wants a person like that as president. I consider this country full of decent people. Trump is indecent, and yet people elected him. So yes, this really has nothing to do with red/blue, left/right, but the more basic question of what has happened to the people of this county to actually like a man with a character like that? I for one, would like to know, and I think that IS the job of journalism. Leave emotions and tired cliches of left/right for twitter. It doesn't belong in the press. And the people who usually use them don't really know what these terms even mean, outside of what their twitter feed tells them.

  152. Sorry, Ms. Bazelon. The Sullivan case is "revered" only by journalists who hide behind its overly broad shield. Libel laws in many western countries are far more realistic than the ridiculous protections afforded anyone who calls himself an American journalist. In the UK for example [ hardly a country without a vibrant press ] libel doesn't require a finding of actual malice. Instead, libel laws are reasonably used to punish sloppy and inaccurate journalism, and provide a genuinely injured party some redress. I, for one, would welcome a similar standard in American law.

  153. The UK also has a more literate and ethical citizenry, with deep roots of common decency that the United States has always thumbed its nose at while wallowing in the lowest gutter possible.

  154. Use images. Time date and stamp them. Cover the consequences of alt right and the history of right wing extremism. "Discriminating is ok" was long the defense of southern sororities and fraternities in the 1960s and has been revived. Cover PR and advertising strategies. And get better ad agencies to hone the value of media (a pain but necessary).

    I fear one issue is we have a voting population of questionable morals that is willing to overturn our democracy to have their way.

  155. There will be no checks and balances come January 2017. The media will be the only voice to question authority.

    The media created this mess by the free press given to Trump during the campaign without the same amount of coverage for HRC. All publicity is good publicity and Trump had the backing of a Goebbels-like puppet master. The media got played.

    The media gave Wikileaks a voice without fact checking if they had edited their documents - and the press gave them credibility when we have no idea if they what they published was truthful. Why publish stolen documents? As you are learning destroys true freedom of speech

    You were so quick to publish anything - all the media not just NYT's you took all the bait from alt-right anti HRC and made it truth.

    Our only way to make sure Trump plays by the rules is a media that is clear and loud when he is breaking them. Please do your job this time and stop being salacious.

  156. It's called an oligarchy of the rich, and we must fight against them at all times. We must stop the rich from ruining the country, and we must "claw back" the illegal wealth they have stolen since Reagan through a rigged tax system.

  157. Meanwhile the NYT is supporting censorship. Only for other media outlets of course, but it is censorship all the same.

    They mean "false news" of course, but this is coming from the purveyor of false news about Iraq and so much else.

    It is fantasy to imagine we can play at censorship and it won't come back on all the rest of the media. That was the whole point of NYT v Sullivan and the "chilling effect" of any censorship.

    Now rich guys try to limit media the way the NYT wants to limit other media. How shocking. That is it coming back at you, already.

  158. You lost me when you got to “Peter Thiel Is Totally Gay, People" and started making excuses for the publication of the Hulk Hogan sex tape. This isn't journalism; It's homophobia and invasion of privacy, respectively (I have no idea whether or not Mr. Thiel is gay but it is homophobia either way).

    Your defense of the Hogan tape is particularly ugly; joking about having had sex with brunettes is not by any stretch of the imagination the same thing as having Gawker post a private tape showing you having sex.

    And the Rolling Stone article, in which students and administrators were falsely accused of rape, an accusation that can send people to prison and ruin their reputations for life? Given that Rolling Stone ignored ever principle of responsible journalism, how is it possible to defend that?

    I really am chilled by the prospect that, without a Supreme Court backstop, Donald Trump will use the courts as a weapon to muzzle the responsible press. But calling libel and invasion of privacy journalism does nothing to protect the responsible press; indeed, the activity of organizations like Gawker threaten freedom of the press by consistently and knowingly abusing it. In doing so, not only do those organizations harm their victims, they create public distrust in the press as a whole, and make responsible organizations more vulnerable to political assault.

  159. I do have real fears about the assaults on the press, combined with the financial pressures - and a public where a large number of people l do not read news or in depth stories.

    Where the media including the press has - in Trump's case - greatly assisted HIS efforts - essentially making its own Frankenstein - in the dumb way that it has reported his pronouncements, over and over. Ye gads, you must know that when you report his tweets, people remember what he claimed, not someone's small print analysis of why it isn't accurate, and not that it seems weird for a man in this position to be ranting at 3 AM. when the same video clips of him making snarky attacks are run again and again -- what do viewers remember?

