The New York Times Op-Ed is a Scam


Picture by Pranesh Kumar

By Pranesh Kumar, Staff Writer

On Wednesday, September 5, 2018, the New York Times’s Opinion desk published an op-ed article by an anonymous “senior official” in the Trump administration. The article was published in order to deliver an important perspective to readers, and it supposedly remains anonymous so that the author’s job is not in jeopardy. Despite the efforts of the NY Times and the media, there is plenty of evidence to prove that the author of the op-ed is not a senior official in the Trump administration. It is unknown who actually wrote the article, though the real author is most likely someone with the intention of stirring confusion within the president’s administration.

An op-ed, by definition, is a page in a newspaper that is placed on the opposite side of the editorial page. Articles written on this page are opinionated but are not supposed to be written by any members of a newspaper’s editorial board.  

Regardless of who actually wrote the op-ed, the content of the article and what it suggests cannot be refuted. The author of the op-ed wrote that he/she is one of many senior officials in the White House who is working hard to frustrate parts of the president’s agenda. Thwarting the agenda is not a resistance movement from the left, but rather an act based on the “amorality of the president.” The author also mentions that the group of officials initially thought of invoking the 25th amendment and removing Trump from power. However, they eventually changed their mind in fear of a constitutional crisis. This is why they are resorting to “steering the agenda” in the right direction.

Aside from just this op-ed, there was also a book published this week by Bob Woodward. The book details more stories of the mistrust within the Trump administration while also using the anonymous testimony of former and current administration officials. It is confusing why both the op-ed and the book had anonymous testimonies, even though there are other, less suspicious ways of presenting the same idea.

There are alternative ways in which the members of the “resistance” within the Trump administration could have achieved their goal. For one, they could have gone ahead with the plan of impeaching Trump before the 2020 election. The op-ed goes as far as calling Trump anti-democratic, yet the author still says that removing him from power would spark a constitutional crisis. The 25th amendment was created for situations where a president is unfit to rule the country, and the senior officials of Trump’s administration have the power to utilize this amendment to impeach Trump. Therefore, if the resistance group is expansive and believes Trump is immoral, they more likely would have attempted to impeach him than not.

In addition to this, it is highly unlikely that a large resistance group would have been working under the nose of the president or fellow cabinet members. People loyal to Trump would have noted the situation, and the president would have secretly worked with these people to remove the resistance group from power. A large portion of Trump’s senior officials has also openly claimed that they are not the authors of the article. This sparks further doubt as to how a “large group” of people could have been working against the president for so long.

The New York Times is a highly acclaimed news source and does not usually spread false information. However, there is plenty of circumstantial evidence to suggest that the anonymous op-ed article could be an exception.