As these things go, it isn't horrible, but in places, it is easily bad enough. It starts off relating the — clearly dodgy — atmosphere at a white nationalist meeting several weeks ago.
Not even those most depressed about Donald J. Trump’s election and what it might portend could have envisioned the scene that took place just before Thanksgiving in a meeting room a few blocks from the White House. The white nationalist Richard B. Spencer was rallying about 200 kindred spirits.
“We are not meant to live in shame and weakness and disgrace,” he said. “We were not meant to beg for moral validation from some of the most despicable creatures to ever populate the planet.” When Mr. Spencer shouted, “Hail, Trump! Hail, our people! Hail, victory!” a scattered half-dozen men stood and raised their arms in Nazi salutes.
Mr. Spencer is a self-described member of the "alt-right", which has become an umbrella term to cover every group and opinion that might cause the Gray Lady to retire to her fainting couch, pearls clutched every step of the way.
Having thus poisoned the well, the author finally gets around to the "but" para:
Last summer “alt-right,” though it carried overtones of extremism, was not an outright synonym for ideologies like Mr. Spencer’s. But in late August, Hillary Clinton devoted a speech to the alt-right, calling it simply a new label for an old kind of white supremacy that Mr. Trump was shamelessly exploiting.
The question implicitly raised, but never answered, is whether distorting the existing meaning of a term, in the quest to tar those who don't bow to leftist shibboleths, serves only to throw oxygen and gasoline on some barely smoldering embers. This is the, by now, to her, regrettable "deplorables" moment by another name. While the piece fails to question NYT reporting and editorials that routinely, and without evidence, label Trump and some of his appointments in ways that place them firmly amongst the truly , it does bow in the direction of reality:
There is no good evidence that Mr. Trump or Mr. Bannon think in terms like these. Not even the former Breitbart editor at large Ben Shapiro, who has become an energetic critic of Mr. Bannon and his agenda, says that Mr. Bannon is himself a racist or an anti-Semite. Mr. Shapiro considers fears that Mr. Bannon will bring white nationalism to the White House “overstated, at the very least.”
Ultimately, though, this article seems to make rather more of something than its numbers warrant. Hence the comment I submitted which, surprisingly, was an NYT Pick:
Recently there was a white nationalist convention in DC that drew 200 people.
The last Bronycon -- for My Little Pony enthusiasts -- drew more than 30 times as many.
Maybe it isn't time for the NYT to freak out just yet.
It got a lot of recommends, and a more than the average number of replies. Most of whom seemed single-mindedly dedicated to missing the point, and the rest determined to set the the all world, indoor/outdoor record for Godwin's Law affirmations per column inch.
And many of whom might, just might, have a much more mild case of Trump Derangement syndrome if they (or reporters) did things like, oh, I don't, know, go to Trump's campaign website so they can find out just how much of a virulent racist he is.
It is my highest and greatest hope that the Republican Party can be the home in the future and forevermore for African-Americans and the African-American vote because I will produce, and I will get others to produce, and we know for a fact it doesn’t work with the Democrats and it certainly doesn’t work with Hillary.
When I am President, I will work to ensure that all of our kids are treated equally, and protected equally. Every action I take, I will ask myself: does this make life better for young Americans in Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, Ferguson who have as much of a right to live out their dreams as any other child in America?
Just awful, innit?