New York Times Editorial Board Slams Giuliani’s ‘Poisonous Disinformation’

The New York Times issued an important corrective Monday to Rudy Giuliani’s recent racist antics in the wake two police shootings of black men, and the shooting of 12 police officers in Dallas during a Black Lives Matter protest.

What the editorial board calls Giuliani’s “trademark brew of poisonous disinformation” is his claim that “the problem is black gangs, murderous black children, the refusal of black protesters to look in the mirror at their ‘racist’ selves, and black parents’ failure to teach their children to respect the police.”

In retort, the editors say, “Those who remember Mr. Giuliani as the hectoring mayor of New York know what he has to offer any conversation on race and violence – not a lot.”

And it is true that Giuliani has gathered to himself a wide array of condemnations for this most recent outburst, including the Morning Joe panel Monday, and a former New York City police officer who told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes that Giuliani “pretends to be talking to the African-American community when he’s really talking at the African-American community, and has nothing to say to them.”

The Times’ editors accuse the former mayor of not furthering the discourse on racialized violence but of trying to change the subject with remarks like those made by Giuliani Sunday:

“What we’ve got to hear from the black community is how and what they are doing among themselves about the crime problem in the black community.”

And then there is how Giuliani’s “garbled fictional statistic” echoes the right wing’s “black on black violence” talking point and false equivalencies, untruths and misdirections, and how blacks are complicit in their own brutalizing [apparently in the same way children are said to be complicit in their own molestation by Catholic priests and women their own rapes].

The New York Times is right to attack Giuliani. It is a shame they don’t speak up more often or do a better job of directing their writers away from repeating attacks on Hillary Clinton, or allowing columnist Maureen Dowd to, as Norm Ornstein of the conservative American Enterprise Institute tweeted,

“Congratulations! This is the 7,673rd time Maureen Dowd has written this column! What a gig!”

It’s great when the Times chooses to speak up, but the editors don’t seem to realize, by giving so much time to Donald Trump and spending so much time repeating Clinton conspiracy theories (for example, repeatedly mangling facts about the Clinton emails), while trying to Kill Bernie Sanders’ campaign, that they are more part of the problem and less part of the cure.

As that former police officer, Eugene O’Donnell, told Chris Hayes, “People of good faith should be calling [Giuliani] out” and we need more of this from the Times, because the alternative is Rush Limbaugh’s defense of Giuliani for having the “audacity” to “utter the truth at the wrong time.”

It is to be appreciated when the Times gets something right, because when you read “Those who remember Mr. Giuliani as the hectoring mayor of New York know what he has to offer any conversation on race and violence – not a lot,” you have the most succinct explanation of why Rudy Giuliani now works for Fox News, where having anything to contribute beyond endless repetition of right wing talking points, is unwelcome.