The New York Times’ (NYT) reply to the piece’s author is not only telling: It revealed the intent of the author who was identified as a ‘senior official’ in the Trump administration. It was published ostensibly as it supported a central claim in a forthcoming book authored by Bob Woodward (of Watergate fame), who commented how members of the president’s staff are “actively working to subvert him.”
Published on Wednesday, September 5th, the NYT justified its decision:
“The New York Times today is taking the rare step of publishing an anonymous Op-Ed essay.
We have done so at the request of the author, a senior official in the Trump administration
whose identity is known to us and whose job would be jeopardized by its disclosure.
We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective
to our readers.”
The unnamed official, it was learned, “painted a portrait of a divided White House because of misgivings over
the behavior of President Trump himself.”
More on the piece: “The dilemma – which he does not fully grasp –is that many of the senior officials
in his own administration are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of the agenda and
his worst inclinations.”
It was further learned that the NYT gave a clue in reference to the author’s gender.
The Times through an editorial note accompanying the aforementioned essay explained why it withheld the
author’s identity “to protect the person’s job.”
Author Woodward’s forthcoming book,”In Fear: Trump in the White House,” as he explained it, is an expose
on Trump’s presidency.
Woodward has described a scene in which Gary Cohen, former chief economic advisor, “stole a letter off
Trump’s desk before the president could sign it to keep him from terminating a trade agreement
with South Korea.”
The book, it was further learned, is “filled with interviews from officials expressing grave concerns about
Trump’s fitness for office.”
In the same issue published by the Times, the author is seen as “bolstering” the above-mentioned concerns.
“The root of the problem is the president’s amorality. Anyone who works with him knows he is not
moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making. Although he was elected
as a Republican, the president shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives: free
minds, free markets and free people. At best, he has invoked these ideals in scripted settings.
At worst, he has attacked them outright.”
The rest of the day, reportedly, Trump and members of his staff had “already spent much of the day
trying to discredit Woodward’s book when the Times op-ed was published, sending the administration into
damage control much more.”
Moments after, Trump and his aides were given a copy of the Times’ issue, Trump did not lose any time
in rebuking the Times by way of his off-the-cuff comments delivered at the White House which he called
the essay “anonymous,” meaning “gutless.”
“When you tell me about some anonymous source in the administration, probably who is failing, and probably
here for all the wrong reasons,” Trump said: “Now, and the New York Times is failing, if I weren’t here I believe
the New York Times probably wouldn’t even exist.”
There is much more knowledge that needs to be defined; the senior author of the aforesaid Opinion essay
is identified as a “senior Trump administration official” who was candid in declaring how “he and others
are working to frustrate the president’s “misguided impulses.”
The New York Times should be lauded for its efforts in seeing to the publication of the piece despite
its admission that it took the right step of publishing that essay the way it was received: “anonymously.”