The Times Recognizes Need to Adjust Its Political Coverage

One reader asks Times reporters to "come down from their NYC skyscraper."
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NYC Architecture

An anti-Donald Trump protest in Portland, Ore., over the weekend resulted in a shooting. The city has seen protests every night since Election Day, with the violence escalating over time. Now, demonstrators have taken to throwing burning projectiles at law enforcement and destroying private property. Police are responding with anti-riot tactics, including tear gas and flash-bang grenades. While riots are taking place in other cities, the most violence and extremism has been in Portland. Across the country, hundreds have been arrested. Political leaders, including President Obama, are calling for unity and peace.

In a recent interview, Trump had several nice things to say about Hillary Clinton. He said the two had “a lovely call” and that she “couldn’t have been nicer.” He also pointed out “it was a tough call for her, I mean, I can imagine. Tougher for her than it would have been for me. I mean, for me, it would have been very, very difficult.” He also mentioned Bill, saying the former president “couldn’t have been more gracious. He said it was an amazing run. One of the most amazing he’s ever seen. He was very, very, really, very nice.”

On Friday night, Clinton gave a goodbye speech to her campaign staff. The farewell event took place at the New York Marriott in Brooklyn. She mentioned hearing from some who were scared and distressed regarding Trump’s presidency, and she encouraged her staff to continue fighting for their goals. “Thank you…for creating an inclusive, big-hearted, values-driven campaign about the sort of country we believe in, and want a chance to keep moving in the right direction,” Clinton said. “When we think about this arc of presidential elections, I want you to keep it in this broader perspective. Because what we fought for in this campaign is as important today and will be as important on Jan. 20 of 2017 and will be every month and year afterwards.”

In Paris, the Bataclan hall is reopened for the first time since ISIS jihadists slaughtered 90 people during a concert in November last year. The venue hosted dozens of survivors who attended the opening concert, taking place last night and featuring Sting. All proceeds from sales went to charities related to the initial attack. One thousand tickets were made available for the concert, and they sold out within half an hour. Several hundred were held for the survivors, as well as psychologists and counselors who worked the event to provide assistance to anyone who needed it.

Egypt is receiving a $12 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to help the country crawl out of its current economic crisis. The loan will be spread out over the next three years, with the country receiving $2.75 billion immediately. Following amounts will depend on economic performance in the future months. Since 2011 and the Arab Spring, Egypt has felt the harsh blow of a lack of foreign investment, little tourism and high unemployment. The Egyptian currency has fallen in value by almost 50 percent, with prices on basic necessities and oil rising. President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has experienced a fall in popularity as well. Large protests are expected at any time, and security initiatives have been increased in Cairo to combat any unrest.

The New York Times released a statement to readers this weekend, saying that staff would be reflecting on how they covered the election, and making changes to ensure honest reporting. The publisher pleaded for reader support in this endeavor. In a letter, he asked, “After such an erratic and unpredictable election there are inevitable questions: Did Donald Trump’s sheer unconventionality lead us and other news outlets to underestimate his support among American voters?” He followed by saying, “As we reflect on this week’s momentous result, and the months of reporting and polling that preceded it, we aim to rededicate ourselves to the fundamental mission of Times journalism. That is to report America and the world honestly, without fear or favor, striving always to understand and reflect all political perspectives and life experiences in the stories that we bring to you.”

A former Times reporter, Michael Goodwin, said “because [The Times] demonized Trump from start to finish, it failed to realize he was on to something. And because the paper decided that Trump’s supporters were a rabble of racist rednecks and homophobes, it didn’t have a clue about what was happening in the lives of the Americans who elected the new president.”

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