NY Times Cranks Bias Up to Eleven on Iran Deal

The N.Y. Times reported on Pres. Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the notorious P5+1 deal with Iran that was consummated in 2015.  The reporting by the Times is so scurrilous and biased as to deny all fundamentals of journalistic ethics.  This bias is totally against the Trump decision, as one might expect.  But the horror of the story is extends beyond the bias: the Times staffers have bought into a false and morally repulsive narrative of the meaning of that deal.

Though five other major countries were on board, the deal was and is a threat to the security of the entire world.  In the first paragraph, the Times article refers to our withdrawal as "isolating the U.S. from its  'Western allies'."  This statement is an example of deceit on steroids.  What about the two non-Western allies who also were signers of the deal: Russia and the People's Republic of China?  Are they allies?  Is there nothing strange in that two of the signers of the deal are Russia and the PRC, countries with which we have love-hate relationships?  Does that fact alone pass the smell test? 

The N.Y. Times' reporting is not merely imbalanced or non-objective.  Though its front-page article is a "news story," it reads more like an editorial.  No legitimate voices of support for the deal are acknowledged in their lead article by Mark Landler.  Rather, it appear that for the Times, we have moved from a totally positive outcome as certified by the previous administration under Pres. Barack Obama to a completely misinformed, wanton, and hostile repudiation of that deal by Pres. Trump, who is portrayed acting more out of pique than reason.  One gets no sense that there were grave concerns about the deal from many quarters from the time it was instituted.

Even the headline of the May 9, 2018 N.Y. Times is intensely negative.  It reads: "Trump Abandons Iran Pact He Long Scorned."  This headline is utterly contemptuous of the Trump decision to withdraw and comes under a convoluted way of handling phrases that I have understood since my college days – namely, "tricky wordsmithing."  You see, Trump, they say, has "abandoned" the pact.  Abandonment has negative connotations.  There is a note of futility, of giving up, of hopelessness.  Compare the word "abandon" with "rejects," "repudiates," "leaves," "tears up," "pulls out of," or "discards."

Then in the second half of the headline, the Times says the reason for this is Trump's longstanding scorn for the pact.  It is based on his subjective feeling of scorn.  The headline tells us we are out, and implies at the same time that this pulling out is all about Trump expressing his feelings of scorn, not actually about "the deal" (which the Times calls a "pact" to give the original Obama-Kerry-generated paperwork more dignity than the word "agreement" or "deal" would provide).  These are all clever verbal sleights of hand.

Then the Times tells us that Trump's decision leaves "in tatters" an agreement reached after "two years of grueling negotiations."  Here in the second paragraph Trump is portrayed as disrespecting the efforts of our statesmen. He shredded their work.  He tore it up as if it was nothing.  Trump thus does not have real concerns and grievances, but is a destructive killjoy who, being the petulant and self-centered person the Times perceives him to be, wiped out all that work in a fit of pique and self-gratification.  The decision to discard the deal according to Mr. Landler is more of a frenzied expression of pique than a reasoned decision.

Then, by only the fourth paragraph, the Times delivers the coup de grâce (so it thinks) to the Trump decision by stating the strong likelihood that Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and the PRC will be joining Iran in turning its wrath upon the United States.  Imagine: all these disparate interests had gotten together, put aside many differences, and worked with Iran to reach an incredibly complex set and subsets of accommodations and compromises, and these are now thrown out the window!

They had kicked Iran's nuclear ambitions ten years down the road, and, incredibly, Trump and those tens of millions of deplorables who put him in office fail to be satisfied that this is sufficiently restrictive of Iran's nuclear ambitions.  What do those deplorables think they could accomplish in two years dealing with matters of this complexity?  The Times fails to note that many treaties (not mere agreements) take many years to be negotiated.  SALT II, for example took seven years to negotiate and was in fact a treaty and not a mere agreement.  Yet even SALT II, despite the length of time it took to negotiate, was not passed by the U.S. Senate because of Russia's invasion of Afghanistan.

The gloom-and-doom treatment of Trump's decision in only the first four paragraphs gained momentum in paragraph five of the Times article.  Trump's move "could embolden hard-line forces in Iran."  I would ask every reader of the Times article and every reader of this piece to ask himself: does anyone in his right mind actually think there is such a thing as a non-hardline mullah or ayatollah in Iran?  Does anyone really believe that Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani, or foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is treading on eggshells while even greater fanatics wait to oust him?  

Despite having already asserted in paragraph four that the other signatories "are likely to join Iran in accusing the United States," by the tenth paragraph, we find that Iran is not accusing us.  Instead, this same stupid and biased article states that the response from Iran was "muted," not accusatory.  The facts on the ground thus refute the Times' own stated opinion. 

Nowhere are any public officials in the U.S. quoted who are rejoicing at the moral and strategic clarity of Trump's decision to restore sanctions and to repudiate one of the worst deals in the history of the U.S., possibly the world.  The only person quoted who supports Trump is Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel.  Is it too much to ask how the N.Y. Times can purport to be a news organization of record when it fails to quote anyone of substance in the United States who supports this deal?

The repudiation of this deal was one of the key promises of Trump's campaign.  Tens of millions are disgusted at the thought of the U.S. sending billions of dollars to Iran in unmarked planes, in different currencies, and stacked on pallets, as though this were both normal and legitimate.  The deal reeks of corruption and moral indifference to the fate of peace on Planet Earth.

President Trump has shown a moral courage that impressive-sounding but self-serving, unpatriotic weasels like John Kerry could never expect to appreciate.  Every patriot is in awe of Pres. Trump's decision to leave the Iran deal. 

