K-12 and the New York Times: Forget the Rules

Donald Trump is a big problem for the New York Times.  These elite journalists are in a dither.  Trump is such a threat that the Times feels morally obligated to destroy him, even if its staff have to violate traditional journalistic ethics requiring facts and fairness.

Editor Jim Rutenberg wrote in a major front-page article last week: "If you view a Trump presidency as something that's potentially dangerous, then your reporting is going to reflect that. You would move closer than you've ever been to being oppositional."  And that's admirable.

A headline in a major Los Angeles paper sums up the Times doctrine: "To fight Trump, journalists have dispensed with objectivity."

In this shoddy new world, liberals must do whatever it takes to stop Trump.  If you hate Trump, as you should, your reporting will show it – and that's a good thing.

(Many conservatives laughed at the silly claim that the New York Times has ever observed traditional journalistic ethics.  More than 35 years ago, the Times declared that objectivity was impossible, subjectivity was inevitable, and in so many words, the paper gave its reporters permission to fudge facts.  The Times has always been the country's leading liberal newspaper because it always figures out a way to promote liberal views, never mind the facts.)

But here's the Big New Story.  The New York Times has revealed something fundamental about the liberal mindset.  High-sounding  principles are for losers.  Winning is what matters.  If rules get in the way, ignore them.

Many people look at the  mediocrity in our public schools and feel that something is very wrong, but they don't want to think that education has been intentionally dumbed down.  But reflect on what the New York Times is telling you.  Their reporting is going to be biased – intentionally so.  It has to be that way because Trump is the enemy.  Progressive values and victories are what matter.  Everyone should accept this.  Forget the rules.

Similarly, the history of K-12 education in the 20th century was one of progressives imposing their ideological views on the American public.  Nobody explained this to the public, no more than the New York Times normally explains its biases.  But now we know how these people think.  Push comes to shove, they don't give a darn about traditional pieties.  Old-fashioned notions about education are relics that must be destroyed.  Progressives will attack when their visions are threatened.

Why, by the way, did they tell this now?  Because they are frightened that Trump might win, so they can't be subtle and sneaky anymore.  They wanted to give themselves – and all the lesser liberal journalists across the country – sweeping permission to go for the jugular.  Taking Trump out is all that matters.  So a remarkable thing happened: they told the truth about themselves.

My point now is that our Education Establishment has always operated this way.  That's what John Dewey told the world a century ago: we're going to turn the USA into a socialist country; we'll do this through "progressive" educational practices that are primarily concerned with social engineering; we will undermine reading, writing, arithmetic, etc.; we will sabotage traditional academics and thereby create millions of half-baked students at every level.

If there is a good way to do something and an inefficient way, our Education Establishment will embrace the inefficient ways.  No, you might object, that's too crazy.  Not at all.  Socialists are obsessed with everyone being part of a group.  Leveling is highly preferable for socialists.  They don't want John to know more than Jack.  So they never object to inefficiency, no more than the New York Times objects to inaccuracy.  Same mentality.  If you gain ideological ground, you did the right thing.

Here is one of the striking things about American education.  Virtually no progressive educator ever writes a confession, a memoir, a tell-all.  You might think that after they retire and start feeling guilty about their careers, they might want to blurt out the bitter truth.  They might want to tell us, for example, about the challenge of designing reading instruction to make sure that children never learn to read.  Such confessions don't happen.  I tend to think of our elite educators as old-line Stalinists with cold hearts.  But you can't question their discipline.

So this outburst by the New York Times is as close as we have gotten to a member of the socialist fraternity confessing: we don't care about the rules.  We care about winning, no matter whether it's Trump we need to eliminate or traditional education.  For progressives, it's all the same problem – kicking nuisances out of the way.

A big reason for Trump's appeal is that he has promised to weaken the liberal media's grip on American reality.  Behold, he has already started.  The New York Times is so shaken that a top editor just had to tell us their back-room secrets.  Now this newspaper is sacrificing what little credibility it still has in order to hurt Trump.  Behold: the Times commits professional suicide.  Score points for Trump.

Bruce Deitrick Price explains theories and methods on his education sites Improve-Education.org.  For info on his four new novels, see his literary site Lit4u.com.

