The New York Times has decided to blame the El Paso murders not on the actual killer but on “conservative media stars.” As here.
Specifically, by name, that would be the Fox News evening lineup of Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham. Then it goes on to talk radio’s Rush Limbaugh, plus Fox and Friends’ Brian Kilmeade, Fox’s Jeanine Pirro, and Ann Coulter. Thrown in along the way were “outlets like Sinclair Broadcast Group and The Drudge Report to platforms like Breitbart News and Gateway Pundit,” with a specific mention of Sinclair’s Boris Epshteyn. And oh yes, there was a reference to former Nixon and Reagan aide and columnist Pat Buchanan.
Suffice to say, the smear instantly backfired on the Times itself. Big time.
Let’s start with the Times’ reasoning on this smear:
There is a striking degree of overlap between the words of right-wing media personalities and the language used by the Texas man who confessed to killing 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso this month. In a 2,300-word screed posted on the website 8chan, the killer wrote that he was “simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion.”
Got that? There was a “striking degree of overlap” between the language of these conservative media stars and “the language used by” the El Paso killer in his so-called “manifesto.”
Well, now. What did the Times story mysteriously leave out? This.
To borrow from the Times, “There is a striking degree of overlap between the words of left-wing Democratic presidential candidates and the New York Times and the language used by” the Texas shooter.
Let’s get specific. Says the killer:
The inconvenient truth is that our leaders, both Democrat AND Republican, have been failing us for decades. They are either complacent or involved in one of the biggest betrayals of the American public in our history. The takeover of the United States government by unchecked corporations.
Where would the killer get such an idea? Where would he pick up such anti-corporate language?
He could start by reading this November 25, 2018 column by New York Times opinion columnist David Leonhardt titled:
The Monopolization of America
In one industry after another, big companies have become more dominant over the past 15 years, new data show.
In which the Times columnist says this (bold print supplied):
Hostility to corporate bigness animated Thomas Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt, as well as the labor movement, Granger movement, Progressive movement and more.
Of course, monopolies and other corporate giants have fought back against these assaults on their power, and sometimes succeeded for years or decades at a time. It happened during the age of Rockefeller and Morgan. Over the past 40 years, it has happened again.
The federal government, under presidents of both parties, has largely surrendered to monopoly power. “The ‘anti’ in ‘antitrust’ has been discarded,” as the legal scholar Tim Wu puts it in his new book, “The Curse of Bigness.” Washington allows most megamergers to proceed either straight up or with only fig-leaf changes. The government has also done nothing to prevent the emergence of dominant new technology companies that mimic the old AT&T monopoly.
Then there was this language by another Times columnist, Farhad Manjoo, assailing five specific corporations:
Tech’s Frightful Five: They’ve Got Us
In which Manjoo says this of big corporations “Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Alphabet, the parent company of Google”:
This is the most glaring and underappreciated fact of internet-age capitalism: We are, all of us, in inescapable thrall to one of the handful of American technology companies that now dominate much of the global economy.
Manjoo closes by saying this of the dominance by these five giant corporations: “It’s too late to escape.”
Not to be left out is this Times jewel assailing corporations, this one written by Steven Davidoff Solomon, identified as “a professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley.” The Times published Professor Solomon as saying this of big corporations and their use of “corporate inversions”:
If you thought there was a problem with inversions — deals that allow American companies to relocate their headquarters to lower their tax bills — wait until you hear about the real secret to avoiding corporate taxes. It’s called earnings stripping, and it is a technique that the Obama administration has so far failed to stop.
The public outcry over the use of inversions is now entering its third year. Pfizer is trying the biggest one yet, a $152 billion deal for Allergan, the maker of Botox, which is based in Dublin. The flight of American icons like Pfizer has led to complaints that corporations are gaming the system to lower the taxes they pay to Washington. At the same time, the companies stay in the United States, getting all the benefits of our country.
One could go on and on with examples of New York Times language assailing the power of corporations, their evasions of taxes, and more. Language that matches exactly the language of the El Paso shooter. But let’s move on to Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.
Warren, it turns out, had a fan in the Dayton, Ohio, shooter. And Warren’s language on corporations and their power couldn’t be missed. Examples?
Elizabeth Warren Has a Theory About Corporate Power
The Atlantic story says that Warren believes “that big corporations’ political influence and market dominance are killing smaller rivals, and that small-business owners share interests with other victims of corporate power.”
Replying to Mitt Romney’s statement in 2008 that “corporations are people,” Warren said:
No, Governor Romney, corporations are not people. People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they love, and they die. And that matters. That matter because we don’t run this country for corporations, we run it for people.
People feel the system is rigged against them. And here’s the painful part. They’re right. The system is rigged. Look around. Oil companies guzzle down billions in subsidies. Wall Street CEOs — the same ones who wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs — still strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors, and acting like we should thank them.
There is infinitely more of Warren assailing corporate power, but let’s move to Bernie Sanders. Here is Sanders saying this on page 273 of his book Our Revolution:
Corporate tax reform must start by preventing profitable companies from sheltering profits in tax haven countries like the Cayman Islands. In 2015, I introduced legislation with Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Representative Jan Schakowsky of Illinois to do just that.
The Corporate Tax Dodging Prevention Act would end the loophole that allows corporations to defer paying taxes on overseas profits. Instead, it would require corporations to pay U.S. taxes on offshore profits as they are earned. This bill would take away the tax incentives for corporations to shift profits and move jobs and factories offshore, by taxing their profits no matter where they are generated. American corporations would continue to get a credit against their U.S. tax liability for foreign taxes they pay, but they would have to pay the federal government the difference between the foreign rate and the U.S. rate.
Also in the Sanders book was this attack on corporations and their control of the media:
In 1983 the largest fifty corporations controlled 90 percent of the media. That’s a high level of concentration. Today, as a result of massive mergers and takeovers, six corporations control 90 percent of what we see, hear, and read. This is outrageous, and a real threat to our democracy.
On and on and on I could go with attacks on corporations and corporate power by the New York Times and Senators Warren and Sanders — not to mention other Democratic presidential candidates.
There is no question that in both exact language and certainly in sentiment the views repeatedly expressed by the Times, Warren, and Sanders matches exactly the language and sentiment of the El Paso killer on corporations and corporate power.
Surprise? In this not so-cleverly disguised attack on Tucker, Sean, Laura, Rush, and the rest, the Times mentions nary a peep of the similarity in language between the shooter’s “manifesto” and the Times itself, as well as Warren and Sanders. Say again: not … a … single … word.
The obvious conclusion? The left-wing paper wanted to shift responsibility for the shooting from the shooter and blame the stars of conservative media.
But in playing this game the New York Times managed to hit a decidedly unintended target: the New York Times itself.