Mainstream media’s moral cowardice: Time for the Times (and everyone else) to stand against evil

In covering Trump, media too often defaults to lazy what-aboutism. History tells us cowardice will be punished.


False equivalency is a form of moral cowardice.

On Wednesday, the New York Times featured another story on the political discord and chaos caused by Donald Tump’s presidency. The Times’ headline read “In Era of Trump, Incivility Spreads in a Divided Nation.”

The frame is clear: Those who oppose Trump’s authoritarian regime and its cruelty are somehow equally responsible for the “incivility” that Trump and his supporters have created. As Jeet Heer explained at the New Republic, “The Times article rests on a strange conflation of civility (which is about obeying conventional rules of decorum) with morality.”

After a public outcry on Twitter and elsewhere — which perhaps provoked some embarrassment — editors at the Times then changed the headline: “In Trump’s America, the Conversation Turns Ugly and Angry, Starting at the Top.

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