Forever committed to shining a constant, glowing spotlight on members of Donald Trump's political base with a series of endless updates that closely examine their unwavering support, The New York Times has carved out a completely new political beat during the past two years. The Times' white voter obsession (see here, here, here, here, here, here, and here) remains baffling and absurd as a form of political journalism. The paper has never explained why it considers Trump loyalists remaining loyal Trump to constitute big news. Instead, these soft profiles seem to be a way for the supposedly liberal and biased Times to show conservatives that it’s willing to present their best side.
But more importantly, as Trump signals his clearly racist strategy for re-election with his recent taunt that Democratic congresswomen of color should “go back” to where they came from, the Times' continued fawning over his most devoted followers helps amplify his bigoted message. In the work of Times reporters and editors, racism is being presented as just another wedge issue that should not be judged too harshly, and that both sides can agree to disagree on.
“In the Times’ view, those issues are just the same as left-right debates over taxation, surveillance, the size of government, and a host of issues where there are legitimate differences of opinion,” wrote Oliver Willis in the wake of the Times' latest front-page piece on white Trump loyalists. “But on these core issues, there are not two morally equivalent sides. In America this was enshrined a long time ago with the Declaration that all men are ‘created equal.’”
Indeed, as part of its chronic coverage of Trump devotees since the election, the paper usually makes little mention of the dark cultural forces that may be propelling the president’s biggest fans. Instead, they’re simply presented as hard-working Americans in search of a new voice in Washington. The Times’ message remains undeniable: White working-class voters, and specifically men, are the voters who matter most.