New York Times Plea: Don’t Trust GOP or New York Post, NYC Crime Isn’t So Bad

News & Politics

New York Times reporter Nicholas Fandos’ Sunday election-aftermath piece appeared under the cynical headline deck, “Meet the Voters Who Fueled New York’s Seismic Tilt Toward the G.O.P. — Republicans used doomsday-style ads to prey on suburban voters’ fear of crime in New York, helping to flip enough seats to capture the House.”

Fandos talked to a state resident who no longer sets foot in New York City for what Fandos described as fears of “flagrant shoplifting, seemingly random acts of violence and hate crimes.” She voted Republican in the midterm elections “to endorse the party’s tough-on-crime platform, and punish the ‘seeming indifference’ she ascribes to Democrats like Gov. Kathy Hochul.”

Yet Fandos assured readers that New York City was safe, actually, and it was doomsaying on the part of the Republican Party – and the paper’s journalistic competitor the New York Post — to suggest otherwise.

New York and its suburbs may remain among the safest large communities in the country. Yet amid a torrent of doomsday-style advertising and constant media headlines about rising crime and deteriorating public safety, suburban swing voters like Ms. Frankel helped drive a Republican rout that played a decisive role in tipping control of the House.

Fandos appeared to blame those “media accounts” for suburbanites’ fears.

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Then there is the coronavirus pandemic. Arguably no metropolitan area was hit harder than New York, where the economy and old patterns of life have also been slower to return. Remote work remains popular here, leaving Midtown office towers, commuter trains and subways below capacity — and many suburbanites increasingly reliant on media accounts saturated with images and videos of brutal acts of violence to shape their perceptions.

While admitting that Midtown Manhattan suffered from an “apparent proliferation of homeless encampments and open drug usage,” he faulted the New York Post for daring to report on street crime, a journalistic act which evidently offends the Times’ woke sensibilities.

Several, including Ms. Frankel, said they frequently read The New York Post, which made Mr. Zeldin’s candidacy for governor and the repeal of the state’s 2019 bail law a crusade for more than a year, splashing violent crimes across its front page, however rare they may still be. Many asked not to be identified by their full names out of fear of backlash from friends, colleagues or even strangers who could identify them online.

….

Republicans, led by Mr. Zeldin, a Long Islander himself, relentlessly fanned those fears, blaming Democrats for the small rises in crime while accusing them of coddling criminals….

The Times again pulled out the “it was worse in the ‘90s!” deflection.

Crime statistics tell a more complicated story. Incidents of major crimes are higher in New York City and Nassau County than before the pandemic, though they remain well below levels seen in recent decades….

And don’t blame the re-elected Democratic governor, Kathy Hochul, who is fighting crime with a “more nuanced approach.”

Fandos nudged Times readers not to trust what they read in the Post:

As [Gregory Gatti] read a fresh New York Post — its front-page headline, “Children of War,” once again devoted to New York City crime — Mr. Gatti said changes to the state’s bail law were “definitely” driving increases in crime, and he was now worried about possible upticks in the suburbs….

The Times has often gone after its local competitor for actually covering stories embarrassing to liberals, including street crime.

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