New York Times a “Propaganda Megaphone” for War, Says Former Reporter

Alex Newman
New American

The New York Times has essentially become a “propaganda megaphone” to peddle the establishment’s narrative — especially when it comes to war — charged foreign correspondent Daniel Simpson, who resigned from the paper in disgust. According to Simpson, the paper, which is often lambasted and ridiculed by conservatives and libertarians for its blatant “liberal” bias, is actually just a propaganda tool for the ruling establishment.

In an explosive interview with the Kremlin-funded RT media broadcaster, the former Times correspondent, who was based in the Balkans during his stint at the newspaper, offered an inside look at how it all works. What appears to have bothered him more than anything was how the supposed paper “of record” was so determined to sell the Iraq war to the American people, even if it meant basically lying or repeating government lies to do so.

“It seemed pretty glaringly obvious to me that the ‘news fit to print’ was pretty much the news that’s fit to serve the powerful,” Simpson explained, citing the warmongering over Iraq as a prime example. “The way that the paper’s senior staff think is exactly like those in power — in fact, it’s their job to become their friends.”

An ambitious reporter, Simpson joined the paper a decade ago when he was just 27 years old. He had been hired to report on the Balkans, where the U.S. government and other Western powers had intervened in an internal conflict. However, within a few months, disillusioned by the Times‘ war-mongering, he resigned.

“I was young and naive and idealistic, I suppose. I thought I was going to be holding people in power to account,” said Simpson, who wrote a recently published book about his experiences entitled A Rough Guide to the Dark Side. “It turned out instead that when I joined in 2002, the New York Times was very much engaged in doing exactly what those in power wanted them to do, and printing fake intelligence information to start the war in Iraq.”

As the establishment’s propaganda about “Weapons of Mass Destruction” in Iraq was getting in full swing, Simpson said he was asked to report bogus information about Serbians selling WMD delivery parts to Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. The Serbs, however, were actually just selling spare airplane parts, not WMD delivery systems, he explained.

“They were looking for every possible way of getting this weapons-of-mass-destruction story into the news media,” Simpson told RT, adding that the Washington Post quickly jumped on the dubious allegations. “So I came under enormous pressure from my bosses to start looking at it the same way, and I couldn’t see any evidence for doing that.”

While the Times did apologize for some of its most outrageously bogus WMD “reporting” — or war-mongering, as critics have labeled it — the paper “hasn’t really changed its policy,” Simpson explained. Among other problems, he pointed to Howell Raines, the executive editor during his time at the paper, who wrote a long article in the Atlantic after losing his job in 2004 that offered insight into the way top officials at the paper view its role.

Raines wrote that the Times was “the indispensable newsletter of the United States’ political, diplomatic, governmental, academic, and professional communities.” To Simpson, though, the former executive editor was basically admitting that “he sees his newspaper as being this propaganda megaphone for those who run the world.”

RT host Abby Martin agreed, slamming the paper and the “illegal and immoral” war repeatedly. She said the Times had indeed become a “propaganda megaphone” by simply reprinting government press releases and official statements — the “establishment line” — as if it were truth. Critics of the paper have been saying that for decades.

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