Last year we spent a lot of time complaining about the New York Times' softball coverage of Donald Trump (at least after he cinched the nomination). Well before that, we were complaining about the paper's sloppy, credulous, and deferential coverage of Silicon Valley billionaires. It was only a matter of time before the two threads converged.
Check out the following from today's edition by Mike Isaac [emphasis added]:
Uber was under attack — unfairly, many staff members believed — after people accused the company of seeking to profit from giving rides to airport customers in New York during weekend protests against President Trump’s immigration order.
But there was another matter disturbing the employees: Mr. Kalanick himself. He had joined Mr. Trump’s economic advisory council in December. After the immigration order against refugees and seven Muslim-majority countries, many staff members wondered why Mr. Kalanick was still willing to advise the president.
At least in the immediate sense, “seeking to profit” is the opposite of what CEO Travis Kalanick is accused of. The key point of contention here is the decision to suspend surge pricing.
Here are William Turton and Bryan Menegus explained it writing for Gizmodo:
#deleteuber was born Friday while demonstrators at JFK airport protested Trump’s executive order on immigration. While the New York Taxi Worker’s Alliance was striking in protest of the ban, Uber sent a tweet saying it had dropped surge pricing. This, in combination with Kalanick’s participation on the business advisory council, started a wave of deletions so huge that Uber had to build a new system to handle them all.
Or put more bluntly by Raphael Orlove at the sister site Jalopnik.
#DeleteUber is trending on Twitter after the notoriously scummy ride-hailing app broke a strike and undercut taxi drivers’ protest of President Trump’s refugee-detaining executive order.
The New York Times pretty much tells the story the way Uber would like it told, omitting or downplaying accusations of strike-breaking and undermining protests. It's the kind of reporting we've increasing come to expect from the once great paper, the kind of reporting that did a lot to get us into our current crisis.