The publisher of the New York Times, in an unprecedented move, published a letter lamenting the paper’s coverage of the election and the rise of Donald Trump, who won the presidency on Wednesday.
“We cannot deliver the independent, original journalism for which we are known without the loyalty of our subscribers,” a letter penned by Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. reads.
He emailed his staff the letter on Friday.
“We will cover his policies and his agenda fairly. We will bring expert analysis and thoughtful commentary to the changes we see in government, and to their ramifications on the ground,” Sulzberger wrote.
Letter to NYT readers from Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and Dean Baquet pic.twitter.com/jORqzx3BA9
— Sydney Ember (@melbournecoal) November 11, 2016
He continued: “We will look within and beyond Washington to explore the roots of the anger that has roiled red and blue America. If many Americans no longer seem to understand each other, let’s make it our job to interpret and explain.”
During the election, the Times and Trump had a strained relationship—with Trump claiming that the newspaper is “failing” and the Times’ aggressively investigating his real estate deals and tax returns.
“Together, we have built the world’s best digital newsroom and it, too, was made for just this moment. We will chronicle the new administration with a lightning-fast report that features stories told in every medium and on every platform,” Sulzberger wrote. “Here is what we have all dedicated our careers to: Going after the biggest stories in the world, and telling them as ambitiously as possible.”
Following the publication of Sulzberger’s letter, New York Post columnist and former New York Times reporter Michael Goodwin eviscerated the Times’ coverage and Sulzberger’s note.
“Instead, because it demonized Trump from start to finish, it failed to realize he was onto something. And because the paper decided that Trump’s supporters were a rabble of racist rednecks … it didn’t have a clue about what was happening in the lives of the Americans who elected the new president,” he opined.
In August, in perhaps an unprecedented move, media columnist Jim Rutenberg said that most Times reporters viewed Trump highly unfavorably, believing him to be “abnormal and potentially dangerous.” This essentially became a policy, and the attacks on Trump only increased, Goodwin noted.
“I’ve gotten letters from people who say they cancelled their Times subscriptions and, to judge from a cryptic line in a Thursday article, the problem is more than anecdotal,” Goodwin added.