New York Times discovers it is still influential - but now people believe the opposite of what it tells them

In decades past, many people, especially those who worked there, believed that the New York Times had the power to sway public opinion with its editorials. Superior intellects, well-informed, writing their opinions on the important matters of the day, would serve as “thought-leaders,” persuading the public to support their political

positions.

How things have changed!

A week ago, the Times pulled out all the stops to influence the public on the issue of gun control, with its first front-page editorial in 95 years.  I called it a “front page temper tantrum,” and pointed out the remarkable level of idiocy it contained.

As Michael Barone has noted, the editorial produced precisely the reaction the editorial board didn’t want.

The Times famously ran a front-page editorial Dec. 4 calling for drastic gun control measures, including confiscation of weapons. The response: No. The latest CBS/New York Times poll reports that 50 percent oppose "a nationwide ban on assault weapons," while only 44 percent support it.

That's a sharp reversal of trend: In January 2011, 63 percent supported the ban on "assault weapons" — a vague term that invites agreement, even though any gun, even a toy pistol, can be used to assault someone (consult your law dictionary) and the 1990s legislation banning "assault weapons" distinguished them from other guns by purely cosmetic criteria.

Although Barone cites the ineffectiveness of the Times’ 95 year-ago front page editorial, I do think something is going on now that we haven’t seen before. The public actively distrusts the media and political elites. People know they are being lied to by the political establishment and the media that share the Beltway lifestyle and intellectual bubble with them.

The old levers of influence don’t work for them anymore, and they don’t know what to do about it.  A New York Times endorsement of Trump as a form of reverse psychology? Hah! That will never happen.

In decades past, many people, especially those who worked there, believed that the New York Times had the power to sway public opinion with its editorials. Superior intellects, well-informed, writing their opinions on the important matters of the day, would serve as “thought-leaders,” persuading the public to support their political

positions.

How things have changed!

A week ago, the Times pulled out all the stops to influence the public on the issue of gun control, with its first front-page editorial in 95 years.  I called it a “front page temper tantrum,” and pointed out the remarkable level of idiocy it contained.

As Michael Barone has noted, the editorial produced precisely the reaction the editorial board didn’t want.

The Times famously ran a front-page editorial Dec. 4 calling for drastic gun control measures, including confiscation of weapons. The response: No. The latest CBS/New York Times poll reports that 50 percent oppose "a nationwide ban on assault weapons," while only 44 percent support it.

That's a sharp reversal of trend: In January 2011, 63 percent supported the ban on "assault weapons" — a vague term that invites agreement, even though any gun, even a toy pistol, can be used to assault someone (consult your law dictionary) and the 1990s legislation banning "assault weapons" distinguished them from other guns by purely cosmetic criteria.

Although Barone cites the ineffectiveness of the Times’ 95 year-ago front page editorial, I do think something is going on now that we haven’t seen before. The public actively distrusts the media and political elites. People know they are being lied to by the political establishment and the media that share the Beltway lifestyle and intellectual bubble with them.

The old levers of influence don’t work for them anymore, and they don’t know what to do about it.  A New York Times endorsement of Trump as a form of reverse psychology? Hah! That will never happen.