New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet convened a full newsroom meeting on Monday to discuss recent concerns with the newspaper. Specifically, Baquet focused on the backlash directed at the Times over a recent headline that Democrats thought was too friendly toward President Donald Trump.
Transcripts of the meeting, which centered on the president’s alleged racism and reveal how the Times plans to craft its narrative about Trump moving forward, were later leaked to Slate and published on Thursday.
“Chapter 1 of the story of Donald Trump, not only for our newsroom but, frankly, for our readers, was: Did Donald Trump have untoward relationships with the Russians, and was there obstruction of justice?” Baquet said.
But after Robert Mueller’s investigation concluded that Trump’s campaign did not collude with Russia, Baquet claimed “the story changed,” forcing the Times to “regroup, and shift resources and emphasis to take on a different story.”
That new story? Trump’s alleged racism.
“I think that we’ve got to change. I mean, the vision for coverage for the next two years is what I talked about earlier: How do we cover a guy who makes these kinds of remarks? How do we cover the world’s reaction to him? How do we do that while continuing to cover his policies? How do we cover America, that’s become so divided by Donald Trump?” Baquet explained.
He added, “That, to me, is the vision for coverage. You all are going to have to help us shape that vision. But I think that’s what we’re going to have to do for the rest of the next two years.”
While the New York Times newsroom remains split about the newspaper’s coverage of the president, Baquet later told CNN he believes the Times is covering Trump “very aggressively.”