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The Anti-Constitutional Worldview of the New York Times

Posted on Friday, July 8, 2022
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AMAC Exclusive – By David Lewis Schaefer

The New York Times has long regarded itself, and until the last couple of decades was widely regarded, as America’s “newspaper of record” – the first place to look for a reliable view of major news events both domestic and foreign, even more so than its rivals for that title, the Washington Post and (more recently) the Wall Street Journal. Among families that liked to think of themselves as reasonably well read like the one I grew up in, receiving the Sunday Times, with its multiple sections (the Book Review, Magazine, Week in Review, and sections on Business, Sports, and the Arts as well as the main news sections) was a major weekend event, consuming a few hours. Although its editorials were more “liberal” in the contemporary sense (that is, Progressive), the editors’ political leanings had relatively little obvious influence over the news reporting – especially the generally strong international news stories. Through the 1960s, the paper even had its own military correspondent, the distinguished Hanson Baldwin.

How “times” have changed. The Week in Review, which consisted largely of analytic articles surveying recent news developments, has been replaced by a “Review” section devoted almost entirely to opinion columns heavily tilted towards the cultural and political interests of fashionable leftists – not, of course, blue-collar workers, but rather supposedly “sophisticated” elites, some of whom may be potential customers for the multimillion-dollar townhouses and country estates advertised in the Magazine. The New York Times Business section, which once regularly featured an informative column on investing tailored towards the middle class, as well as more general financial analysis, now chiefly focuses on Wokeism in the workplace. Even the Times’s Book Review is now vastly inferior to the Wall Street Journal’s weekend Review section, which the Journal added shortly after the dawn of the present century.

But to understand perhaps the most consequential way in which the Times has changed, one need look no further than the front page of its Sunday, July 3, 2022, edition. It features two lead stories under the joint heading “Supreme Court Drives Red and Blue Americans in Opposite Directions.” The right-hand column charges the Supreme Court with tearing the country apart through its recent decisions on abortion, gun rights, and “the federal government’s ability to regulate climate-warming pollution.” The adjacent column is headed “Gridlock in Congress Empowers Justices,” and laments that “Congress has largely fallen silent” owing to a “partisan stalemate” which, thanks to “the increased use of the filibuster … has blocked almost all major legislation” in the Senate, thus supposedly enhancing the Court’s authority.

Neither story addresses the Constitutional merits of the Court’s recent decisions. Instead, the Times alleges that the Court has “veered to the right” by “increasingly insisting on clear grants of congressional authority to executive agencies” – such as denying the Environmental Protection Agency ‘s authority to regulate emissions supposedly generating climate change (since its authorizing statute gives it no such power), finding that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was not “authorized to impose a moratorium on evictions” (as if such a moratorium had any relation to disease control, let alone any Constitutional foundation), or holding that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration did not have the authority to require large employers to “have their workers vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo frequent testing.”

Then there is the incessant droning in each piece about “cultural” issues like abortion and gun rights, as well as climate change, about which Jonathan Weisman, in an opinion column published in the Times’s Review section in the same issue, that the United States is increasingly divided regionally between the Northeast and West Coast, on one hand, and its “midsection and Southeast – with a few exceptions, like the islands of liberalism in Illinois and Colorado” on the other. He further alleges that “even where public opinion is more mixed,” as in Ohio, Wisconsin, Georgia, North Carolina, and Texas, the Republican grip on state legislatures has ensured “that policies conform with those of the reddest states in the union, rather than strike a middle ground.” Weisman does not explain how Republicans achieved such a “grip,” let alone supply evidence to support the claim.

In former days, the New York Times would no more regard it as a Constitutional flaw that different states should pursue different policies on issues on which the Constitution itself is silent than that federal courts should strike down excessively vague grants of authority to administrative agencies. But today’s New York Times, as clearly reflected in its twin articles on July 3, now holds itself in direct opposition to two essential features of American constitutionalism: accountability and federalism.

With respect to constitutional accountability, the Times relies on the authority of another Harvard law professor, Richard J. Lazarus, who argues that even though the Court is purporting to require Congress “to speak clearly in the interest of democratic accountability” in a case like the EPA statute, the Justices in reality are just “increasing their own power,” since they know that Congress is too evenly divided to properly address “the threat to the planet” from climate change. By contrast, Lazarus asserts, “if we had a Congress that at all reflected what the median American voter wanted, we’d have relatively aggressive climate action.”

