"This Week in Hate"–or "This Week in Fake"?

The editors of the New York Times, quaking in their Birkenstocks after the Trumpocalypse of Nov. 8, have launched a new column on Tuesday that they've titled "This Week in Hate." As the trembling editors put it:

This Week in Hate tracks hate crimes and harassment around the country since the election of Donald Trump.

And indeed the inaugural column bears an ominous headline: "Threats of an Anti-Muslim Holocaust."

But the bulk of the 10 incidents listed in the NYT inaugural hate-a-palooza don't actually reach genocide level. They mostly consisted of swastikas spotted on the walls of New York City subway cars, a pest removed from a Delta plane for annoying other passengers by shouting, "Donald Trump!" and "We got some Hillary bitches on here!," and  a female customer at a supermarket in Albuquerque, N.M., who yelled, "Get out of our country!" at another female customer who was wearing a hijab.

No hate too small for the intrepid NYT editors to ferret out!

But some of the other hate-o'-the week entries suggest that the NYT editors might have dialed up their hate-o-meters a bit high. Let's look at that "anti-Muslim Holocaust." Here's what the NYT reports:

In the last week, three mosques in California and one in Georgia have received letters threatening that Donald Trump “is going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews.” The letters were signed “Americans for a Better Way.”

But here is what the Washington Post story about the letters reports:

Though the letters are filled with hateful language, their contents are too vague to be considered a hate crime, Stephen Woolery, head of the counterterrorism division of the FBI’s Los Angeles office, said at the news conference. “The letters are sensational,” Woolery said. “But the letters don’t specifically contain a threat. The letters don’t speak specifically or directly about a threat of violence. And that’s what the FBI looks for when we investigate these types of incidents.”

Then there's this incident as described in the NYT:

In Bangor, Me., on Nov. 18, an African-American man was punched and pushed to the ground. Afterward, according to reports from two passersby, his attacker said he should watch out, because Mr. Trump could deport him.

Except that the Bangor Daily News reports this:

The Maine attorney general’s office has determined that an assault reported Friday near Essex and Somerset streets was not racially motivated, according to Bangor police spokesman Sgt. Tim Cotton….

Joshua Pendergast, 42, of Bangor was charged late Monday with misdemeanor assault, but was not arrested. Pendergast is scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 21 at the Penobscot Judicial Center on the Class D assault charge.

Two people who came across the victim after the alleged assault said he told them his assailant was wearing a suit and smelled of alcohol when he threw him to the ground and yelled at him “that Trump would deport him,” a previous report said.

Cotton said Wednesday that Pendergast denied making that statement.

Then we have this from the NYT hate-a-thon:

In Astoria, Queens, on Nov. 17, an Arab-American Uber driver recorded a video of another driver shouting at him that “Trump is president” and “they’ll deport you soon.”

The Washington Post, which got the story first, reported:

The recipient of the verbal attacks was Chris Cody’s Uber driver, Cody told The Washington Post. The incident on Crescent Street in the Astoria neighborhood in Queens happened Thursday morning, just before the Uber driver picked up Cody in Manhattan.

Cody, a St. Johns University adjunct professor who speaks Arabic, said he found out about the incident after striking up a conversation with his Uber driver, whom he knows only by his first name, Mohammed….

Cody said that Mohammed was initially hesitant, but that he was able to persuade him to send the video to him, so Cody could share it on social media. He said Mohammed was unsure about reporting the incident to police and does not want his full name to be known.

In other words, "Mohammed" not only failed to report this supposed hate offense but may or may not even exist. Great journalism, NYT!

Strangely enough, "This Week in Hate" somehow overlooked this teeny-weeny hate episode in Ohio that occurred on Nov. 28, the day before the new column appeared. Maybe that's because it involved 11 people getting stabbed by a Muslim instead of having mean things shouted to a Muslim.

And anyway, the NYT's guiding principle seems to be: If you can't blame Trump, it's not hate.