If what the New York Times tried to pass off as actual news this week is a preview of what to expect for the next 520 days until election day, trust in media really is driving off the cliff.
The story in question regards 2016 GOP Presidential hopeful Marco Rubio, who has enjoyed the best start to this marathon campaign season over anyone on either side (Bernie Sanders being a close second). The big donors are now hedging their bets with Rubio in the event Jeb Bush continues to stumble in his futile attempt to distance himself from his brother without insulting him (See: Mission Impossible). Polls show Rubio being the biggest headache for Hillary in a reverse-repeat of the contrast seen in the 2008 election…with Mrs. Clinton in the role of John McCain (old, grumpy, out of touch, and dubious owner of the incumbent’s record) and Rubio starring as Barack Obama. And as Rubio’s poll numbers rise, so does the scrutiny…even of the untentionally hilarious variety.
So what was the Times’ journalistic crime? An “investigative” piece (“Rubios on the Road Have Drawn Unwanted Attention“) that shows Mr. Rubio running into trouble with the law (OK, traffic cops) by averaging one traffic ticket almost every…five years (four in 18 years). This is obviously a big issue to ponder when considering who should lead the most powerful nation on Earth…a job that also has transportation provided in every way possible. The likely Democratic nominee, of course, has exactly zero tickets since 1992, simply because she hasn’t driven in any capacity since her husband became our 42nd President.
But here’s where NYT reporters Alan Rappeport and Steve Eder really did their homework: In exploring Mr. Rubio’s driving record, they also uncovered that–since 1997–Mrs. Rubio has racked up 13 tickets. Rutt-Row.
New York Times Washington Bureau Chief Carolyn Ryan defends the coverage to the Washington Post’s Erik Wemple in a response email to the media columnist, arguing, ““The vote for president is the most personal vote that Americans cast. Voters want to know about these candidates – not just as policy-makers, but as people. It is not at all unusual or unexpected for us to scrutinize candidates’ backgrounds and their lives through public records. It is very standard scrubbing.”