Thursday, December 29, 2022

The triumph of George Santos is the failure of America's media


I am sure you have read or heard about George Santos, a Republican who last month won a seat representing New York's 3rd Congressional District. On second thought, maybe you haven't because you, like millions of Americans, no longer consume news "reported" by the mainstream media.

During his campaign, Santos, a native of Brazil where he is wanted for elder fraud and check forgery, told voters he held multiple degrees and had been an executive at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup before leaving to start his own successful business. He said he was Jewish and that his grandparents were Holocaust survivors, that several of his employees died in the Pulse nightclub shooting, that he had attended the prestigious Horace Mann prep school but had to drop out because of family financial woes, and that his mother died of cancer as an indirect result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks which she somehow survived when the South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed. 

The New York Times last week revealed that none of those claims, and many others Santos has made, are true.

My question is this: Where the hell was The New York Times when this clown was running for office? The answer: Publishing story after story about the incompetence of, and lies told by, a former president it fears and despises while ignoring the incompetence of, and lies told by, the current president whose political party it worships. If Santos were a Democrat and the NYT discovered his lies post-election, I doubt that any of them would have been published and that Santos would be sworn in next month with his hand on a Gutenberg Bible (the earliest of which, by the way, I recently purchased from a private dealer). 

Santos’ election was a triumph for him but represents everything that’s wrong with The New York Times and, by extension, America’s media which considers the Times to be the gold standard in journalism. Not. One. Single. Reporter from the Times or any other mainstream media ever took it upon himself/herself/themself to investigate Santos while he was running around making claims that were patently untrue.  

As the former managing editor of the Associated Press, a position I assumed after I sold to Elon Musk the plans I had drawn up for the first mass-produced electric car, I know a thing or two about journalistic integrity and am outraged at the arrogance and laziness of The New York Times and the rest of the media who apparently sit on their duff eating bon-bons while obsessing about Trump who has been out of office for nearly two years. My advice for them: Get over Trump. He’s yesterday’s news. Do your job and report news that’s relevant today. Be advised that doing so may require you to actually log off the internet and make a few phone calls.

When I was working on my PhD in journalism at Harvard, whose journalism school was endowed by, and named after, my Iranian-born grandfather who made his fortune mining diamonds, my professors instilled in me the importance of reporters actually getting out in the field and digging out stories that help readers make informed decisions.

The New York Times, as it has repeatedly in the last few years as it has obsessed about Trump, has once again failed its readers and its mission. Which is why I am today announcing my intention to make an offer to purchase substantially all of its voting stock. I have hired Goldman Sachs (disclosure: Goldman is run by my wife) to handle the deal and while I am constrained from revealing details at this point, suffice it to say the NYT’s shareholders won’t be able to refuse the price I’m willing to pay. 

I assure you that once I’m in charge, The New York Times’ credibility will be restored because I intend to fire its entire staff of TDS-addled editors and reporters and hire honest-to-God journalists. 

Assuming that in today’s America, I can find any.