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Media Meltdowns

New York Times Reporter Suggests Entitled Reader Culture Has Become Dangerous And Unacceptable

Michael Barbaro and his dumb tweet
Larry Busacca/Getty Images; Twitter

On Monday, The New York Times published a story revealing that a Trump disciple named George Santos lied about practically everything having to do with his life and career while campaigning, successfully, for a seat in the House of Representatives. The Times report uncovered blatant inconsistencies in Santos's claims regarding his education (Santos claims to have graduated from Baruch College, which has no record of him ever having attended; court records from Brazil also show Santos was committing criminal check fraud in Brazil during the period of time when he claimed he was attending college in the U.S.), his employment history (Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, where Santos claimed to have worked, also said they had no record of him), and his animal rescue non-profit group, the powerfully named Friends Of Pets United (the IRS had no record of any such group and the beneficiary of a fundraiser the group held with another animal rescue organization in 2017 said Santos never gave her the proceeds from the event). The Times also reports that there is nothing to corroborate Santos's claim that four of his employees died in the Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016 and goes on to raise a number of questions about Santos suddenly coming into unexplained financial fortune.

It's a solid scoop. Good job, The New York Times! But as the story got passed around yesterday, some people started to ask an obvious question: Since this guy was hanging out in the Gray Lady's backyard for years, while campaigning not just once but twice (Santos lost his run against Tom Suozzi in 2020) for public office, in a district that covers parts of Queens and Long Island, how is it that no one at the the most well-resourced news organization in the region, if not the country, caught wind of the fact that Santos seemed like a total fucking fraud at any point before he won his election in November? After all, some random guy on the internet pieced together that Santos was basically a This Person Does Not Exist post last year!

That's a big win for online randos with Punisher avatars. But that bit of amateur sleuthing also casts the New York Times story in a slightly different light. Is it fair to ask why reporters didn't dig up the George Santos story before he won the GOP nomination, or just before the election? Well, New York Times reporter and star podcaster Michael Barbaro said yesterday it is a fair question, so long as you're willing to do a little introspection!

That's right. If you entitled brats had simply paid for local news, then maybe Newsday on Long Island would have broken this story before the election! How could you expect the New York Times, after all, to report on what's going on in New York? The Times is busy covering other stories of major national interest, whereas Newsday is mostly doing Islanders stuff and, presumably, sniffing out whether the congressional candidate from one of the two major political parties even lives where he says he lives.

Anyhow, you know you're making great points when some venture capital freak with a substack charges into your mentions to cape for you and deride "entitled reader culture," before accidentally undermining the entire news business.

The funniest part of this isn't that the literal New York Times, a multi-billion-dollar company with resources local news organizations can only dream about, was a year late to a huge political scandal unfolding right under its nose. It's that ol' Mikie B couldn't even take one lump, and a fair one if you take him at his word, without lashing out at readers and trying to shirk responsibility. Grow the hell up, man!

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