Like the Times’s core readership these days, Professor Lazarus is confident that he (along with enlightened bureaucrats) knows what the voters want more than their elected representatives do. His outlook is reflected more broadly in a Times opinion piece published the same day by Duke Law professor Jedediah Britton-Purdy titled “The Left Must Reclaim Patriotism.” In his essay, Britton-Purdy cites factors showing an indeed alarming division of opinion in the U.S. between Republicans, 76 percent of whom, according to a 2019 Gallup poll, described themselves as “extremely proud” to be Americans, and Democrats, of whom only 22 percent expressed the same sentiment. (This was, of course, during the Trump presidency.) Even more disturbing, Britton-Purdy reports, are the findings of a recent Quinnipiac poll. When asked whether “they would fight or flee if the country were invaded,” 68 percent of Republicans, but only 40 percent of Democrats, said they would “stay and fight.”

But in Britton-Purdy’s view, the real obstacle to his goal of the left reclaiming patriotism is the way “our political system stops majority opinion from ruling,” through anti-majoritarian institutions such as the Senate, the Electoral College, and the Supreme Court. (One suspects that Britton-Purdy held a different view of the Court back when Roe v. Wade and other anti-majoritarian but “liberal” activist decisions were in handed down.) Britton-Purdy contends that American democracy can only be “saved” when we convert to a system of strict majority rule – just the thing the Founding Founders aimed to moderate.

Like so many of America’s law professors, the Times staff evidently need an education in the true principles of American Constitutional democracy, including an understanding of why the Founders composed our Constitution as they did. (For starters, they might try studying the Federalist Papers.)

In another example of the Times’ estrangement from core constitutional principles, in the same July 3 issue, the Times carried a full-page ad, apparently in reaction not only to the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade but also to its decision in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District, upholding the right of a football coach to engage in private prayer (which team members were allowed, but not at all coerced, to join at the end of a game), from the Freedom from Religion Foundation, titled “I’m Secular and I Vote.” The Foundation’s program, in support of what it calls “America’s secular Constitution,” mandates that we “keep religion out of government and social policy,” “out of public schools,” as well as out of people’s “personal lives,” while using tax dollars “only for evidence-based, not faith-based, purposes” (emphasis in original).

The Foundation apparently believes that “science” proves that having an abortion is a purely fact-based decision, without any moral component to be considered, and warns of the need to preserve a strict governmental neutrality regarding religion, but actually hostility towards the public expression of religious beliefs. The tacit endorsement Times writers themselves give to such antireligious hostility (as in their critical treatment of the Bremerton decision) can only widen America’s civic divisions rather than fortify our political and moral unity, to which statesmen George Washington and Abraham Lincoln along with Alexis de Tocqueville believed religion made a critical contribution.

Happily, this observer can bear witness that the beautiful vision of America’s founders is still alive and well among a substantial portion of our citizenry. On July 4, I attended an AAA baseball game in a gorgeous new stadium in Worcester, Massachusetts, the city I have lived in for the past 46 years. It is a growing city, the second largest in New England, with a population now over 200,000. Worcester is a town with a growing tech sector and some eight colleges, but also with a large blue-collar population, much of it Latino. Like most of Massachusetts, Worcester is a heavily Democratic community. Yet at the game, I joined a multi-ethnic crowd of diverse ages and countless incomes who stood proudly as a young Latina belted out “God Bless America,” and then continued their display of respectful attention as two ex-servicemen, a corporal and a sergeant who had served in America’s recent wars in the Middle East, were introduced and warmly applauded. And of course the evening culminated in a glorious fireworks show paid for by a local bank. There was certainly no lack of patriotism here – nor, I am confident, at similar observances of Independence Day around the country. (The live audiences at AAA ball games are probably more representative of the electorate at large than those found at major league contests, simply because ticket and parking prices are a lot less expensive at the former.)

