It looks like the New York Times is at it again. In recent years, America's least-reliable news source has developed a strange view of Britain — or at least since the Brexit vote in 2016. In the NYT’s world, the UK is a desolate place, where locals huddle round trash can fires on the streets of London, gnawing on legs of mutton and cavorting in swamps during the summer, ever fearful of the despot prime minister, Boris Johnson. Just last month the paper's international edition ran a front-page comment piece claiming the country would "sleepwalk into tyranny" thanks to our "ever more spiteful nationalism.'"

Now...

It looks like the New York Times is at it again. In recent years, America’s least-reliable news source has developed a strange view of Britain — or at least since the Brexit vote in 2016. In the NYT’s world, the UK is a desolate place, where locals huddle round trash can fires on the streets of London, gnawing on legs of mutton and cavorting in swamps during the summer, ever fearful of the despot prime minister, Boris Johnson. Just last month the paper’s international edition ran a front-page comment piece claiming the country would “sleepwalk into tyranny” thanks to our “ever more spiteful nationalism.'”

Now though it seems the Brit-bashing has a new outlet: attacking the UK’s greatest living writer. In their rush to identify themselves with fashionable elite opinion, the New York Times has decided to take aim at J.K. Rowling, persona non grata in the woketariat for her comments about sex and gender. The paper has launched a new achingly right-on advertising campaign, ostensibly based around one of its subscribers and their passions.

A new YouTube ad introduces us to ‘Lianna’, who, we are told, has subscribed to the NYT since 2020 and is described as a “harmony of flavors.” We are introduced to her various passions for articles on themes such as “a week in crossword land” and “queer love in color” before another suggested newspaper title flashes up: “Imagining Harry Potter without its creator.” It’s the only implicit reference in the thirty-second clip to any notable individual and is clearly something of a deliberate swipe at She Who Must Not Be Named, the outspoken author whose critics have indeed tried to erase her works.

Indeed, the line has been carefully picked out to adorn advertising boards in New York and DC too, suggesting that the paper knows exactly what it is doing by highlighting Rowling. The NYT is running its campaign under the tagline of “independent journalism” — even though by blindly following the herd on this one it doesn’t exactly suggest much in the way of independent thought.

Clearly, being well-informed isn’t one of the benefits of subscribing to the NYT. For, without its creator, “Lianna” wouldn’t be imagining anything about Harry Potter at all. Cockburn suggests subscribing to the Daily Prophet instead…or The Spectator.

This article was originally published on The Spectator’s UK website.