Pundits of many persuasions had no doubt. The president won a great victory; and the main reason was that Republicans, exemplified by Mitt Romney, had embraced all the wrong policies. Republicans were hopelessly out of touch. Their only hope was to drop their principles and become Dem Lites.

Starting the day after the election, The New York Times, like most of the liberal media, launched an all-out attack on disheartened Republicans. Change or die, losers!Nytimes_hq

Not so fast.

First of all, the election was close, hardly a mandate for anyone. Furthermore, a chorus of voices allege voter fraud. This suggests that the president’s margin was thin, at best.

A bigger truth is this: it was never Romney versus Obama, it was always Romney versus Obama and The Liberal Media, Inc. That the results were so close is revealing.

Remove the grotesquely partisan and influential Times from the equation and you probably see Romney running away with the election. The Times is very powerful by itself. Additionally, it sets the agenda for scores of lesser papers around the country. The result, nationally, is an intellectually corrupt political arena perfect for Obama.

Walter Duranty, at the Times, helped cover up Stalin’s multitudinous crimes against humanity in the 1930’s. Forced starvation killed millions. Duranty got a Pulitzer. That’s part of the newspaper’s DNA.

Today, the Times seems to me casually dishonest and disingenuous. Calling itself a moderate newspaper when it is in fact a liberal propaganda operation, the Times still pushes the far-left policies that viewed Stalin favorably.

The Times hides behind its facade. The prim, old-fashioned design provides respectability. People call it The Old Gray Lady. Critics say it would be correctly named The New York Pravda.

A newspaper is supposed to investigate and report, “without fear or favor.” The Times does something quite different. It carefully advances its favorite people and policies. It cheerfully destroys its opponents. The essential strategy is to spin stories when possible (that is, make them say what the Times wants them to say). When a story is too hot to handle, the Times pretends not to notice it.

If the Times covered news and politics as fairly as it covers sports, then we would have a great newspaper. But it doesn’t and we don’t.

Here is the playbook, the formula, for classy liberal journalism:

If Romney sat down, we might read: “Look how passive he is. He’s got no energy. Nothing to offer. How could he possibly lead the country?”

If Obama sat down, we might read: “Look at the cool majesty, always in control, always thinking. What a leader.”

Multiply times 100,000 iterations.

Remember what this phony bunch did with Sarah Palin in 2008 because she had the kind of wardrobe any candidate needs to make four or five appearances a day? She was a crazed spendthrift. And again, how they dragged Herman Cain through the mud for weeks on sneers and innuendoes. Do we even know after all of that whether the man broke the law? The Times is like waves of Zeros swooping in to bomb Pearl Harbor.

On the other side, Obama has numerous alleged vulnerabilities you never hear about. I mean charges or suspicions that, if attached to a Republican, would excite a month-long orgy, with reporters camping on the front lawn, detectives snooping through garbage, all that. On the internet, there are a multitude of pertinent claims, with lots of names and specifics, about Obama’s Communist mentor, his missing records, his private life, his place of birth, his religion, his forged birth certificate, his plans for weakening the country, etc. But if allegations are about Obama, they disappear like so much joy in a socialist dictatorship.

The Times does not see what it does not want us to see.

Just before the election, one of the world’s most famous people challenged the President mano a mano: show your college applications and your favorite charity will receive $5 million. An amazing piece of week-long theater unfolded, doubtless reported worldwide. Donald Trump announced that Obama’s not showing the records proved his presidency was a “con.” Lots of news here, but not recorded in the “newspaper of record.”

So, Timesmen, you’re still far-left radicals after all these years? Great. Go for it, boys. But don’t pretend to be running a newspaper, you know, that thing where people report the news more or less honestly. “Without fear or favor,” as the Times bragged long ago.

Times, thy name is agitprop.

Imagine a high-school football team where several of the players are nephews of crooked referees. This team’s infractions won’t be called. This team will always win. The other team will be lucky to score at all. That’s the same chance Romney had.

Freedom of the press means that media can freely tell the truth about events. But what if they refuse to be free, and instead serve an agenda. Then we have a captive press, in our case, a self-captured press. The Times ends up seeming like the proverbial Fifth Column, a group of people who act subversively out of a secret sympathy with an enemy of their country.

The dreariest part of this story for me that the Times often sets the agenda for my local paper. Invariably, if I find a long boring article carefully skirting most of the important aspects of the story, I’m never surprised to see the New York Times byline.

Recent articles about Benghazi and General Petraeus were examples of damage control, not reporting. We now know more about Paula Broadwell than we do about what Obama did on the evening of Sept. 11 in response to the attack in Benghazi.

My main interest is education, my big lament that public schools have stopped emphasizing facts and knowledge. Too many of the nation’s media suffer from the same dysfunction, and probably for the same reason. Ideology.

Bruce Deitrick Price is an author and education reformer. He founded Improve-Education.org in 2005; his site explains theories and methods.