Four million people in nearly 200 countries read The New York Times. Of these, many are opinion-leaders. Journalists everywhere read the paper to get a supposedly objective view of the news and to learn what The Times thinks is important. But they aren’t getting that kind of view – despite the ads The Times runs proclaiming its attachment to rock-solid truth.
A Times former White House and investigative correspondent, Robert M. Smith, discloses how some stories make it to print, some do not, how the filters work, and how the paper may have suppressed the most important U.S. political story of the day—Watergate.
Smith shows how the paper stepped into the ring and begun slugging it out with President Trump, instead of staying outside the ring and neutrally reporting what it saw. The book argues that the paper would have been far more effective in countering and exposing the President if it had remained true to its nearly two-hundred-year-old tradition and remained neutral -- that is, remained credible (as it so loudly maintains that it is).
The book contends that objectivity on the part of the press might have made people believe the unfavorable things reported about Trump instead of dismissing them as the predictable product of leftist partiality.
The book explains how to read the press like an insider.
It discloses that The Times assigned Smith to hire a reporter of a particular partisan stripe; that the paper’s business journalists refused to cover negative stories about business, and that its Pentagon correspondent refused to cover the My Lai massacre committed by American troops in Vietnam.
Written with candor and humor, Suppressed traces a young investigative reporter’s arc from naïveté to cynicism, from covering the White House to leaving the paper for Yale Law School and ultimately becoming a barrister in London and teaching at Oxford.
Robert M. Smith is a former New York Times White House and investigative correspondent who was witness to some of the most important stories in modern history, including Watergate, the Pentagon Papers, and the My Lai Massacre. He lives in San Francisco, CA.