    And as cphntn noted: his supporters held to a belief that Obama was going to take their guns through 8 years; they are pro 2nd amendment -- but are not in the least acquainted with the 1st, or other Amendments. One wonders what they were exposed to in school.

  160. Thank you for this thoughtful and important piece.

    I would ask that we quit referring to the alt-right and call it what it is.

  161. Mr. Thin Skin......is going to lose this battle with the media in the long run.

    This is a stupid childish fight for him, Trump has too many skeleton's in his closet in business and private to be doing this, he will be destroyed.

    Trump needs to understand that he did not win a mandate, and by far is the most unpopular President ever elected, he even lost the popular vote by almost 2 million votes to Hillary Clinton.

  162. That two million number? Came from one state.........California. No surprise there.

  163. Thats what happens when news outlets put ratings before truth. Truth, is not biased, reporters sat in from of Trump and his surrogates and didnt call out blatant lies. Matt Laur is the example that comes to mind. He allowed Trump to lie to his face. Money over truth, power over people.

  164. Assaults on freedom of the press is the first step to dictatorship.
    New York Times, we depend on you and all journalists to do a good an thorough job. Do not let this bully change this newspaper.

  165. Last week I went online and made contributions to the ACLU, The Climate Scientists Legal Defense Fund, Southern Poverty Leadership Center, and I already make contributions to Planned Parenthood. There obviously needs to be a defense fund for reporters.

    Surprised that there is a climate scientist defense fund? Lamar Smith, Rep. from Texas is head of the House Science Committee and he has been subpoenaing them and going to court to get their emails, as he seems to be convinced they are doctoring the data. This is harassment. We need to push back, speak up, and people are going to need legal defense.

  166. Dear Editors and the Editorial Board of The NY Times, we would have much more 'sympathy' for your freedom of the press and impartiality concerns if you lead by example. Whilst I am a subscriber to your publication and an ardent reader you almost lost me many times over the Bernie Sanders campaign reporting fiasco. Long before The Editorial Board publicly declared support for Hillary Clinton on behalf of the newspaper the Times was already filtering and biasing both the volume and content of Sanders vs. Clinton coverage. There was an outcry from your reader base, myself included, that you ignored. We didn't want Bernie promoted and pushed, we just wanted fair coverage. You rewarded our loyalty to your publication with thinly disguised Clinton propaganda. Yes, we all voted for Hillary but not because you told us to. It was because the other option was ridiculous and unfathomable. You misread the public, your subscribers and ultimately the candidates appeal. Please take some times to understand that there is a price to pay for deliberately biased and subjective newspaper reporting, other than childish lawsuits, and your alienation and the distrust of a 'yuge' section of your readership is that price.

  167. Washington Post, Jeff Bezos; Wall Street Journal, Rupert Murdoch; Bloomberg, Bloomberg. Murdoch's News Corp owns Fox and much other media. These billionaires are "the media." All three are wealthier than Trump.

    The NYT needs different editors that ensure complete reporting. For example, on 3 different occasions, Jan 21, July 5, and Oct 31, former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, a man who had been endorsed in 2003 as a potential Supreme Court Justice by NY *Democratic* Senator (and now Senate Minority Leader) Schumer, state that Clinton had committed felonies by her use of a private email server in her home when she was Secretary of State. He mentioned her denials, and the destruction of emails as well. This is the title of the Oct 31 WSJ Mukasey commentary: "The FBI Director’s Unworthy Choice
    Comey acceded to the apparent wish of Obama that no charges be brought against Clinton."

    The NYT and other newspapers should respect Mukasey and Schumer's endorsement of him and push for a full investigation using an independent prosecutor and a grand jury.

    Instead of emphasizing that it was Trump (and Sanders) but not Clinton who were vociferously objecting to Carrier moving a plant from Indiana to Mexico thanks to NAFTA, they were silent and criticized Trump. Clinton was not reported to objecting in the media or in her own twitter feed. Moreover, Trump protested Disney of Florida replacing American IT workers with H1-B visa foreigners but again Clinton was silent.

  168. The First Amendment is at risk. Religion, Speech, Press. This has been evident for some time. Why didn't the media reveal this before the election? The press. TV media and internet purveyors undermined not only their own well-being but that of the entire country and every citizen. In the name of free speech Zuckerberg at al contributed, even if inadvertently, to taking it away by encouraging and paying for false information. The NYT, most journals and TV media focused almost entirely on the "campaign" and polls instead of investigating, analyzing and reporting on substantive issues.

    If a libel suit can be filed for running an ad with minor wrong facts, why can a candidate run ads on TV that are deliberately malicious with no proof? (HRC's negative ads featured proof - the man himself; the Donald's did not).

