Crime and Safety

Times ‘reporting’ on Adams & midterms is a classic case of progressive denial on crime

In a new high-water mark for hidden bias, the front page of Friday’s New York Times brought, “Democrats See Adams at Root of State Losses,” a supposed news story that highlights progressive complaints that Mayor Eric Adams hurt New York Dems in the election by talking too much about crime and persisting in saying that the no-bail laws need fixing.

Among the offenses:

  • It considered only the left’s talking point, without mentioning other theories about Democrats’ poor showing. This, just a day after the Times ran a perfectly clear column by veteran Dem consultant Howard Wolfson flagging two other explanations, namely the gerrymander debacle and the Legislature’s refusal to heed clear public concerns about crime.
  • It insisted, “The heightened fear over crime in New York City is a bit of a chicken-and-egg conundrum,” treating as equal explanations 1) Adams is talking about crime, or 2) people see that it’s up. Hel-lo: It is up, and New Yorkers ain’t blind.
  • Later on, it admits, “Crime has risen in New York City since the pandemic began,” then in the same sentence falls back on a prime crime-deniers’ excuse: “but the city is much safer than it was in the 1990s.” That’s like saying, well, things are better than they were in the Dark Ages. People remember what the city was like in 2017, when murders hit a record low and the streets were safer.
  • Its disingenuous summary of one key criminal-justice reform: “In 2019, state lawmakers in New York rewrote bail law so that fewer people awaiting trial landed behind bars because they could not afford to post bail.” No: They ordered judges to not order bail or jail in all but a few circumstances.
  • It fails to mention that Adams has faulted those reforms from the start of his winning campaign for mayor. Was he supposed to shut up just because Hochul and other elected Democrats wouldn’t listen, but Republicans chimed in? In discussing why the progressives blame him, shouldn’t it have at least noted that they were the driving force in passing those laws?
  • The dismissal of dead and wounded young black men is amazing. For a news outlet quick to cry “racist” on everything else, the assumption that the rise in gang shootings and deaths don’t matter is shocking.
  • As with all the Times’ from-10,000-feet reporting on crime, the analysis ignores reality beyond the statistics. For every person accosted on the subway, hundreds have to navigate around the seriously-mentally-ill guy reeling down the platform. Gang activity in your neighborhood means you have to think twice about even going out of the house.

Despite the story’s show of giving Adams’ side, its studied cluelessness — about everything from the facts on the ground (do Times editors ride the subway anymore?) to the actual laws Adams complains about — wound up endorsing the progressives’ complaint under guise of straight news reporting.

That is: The Times is Exhibit A of the denial that hurt Democrats so badly on Election Day.

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