New York Times slammed for ‘terminal both-sides-ism’ after reporting on Trump’s disinfectant rant
President Donald Trump looks on as White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx delivers remarks during a coronavirus update briefing

At his nightly coronavirus press briefing on Thursday, April 23, President Donald Trump suggested that household disinfectants such as Lysol could be ingested as a way to ward off coronavirus — an idea so dangerous that the manufacturers of Lysol, Reckitt Benckiser, had to warn users that their product should only be used as a disinfectant and should not be ingested under any circumstances. Trump is being lambasted on Twitter for making such a ridiculous suggestion — and some Twitter users are slamming the New York Times for going too far to achieve balance when reporting on it.


Twitter user @PaulWuster implied that what was real-life reporting from the New York Times on Trump’s press conference was the sort of parody that would be made up by “the staff of The Onion.” And @RemmieYeo, similarly, tweeted, “It’s like The Onion came to life to satirize 19th century America in the 21st.”

Trump repeatedly claims that the New York Times has a vendetta against him. But as some Twitter users see it, the Times went way overboard in its effort to be even-handed.

@BoiseJim7, quoting the Times, posted, “’Dangerously in the view of some experts’”- what the hell is wrong with your paper? It’s dangerous period! That’s an objective fact, not an opinion! Holy hell!” And @cluebcke described the Times’ reporting as “terminal both-sides-ism,” while @RationalWiki asked the Times, “Sirs, could you please detail for us the editorial process that leads to both-sidesing drinking bleach? Thank you.”

@DavMicRot wrote, “Cannot believe I need to write this, but: Despite what the @nytimes implies here in their pathetic attempt at False Equivalency, *ALL* experts agree that injecting yourself with bleach will kill you. So, do not listen to the President, it will kill you.

@Jmatonak sarcastically posted, “bleach keeps you young, so i’ve been told ’cause nobody who drinks it lives to get old!” And David Rothschild, @DavMicRot, tweeted, “Cannot believe I need to write this, but: Despite what the @nytimes implies here in their pathetic attempt at False Equivalency, *ALL* experts agree that injecting yourself with bleach will kill you. So, do not listen to the President, it will kill you.”

According to @gilmored85, “If you can’t state unequivocally that injecting yourself with disinfectants is bad, you have no business in journalism.”

UPDATE: The New York Times later rephrased their opening paragraph.

That paragraph now states, “On Thursday, he returned to that theme at the daily White House coronavirus briefing, bringing in a top administration scientist to back up his assertions and eagerly theorizing about treatments involving the use of household disinfectant that would be dangerous if put inside the body, as well as the power of sunlight and ultraviolet light.”