Accuracy in Media

Just like NBC News, which offered contradicting takes on protests versus Trump rallies, the New York Times dismissed public health concerns when thousands of protesters marched in Brooklyn this past weekend.

The newspaper headlined the march’s large attendance, “How a March for Black Trans Lives Became a Huge Event.” And, similar to NBC News’s contradictory analysis, the New York Times excused the protesters because it was an outdoor rally and not held inside an arena or an indoor space.

The New York Times defended the protesters and noted that “the vast majority of the protesters wore masks, and safety teams stationed along the route gave out hand sanitizer.” It admitted that the crowd’s large size prevented protesters from abiding by the government’s recommendation to social distance at a distance of six feet. The newspaper noted that “there is no evidence” of ongoing protests leading “to the spread of the coronavirus.”

Compare the Times’ defense of the New York protesters to its coverage of the upcoming Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The New York Times headlined its rally coverage, “Trump’s Rally Could Be a ‘Perfect Storm’ for the Virus, Tulsa Officials Fear.” Its headline was far more critical of the Trump rally than the Brooklyn rally. The newspaper also quoted several public health officials’ concerns about holding the indoor rally. The New York Times did not quote public health officials on-the-record for its article on the Brooklyn rally.

The Trump campaign insisted that it will conduct temperature checks and distribute masks and hand sanitizers, though the event will remain indoors in a 20,000-person capacity arena. But these assertions did not sway the New York Times, which did not treat the Trump rally as fairly as the Brooklyn rally.

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