    Blaming is not an option now. We are all in trouble. I hope for all our sake that some or all of the "other billionaires" (e.g.., Buffet, Bloomberg, Gates and even Zuckerberg) will pull together and save our free speech and in so doing also save freedom of religion and the 4th estate. Finding ways to call out lies or ignoring them rather than fanning the flames is critical. Exposing this would-be King for who he is and what he can do beyond the NYT article is essential. There are higher principles at stake and a greater responsibility to the nation.

  169. Organizations like the NYT, CNN, MSNBC are at a moment in time where they have taken specific social and political agendas to an inflection point. You could even include Fox in this, but the balance of thought with M. Kelly and O'Reilly outweigh most of the other noise.

    While I lean right, I don't appreciate the overreaching, agenda pushing news stories on either side of the table. The Presidential Election, however, exposed a process that intertwined media and political operations on the left that has the average US citizen scratching their head. Most of us realize there is no such thing as reporting without bias. Just as there is no individual person with bias. We all have it, some are just more vocal and pronounced in their beliefs. But, the lack of ethical compass displayed with the DNC, NYT and CNN during the Hilary Clinton election march was too much too swallow and you now have major reporting entities that are compromised.

    How will these organizations recover and regain the respect of those of us in the middle? Do they even care? The ratings and subscription levels suggest they don't.

    But I will hand it to PE Trump. Releasing the UTube video of his progress and plan without the tampering of the left leaning media is an avenue he should continue. It hits them where it hurts and let's the people decide for themselves. This is a great use of the Bully Pulpit in a new media way.

    Good work PE Trump.

  170. I hope Trump uses You Tube exclusively. With You Tube I can choose to watch. Or not. I'm done with seeing his beady little eyes squinting at the TelePrompTer.

  171. Start counting the days that the First Amendment has left under the rule of Mr. Trump.

  172. Thank you for this article. All this deeply worries me. With all branches of the government soon to be in Republican hands, freedom of the press might be the only thing left that can save us.

  173. ....so it's likely the first thing to go. The opening salvos have already been fired.

  174. Except this story has nothing to do with freedom of the press.

  175. Sorry, but I see it gone on inauguration day. America will enter a period of full DICTATORSHIP, and the last bastion of hope could be the Supreme Court, and there is no gleam of hope there either. The MEDIA PRESIDENT was elected and now they (MEDIA) need to figure out how the damage can start being reined in, then controlled and then we could call cautious success. Great lesson for MEDIA here: People and the Constitution do matter more than their ratings. By the time NYT, WaPo, and others less tabloid quality woke up to what was happening and how they got bamboozled, it was too late, all Trump had to do wast twist and turn the knife jab for major damage and pain. He even gloated about it and his "walking dead" followers laughed out loud. It deeply hurt a great many of us.

  176. Can they succeed? Only if you let them.

  177. The national press?
    A small group of superrich Americans vs. a smaller group of overeducated graduates of elite colleges who have very little in common with ordinary Americans...
    Neither group understands the poor and the powerless, neither group really showed an interest in the lives and deaths of homeless and sick people. All through the election we heard of Trump's crap, since it was loud and brutal, but the press did what it could to ignore the real plight lower income America and Bernie.
    To me, the press is either CNN or the NYTimes. The first showed itself to be perfectly happy to wallow in Trumpism and help get him elected from all the publicity, and the second is wonderful, but really not on the radar of most Americans. I find myself more and more watching France24 or Sky TV on the web, which tend to be objective and honest.
    Hugh Massengill, Eugene Oregon

  178. This is a big deal. I believe the press needs to examine why it is held in such low regard by the people, and address those concerns. Freedom of speech and protection from specious lawsuits are both huge issues that will no doubt be tested during the Trump regime. Rich people who don't like criticism have huge resources to make life difficult for the free press. One thought that I have is that the media sets itself up for legitimate criticism when it tries to make news rather than report it. The assumption of ill intent, or incompetence, on the part of our political leaders colors many of the articles I read. That does not endear the media to readers unless they are hard core partisans. A free press is essential to an effective democracy. Lets hope the media leaders figure out a strategy for surviving Trump with their integrity in tact.

  179. The best journalists will be like Dan Rather...not spin the news...just get
    the news....and in the case of Donald Trump find out his connections to
    Russian financiers and press the case for revealing his tax returns so that
    we are not inaugurating a traitor....in January 2017...

    The New York Times is being excoriated by Trump...because their journalists
    are doing their job....telling the Truth....and are stop spinning the news.
    Continue....and Godspeed !!!

