Can You Trust the NY Times?
The most influential news source in the world is the New York Times. Every day, hundreds of newspapers and news stations around the world follow its lead. After all, isn’t the Times the gold standard of journalism? Investigative reporter Ashley Rindsberg reveals the truth in this eye-opening video.Browse All Videos
The most influential news source in the world is the New York Times.
Every day, hundreds of newspapers, and TV and cable news stations around the world follow its lead—literally.
Why wouldn’t they?
Isn’t the Times the gold standard of journalism? The place where the facts of the story are presented without bias or agenda?
Actually, the answer is no.
When it comes to episodes of major historical significance, the New York Times has routinely failed to provide the public with unbiased journalism. Instead, it has chosen to manufacture false narratives—often with catastrophic consequences.
It has done this in service of its own financial and ideological interests.
This goes back, at least, to 1932.
That year there was a terrible famine in the Ukraine. Between 5 and 7 million Ukranians starved to death. The disaster had nothing to do with bad weather and everything to do with the ruthless regime of the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.
Walter Duranty, the Times foreign correspondent in Moscow, knew all of this and covered it up. In fact, his reports flatly denied there was any famine at all.
The American media took its lead from the Times star reporter. So did America’s political elite, including newly-elected President Franklin Roosevelt who personally met with Duranty to discuss “the situation” in the Soviet Union.
Duranty had another admirer, Josef Stalin. The brutal tyrant had nothing but praise for the New York Times man: “You have done a good job in your reporting of the USSR… because you try to tell the truth about our country.”
Had Duranty exposed the facts about Stalin and the famine, the American people would have better understood the true nature of the Soviet Union. Instead, many were fooled.
When it came to reporting on the persecution of Jews in Germany leading up to World War II, the Times was even worse. Initially, the paper refused to publish reports on the concentration camps. And when it finally did, those reports were relegated to the back pages. Again, the Times set the tone for the rest of the American media. If the Times didn’t think the genocide of the Jews was a major story, it must not be one.
In 1957, the Times flipped this script. It took a minor story—a rebellion in Cuba—and turned it into a major one. In the process, it helped destroy an entire country.
New York Times reporter, Herbert Matthews, tracked down an all-but-defeated rebel named Fidel Castro at his mountain hideout.
From this interview came a flurry of front-page New York Times articles hailing Castro as Cuba’s democratic savior. The Times transformed the down-and-out Marxist revolutionary into an international sensation. It is not an exaggeration to say that the Times made Castro. Without its assistance, the Cuban revolution would have almost certainly failed.
A very similar phenomenon played out a few years later in Southeast Asia. This time instead of making a hero out of a villain, the Times made a villain out of a hero.
With the paper’s blessing, a brash, young Times reporter, David Halberstam, decided that South Vietnamese elected leader Ngo Dinh Diem was a murderous madman. Caught up in the prevailing leftist notion that the American war effort was immoral, and that the North Vietnamese communists were the real freedom fighters, Halberstam wrote piece after piece designed to bring down Diem. The one that did it was his reporting that the Diem government had massacred 30 Buddhist monks who were protesting Diem’s policies.
Only it didn’t happen. Halberstam manufactured it out of whole cloth, basing it on anonymous sources and rumors.
When a United Nations team later investigated the killings, they found that all the “murdered” Buddhists were alive and well.
By then, of course, the damage had been done. Diem was never able to restore his reputation. Not long thereafter, he was assassinated, and his government collapsed. For all his flaws, Diem was a strong leader and was never effectively replaced. The war would grind on for ten more years.
Today, the New York Times is spreading what might be its most damaging lie yet—that America is rooted in slavery, not liberty. This is the theme behind its 1619 Project.
Historians across the board—from left to right—have debunked the report’s core claims. But far from rectifying the situation, the Times has doubled down, lobbying school districts around the country to replace their history curricula with the 1619 Project’s brazen slanders.
I’ve only given you a few examples of the Times egregious behavior.
You’ll find many more in my book The Gray Lady Winked: How the New York Times's Misreporting, Distortions and Fabrications Radically Alter History.
The most influential newspaper in the world doesn’t deserve your trust. That it pretends to be objective just adds to its dishonesty.
The New York Times pursues its own agenda, not the truth.
Time to get wise to it.
I’m Ashley Rindsberg, investigative journalist, for Prager University.