What ‘News Gathering’ Looks Like at the New York Times

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This article appeared on The National Review on September 8, 2017. Click here to view the original article.

By John Bolton
September 8, 2017

Allegations of leftist bias in the media are often difficult to prove because of the lack of hard evidence that a reporter has already made up his or her mind before a story runs. One can examine the resulting story itself, but having clear indications of bias in the reporter is obviously more probative.

Well, here we have it, reprinted below: an email sent from a New York Times reporter to the media adviser to the PAC I established to support Senate and House candidates who favor a strong U.S. foreign policy. The questions, perhaps in response to an article I wrote on the North Korean threat, are utterly one-sided, simplistic, incorporate factually incorrect assertions, and signal that the story is all but written. There is clearly no basis to try to engage such a “reporter” in reasoned dialogue.

Some might wonder at publishing the questions in this way, but there is no indication that the “reporter” asked for confidentiality of any sort. Maybe the rules should apply to them as well. Welcome to the world of pre-emptive strikes.

There may well be writers at the Times worth talking to, but he is not one of them.

From: Gardiner Harris <[redacted]>
Date: September 7, 2017 at 6:41:53 PM EDT
To: [redacted] Subject: Saw the ambassador’s piece on North Korea

He said he favours a military option. I’m probably going to write about this. A couple of questions:

1. How many deaths are acceptable losses in such an endeavour to get rid of North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities? 100,000? A million? Ten million?
2. How many deaths does the ambassador expect?
3. Why now? South Korea and Japan have been living under this threat for a decade. Do we attack only to prevent the North’s capacity to hit the US?
4. If yes to above, why would the South agree with this strategy? They have to sacrifice potentially millions of their citizens lives so the US does not have to live with the risks they’ve faced for years? Thanks.

Gardiner Harris
State Department Correspondent
The New York Times