The N.Y. Times reported on Pres. Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the notorious P5+1 deal with Iran that was consummated in 2015.  The reporting by the Times is so scurrilous and biased as to deny all fundamentals of journalistic ethics.  This bias is totally against the Trump decision, as one might expect.  But the horror of the story is extends beyond the bias: the Times staffers have bought into a false and morally repulsive narrative of the meaning of that deal.

Though five other major countries were on board, the deal was and is a threat to the security of the entire world.  In the first paragraph, the Times article refers to our withdrawal as "isolating the U.S. from its  'Western allies'."  This statement is an example of deceit on steroids.  What about the two non-Western allies who also were signers of the deal: Russia and the People's Republic of China?  Are they allies?  Is there nothing strange in that two of the signers of the deal are Russia and the PRC, countries with which we have love-hate relationships?  Does that fact alone pass the smell test? 

The N.Y. Times' reporting is not merely imbalanced or non-objective.  Though its front-page article is a "news story," it reads more like an editorial.  No legitimate voices of support for the deal are acknowledged in their lead article by Mark Landler.  Rather, it appear that for the Times, we have moved from a totally positive outcome as certified by the previous administration under Pres. Barack Obama to a completely misinformed, wanton, and hostile repudiation of that deal by Pres. Trump, who is portrayed acting more out of pique than reason.  One gets no sense that there were grave concerns about the deal from many quarters from the time it was instituted.

Even the headline of the May 9, 2018 N.Y. Times is intensely negative.  It reads: "Trump Abandons Iran Pact He Long Scorned."  This headline is utterly contemptuous of the Trump decision to withdraw and comes under a convoluted way of handling phrases that I have understood since my college days – namely, "tricky wordsmithing."  You see, Trump, they say, has "abandoned" the pact.  Abandonment has negative connotations.  There is a note of futility, of giving up, of hopelessness.  Compare the word "abandon" with "rejects," "repudiates," "leaves," "tears up," "pulls out of," or "discards."

Then in the second half of the headline, the Times says the reason for this is Trump's longstanding scorn for the pact.  It is based on his subjective feeling of scorn.  The headline tells us we are out, and implies at the same time that this pulling out is all about Trump expressing his feelings of scorn, not actually about "the deal" (which the Times calls a "pact" to give the original Obama-Kerry-generated paperwork more dignity than the word "agreement" or "deal" would provide).  These are all clever verbal sleights of hand.

Then the Times tells us that Trump's decision leaves "in tatters" an agreement reached after "two years of grueling negotiations."  Here in the second paragraph Trump is portrayed as disrespecting the efforts of our statesmen. He shredded their work.  He tore it up as if it was nothing.  Trump thus does not have real concerns and grievances, but is a destructive killjoy who, being the petulant and self-centered person the Times perceives him to be, wiped out all that work in a fit of pique and self-gratification.  The decision to discard the deal according to Mr. Landler is more of a frenzied expression of pique than a reasoned decision.

Then, by only the fourth paragraph, the Times delivers the coup de grâce (so it thinks) to the Trump decision by stating the strong likelihood that Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and the PRC will be joining Iran in turning its wrath upon the United States.  Imagine: all these disparate interests had gotten together, put aside many differences, and worked with Iran to reach an incredibly complex set and subsets of accommodations and compromises, and these are now thrown out the window!

They had kicked Iran's nuclear ambitions ten years down the road, and, incredibly, Trump and those tens of millions of deplorables who put him in office fail to be satisfied that this is sufficiently restrictive of Iran's nuclear ambitions.  What do those deplorables think they could accomplish in two years dealing with matters of this complexity?  The Times fails to note that many treaties (not mere agreements) take many years to be negotiated.  SALT II, for example took seven years to negotiate and was in fact a treaty and not a mere agreement.  Yet even SALT II, despite the length of time it took to negotiate, was not passed by the U.S. Senate because of Russia's invasion of Afghanistan.

The gloom-and-doom treatment of Trump's decision in only the first four paragraphs gained momentum in paragraph five of the Times article.  Trump's move "could embolden hard-line forces in Iran."  I would ask every reader of the Times article and every reader of this piece to ask himself: does anyone in his right mind actually think there is such a thing as a non-hardline mullah or ayatollah in Iran?  Does anyone really believe that Iranian supreme leader Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani, or foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is treading on eggshells while even greater fanatics wait to oust him?  

Despite having already asserted in paragraph four that the other signatories "are likely to join Iran in accusing the United States," by the tenth paragraph, we find that Iran is not accusing us.  Instead, this same stupid and biased article states that the response from Iran was "muted," not accusatory.  The facts on the ground thus refute the Times' own stated opinion. 

Nowhere are any public officials in the U.S. quoted who are rejoicing at the moral and strategic clarity of Trump's decision to restore sanctions and to repudiate one of the worst deals in the history of the U.S., possibly the world.  The only person quoted who supports Trump is Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel.  Is it too much to ask how the N.Y. Times can purport to be a news organization of record when it fails to quote anyone of substance in the United States who supports this deal?

The repudiation of this deal was one of the key promises of Trump's campaign.  Tens of millions are disgusted at the thought of the U.S. sending billions of dollars to Iran in unmarked planes, in different currencies, and stacked on pallets, as though this were both normal and legitimate.  The deal reeks of corruption and moral indifference to the fate of peace on Planet Earth.

President Trump has shown a moral courage that impressive-sounding but self-serving, unpatriotic weasels like John Kerry could never expect to appreciate.  Every patriot is in awe of Pres. Trump's decision to leave the Iran deal.