The New York Times' lead editorial Tuesday morning, "Blaming America First," rationally skewered Donald Trump for his comments last weekend equating American policies with Vladimir Putin's dark deeds.
The Times' editorial board has been taking strong stands against Trump and his reckless comments and executive orders with a series of well-reasoned, fact-based editorials. Reading Tuesday's editorial, I thought again how brave the Times is in marshaling one of its most traditional roles to challenge Trump.
With limited space, the Times nearly every day has targeted one major Trump action. While Trump's barrage of executive orders, statements and actions has overwhelmed cable channels and online media, the Times editorials have proven effective by limiting their focus. Concentrating on a certain action or plan paradoxically has cast a greater light on Trump's overall danger.
As the Times puts more resources into its online operation, emphasizing graphics and video and downgrading editing, the Times' editorials have shown the continued strength of the written word.
Following a longstanding American newspaper tradition, the editorials express the editorial board's shared opinion, reached through well-considered thought and discussion. The writer, giving voice to the mutual opinion reached by his or her colleagues, is not identified.
James Bennett is the editorial page's guiding editor, joining The Times from the Atlantic last spring. Under his direction, the editorials have grown sharper and better reasoned, with few if any editorial-writing cliches. Bennett also seems to have clamped down on the Times' former groan-inducing attempts to write the periodic quirky, humorous editorial.
In the era of fake news, Trump bombast and media fear and confusion, the Times editorial board's dispassionate work is a lonely, quixotic endeavor. Each day, Bennett and his colleagues pierce Trump's clouds of fear and ignorance. The Times' editorials stand against Trump's malicious Twittering and TV manipulations with lines of gray, eloquent, effective words.