Opinion in the guise of straight news

Once upon a time, newspapers would clearly label opinion as opinion. Now, opinion is permitted in the guise of news. An illustration of this is in a New York Times story, Oct. 16, 2016, about Hillary Clinton’s avoiding discussing reports of Trump’s sexual stuff. The story says: “Last summer, Clinton began her campaign by declaring that she wanted to create ‘an America where a father can tell his daughter: ‘yes, you can be anything you want to be. Even the president of the  United States.’ And yet Clinton has found in her second presidential campaign that young women aren’t particularly moved by her promise to make history. Many of them voted instead for Clinton’s primary opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.”

All young women? Some of them? Three? Who counted? And “many voted” for Bernie. How many? A majority? Ten percent?  Four hundred? Four?

Once upon a time, a copy editor would ask the reporter those questions and demand facts and not opinion or vague generalizations. Guess the Times has revised its motto to “All the opinion that fits for news.”

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