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SnarkFest 2016

June 17, 2015

We’re on roll in terms of saying things we think ought to be said. Yes, we’re being very critical. We rationalize it with the memory of something our parents, mentors and coaches would say after yelling at us for doing something stupid. They’d say: “If we didn’t care, if we didn’t think there was still hope, we wouldn’t bother to scold you.”

So, lovingly, let us upbraid some prominent journalists for forgetting themselves today. Good journalists, really good ones, were totally biased against a candidate who announced for president.

OK, it was only Twitter. And, yeah, it was Trump. The Donald. The guy with the Hair. The guy with the ego. The guy who…

None of that is supposed to matter. At least at the onset, he’s supposed to be afforded a fair shot. He’s supposed to receive some straight reporting at least on Day 1.

He got anything but. And the worst offender, by far, was NY1’s Errol Louis. He’s a guy who prides himself on being a serious journalist, but he was all snide and snark and arrogance and bias. How else does one explain more than a dozen disparaging tweets or retweets about Trump. Here’s a sampling:

“Trump enters race in bizarre speech”

“Isn’t bizarre redundant in connex 2 any Trump speech?”

“Does Trump hair have a twitter account?”

It wasn’t just the normally respectful Louis who lost himself today.

Michael Barbaro of the Times tweeted: “Feel sorry for reporters covering Trump announcement.”

Michael Luo of the Times said: “Politico beat us on Trump announcement. Heads should roll.”

David Freelander of the Daily Beast said: “Can’t decide whether to keep watching or pour hot sauce in my eyes.”

Freedlander followed up his wise ass comment with a supposedly erudite one: “Watching Trump, reminded of how dystopic satirical political movies of last 40 years have been eclipsed by actual events.”

There was even Time Mag’s Mark Halprin: “This (picture of assembled reporters) is why Trump says and does all the dumb shit he does.”

Just twitter. Just Trump. Just having some fun.

No. It was wrong. It got way out of hand. It’s not what good journalists are supposed to do.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    June 17, 2015 11:14 AM

    You can’t write blog posts about how absurd the situation is in Albany and then point out others for mocking the absurdity that happened at Trump Tower.

    • June 21, 2015 3:07 PM

      Dear Anon:
      Respectfully, but passionately, we have to say that we think you are very wrong.
      Our point was that reporters, at least for the first damn day, have a duty to be fair to Trump. They should have covered him straight up.
      Here’s what Mr. Trump said today…. blah, blah, blah.
      Here’s what political experts say about his chances … His bid is a long shot, his positions are unorthodox and his style is that of a TV personality and not that of a conventional politician.
      There were any number of ways to get at the dubious reputation of Trump without openly ridiculing him.
      But reporters didn’t do that at all. They were disparaging him even before his news conference began. They were competing with each other to come up with the funniest tweets that knocked him down. This was wrong.
      Of course, we’re not Trump fans or supporters. We doubt him as much as you do. But we think it’s only fair to give him one brief chance to define himself.
      In fact, we’re a little chagrined that we didn’t do for him what we did for Pataki and write a post that makes a positive case for a native New Yorker.
      No, we’re not drinking Trump Kool-Aid, but, at a minimum, they could have cited some strengths – he got chutzpah and he’s got resources. It’s certainly possible that he’ll have an impact. That could have been said legitimately and should have.
      Now with regard to your comparison of how we write about Albany vs. how the reporters covered Trump – we don’t think you know us at all.
      We occasionally rip into Albany’s absurdity and we also regularly defend Albany. In fact, over the last year or so, we feel like we’re the only folks around who think the whole corruption narrative has been wildly exaggerated.
      Moreover, we have this fundamental belief, which is that you shouldn’t define people by their stupidest comment or worst moment. Give them a second chance and third and fourth. Have no opinion that can’t be altered based on new facts and new developments.
      Like Albany writ large, or the strange Mr. Trump, our dorky blog will be off base at times, but you never know, perhaps our next post might have a worthwhile comment or an insight that might be constructive.

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