  180. Crying about how we got here...

    It is not where we are but where we are going that counts.

    We are the Trump nation now. Buckle up!

  181. All forms of written communication longer than 147 characters will be banned. They are part of the elitist establishment. Who has such an attention span anyway? (Clicking now on the environment-friendly looking, pro-pesticide banner ad baiting me next to this comment field)

  182. Ron T in his previous comment amuses with his canned "fight between the elites". Not good enough, Ron. While certain prurient media (the Gawker case for example, and I would also include in this category The New York Post) often demonstrate at best poor taste and at worst a libelous disregard for the truth, The New York Times is hardly in that category, despite the way it put the lid on Bernie Sanders initially. Journalism, in case you thought it was like just scratching your opinion here or using Facebook, Ron T., is hard. It requires work. And freedom of the press is foundational to our Democracy, or whatever is left of it. It does not surprise me that a demagogue like Trump is going after the media: every dictator goes after a free press first. I do agree, however, that The Times needs to look beyond Trump in its re-examination of what went wrong: self-criticism is required, and this article doesn't seem like a step in that direction.

  183. It is beyond belief that in this "free" country the press is under siege. Never has a newly elected president "summoned" the main tv hosts and channels to intimidate them with his soon to be almighty powers. Where are we, two weeks after an election? Will we all be silenced the way the Nazis silenced their opposition by sending their SA troopers, aka confederate flag wavers and Nazi congregations after whoever expresses an opposite view? Dire times ahead, we have to fight this evil, do not be intimidated by this gang, we are under full assault now

  184. In this supposed land of free expression, where even the right cries about its lack of freedom, we're already not even among the top nations in press freedoms, so it is frightening to think that our first amendment rights would be even further eroded. For these guys, freedom and liberty and patriotism are one-way streets. You could cut the hypocrisy with a knife. This is perhaps the most important area where we all need to be extremely vigilant, and to fight this new administration at every turn. If the right can be allowed to spend 8 years characterizing Obama as a creature from another planet, then the left certainly must be allowed to spend the next 4 or (god help us) 8 years vigorously calling out, in a much more legitimate way, any erosions of very basic press freedoms and other personal liberties.

  185. A lawsuit is supposed to be about justice and law. Because of it's obscene and unjustifiable cost it often becomes just another weapon for the wealthy to achieve their ends, make money, get their way, or to get revenge. It has nothing to do with justice and makes mockery of the term due process. We need a Bernie Sanders-like look at what too big to fail plaintiffs and their lawyers are doing to our country, the intent of our laws, our people, and our economy... but who can afford to do it!!

  186. Going after the free flow of information and a free press is how democracy dies.
    Check the numerous examples forged by the despots in Turkey,Russia, China.
    Allow some freedom and prosperity, draw in the reins of free speech.
    Soon we will have free choice, believe our triumphal leader or our lying eyes.

  187. Stop calling him "the Donald" and humanizing him.
    He is a disgrace to humanity.

    And, of course they can succeed in killing freedom of the press. See all historical precedent.

    The writing was on the wall long before now, as the media printed his ever word and stupid tweet, and as the media destroyed all hope of electing the most qualified person ever to the office of President. Hillary. Rodham. Clinton.

  188. When the the press is suppressed, the seeds of dictatorship are sown. The media helped create Donald J Trump and is now reaping the "benefits" of that creation. Let us hope that our institutions are strong enough to prevent the corruption of power. Remember Nixon tried to abuse office of the presidency and he failed.

  189. I tend to agree with the article... Trump has shown repeatedly that he is willing to tell bold face lies about things he has done, or said, often in the face of indisputable evidence to the contrary.

    It works for Putin because there really is no press in his country to really dispute what he says... Or if they do... Well there are "consequences".

    It could work for trump too if he could find a way to kill the press here. He can't do that quite as literally as Putin can, be he can wage war against it via the courts and his own ongoing social media
    Blitz against it.

    It's one of the most frightening things about him and this election... We all love to hate the press and the steady stream of bad news and yes even biased news, but we NEED someone out there digging for facts and exposing the truth for those who are interested.

    I don't know how you deal with the bias... I love the NYT but even I can see the bias.. But maybe we are stuck with bias and just need to read a balanced diet of news

  190. Yes, Trump tries to intimidate people, some in the media, by using the courts. We knew this about him. The rest of the story is conjecture - not news. You can guess all you like what will happen next, but that is more akin to fortune telling. Can we please have more news and current events - and less guessing?