Although most of the people attending that July 4th game may not be able to formulate it precisely, most of them probably possess a greater intuitive understanding of how our rights depend on such political principles as fidelity to a written Constitution, limited government, the separation of powers, and federalism than do the sort of ambitious intellectuals who populate the Times news and op-ed pages. Nor do most of them give evidence of the kind of resentment of economic inequalities (fluctuating as they do over time) that Britton-Purdy wishes they would.

Contrary to Britton-Purdy, the real divide in today’s America isn’t a geographic one (as it was during the Civil War) but rather a growing split between a large portion of the population, Democratic and Republican, native-born or immigrant, who take great pride in their country, and a minority of academics, journalists, media personalities, and political demagogues whose positions give them outsized influence, and who readily demean our Constitutional regime when it doesn’t conform to their policy preferences. (The very meaning of federalism is that on issues like abortion on which the Constitution is silent, different states will adopt different policies in response to the wishes of their voters.)

Regrettably, such individuals are in a position to lower the public estimation of the federal judiciary, along with the principles of our Constitution, by misrepresenting what judges have done – for instance, by giving the public the impression that in its Dobbs ruling, the Supreme Court somehow made abortion illegal, rather than giving the issue back to the states, where it belongs under the Constitution. Given the unprecedented freedom that America has afforded them, such ostensible champions of political liberty ought to be ashamed.

If some voters are expressing decreasing respect for our Constitutional system, given its increasingly anti-Constitutional worldview one can hardly absolve the New York Times of its share of responsibility.

David Lewis Schaefer is a Professor of Political Science at College of the Holy Cross.

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chuck
chuck
1 year ago

The NewYork SLIME, A very fitting name for the absolute worst paper in America. Never liked this paper threw most of my lifetime. I grew up in Western NY State and the Courier Express was a better newspaper than the Times. The fact that this paper closed in the early 1980s was a sad day for most of Western NY. They are now stuck with the Buffalo News which is the NYT-West div.They really suck. The truth be told our News Papers today in America,They should be broken up, they monopolize the news and opinions and fail big time to do thier constitutional job of informing the American People with unbiased opinions and truthful reporting on the daily news. Everything they print is biased and lacking any semblence of truth. The BEST News PAPER Company in
America today is THE EPOCH TIMES!!

Kelli
Kelli
1 year ago

The NYT is as much of a lousy joke as mayor Adam’s is !!

James Adie
James Adie
1 year ago

Long ago I came to the conclusion that the Times was good for only one thing: wrapping fish guts.

PIDL
PIDL
1 year ago

No better people than the ones in NY City supporting the climate change rhetoric. They are the ones that destroyed all the grass and trees and replaced them with concrete. Oh , they must care about the environment so much! And they look down on the rest of us as intolerables living in flyover country.

j jones
j jones
1 year ago

NY Times… the secular progressives training manual.

Michael Lewis
Michael Lewis
1 year ago

We all know that, as things actually are, many of the most influential and most highly remunerated members of the Bar in every center of wealth, make it their special task to work out bold and ingenious schemes by which their wealthy clients, individual or corporate, can evade the laws which were made to regulate, in the interests of the public, the uses of great wealth. – T. Roosevelt, 1905

In the words of E.W. Scripps: A newspaper must at all times antagonize the selfish interests of that very class which furnishes the larger part of a newspaper’s income… The press in this country is dominated by the wealthy few…that it cannot be depended upon to give the great mass of the people that correct information concerning political, economical and social subjects which it is necessary that the mass of people Shall have in order that they vote…in the best way to protect themselves from the brutal force and chicanery of the ruling and employing classes – E.W. Scripps – American Newspaper Publisher 1854-1926

The American people don’t believe anything until they see it on television. – Richard M. Nixon

After Watergate, to protect the public from the appearance of corruption, The Federal Election Campaign Act abridged the freedoms of speech press and assembly of the regulated class: candidates for Federal Office, political parties, PACs and individual citizens.

But the corporate media were exempted because government could not infringe their 1st Amendment rights

52 U.S. Code § 30101 – Definitions (9)(B) The term “expenditure” does not include— (i) any news story, commentary, or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication, unless such facilities are owned or controlled by any political party, political committee, or candidate; –

This created a “Royal”, “State Approved” press! 

