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Tipsheet

That'll Be a Long List: NYT Columnists Gather to Discuss What They Got Wrong

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

I feel like if this were a legitimate exercise, the book could be longer than L. Ron Hubbard's Battlefield Earth. The New York Times' columnists gathered to discuss what they got wrong. It's almost laughable. Thomas Friedman, Paul Krugman, and the like sitting down and asking what they got wrong. They're liberals. Such admissions and self-reflective activity are anathemas to the Left. Some blunders like underestimating the inflation explosion and calling Trump supporters deplorable are notable. Yet, this is still minor league stuff. Other admissions show that this crew didn't take the homework assignment seriously. Michelle Goldberg regrets calling for Al Franken to resign over his groping antics. There should have been due process, you see. Really? Of all the times the liberal media, especially The New York Times, got things wrong, a due process over Al Franken comes to mind for one of their writers. Please? That's weak sauce.

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Friedman admitted that his prediction of China becoming an information ecosystem was wrong. Tom, China is an authoritarian single-party state. They monitor the Internet activity of its citizens. Authoritarian governments do not make for fertile ground to sprout an oasis of free information. Are you nuts? Another, Gail Collins, regrets her pervasive mentioning of Romney putting the family dog on the car's roof. These are stupid things, but when will we see "I'm sorry" next to the words "about the Russian collusion story"?

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I'm betting heavily on never. The biggest whopper is the one they cannot admit that they blew for months. And what about Hunter Biden's laptop? The laptop being part of a Russian disinformation operation was another massive lie that everyone in the media who was pulling for Biden peddled.

I give a little credit to Bret Stephens, who said that his calling Trump supporters "appalling" was a classic shoot oneself in the foot moment. The reason is simple. First, it's just not true. Second, if he intended to change minds, calling them deplorable isn't the best way (via Fox News):

Stephens said, "The worst line I ever wrote as a pundit" was the first he ever wrote about Trump: "If by now you don’t find Donald Trump appalling, you’re appalling."

"This opening salvo, from August 2015, was the first in what would become dozens of columns denouncing Trump as a unique threat to American life, democratic ideals and the world itself," he continued.

Stephens said he "regret[s] almost nothing of what I said about the man and his close minions" but that "the broad swipe at his voters caricatured them and blinkered me."

"It also probably did more to help than hinder Trump’s candidacy. Telling voters they are moral ignoramuses is a bad way of getting them to change their minds," he continued. "What were they seeing that I wasn’t?" he pondered. 

"What Trump’s supporters saw was a candidate whose entire being was a proudly raised middle finger at a self-satisfied elite that had produced a failing status quo," he asserted. 

"I was blind to this," Stephens admitted. "I belonged to a social class that my friend Peggy Noonan called ‘the protected’," he said and acknowledged his own financial luxuries. 

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Without a doubt, this "deplorables" moment Hillary Clinton and the media took in 2016 only shored up support for the then-future president. It further entrenched those who already backed him and pushed those on edge to vote for Trump, thanks to liberalism's nauseating snobbery.

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