Why I Stopped Subscribing To The New York Times

They don’t use words right

I love the New York Times. Or loved. I cancelled my digital subscription weeks ago because they wouldn’t use the word ‘racist’. They instead served a word salad to avoid just printing the truth. At some point this is the basic job I pay a newspaper for, to use words correctly. The New York Times isn’t doing it, so I’m not paying.

Instead of calling racism racism, the Times says

  • “widely established as a racist trope” (7/14)
  • “comments that even members of his own party called racist” (7/15)
  • “fans the flames of a racial fire” (7/14)

And my favorite

  • “racially infused” (as dunked on by Seth Myers)

Honestly, this is just absurd, and makes me stupider for reading it. They are using five words where one would suffice, and their obfuscation supports and placates racists. I thought this would be the end of it, but no they’re getting worse.

After racist mass murders inspired by Trump, the New York Times wrote that Trump urges unity. Trump who calls immigrants criminals and rapists, and who laughs as his facist rally crowds encourage killing people. Even people from the FBI refer to white supremacists terrorists as Trump’s base, but the New York Times thought this news was fit to print.

It’s not. The US already has Fox News selling hate and ignorance for profit, and this sort of language has real consequences. It frames an attack by the powerful (the US President) on the powerless (immigrants, the poor) as some sort of equal ‘tension’ with two equivalent sides, equally worth considering. It also perpetuates the horrible trend of throwing mentally ill people under the bus for violence (dangerous to them and not true), further oppressing another group — the sick.

The American President is a white supremacist. Like ISIS, he is the branding arm for terrorism, crowdsourcing the violence from freelance shooters. The CBP and ICE do the child kidnapping and torture, and there’s a sort of gig economy for direct murder which any angry white male can take up. And then the media advertises it, spreading terror, and literally whitewashes the President for his crimes. And the New York Times is part of it.

It’s appalling. Just as the Times wouldn’t use the word torture under George W. Bush, they are not speaking truth to power. They are not speaking words that even make sense to (formerly) paying readers like me. That’s why I don’t subscribe to the New York Times anymore. They don’t use words right, and words matter.

Indi Samarajiva is a writer living in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Sign up for my newsletter at www.indi.ca, and you can reach me at indi@indi.ca.

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