Liberty Nation: NY Times Piece Uses Confused Man’s Anecdotal Evidence to Cast Aspersions on Right

Michael Morris
By Michael Morris | June 10, 2019 | 12:00 PM EDT

The New York Times (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

In an op-ed published Monday titled “Requiem for The New York Times,” Editor-in-Chief of Leesa K. Donner details a recent piece featured in the print copy of The New York Times Sunday Edition by Kevin Roose titled, “The Making of a YouTube Radical” that “uses a confused young man’s anecdotal evidence to cast aspersions on the political right.”

“It’s understood that print newspapers have fallen on hard times and that lay-offs are frequent and painful,” writes Leesa Donner. “However, stooping to such depths to remain relevant seems tawdry for what once was considered a national newspaper of record. …”

“This brings us to poor Caleb Cain, who told the publication he ‘fell down the alt-right rabbit hole’ and ‘was brainwashed,’” Donner Explains later in the piece. “He is ‘scarred’ after having been ‘radicalized’ by a ‘decentralized cult of the far-right.’ And how, pray tell, did Mr. Cain become politically born again? Why, through a demonic algorithm on the internet platform YouTube.”

Donner continues, “As our hero tells it, he was aimlessly searching for video game content when – ‘Oh no, Mr. Bill!’ – up popped a far-right video in the sidebar. YouTube’s algorithms are ‘responsible for more than 70 percent of all time spent on the site,’ writes the author. As the saga continues, we discover that Mr. Cain was ‘seduced by a community of far-right creators.’ Moreover, Roose asserts that ‘critics and independent researchers say YouTube has inadvertently created a dangerous on-ramp to extremism by combining two things: a business model that rewards provocative videos and exposure and advertising dollars, and an algorithm that guides users down personalized paths meant to keep them glued to their screens.’”

The Times does not stop there, however. The paper also presents a timeline of Mr. Cain’s journey into the world of the alt-right, but “praise the Lord, our hero found the light,” and later became a critic of the alt-right movement. “One could say our hero was born again – again,” suggests Leesa Donner.

“Americans are increasingly being force-fed this bland diet of anecdotal journalism,” concludes Donner. “Thus, it seems appropriate The New York Times is advancing its cause on page one – perhaps to signify its allegiance to the leftist ideology. Yes, the old Gray Lady ain’t what she used to be, and this front-page screed about the corruption of an innocent by diabolical conservatives officially moves her from palliative to hospice care.”

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