The New York Times Doesn’t Give 'Truth a Voice'
The New York Times has a new campaign in which it claims to give voice to truth through nonbiased, independent journalism, but the campaign itself counters this claim.
Look at this latest ad in which the Times declares, “We hold power to account without fear or favor.”
The “He said. She said. She said. She said. She said ...,” which is followed by “The truth has power, the truth will not be threatened, the truth has a voice,” betrays the Times’ true agenda — and it’s not independent journalism.
The assumption here is that “She” is to be believed and “He” is not. This is a subjective, not objective, notion. Depending on each individual case, the “He” might be right, and the “She” might be lying — or the other way around. The Times, however, is taking advantage of the #MeToo Movement to promote itself as the bastion of objectivity and truth when really it is promoting a biased view from the start.
Isn’t it past time for the media to stop pretending they’re objective, particularly in this modern era when the notion of “objective truth” is roundly rejected?
In the early days of America, the press didn’t make such a presumption. Newspapers were openly biased, and debates between the various entities were made in the public square. It was up to individual American citizens to use their own reason and religious presuppositions to weed through the words to determine what and whom they believed.
This didn’t go without frustration, as politicians had to deal with hostile newspapers attacking them. Thomas Jefferson wrote at one point “that the man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them, inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.”
Jefferson commented at one point that readers would be better served if every newspaper had four sections headed “Truths,” “Probabilities,” “Possibilities,” and “Lies.”
The first chapter would be very short, as it would contain little more than authentic papers and information from such sources, as the editor would be willing to risk his own reputation for their truth. The second would contain what, from a mature consideration of all circumstances, his judgment should conclude to be probably true. This however should rather contain too little than too much. The third and fourth should be professedly for those readers who would rather have lies for their money than the blank paper they would occupy.
This was the state of the press in the past, and while Jefferson lamented the lies in newspapers, he accepted it as part of living in a free society and was primarily concerned about maintaining its freedom from political control. Freedom of the press was paramount, not that the press was perfect or even objective, but that people could decide for themselves what was true.