In a podcast posted on the New York Times website earlier this week, the paper’s editorial page editor openly praised Hillary Clinton’s strategy of stonewalling the media and refusing to answer questions about her campaign.
“How do you think this crazy pack of Republican candidates and the level of their conversation has made the race for Hillary?” Susan Lehman, the podcast’s host, asked editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal about six minutes into their discussion.
“I think she’s basically ignoring it, which is extremely intelligent,” he responded. “And this is going to sound rather strange coming from a journalist,” Rosenthal added, apparently referring to himself, “but she’s also ignoring the press which I don’t think is such a terrible idea.”
“I don’t think [Hillary Clinton’s] not talking to the press is an issue,” Rosenthal continued. “Sincerely, who cares?”
When Lehman asked Rosenthal to give his opinion on the “most ridiculous” Republican candidates in the race, Rosenthal named Donald Trump and “Ben Nelson.”
“Everything Ben Nelson says is ridiculous,” said Rosenthal.
Ben Nelson is not a Republican, nor is he running for president. In fact, he’s a former Democratic senator from Nebraska. Rosenthal was likely referring to Dr. Ben Carson, a world-renowned brain surgeon. Prior to jumping into the political sphere, Carson served as the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins. Rosenthal, the son of a communist-turned-neocon who served as executive editor of the New York Times for over a decade, received a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Denver before eventually getting a job working at his father’s newspaper.
During the podcast, Rosenthal took time to attack Trump, “Nelson,” Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. The only Democratic candidate he mocked was Jim Webb, a highly decorated combat veteran who previously served as a senator from Virginia and as the U.S. Navy Secretary. Bernie Sanders, according to Rosenthal, is absolutely a “credible” candidate for president. And what about Hillary? The only criticism Rosenthal levied at her was that she might not be liberal enough.
Rosenthal has a long history of using his perch at the New York Times to dishonestly slime Republican politicians. In the run-up to the 1992 election, Rosenthal manufactured from whole cloth a story about then-President George H. W. Bush marveling at the simple technology of a supermarket scanner. “Bush Encounters Supermarket, Amazed,” blared the headline of Rosenthal’s editorial masquerading as a news report.
As it turns out, Rosenthal wasn’t even physically present at the store where this incident allegedly happened. According to a Newsweek dispatch filed after Rosenthal’s story ran, Rosenthal “wrote his story from a TV tape of the event and the pool report of a reporter who watched Bush at a distance.”
The New York Times eventually corrected Rosenthal’s deliberate mischaracterization, but the damage was already done.
In 2008, Rosenthal did the same thing to Mitt Romney. In an op-ed submitted to the New York Times about Detroit’s financial woes, Romney outlined his plan to save his hometown of Detroit. What headline did Rosenthal place atop Romney’s op-ed? “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.”
The headline haunted Romney’s 2012 campaign against President Barack Obama.
Then there’s the time that Rosenthal wouldn’t say whether D-Day actually happened. You read that right: the editorial page editor of the New York Times appears to be an out-and-proud D-Day Truther. What was Rosenthal’s response when asked if Allied forces landed at Normandy on D-Day?
“Some might say so.”
And earlier this week, Rosenthal published an editorial that — you guessed it — deliberately mischaracterized facts that cast a key progressive constituency in a poor light.
“A hidden-camera video released last week purported to show that Planned Parenthood illegally sells tissue from aborted fetuses. It shows nothing of the sort,” the editorial asserted.
It showed everything of the sort, actually, as did the new video released on Tuesday which showed yet another Planned Parenthood executive haggling over the price of aborted baby organs. Why the haggling? “I want a Lamborghini,” the executive stated. In its news story about the Lamborghini video, the New York Times neglected to share with its readers a single quote or remark from the entire hour-long conversation between Planned Parenthood executive Mary Gatter and a pair of prospective organ buyers.
The problem for Rosenthal and his merry band of propagandists is that you have to actually watch the video in order to find out what’s in it. But this is Andrew Rosenthal we’re talking about. Reporting on events he’s never witnessed and conversations he’s never heard is kind of his thing.