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Op-ed

Why do I still read the New York Times?

It's a love-hate relationship but mostly hate right now

Getty Images / Richard Levine

Some conservatives wonder why I read the New York Times or listen to "The Daily" hosted by Michael Barbaro.

As a conservative, I honestly can no longer tell you why anymore, especially not after another uncorroborated report by the New York Times surfaced over the weekend accusing Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh of yet another allegation of sexual misconduct.

While I genuinely want to know what the other side of this political landscape is thinking, is writing, and is interested in, I genuinely can't bear the one-sided coverage and the lies anymore, and I don't want to aid the Times' dishonesty with my dollars any longer.

I supported the Times throughout my undergraduate and graduate career (my graduate degree is in journalism) by way of tuition and fees, and recently renewed my subscription because I was tired of being limited in what information I could access. Plus, I love good writing and storytelling. Also, news is a big part of my job every day.

However, the New York Times isn't telling the most important stories objectively anymore; it hasn't in a while, and it's only getting worse.

Sure, the NYT reporters can write, but they've become divorced from truth and married to a progressive agenda that's blinding them so severely that they're embarrassing themselves every week.

Sometimes the Times covers exciting stories that no one else covers like The Price of Nice Nails or the dilemma filmmakers faced following the attacks on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, in New York City when they couldn't decide on whether to cut scenes of the city's iconic skyline that featured the recently perished twin towers or to leave them in.

I also appreciated the Times' straightforward coverage about the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong that was unfortunately followed up with a gaffe of a tweet that praised Mao Zedong as "one of history's great revolutionary figures."

Exhale. Sigh.

Yes, the same Zedong who made Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin look like amateurs in terms of mass killings.

That's irony; or, I mean, that's the Times for you.

It's as though the newspaper has been commandeered by people who are hell-bent on agenda at all costs necessary. Even the truth is a casualty of this war. But the editors really don't seem to care.

We witnessed this after a transcript was leaked that revealed how higher-ups at the Times, including New York Times executive Dean Baquet, shifted the coverage from Russian collusion to Trump's alleged racism in an effort to topple Trump.

The Times is also now obligated to continue to regurgitate lies progressives want to hear because their subscriber base has become increasingly more progressive. No surprise there.

But what incentives does the Times offer to moderates or conservatives who want to read their newspaper? Not much, at least not right now.

We were taught ethics in journalism school but these people have completely abandoned them. The Times used to be a place journalists and aspiring writers looked up to, including myself.

The paper was, once upon a time, a beacon for fine journalism and writing, not the scandal-mongering rag we're seeing now. It's easy to dunk on them on Twitter and in news articles for its mistakes but a little piece of me is miserable each time that happens.

This newspaper was an American institution that was vital to upholding our First Amendment faithfully, and to see it deteriorate this way and at this rate is dispiriting for Americans who are already losing trust in institutions. The Knight Foundation and Gallup found that half of Americans don't trust the media.

I read the Times because I already know what conservatives care about because I'm in a conservative bubble of my own, especially on Twitter. I read the newspaper content to understand what issues are important to progressives and how they’re framing those issues to see if what I believe, as a conservative, bears scrutiny.

Another reason I read the Times is that I don't talk to progressives and I'd never be friends with a leftist because they're fascists and are fundamentally wrong about America, its founding, and its values.

Moreover, it's not that I've shunned progressives from my life by choice.

I lost touch with many of the progressives I met in college, and a few of them deleted me on Facebook during the 2016 presidential election because I was criticizing Hillary Clinton instead of bashing Trump. However, I never endorsed Trump. I didn't hate Trump, so they mustered up little courage and hit the delete friend button instead of confronting me civilly or trying to understand the concerns I had with Ms. Clinton.

That's why I kept reading the Times after college. I was now out of the progressive loop.

The only reason I've managed to stay friends with some of my friends who vote Democrat is because we knew each other before we had concrete political views.

We grew up together.

That is what makes our political discussions easier to have. There's no animosity or hostility or tension or preconceived notions as is so often the case between progressives and conservatives.

It's telling that after actress Alyssa Milano met with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in Washington, D.C., last week to discuss gun control, she said that her liberal friends were "wrong" about the senator.

Before that, she said she thought of Cruz as a "villain in a movie."

Not anymore, not after meeting him in person. However, can I blame her for thinking that?

We have the media who continues to vilify and dehumanize conservatives daily, including the Times. Kavanaugh is a perfect villain for the left and the Times because he's a white male, he's heterosexual, he went to good schools, and had access to powerful political families in Washington, D.C.

When an award-winning legacy news organization like the Times abandons all objectivity and deceptively perpetuates falsehoods and half-truths to its wide-ranging readership in a sophisticated and systematic way — like what it did with Kavanaugh, its 1619 Project, and its climate series that will not entertain climate skeptics, and on several episodes of "The Daily" – my measly monthly subscription is adding to more harm than good.

I want to support the Bari Weisses of the Times and the reporters who are idealists working hard to hang onto their journalistic integrity, but they're making it nearly impossible.

Unless the Times rededicates itself to objective journalism and admits to its mistakes and the bias, I'm reluctant to read a single word going forward.

Refusing to read the Times until it rededicates its coverage to objectivity isn't about boycotting a company I cannot entirely agree with; it's about the vital role a free press plays in our republic and the damage the New York Times is inflicting upon our country.

One last thing…
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