President Donald Trump claimed the New York Times is “under siege” in a tweet earlier this morning, in response to the news that opinion columnist and editor Bari Weiss had left the publication because of an “illiberal environment.”
“Wow. The @nytimes is under siege,” the president wrote. “The real reason is that it has become Fake News. They never covered me correctly – they blew it. People are fleeing, a total mess!”
Wow. The @nytimes is under siege. The real reason is that it has become Fake News. They never covered me correctly – they blew it. People are fleeing, a total mess!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 15, 2020
The president has often accused Times reporters of bias when covering his administration, a belief likely bolstered by Weiss’s claim that “showing up for work as a centrist at an American newspaper should not require bravery” and that the paper’s “failure to anticipate the outcome of the 2016 election meant that it didn’t have a firm grasp of the country it covers.”
“But the lessons that ought to have followed the election—lessons about the importance of understanding other Americans, the necessity of resisting tribalism, and the centrality of the free exchange of ideas to a democratic society—have not been learned,” Weiss wrote. “Instead, a new consensus has emerged in the press, but perhaps especially at this paper: that truth isn’t a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else.”
President Trump’s message comes as the death toll from the novel coronavirus continues to rise as parts of the country break case records. Nearly 140,000 have died, according to the most up-to-date statistics.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.