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twist and Turn: Just Another Day at the Old Gray Lady

I call your attention to this lede in an election update in Saturday’s New York Times:

“A new CNN/University of New Hampshire poll finds Pete Buttigieg zooming ahead on the eve of Tuesday’s primary — but not quite enough to catch up with Bernie Sanders.

Mr. Sanders has 28 percent support from likely Democratic primary voters to Mr. Buttigieg’s 21 percent, according to the poll.”

Yep, Pete’s zooming ahead, a whole 7 points behind Bernie.

Even curiouser, an update from earlier the same day had Mayor Pete “overtaking Sanders by a single percentage point.”

I have to ask: How do they do it?

I’ve known quite a few friends and even family who’ve worked for the Times. They’re all good, smart, and honest people. I don’t have any friends there now.

Are they brainwashed?

This kind of sick, twisted reporting cannot just create itself. Someone has to say, or there has to be a standing directive: “If you see a poll that shows Sanders in the lead, make the news story about Buttigieg.”

It’s a perfect inversion of the actual news. Now you might be thinking, “But what if the big difference is that Buttigieg closed the gap? Wouldn’t that be news?” Except that the article does not cite previous poll numbers. And then there’s the earlier article in the same lineup of “updates” that would seem to indicate he fell behind from being “a single percentage point” ahead.

We know that the mainstream media is coming after Bernie bigtime. Nevertheless, how is this acceptable? From the “paper of record,” the so-called liberal media?

It’s not news. It’s yellow (blue?) journalism.

Fred Baumgarten is a writer living in western Massachusetts.

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