PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS: In “When Did Media Bias Become a Virtue? Liberal dismay about the New York Daily News’ scaling back its front-page campaign against Trump exposes the underside of a partisan press,” Jonathan Tobin writes at NRO:
The saga of the News’ journey from all-out attacks on Trump to more-measured criticism isn’t particularly extraordinary. The left-leaning News was all over Trump throughout the campaign. Its implacable hostility was the work of editor Jim Rich, who initially had the support of publisher Mortimer Zuckerman for his stand. But over the course of the year, the paper’s leadership became less convinced of the wisdom of Rich’s decisions. They believed the unrelenting abuse thrown at Trump was having an impact on their circulation. While most liberal publications got little pushback from their position on Trump, the News’ readership is made up of working-class New Yorkers in the outer boroughs of the city who liked the billionaire’s aggressive nationalism and politically incorrect style.
Rich was eventually forced out, resigning in October 2016. Though the decision was ostensibly a dispute about budget cuts, it is believed that Rich’s over-the-top belligerence toward Trump was the real reason.
Rich’s successor, Arthur Browne, is no supporter of Trump, but as the editor told Politico, after spending more than a year depicting Trump as a clown who was a certain loser, the paper needed to reevaluate its strategy. Once he became the president-elect, the News editor felt the paper’s criticism should focus on his policies rather than merely continuing the assault on Trump’s character. He has backed that up with consistently critical coverage and has approved front pages that referred to the president with the following language: “NUTS!” “WAR ON TRUTH,” “BANANAS!” and “POOR BABY!” He even mourned the election result with a “HOUSE OF HORRORS” headline. But that wasn’t extreme enough for the uniformly liberal staff of the News, which longed for more depictions of Trump like the one Rich ran showing him beheading the Statue of Liberty.
I’m so old, I can remember when Daily News was furious over much milder imagery, and imbued it with magical and evil powers.