I’m old enough to remember when the style guides told writers to say what they mean simply and clearly. And then there’s the NYTimes:
“It was unclear whether Mr. Trump believed that the agreement truly represented new and broader concessions, or whether the president understood the limits of the deal but accepted it as a face-saving way to escape from the political and economic consequences of imposing tariffs on Mexico, which he began threatening less than two weeks ago.”
In other words, is the prznint a moron or a liar?
Straight news articles answer questions, not pose them. This is cowardly journalism.
Back in my editing days I would have struck that paragraph or would have suggested that they start by answering the question they pose in the headline: “President Lies Again,” or perhaps “President Saves Face,” or perhaps, “Mexico Outplays Trump.”
So which possibility is it, NYTimes? As Bill Moyers used to say,let the facts lead you to a conclusion.
Slightly better Bloomberg shows the NYTimes the way:
“Mexico Never Agreed to Farm Deal Publicly Touted by Trump”:
“President Donald Trump boasted of ‘large’ agricultural sales to Mexico as part of a deal reached Friday on border security and illegal immigration that averted the threat of U.S. tariffs, but the deal as released had none, and three Mexican officials say they’re not aware of any side accord. Trump told his 61 million Twitter followers in an all-caps message that Mexico had agreed to ‘immediately begin buying large quantities of agricultural product from our great patriot farmers.’
“But the communique issued late Friday by the State Department — the U.S.-Mexico Joint Declaration — made no mention of agricultural trade as part of the agreement. The State Department didn’t respond to an inquiry made through its press department. The White House declined to comment or offer proof to back up Trump’s tweet. The Mexican foreign ministry’s press office declined to comment.”
The headline still soft-pedals it: “Trump Lies About Mexico Farm Deal” would be more accurate.