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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 11/9/21

The Thumb On The Scale

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From Daily Poster

A left-punching New York Times essay shows how corporate media boosts a particular ideology.

NYC: New York Times Building
NYC: New York Times Building
(Image by wallyg from flickr)
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Monday morning, the New York Times published a screed from pollster Mark Penn and former New York City lawmaker Andrew Stein demanding Democrats abandon their promised agenda ahead of the midterm elections. The massive 1,500 word op-ed designed to define the political news cycle for the coming week echoes a house editorial from the newspaper making much the same argument, and it mirrors previous Penn diatribes that the Times has platformed in the past.

In the process, this essay offers a rare glimpse of how corporate media imperceptibly puts its thumb on the scale for a particular ideology that is decidedly neither centrist nor objective.

The Times' original headline on Monday's piece (which has since been changed) read "A Way Forward for Biden and the Dems in 2022 & 2024." It argues that President Biden should "listen to centrists (and) push back on the left" and insists Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema "are in fact the very heart of the Democratic Party."

It's a hot take that might be mildly interesting, if it came from voices who genuinely had the Democratic Party's best interests in mind. However, the Times decided to not tell readers that Penn is a private equity mogul with myriad connections to the corporate world that's looking to kill the Democratic legislative agenda that the op-ed seeks to curtail. The paper doesn't mention Penn's ties to No Labels, a dark money group funded by big donors that's been vilifying Democrats' reconciliation bill. The paper also declines to mention that Penn advised President Donald Trump during his first impeachment, nor does it mention that Stein is the guy who

Instead, the paper of record tells readers only that "Mr. Penn is a former adviser and pollster to President Clinton and Hillary Clinton (and) Mr. Stein is a former president of the New York City Council."

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