According to Vanity Fair, The New York Times has quietly asked its reporters to no longer appear on news opinion shows, specifically using MSNBC an example.
“The Times has come to ‘prefer,’ as sources put it, that its reporters steer clear of any cable-news shows that the masthead perceives as too partisan, and managers have lately been advising people not to go on what they see as highly opinionated programs,” Vanity Fair reports.
The change in policy came to light when New York Times finance editor David Enrich was asked to come onto The Rachel Maddow Show to discuss the news that Deutsche Bank had allegedly flagged “suspicious transactions” from Donald Trump and Jared Kushner.
However, after Enrich told the newspaper’s communications department about the scheduled appearance, he was asked to cancel. The reason given was that the ideological bias of Maddow could reflect poorly on the NYT.
The news comes as traditional media is struggling to gain the trust of the public. According to a Knight Foundation Report, via Columbia Journalism Review, a majority of the country — including over 95 percent of conservatives and 46 percent of liberals — have “lost faith” in the media.
According to Vanity Fair, other shows that are currently banned to New York Times reporters include those hosted by Lawrence O’Donnell and Don Lemon. The sources also acknowledged that shows hosted by conservative firebrands Sean Hannity or Tucker Carlson would also be off limits, though admitted that it was unlikely a NYT reporter would appear on those shows anyway.
The push reportedly comes from executive editor Dean Baquet, who has felt that opinionated news has become and more and more polarized since the election of Donald Trump. However, sources note that the rules are still murky, such allowing opinion writers, such as Charles Blow and Frank Bruni, to be exempt.
A “highly placed” source at one of the networks slammed the new policy from the “Gray Lady.”
“At the moment that Donald Trump became president, and print media was coincidentally in crisis mode from a business perspective, a significant contributor to the success of publications like the New York Times and the Washington Post was the exposure that their great work got on networks like MSNBC and CNN,” the source noted.
Meanwhile, rival newspaper The Washington Post has no such qualms about appearing on opinionated shows. According to their communications office, the paper views all broadcasting engagements as “opportunities” to “expose journalism” to different audiences.