But if candidates and political parties have to pay for time/space in the media, then why are favorable editorials considered to have no value if they are published by corporate media, unless the media is controlled by a political party, political committee, or candidate?

“The 20th century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy; the growth of corporate power; and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.” -Alex Carey, Australian social scientist who pioneered the investigation of corporate propaganda 

The people will believe what the media tells them they believe. – George Orwell

It is normal for all large businesses to make serious efforts to influence the news, to avoid embarrassing publicity, and to maximize sympathetic public opinion and government policies. Now they own most of the news media that they wish to influence. – Excerpt from Media Monopoly by Ben H. Bagdikian – 1920-2016

In 1983, 90% of American media was owned by 50 companies. In 2011, that same 90% is controlled by 6 companies.

Campaign laws are responsible for the corporate voice having more influence in our elections than the voice of natural persons!

Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreicate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. – Frederick Douglass

To restore equal rights to citizens, federal candidates, political parties and PACs “We the People” should ask our representatives in the Senate and House to revisit “S. 2416 — 113th Congress: Free All Speech Act of 2014.”
113th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 2416

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

June 3, 2014

Mr. Cruz introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

A BILL

To apply laws that restrict the political speech of American citizens to media corporations.

1. Short title
This Act may be cited as the Free All Speech Act of 2014 .

2. Application of laws that restrict the political speech of American citizens to media corporations
(a) In general
Any law that restricts the political speech of American citizens shall apply with equal force to media corporations, such as the New York Times, the American Broadcasting Company (ABC), the National Broadcasting Company (NBC), and the CBS Television Network.

(b) No application to American citizens if application to media corporations found unconstitutional
To the extent that the application of a law to a media corporation under subsection (a) is found unconstitutional, such law shall have no force or effect with respect to American citizens.

Robert
Robert
1 year ago

The NYT is for bird cage lining and house puppy training.

JEFFREY JONES
JEFFREY JONES
1 year ago

LOOT, BURN AND DESTROY THE NYT!!

Richard
Richard
1 year ago

More times than I like to recall, the NYT headlines by design are editorial. Whoever picks their titles seems to not know how to be objective.

Judy K.
Judy K.
1 year ago

With what I know the abortion industry does with fetal cells and tissue, like on a cellular level of skin enhancement and rejuvenation, with the MONEY Planned Baby Killing receives for providing abortions, it’s easy to figure out that business people around the globe are invested in this abomination and making huge profits! Pres Trump was trying to put a stop to sex trafficking and putting the screws to Planned Baby Killing. I believe THAT is the real reason the demons on the Left wanted him out. The profits gained from the abortion industry I’m sure is staggering beyond belief. I’m sure the NY Slimes is in it up to their necks!

johnh
johnh
1 year ago

Just read a poll that shows that only less than 10% of Republicans & less than 40% of Democrats trust news from newspapers & television. My question: Where are voters getting news from today that they trust. And Hannity/Carlson are both television — so where is news source for Fox ??? But I also read poll that 65% of Republicans believe 2020 election was fraudulent. Where did they get news for that conclusion? If American voters do not trust our electorate process, this nation is doomed & will go back to appoint kings or what????

FUK
FUK
1 year ago

The Times is an excellent reason to Nuke New York city… Ocrazio-Kotex is another.

Larry Mace
Larry Mace
1 year ago

I am an atheist, but realize that SCOTUS made the correct decisions in Roe, Bremerton, and the Second Amendment. Although the Founding Fathers were believers in the existence of a God, they made clear that religious freedom was to be honored. The New York Slimes is truly the leader of the Leftwing propaganda machine. Any resemblance between the Slimes and actual journalism is coincidental and totally unintentional.

FJB
FJB
1 year ago

I’m pretty sure the new york slime has been a tool of the globalist left for quite some time. For one thing, if you do a little digging you’ll find that they were extolling the virtues of Communism and the Soviet Union in the early 20th century when Stalin was killing millions of his own people.

Hene Lombardo
Hene Lombardo
1 year ago

Would not read one word of this communist rag. They have promoted and heavily covered every false narrative the democrat /Marxist Party creates. All have been proven to be untrue. Their retractions always appear somewhere on page 20 or more remote.

