Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and accuser Christine Blasey Ford both delivered powerful, heartfelt testimony on Thursday before the Senate Judiciary Committee – but The New York Times selected side-by-side images for Friday’s front page that paint a liberal narrative, according to critics.
Ford, who accused the nominee of sexual assault during a high school house party, is shown looking poised and confident with her hand raised as she was being sworn in. Kavanaugh was also sworn in with is hand raised, but the paper decided to use instead an image of him looking angry while seated.
Media Research Center vice president Dan Gainor told Fox News that the Times’ front page is a microcosm of bias in the mainstream media.
“This is what I love about The New York Times. Every time some idiot claims there is no media bias, just point to that day’s paper to prove them wrong,” Gainor said. “These photos are the perfect liberal narrative. You see the calm, law-abiding, liberal accuser and the angry conservative defendant. What that context hides is the left accused him of being a gang rapist. Any sane person would be furious about that. And should be.”
“Every time some idiot claims there is no media bias, just point to that day’s paper to prove them wrong.”
By comparison, the New York Post used a similar image of Ford with her hand raised – but the image Post editors selected of Kavanaugh also showed him with his hand raised. NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck told Fox News that it’s “a slight tweak and one you don’t normally notice on the surface” but the photos selected help tell a story.
“The reality is they wanted to portray Kavanaugh as unhinged and they did that based on the still shot they used while Ford looked confident as she took her oath,” Houck said.
The Times’ Editorial Board made its opinion clear with Friday’s story headlined, “Why Brett Kavanaugh wasn’t believable,” but the front page images accompanied a straight-news story.
Mediaite columnist Joseph Wulfsohn told Fox News that the biggest takeaway from Kavanaugh’s testimony was how distraught he appeared to be over the allegations against him.
“That being said, the images the Times chose of him and Dr. Ford were meant to paint a specific narrative that she was brave and truthful while he was angry and bitter,” he said.
Conservative strategist Chris Barron typically doesn’t pull punches when it comes to the Times, but he didn’t have a problem with Friday’s front page.
“I can see where some would [have an issue], but I think it reflects Judge Kavanaugh’s righteous indignation at this entire process,” Barron told Fox News. “He was angry – and rightfully so – at the political smear campaign that has been orchestrated against him and his family.”
Several followers noticed the images when the Gray Lady tweeted an image of Friday’s front page. “Disgusting bias is clear NYT! Why not use a picture like this of Kavanaugh,” one follower responded, attaching an image of Kavanaugh with his hand raised.
Another user responded, ‘Was Brett not sworn in too, or are publishing fiction again?”
“I guess you couldn’t find that photo with Mr. Kavanaugh‘s hand up professing to tell the truth.. no wonder your numbers are down. Biased,” one user responded.
In what could be considered a sign of the polarizing state of American politics, readers on both sides of the aisle found issues with the Times’ front page. While many conservatives and media watchdogs felt the images were selected to support Ford, some readers who oppose Kavanaugh took issue with the paper’s headline, “She said. He said. Now what will Senators say?”
“She said. He lied,” a follower responded while another wrote, “NYT, do not sacrifice the gravity of this day for a clever headline.”
The Times did not immediately respond to a request for comment.