‘The Gray Lady Winked’: How The New York Times Distorts and Alters History

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Journalist Ashley Rindsberg told The Epoch Times that his research has discovered that The New York Times allowed many of its key reporters to present stories that were distorted, sometimes even altering history to benefit those in power.

Rindsberg sat down with American Thought Leaders‘ Jan Jekielek to discuss his new book: “The Gray Lady Winked: How The New York Times’s Misreporting, Distortions, and Fabrications Radically Alter History.”

Rindsberg’s book challenges the long-held belief that The New York Times is the model for trustworthy journalism and integrity.

The author criticized The New York Times for putting profit before the welfare of people who were or are living under oppressive regimes, “It’s come at the cost of people’s lives, as we saw in the case of the Ukraine famine, and as well, through The New York Times’ cover-up of the Holocaust, and their anti-immigration stance that they took against the Jews during those years.”

The New York Times’ Moscow bureau chief Walter Duranty (1922–36) was hailed for his reporting from Russia at that time but later criticized for his misreporting, especially in the case of the famine in Ukraine. In addition, the paper’s Berlin bureau chief, Guido Enderis was known for being a Nazi supporter.

Rindsberg said this type of altering of history continues to the present, citing the 1619 project published by The New York Times in 2019. The Times’ webpage states that the 1619 project’s version of history aims, “to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.”

Rindsberg said that The Times has the power to influence what the public believes to be true and what they chose to publish can alter history.

“That’s the common thread there, whatever the sympathies might be, the Times is willing to allow the sympathies to take hold. And we’re seeing that right now, with the 1619 Project, and this woke awakening, this radical awakening in the newsroom,” said Rindsberg. “For Nicole Hannah Jones, the creator of the 1619 Project, to write in her essay, in that magazine issue, that the Revolutionary War was fought to preserve slavery is just on its face, false. There’s no historical evidence to support it whatsoever.”

The 1619 Project has been widely criticized by scholars for its historic inaccuracies and altering of historical facts.

“It was a claim that The New York Times actually fact-checked with a professor of African American History at Northwestern University, who told them that it’s not a claim that they can make, it’s false. It’s wrong, and they made it anyways. The key here is to understand that the mistakes, the errors, and the falsehoods were not a problem for The New York Times, they didn’t correct the biggest ones. They tried to defend them, they left most of them in there,” said Rindsberg.

“What you really start to understand is that those falsehoods, were the point, if you’re trying to change history, you literally have to change it, and that’s exactly what the project does. It literally changes history, without any basis, without evidence, in a non-scholarly way,” Rindsberg continued.

Jekielek pointed to the fact that in the last two decades, The New York Times has done little coverage of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) ongoing human rights abuses of large spiritual and religious groups like Falun Gong and the Uyghurs.

Rindsberg’s assessment was that the heads of the large corporate media like The New York Times align with the CCP’s agenda mainly for profit.

“But I think from the top where the culture is at the newspaper, where the editorial guidance is set, there absolutely has to be that consideration. They’ve already found out the hard way, when they bumped up against China’s, the Great Firewall as its proverbially called, when they were locked out, in I think 2011, 2012,” said Rindsberg.

“And now they are trying to get back in, they [are] still maintaining a Chinese edition of the newspaper. And again, like with the Falun Gong, and the Uyghurs are exactly the same pattern we’re seeing right now, where’s the reporting, where’s the op-eds, where are the editorials.”

The Epoch Times reached out to The New York Times for comment on Rindsberg’s findings but did not receive a response by the time of publishing.

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