William C Smith
William C Smith
1 year ago

Is that paper still owned by Carlos Slim? Did he shorten his last name by dropping an “e?”

Linda
Linda
1 year ago

Don’t read any of these newspaper rags or listen to or watch any of the media news because it’s all garbage!

tika
tika
1 year ago

what they print is like the gibberish coming out of infants.they have no standing in legal society.

tika
tika
1 year ago

anarchists never live by any rules

Lewis Bishop
Lewis Bishop
1 year ago

David Schaefer, wrote: “Like so many of America’s law professors, the Times staff evidently need an education in the true principles of American Constitutional democracy…”
I encourage everyone to consider the word democracy and what it implies. Read up on the Constitution and see that it did NOT establish anything at all related to democracy, but rather the Founding Fathers–as explained in the Federalist Papers–established a republic. They all considered democracy to be nothing but a certain and rapid ticket to chaos and national failure. However, the Founders certainly wanted the citizens to have certain power, i.e., political influence, that could and would prevent the federal government from becoming tyrannical. The Founders expected and indeed wanted the states to continue their “democratic” political operations, because–at some level–voting is necessary. At the federal level, however, the Constitution rightly was a republic, and that precluded the citizens from “voting” on anything whatsoever at the federal level. I plan to write Mr. Schaefer and learn whether he will agree to strictly avoid using the word democracy to describe anything about our federal government.

mark
mark
1 year ago

What another waste of time and space by AMAC,, who gives a good s–it about the NYT, its always been wasted Demorat space in print ,, and they are the only readers ,, the sheep follow the leader right to death and have no better since than to do it ,, they truly believe this country is headed in the right direction ,, the only good part is that most of them get to suffer just like real people ,,,

Philip Hammersley
Philip Hammersley
1 year ago

The “Simes,” as well-documented by Mark Levin, has always been an enabler and supporter of DICTATORS. Walter Duranty, Moscow correspondent in the 1930s, won a Pulitzer for writing glowing stories about Stalin’s “successes.” Duranty was rewarded with women, automobiles, and money. The “Slimes’ refused to return the Pulitzer even after the truth was revealed.
The “Slimes” also covered up the Holocaust and their “reporter” in Berlin was also given special treatment by the Nazis. Same thing happened in Havana with Castro. He was highly praised before and after he overthrew Batista.

Becky
Becky
1 year ago

David Schaefer, I hate to inform you, but outside those coastal areas you speak of, the NYT has rarely been considered valuable in any way at any time. It has always been a snobbish rag written to appeal to, and appease those who consider themselves ‘elite’.
Those self-same ‘elites’ have now been securely (and corruptedly) in control of America since the 80s. Do you like where we are right now as a country? This is what those famous ‘elites’ chose.
I much prefer our “deplorables” who actually read AND know how to build and repair the necessities of life. Those ‘elites’ have now proven to the rest of us they have zero ability to DO anything except run their mouths.
You can keep your NYT. It’s worthless to reality. It has always been so.

Lewis Bishop
Lewis Bishop
1 year ago

This is a good article. Our political leaders mostly are persons with law degrees. It seems that they mostly want to get into politics to become wealthy; therefore, I think the law schools are teaching them that politics is the best way to become very wealthy.

J. Farley
J. Farley
1 year ago

I hold the NYT’s in the same Low Standard as Liars, Child Molesters, and Planned Parenthood!

Debra Reynolds
Debra Reynolds
1 year ago

The NYT has NEVER been trustworthy. Biggest example? Two words: Walter Duranty.
An accessory to mass murder, a liar, and they still polish his Pulitzer.

Gary
Gary
1 year ago

Does anyone even read the NYTs rag, outside new Yorkers?

anna hubert
anna hubert
1 year ago

Only the readership can shut them down

Russ
Russ
1 year ago

The New York Times is nothing more than CNN in print. Anyone still reading the Times must enjoy being mislead and lied to. No sane person would pay to be indoctrinated and misinformed. Dump the CNN of newspapers.

Jeb
Jeb
1 year ago

The NYT is only allowed to exist, in the US because of the Constitution. But…that is a concept they are intellectually incapable of understanding.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 year ago

NYT anti America day 1 or since end of WW2

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