New York Times slammed for framing of SCOTUS decision as 'siding with conservative groups'

On Thursday, the New York Times reported on the Supreme Court ruling that California charities do not have to report the names and addresses of their donors, citing the First Amendment. Their tweet on the subject, however, framed it as the court siding with conservative groups.

The NYT tweeted “Breaking News: The Supreme Court rejected California’s requirement that charities report the identities of major donors, siding with conservative groups who said the disclosures could lead to harassment.”

The account also remarked how the original requirement was challenged by Americans for Prosperity Foundation, “a group affiliated with the Koch family,” and Thomas More Law Center, a “conservative Christian public-interest law firm.”


Many Twitter users quickly pointed out that the original California requirement was opposed by various groups including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

National Review writer Charles Cooke tweeted “*siding with lots of groups on both sides—including the ACLU, PETA, the HRC, and the NAACP—who like the First Amendment.”

Sonny Bunch, cultural editor at The Bulwark, tweeted an account of the NAACP’s fight against the ruling noting “Another group that opposes this: the NAACP. The NAACP opposes this, in part, because Alabama tried to get its membership rolls 70 years ago to target agitators. Congrats, people who oppose this ruling: you’re on the side of Alabama 70 years ago.”

Conservative commentator Erick Erickson also remarked, “This is actually factually not true.  Major progressive groups from @HRC to @ACLU to @CAIRNational and more filed amicus briefs siding with the conservative group that sued. @nytimes is not being honest about the situation.”

Prior to the decision, Casey Mattox, who is a senior fellow of the Koch Institute, posted an account of the case noting over forty amicus briefs were filed by hundreds of organizations in protest of the California law.

“It is possible that no constitutional case has ever seen the diversity of amici present in AFPF v Bonta. They include religious, secular, LGBT, pro-life, pro-choice, racial justice, animal rights, human rights, colleges, ballets, museums and more,” he remarked.

Several other media outlets mimicked the Times’ framing. Forbes  claimed the decision sided with conservative groups as well as empowered “dark money groups.” NPR further claimed the ruling was “siding with rich donors and their desire to remain anonymous.”

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