The New York Times editorial page crossed the line from spirited opinion journalism to outright activism by tweeting phone numbers of key senators and urging constituents to demand lawmakers oppose the Republican tax bill. Sadly, the publication’s activism has polluted its news coverage.
While the Republican plan is by no means perfect and can and should be improved in a number of ways, debate should at least be conducted with an intellectually honest presentation of basic facts.
The Times ran a front-page story on Thursday with the breathless headline, “G.O.P. Tax Plan Could Reshape Life in the U.S.” Though it was dubbed “analysis,” that doesn’t excuse this line, which was widely-cited on social media: “By 2027, people making $40,000 to $50,000 would pay a combined $5.3 billion more in taxes, while the group earning $1 million or more would get a $5.8 billion cut, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Congressional Budget Office.” It isn’t merely misleading, but factually inaccurate. And it’s indicative of a lot of media coverage about the tax bill, so it’s worth exploring in more detail.
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