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New York Times Columnist Suffers Twitter Blowback After Declaring ‘We’re Journalists’

Nicholas Kristof should probably turn his phone off for the rest of the day

On Thursday, New York Times op-ed columnist Nicholas Kristof published a piece titled “We’re Journalists, Mr. Trump, Not the Enemy.” Many on Twitter quickly tried to make the writer eat those first two words.

“Sad when they now have to convince people of that,” one commenter tweeted. While another snarked: “really bad comedians at best.”

Here’s Kristof’s lede, or what “we journalists” call an article’s opening paragraph: “Sigh. If only President Trump denounced neo-Nazis as passionately and sincerely as he castigates journalists.”

Many conservatives probably stopped reading right there, instead Command+Tab-ing over to TweetDeck to express their displeasure.

Of course, anyone who did that would have missed much of Kristof’s substance, which included some self-deprecation. Here are Kristof’s next two grafs — shorthand “we journalists” use for “paragraphs.”

What could be an easier task than distancing oneself from Nazis or violent white supremacists? Yet Trump manages to make it infinitely complicated — and then get distracted by self-pity and excoriate reporters for committing journalism. The key strain of his sulfurous speech in Phoenix on Tuesday was an extended attack on “dishonest” reporters (including at “the failing New York Times”).

Look, we in journalism deserve to have our feet held to the fire. We make mistakes all the time, and too often we are superficial, sensationalist, unfair, defensive or diverted by shiny objects. Critics are right that we in the national media are often out of touch with working-class America, and distressingly often, we are lap dogs instead of watchdogs.

Trump supporters probably also didn’t like it when Kristof went on to suggest POTUS “has always had a soft spot for racists” and is “simply a thin-skinned narcissist who shares the white supremacists’ sense of victimization.”

We’re not going to post Kristof’s entire column, because “we’re journalists” too, and that’s not cool in this line of work. But we’ll link to it again — click here to see what all of the hubbub is about.

To be fair to Kristof, there were some tweets in support of his headline and overall premise — they were just hard to find among the ugliness. That’s social media for ya.

Hey, here’s one! Aside from originally tweeting his column and an obituary for former colleague Jack Rosenthal, a retweet of MSNBC political analyst and former Obama administration member Richard Stengel’s kind words for “We’re Journalists” has been Kristof’s only Twitter activity today. It’s probably for the best that he stay off the platform through the weekend.

One in favor:

And all oppose?