Twitter Strips The New York Times of Verification, But Then Elon Musk Makes It Even Worse for Fake News Company
Twitter has finally caught up with the times.
In a splashy move Saturday that was as important for its symbolism as it was for its technical consequences, the social media giant under the ownership of Elon Musk stripped The New York Times of its coveted verification checkmark, reducing the reach of the Times’ poisonous tweets that already carry more influence than the “paper of record” deserves.
Then Musk tweeted a gloriously justified insult, adding to the technological injury.
To be clear, it isn’t the Times alone that was targeted. The Times itself reported on Friday that the development was looming, under the not-at-all-sensational headline, “Twitter’s Blue Check Apocalypse Is Upon Us. Here’s What to Know,” and noted that the Times could have kept its blue checkmark if it had paid Musk’s price.
Other news organizations are likely going to find themselves in a similar situation, according to a Washington Post report Sunday.
But the Times is the organization that considers itself the “newspaper of record.” It’s motto is still “All the news that’s fit to print” — which is laughable coming from a newspaper that has shamefully downplayed the Hunter Biden laptop story.
Conservative activist, podcast host and commentator Benny Johnson was one of earliest to catch something missing with the Times’ Twitter account.
BREAKING: Twitter has Un-Verified The @NYTimes pic.twitter.com/zpJ3vJ6tsj
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) April 2, 2023
But Musk by then had already summed up the situation in a dig designed to prick the egos behind the massively egotistical Times.
The real tragedy of @NYTimes is that their propaganda isn’t even interesting
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 2, 2023
“The real tragedy of the @NYTimes is that their propaganda isn’t even interesting,” Musk wrote.
And in that, he hit the nail on the head. The reality is that the Times’ reputation is built much more on its history than the daily practice of journalism as the word used to be understood.
In fact, the Times openly abandoned even the pretense of journalism back in August 2016, when a front-page commentary piece by then-Times media columnist Jim Rutenberg all-but announced that Trump’s unorthodox candidacy would force reporters to “throw out the textbook American journalism has been using for the better part of the past half-century.”
“It may not always seem fair to Mr. Trump or his supporters. But journalism shouldn’t measure itself against any one campaign’s definition of fairness.” Rutenberg wrote. “It is journalism’s job to be true to the readers and viewers, and true to the facts, in a way that will stand up to history’s judgment. To do anything less would be untenable.”
In other words, it was the Times’ mission to attack Trump by any and all means necessary (note how “true to the facts” came after “true to readers and viewers”), and the Times has been on that mission ever since.
It’s not just Trump, of course. It’s the whole progressive agenda, whether it’s climate change, or “transgender” issues, or the supposed right of women to be full members of the Augusta National Golf Club two decades ago. (It’s hard to believe now, but that was actually a crusade at the Times once.)
On any issue, the Times’ coverage will be as predictable as it is poorly written — strident and condescending without ever once making its faithful readers question the validity of their own liberal presumptions.
It’s boring to anyone who doesn’t share those assumptions. It’s probably even boring to those who do share them, but liberals spend most of their days having their opinions confirmed on every major television network, every cable network but those owned by Fox, virtually every celebrity, every television advertisement, every sitcom, drama, musical and movie they’re likely to come in contact with. They don’t even know they’re bored.
Then Musk got even more insulting.
“Also, their feed is the Twitter equivalent of diarrhea. It’s unreadable,” Musk wrote. “They would have far more real followers if they only posted their top articles. Same applies to all publications.”
Also, their feed is the Twitter equivalent of diarrhea. It’s unreadable.
They would have far more real followers if they only posted their top articles.
Same applies to all publications.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 2, 2023
Note the word “real.”
The Times Twitter account claims the paper has 54.9 million followers. Was Musk implying that a good percentage of them aren’t real?
It sure sounded like that. And since one of Musk’s primary goals since taking over Twitter was weeding out those fake accounts, he clearly doesn’t use the word lightly. (Musk, by the way, has well more than twice as many followers as the Times. Even assuming some are fake, he’s killing the paper in reach.)
Regardless, there were plenty of Twitter users who agreed with the move — seeing the Times for the leftist propaganda sheet it is.
They are unverifiable. They are also untruthful, untrustworthy, & unAmerican.
— HeyItsMeSean (@HeyItsMeSeanB) April 2, 2023
The New York Times was once the journalist standard of reporting. Then they became part of the 4th branch of government and sold us all out.
— Old School Eddie (@Old_SchoolEddie) April 2, 2023
I would watch a congressional hearing and then read all the documents, and then open the New York Times, and they would have a totally different article about what happened. It’s worse than the national inquirer.
— LK_1111 (@elle_kaye11) April 2, 2023
Then there was this, likely slamming the Times reliance on anonymous sources — the sources that fed the “Russia collusion” hoax into a disaster for the county, a mountain of money billed to taxpayers, and a Pulitzer Prize (of course) to the Times for the sham. (Amazing how many anonymous sources see things the way the Times reporters, editors and readers do. It’s almost incredible how that works.)
90% of their news has also been unverified for years. Seems fitting if you ask me.
— ElectricSnow (@SnowQuentin) April 2, 2023
As a “standard-bearer” for American journalism, the newspaper known as the Old Gray Lady has been abusing the trust of the American public for too long, with too many other “news organizations” blindly following suit.
The Times has been unverified and — thanks to its copious use of anonymous sources — unverifiable for years. (As anyone who remembers the name Jayson Blair can attest.)
Twitter has finally caught up to it. Conservatives and Republicans need to make sure the American public does, too.
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