  191. If the media is not there to inform us, who will ? As individuals we little people that do no show up on the national political map can not afford to do battle with the forces of wealth and power and privilege. Are we entering an era of money vs. the first amendment and the right to know what goes on behind closed doors of the uber wealthy and Washington power structure ?

    Remember Watergate & The Pentagon papers. We need an open and free media via the first amendment more than we need the second amendment.

  192. Since being fired in 1990 after a decade as editor of the Chicago Tribune for opposing and being "irreverent" to the new publisher who later led the company (now known as (Tronc) to ruin and bankruptcy, I have never once regretted not being part of the press--until now. Anyone in this country, particularly the leaders of cable news and social media moguls, who do not recognize the building of a totalitarian regime, better read a little history. War has been declared on democracy and the First Amendment by a demagogue whose ignorance about public policy has successfully masked both his guile and dangerous intent. Wake up, people. You think ISIS is our greatest threat? No, it is always us.

  193. jim - So you noticed how the NPI confab in D.C. this past weekend featured rants about ' the lying press ' (in the original German) dovetailing so neatly with the prez-elect calling in the media moguls and anchors on Monday to call them all ' liars ':

    http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/donald-trump-personally-blasts-t...

    One wonders if Les Moonves, CBS head, has yet been disabused of his opinion from the spring primaries, when he proclaimed:

    " It may not be good for America, but it's damn good for CBS. "

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/les-moonves-donald-trump_us_56d52ce8...

    Maybe Lenin wasn't so far off when he wrote of useful idiots " The capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them ".

    Too bad Establishment GOP'ers aren't canvassing GOP'er electors getting them to switch enough votes by Dec. 19 to be sure the bullying bloviator never has a chance to take the Oath of Office - he can do a lot of damage before an impeachment process can remove him from office; if he'd even go.

  194. Thank you for this comment. I'm just a local yokel nobody, but when my mother-in-law (who grew up outside of Munich during WWII) tells me "this is how it started", well, I'm inclined to believe her.

  195. So true. Our home grown terrorists have done MUCH more damage than outside forces. We only have to look within to see our greatest vulnerability and enemies.

  196. I have not been more frightened and ashamed for our Press and Wonderful journalists. Bullying not allowed in elementary school. There will come a time , and believe me with this rhetoric and his scoldings... there will be an upheaval amongst our so many brilliant , hardworking Muir's , Blitzers,'' Holts ';, etc, etc...even Megyn Kelly must be appalled From her end . I pray President -elect " Trump" will come to his senses an stop playing his gold and diamond "Trump" card.Try to be the President not the dictator oi these already great United States oAmerica.

  197. Who exactly do these geniuses who malign the press think is going to tell them the truth if we don't have a free press? These same people say you can't trust politicians and the government, so where do they think they are going to get the truth? Wee gee boards? Psychic friends network? Astrologers?

    The billionaires who want to destroy the press want to do it for one reason: so no one will report on their wrongdoing, their sexual assaults, their theft of government resources, their corruption and their overseas bank accounts. They are looking for one thing, and one thing only, the ability to loot the economy with no one looking over their shoulders, just like Trump's best friend Putin has done in Russia.

    Billionaires wanting to hide their corruption is one thing, but the tens of millions of Americans who hate the press are another. We have raised tens of millions of seriously dysfunctional people in this country who are completely irrational and ignorant and who fail to see the value of a free press. It is alarming and disgusting. The GOP has brainwashed them all into hating the press, and they are all too ignorant to see how wrong they are.

    When we no longer have a free press, we no longer have a free country.

  198. The importance of a free and tenacious press is more important than ever, as we slide into the bombastic surreality of a Trump administration.

    I find it deeply troubling that the wealthy use our legal system as a cudgel against the fourth estate. In a nation with a free and open press, the media has a right to report on prominent individuals- billionaires or not.

    A strengthening of First Amendment protections should be met with a damages cap similar to what exists in the UK. This would protect our press while reducing the financial damage wealthy litigants can do to our media.

    The public distrust of the media is twofold. First, it is a result of the media's behavior during the Bush administration- an almost total abrogation of duty in pursuit of "access". I sincerely hope the media has learned its lessons from those years. They will need it. The second, is a propagandistic attack on truth in the media by the right wing. Our discourse has been so flooded with falsehoods, charlatans, crackpot sources, and bum stories that the public dismisses a great deal. Hopefully, the President's push to clean up fake news sources will help.

    Trump exists in a bubble of constantly shifting assertions, beliefs, and statements, and has been surrounded by sycophants his entire life. The majority of the American people did not vote for him, and we expect the press to hold him to the high standards of the office he will soon inhabit. We will need a fearless media now more than ever.