There is virtually no difference between this article and what a mean parody of the “shape of the Earth, views differ” style would like like. You have to read the while thing to get the full effect, but it hits you between the eyes throughout:
This is it, people. This is all they got. All phrasing from a single story in the New York Times today. https://t.co/HDXwSGcwge Asymmetrical polarization is just too much for the institution as currently led. So they changed it to 50/50 polarization and put it on page one. pic.twitter.com/JIYPDYoCzD— Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) December 14, 2019
While some questions surrounding impeachment are contestable matters of judgment — such as whether the things Donald Trump has proven to have done rise to being “high crimes and misdemeanors.” But many of the underlying questions are just simple questions of fact, and this article does nothing at all to inform the reader about who’s telling the truth and who isn’t. And the effect of this pose isn’t neutral no matter what it looks like formally. Writing it all off as “tribalism” strongly helps the one side who’s trying to throw a cloud of nihilistic obfuscation over the entire process.
But it’s worse than that! Consider this written in the same weekend as the above piece came out:
Note that the reporter here didn’t even rely on a “some people say” formulation — he just flat-out sates as fact that Wasserman-Schultz helped “rig” the Democratic nomination, although the nomination was not in fact “rigged” by any definition anybody would have used before 2016. But repeating this “fact” has become standard at the Times political desk, because once once the false “the nomination was rigged!” claim is replaced with the true but uninteresting “the anti-Establishment candidate did not have the full ex ante support of the Establishment,” it becomes very difficult to justify the extraordinary amount of time the Times dedicated to repeating mind-numbing inside baseball trivia from the DNC and Podesta hacks.
The latter story has at least been corrected — Seth gets results! But it’s still a striking window into when the Times feels compelled to Both Sides and when it doesn’t.