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July 7, 2020 (NewsBusters) — Is there anything sillier than The New York Times in these Trump years calling anyone else's tone “dark and divisive”? 

They're too self-importantly partisan to have any shame. The paper's lead story on Independence Day by White House correspondent Annie Karni carried the online headline: “Trump Uses Mount Rushmore Speech to Deliver Divisive Culture War Message.” The paper's Twitter feed captured the tone: “President Trump delivered a dark and divisive speech at Mount Rushmore, leaning into the culture wars and barely mentioning the pandemic.”

Standing in a packed amphitheater in front of Mount Rushmore for an Independence Day celebration, President Trump delivered a dark and divisive speech on Friday that cast his struggling effort to win a second term as a battle against a “new far-left fascism” seeking to wipe out the nation's values and history.

This is where we are. Speaking up for America and her greatest presidents is a “divisive culture war message.” As if the Times isn't waging war on Trump? Karni defended the left from Trump's attacks.

With the coronavirus pandemic raging and his campaign faltering in the polls, his appearance amounted to a fiery reboot of his re-election effort, using the holiday and an official presidential address to mount a full-on culture war against a straw-man version of the left that he portrayed as inciting mayhem and moving the country toward totalitarianism.

Was there no mayhem in the streets? Did all those Manhattan windows get smashed to bits by…straw men? 

The Times chided Trump supporters for attending the outdoor rally, yet never lectured protestors after George Floyd's death.

“Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children,” Mr. Trump said, addressing a packed crowd of sign-waving supporters, few of whom wore masks…

Instead, appealing unabashedly to his base with ominous language and imagery, he railed against what he described as a dangerous “cancel culture” intent on toppling monuments and framed himself as a strong leader who would protect the Second Amendment, law enforcement and the country's heritage.

The scene at Mount Rushmore was the latest sign of how Mr. Trump appears, by design or default, increasingly disconnected from the intense concern among Americans about the health crisis gripping the country. More than just a partisan rally, it underscored the extent to which Mr. Trump is appealing to a subset of Americans to carry him to a second term by changing the subject and appealing to fear and division.

In the amphitheater below, few in the packed crowd practiced any social distancing as people waved signs that referred to CNN as the “Communist News Network.” …

One can imagine the Times getting sensitive about being accused of toadying for communists.

Many conservatives on social media found it ironic for the New York Times to call someone else divisive.

PS: On Friday's front page, Richard Fausset, Mitch Smith, Sabrina Tavernise collaborated on “Expect a Fourth With More Fizzle Than Bang.”

Elsewhere, the pleas were similar: Skip the party. Stay home. Do not make a bad situation worse.

Then the reporters had the gall to turn around and talk about the mass street protests — not to chide the protestors for not staying home themselves, but as reason not to celebrate the 4th of July at all! Again, no mention of social distancing violations.

At the same time, the anti-racism street protests that swelled across the country after George Floyd died in police custody on Memorial Day have prompted more people to question whether they should celebrate the holiday at all.

Published with permission from NewsBusters.