Credibility Lost

The New York Times editorial board is carrying water for the Democrats.

By + More
A man polishes the sign for The New York Times at the company's headquarters, July 18, 2013 in New York. The newspaper has faced declines in print advertising and subscription revenue. The company has tried to offset those drops by increasing the number of digital subscribers.
More like The New York Democratic Times.

The editorial page of The New York Times can no longer be taken seriously. It has become a house organ for the Democratic Party and its candidates and will print almost anything to help them out of a jam.

As almost everyone knows by now, President Barack Obama's claim that, under his plan, anyone who liked the health care they had could keep it was declared 2013's "Lie of the Year" by more than one reputable fact-checking organization. The Washington Post, which only got around to looking at it closely once the deal and the damage were done and the paper had been sold, gave it "four Pinocchios." The only people who don't seem up to speed are the ones who comprise the editorial board of The New York Times, which is still busy playing partisan games that are so obvious that, with apologies to Roger Ailes, even the folks at Fox News would recognize them as being over the top and into the tank.

On Sunday, as part of yet another editorial bashing the political activities of the Koch brothers, the Times editorialized that an ad being run by Americans for Prosperity, a group the two men helped found, "is full of distortions and lies" about the impact of Obamacare.

[See a collection of political cartoons on Obamacare.]

"It accuses Mr. Peters of lying when he said the law bars cancellations of insurance policies," the editorial board said adding, "Mr. Peters happened to be right, as millions of people who once faced losing all insurance after they got sick now appreciate. The 225,000 Michigan residents who the ad said received 'cancellation notices' were actually told that they could change to a better policy."

Never mind that the term "better" is both subjective and amorphous. The Times editorial board is fudging the facts. People did have their policies cancelled, not just in Michigan but all across America. Anyone who doubts can go to MyCancellation.com or any of the other web sites where people are posting the letters they got from their health insurance companies. Whether people were given alternatives is beside the point – policies were cancelled and people found that after Obamacare became law, they could not keep the insurance they had whether they liked it or not.

Even the government's own numbers bear this out. While suspect, they do show that only about 11 percent of those who enrolled in Obamacare through the Healthcare.gov web site or one of the state-based exchanges were previously without insurance. The other 89 percent were forced by the cancellation of their existing policy to find something new.

Aside from using it as another excuse to beat up the Kochs – who are only spending about as much money on politics as the unions spend – the editorial's purpose seems to be providing ad copy for Peters and any other Democrat who might be in trouble over Obamacare. The papers language is perfect for a response ad, one that Peters and others can run claiming a supposedly authoritative and independent source – The New York Times – says the negative spot being run against us by AFP is "full of distortions and lies" so don't believe it.

[Check out our editorial cartoons on President Obama.]

If you don't believe that's the case, then why does the Times feel the need to point out in the same editorial that "Democrats intend to counter this campaign with the facts, but few of the candidates have the money to do so now. As a result, the campaign is taking a serious political toll." Even a fool can understand that means: "They don't have the cash to run the ads right now so we – who support them and advise them through our editorials and want them to win – will take up the banner for them until the big donors in the Democratic Party can ride to the rescue."

There are treatments available for the paranoia the Times feels about the Koch brothers' political activities. A good long rest for the members of the editorial board on a nice island somewhere in the south Pacific where they can get away from television, radio and the Internet might be just the ticket. Perhaps after just such a vacation to clear their heads, they can look at things with a fresh perspective and begin to understand that it's their own house that needs to be cleaned before they can, with any credibility, point the finger at anyone else. Until then, they need to be seen for what they are – and extension of the press office of the Democratic National Committee and its affiliated organizations. And until then, folks in New York should just read The Daily News.

  • Read Al Cardenas: Extending Unemployment Benefits Is Not a Jobs Plan
  • Read Lara Brown: New Poll Shows Americans Think Washington Doesn't Listen
  • Check out U.S. News Weekly, an insider's guide to politics and policy.