The New York Times Has Been Ridiculous for a Long Time

The much discussed resignation letter from New York Times op-ed editor Bari Weiss was written in the metaphorical equivalent of Braille.  It allowed even the blind to see what the rest of us have known for years: the Times is a joke.

Writes Weiss of the Times newsroom, “Truth isn’t a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else.”  Indeed, the only difference between the Times and the old Soviet Pravda is that Pravda readers knew they were being lied to.

If I had to pick a date that the joke started to become obvious, I would pick July 17, 1996, twenty-four years ago today, the day TWA flight 800, a Boeing 747, crashed off the coast of Long Island, killing all 230 good souls aboard. TWA 800: The Crash, th... Jack Cashill Best Price: $9.71 Buy New $11.93 (as of 06:50 EST - Details)

As I heard from several reporters who covered this story, the New York Times owned it.  The FBI channeled virtually all new information through the Times, and the Times reported that information very close to uncritically.

The Times’ first full article on July 18 leads with the fact that the FBI had taken over jurisdiction of the investigation.  The reason for the takeover was that “witnesses reported an explosion, raising the possibility that a bomb went off on the jetliner.”

In a separate article on July 19, the Times’ David Johnston introduced the possibility of a missile strike.  “In public,” Johnston wrote, investigators were talking about an “accident,” but “in private,” they hinted at a “terrorist’s missile.”

They had reason to talk about a missile.  As CIA documents would later reveal, the agents on the FBI missile team had interviewed 144 “excellent” witnesses immediately after the crash and found the evidence for a missile strike “overwhelming.” Unmasking Obama: The F... Cashill, Jack Buy New $27.11 (as of 04:59 EDT - Details)

By July 26, investigators had established the false dialectic that would hold for the next two months.  The cockpit voice recorder captured only a brief sound before it stopped recording.  This, reported Matthew Wald, “added strong support to the theory that a bomb destroyed the plane.”  That much conceded, “aviation experts,” surely the NTSB, could “not exclude mechanical failure.”  There was no mention of a missile.

On August 14, four weeks to the day after the crash, the Times offered the first detailed account of the plane’s break-up sequence.  The most salient revelation was that the center fuel tank caught fire as many as twenty-four seconds after the initial blast.  This meant that the “only good explanations remaining” were either a bomb or missile.

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