The New York Times has been accused of fanning the flames of classism and divisiveness after a bizarre ‘quiz’ asked readers to match photos of refrigerator interiors to supporters of President Donald Trump or Democrat Joe Biden.

The “hundreds” of fridge interiors shown in Wednesday’s online article-quiz ranged from wildly stereotypical to cryptic. The most correctly guessed were the supposed Trump supporter’s fridge filled with beer and Kool-Aid and another Trump supporter’s overflowing with a giant bucket of fried chicken, a jug of sweet tea, and a super-size container of margarine. Biden supporters’ fridges on the other hand sported Brita water filters, bagels, and pricey organic milk (of cow and soy varieties).

Here’s Fridge #1. Take a close look.

But readers were confused by a Biden fridge packed to bursting with mayonnaise and milk, a Trump fridge dominated by Chobani yogurt, ricotta cheese and fruit juices, and a Biden fridge that was mostly empty except for a handful of containers and a big red ketchup dispenser.

And here’s Fridge #2.

Despite the stereotype-defying fridge contents, the Times highlighted incriminating “details” from Trump fridges (Cool Whip and Velveeta – highly processed substitutes for mayonnaise and cheese, respectively – alongside containers of potato salad) and Biden fridges (expensive yogurts, pickles). Even while admitting its own readers were frequently tripped up by the food hoards, the paper pointed to results from a recent survey indicating Biden supporters liked Grey Poupon mustard and Minute-Maid orange juice while Trump fans were more inclined to feast on Ken’s salad dressing and Pace picante sauce.

Many rolled their eyes at the lack of substance to the feature, questioning why the Times would waste space on such a frivolous topic less than a week ahead of an election the paper itself had described as the most important in voters’ lifetimes. “I am so sorry I stopped subscribing,” one user sarcastically tweeted, admitting that at least “it does beat banging the drums for the Iraq War, or obsessing about Hillary’s e-mails.” 

This is repulsive. Less than a week before the most important election of our lifetime – in the middle of a worldwide epidemic in which we’ve lost over 200,000 Americans …And you spend staff and editorial resources on this BSReprehensible. Unforgivable.

Wow, this is really great journalism here. Definitely should win a pulitzer. Or maybe focus a bit more on voter suppression the #covid19 pandemic, #healthcareworkers (particularly #nurses) dying, and other, you know, actually important issues @deanbaquet

More pointed criticism focused on why the Times felt the need to divide Americans by the contents of their refrigerators, as many interpreted the quiz as throwing shade on the poor. “So the middle fridge is welfare huh??” one user guessed.

This isn’t even new. This is an extension of “poor people voted for Trump, and latte-sipping organic food shoppers voted for the Democrat.” Cheap, inaccurate, and worn out. Do better @nytimes

This is classist garbage?

Plenty cracked jokes about telltale items (or the lack thereof)…

Biden fridge would have organic non gmo gluten free locally sourced substantial vegan snowflake low carb cupcakes in a eco friendly recycled container.

Look at the freezer. You can tell a Democrat by the frozen water bottles to be used to throw at police.

…though some poked equal opportunity fun.

No fruits and no vegetables: an American.

This will be handy for when I’m burgling a house and want to guess their political association by looking at their fridge.

While a few Times defenders suggested the idea of the quiz was actually to force coastal lefties to come to terms with what they had in common with the average Trump supporter – i.e. the contents of their fridge – the article accompanying the quiz seemed loath to allow such a conclusion to be drawn. While it admitted some 12 percent of respondents “did not have access to all of the food they needed in the previous two weeks” and acknowledged “empty or nearly empty fridges were split roughly evenly between Trump and Biden supporters,” these admissions were only slipped in at the very end of the article.

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