The Corner

Politics & Policy

The New York Times Reframes History

The New York Times’s 1619 Project purports to “reframe American history by considering what it would mean to regard 1619 as our nation’s birth year.”

The Times, ostensibly a newspaper, wasn’t around in 1619 to publish the “first rough draft of history” for this period. So now it’s decided to rewrite it to its liking.

The New York Times was, however, around to publish the first rough draft of numerous other significant events in history. One that comes immediately to mind is the Stalin-era 1932 famine in which millions of Ukrainians died. The precise number of deaths (ranging from 3 million to 10 million) is lost to history, in part because the New York Times — per its Moscow bureau chief Walter Duranty — reported that “[a]ny report of famine in Russia is today an exaggeration or malignant propaganda.” The Times confidently informed the world that there was “no famine . . .nor is there likely to be.”

The Times got a Pulitzer for that titanic debacle and other articles that ignored  Stalin’s manifold atrocities. Maybe it should devote a tiny portion of its 1619 Project resources to reframing its    history of the Ukrainian famine.

More recently, Times leadership admits to dedicating the last two years of its vast reporting resources to the Trump-Russia collusion hoax. An American president elected with Russian assistance. The Times got another Pulitzer for this travesty. Then the Mueller report issued. Yet another major story the Times could reframe, perhaps by training as much attention on the involvement of the upper levels of the Obama administration in the hoax.

The list of “reframing” possibilities is endless. But the New York Times would do well to correct its own profound mistakes and biases before rewriting history to suit its ideological imperatives.

Peter Kirsanow — Peter N. Kirsanow is an attorney and a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

Most Popular

White House

The Trivialization of Impeachment

We have a serious governance problem. Our system is based on separation of powers, because liberty depends on preventing any component of the state from accumulating too much authority -- that’s how tyrants are born. For the system to work, the components have to be able to check each other: The federal and ... Read More
U.S.

‘Texodus’ Bodes Badly for Republicans

‘I am a classically trained engineer," says Representative Will Hurd, a Texas Republican, "and I firmly believe in regression to the mean." Applying a concept from statistics to the randomness of today's politics is problematic. In any case, Hurd, 42, is not waiting for the regression of our politics from the ... Read More
Elections

Put Up or Shut Up on These Accusations, Hillary

Look, one 2016 candidate being prone to wild and baseless accusations is enough. Appearing on Obama campaign manager David Plouffe’s podcast, Hillary Clinton suggested that 2016 Green Party candidate Jill Stein was a “Russian asset,” that Republicans and Russians were promoting the Green Party, and ... Read More
Culture

Feminists Have Turned on Pornography

Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the feminist movement has sought to condemn traditional sexual ethics as repressive, misogynistic, and intolerant. As the 2010s come to a close, it might be fair to say that mainstream culture has reached the logical endpoint of this philosophy. Whereas older Americans ... Read More
PC Culture

Defiant Dave Chappelle

When Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special Sticks & Stones came out in August, the overwhelming response from critics was that it was offensive, unacceptable garbage. Inkoo Kang of Slate declared that Chappelle’s “jokes make you wince.” Garrett Martin, in the online magazine Paste, maintained that the ... Read More