Donald Trump is a big problem for the New York Times.  These elite journalists are in a dither.  Trump is such a threat that the Times feels morally obligated to destroy him, even if its staff have to violate traditional journalistic ethics requiring facts and fairness.

Editor Jim Rutenberg wrote in a major front-page article last week: "If you view a Trump presidency as something that's potentially dangerous, then your reporting is going to reflect that. You would move closer than you've ever been to being oppositional."  And that's admirable.

A headline in a major Los Angeles paper sums up the Times doctrine: "To fight Trump, journalists have dispensed with objectivity."

In this shoddy new world, liberals must do whatever it takes to stop Trump.  If you hate Trump, as you should, your reporting will show it – and that's a good thing.

(Many conservatives laughed at the silly claim that the New York Times has ever observed traditional journalistic ethics.  More than 35 years ago, the Times declared that objectivity was impossible, subjectivity was inevitable, and in so many words, the paper gave its reporters permission to fudge facts.  The Times has always been the country's leading liberal newspaper because it always figures out a way to promote liberal views, never mind the facts.)

But here's the Big New Story.  The New York Times has revealed something fundamental about the liberal mindset.  High-sounding  principles are for losers.  Winning is what matters.  If rules get in the way, ignore them.

Many people look at the  mediocrity in our public schools and feel that something is very wrong, but they don't want to think that education has been intentionally dumbed down.  But reflect on what the New York Times is telling you.  Their reporting is going to be biased – intentionally so.  It has to be that way because Trump is the enemy.  Progressive values and victories are what matter.  Everyone should accept this.  Forget the rules.

Similarly, the history of K-12 education in the 20th century was one of progressives imposing their ideological views on the American public.  Nobody explained this to the public, no more than the New York Times normally explains its biases.  But now we know how these people think.  Push comes to shove, they don't give a darn about traditional pieties.  Old-fashioned notions about education are relics that must be destroyed.  Progressives will attack when their visions are threatened.

Why, by the way, did they tell this now?  Because they are frightened that Trump might win, so they can't be subtle and sneaky anymore.  They wanted to give themselves – and all the lesser liberal journalists across the country – sweeping permission to go for the jugular.  Taking Trump out is all that matters.  So a remarkable thing happened: they told the truth about themselves.

My point now is that our Education Establishment has always operated this way.  That's what John Dewey told the world a century ago: we're going to turn the USA into a socialist country; we'll do this through "progressive" educational practices that are primarily concerned with social engineering; we will undermine reading, writing, arithmetic, etc.; we will sabotage traditional academics and thereby create millions of half-baked students at every level.

If there is a good way to do something and an inefficient way, our Education Establishment will embrace the inefficient ways.  No, you might object, that's too crazy.  Not at all.  Socialists are obsessed with everyone being part of a group.  Leveling is highly preferable for socialists.  They don't want John to know more than Jack.  So they never object to inefficiency, no more than the New York Times objects to inaccuracy.  Same mentality.  If you gain ideological ground, you did the right thing.

Here is one of the striking things about American education.  Virtually no progressive educator ever writes a confession, a memoir, a tell-all.  You might think that after they retire and start feeling guilty about their careers, they might want to blurt out the bitter truth.  They might want to tell us, for example, about the challenge of designing reading instruction to make sure that children never learn to read.  Such confessions don't happen.  I tend to think of our elite educators as old-line Stalinists with cold hearts.  But you can't question their discipline.

So this outburst by the New York Times is as close as we have gotten to a member of the socialist fraternity confessing: we don't care about the rules.  We care about winning, no matter whether it's Trump we need to eliminate or traditional education.  For progressives, it's all the same problem – kicking nuisances out of the way.

A big reason for Trump's appeal is that he has promised to weaken the liberal media's grip on American reality.  Behold, he has already started.  The New York Times is so shaken that a top editor just had to tell us their back-room secrets.  Now this newspaper is sacrificing what little credibility it still has in order to hurt Trump.  Behold: the Times commits professional suicide.  Score points for Trump.

Bruce Deitrick Price explains theories and methods on his education sites Improve-Education.org.  For info on his four new novels, see his literary site Lit4u.com.