New York Times reporter Trip Gabriel promoted movie star and aspiring liberal politician Ashley Judd on Saturday: "Kentuckians Don’t Rule Out a Star as a Senator." Gabriel wrote: "How serious could such a candidacy be? Plenty, it turns out."
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, "fabricating" hypocrite. Her Sunday column about the lack of veracity in the current crop of award-nominated movies, "The Oscar for Best Fabrication," has some interesting revelations on the true history behind the stories of "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Lincoln."
But Dowd is the last person to credibly comment on the subject, given her own history (item #3) of fabricating quotes, in the form of leaving out vital words from her May 14, 2003 column on President Bush's pursuit of the Taliban – a tale broken on Times Watch. Dowd wrote on Sunday:
Republicans, beware "help" from the New York Times. Robert Draper, a contributing writer to the magazine, threw four "far right" and two "extreme" labels into his 6,500-word profile of several young conservatives looking to revamp the Republican Party for the 21 century: "The Late Adopters." The cover introduced the story: "G.O.P. Smartphone – Can young, tech-savvy Republicans overthrow their party's disconnected old guard?"
The article is actually worth reading for its informative nuggets on how far the GOP trailed the Obama campaign in social media outreach. But Draper readily nods along to the assumptions that the GOP is both technologically and ideologically out of touch and will have to give up its opposition to gay marriage and soft-pedal abortion.
Newly minted Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a Tea Party politician, is "raising bipartisan hackles" and otherwise being a "bad boy" in the previously collegial U.S. Senate, opined political reporter Jonathan Weisman on the front page of Saturday's New York Times: "Texas Senator Goes on Attack And Raises Bipartisan Hackles."
Clearly disturbed about Cruz's treatment of Obama's nominee for defense secretary Chuck Hagel, reporter Weisman even put a mike in front of not one but two liberal Democratic senators who likened Cruz to notorious Sen. Joe McCarthy. Well, at least Cruz is liked by what Weisman called "ardent conservatives."
Eric Lipton made the front page of Sunday's New York Times with a strange sort of rebuttal to the paper's investigation into influence-peddling scandals (among other things) surrounding Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez, "Inquiry on Menendez’s Influence Was Powered by Partisan Players."
While reluctantly admitting the seriousness of the charges involving Menendez's relationship with Florida donor Dr. Salamon Melgen, Lipton suggested the partisan, shadowy origin of the charges weighed against them. The caption to a photo of a lonesome Menendez set the tone: "Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey said a partisan conspiracy focused the news media on him before his re-election." Would a conservative politician enveloped in scandal be covered from such a sympathy-inducing angle?
Mark Thompson, the New York Times Co. chief executive, was director-general of the British Broadcasting Corporation when a BBC news program into a massive child-sex abuse scandal involving veteran network entertainer Jimmy Savile was abruptly squashed. Uncertainty lingers as to just what (and when) Thompson knew about accusations against Savile and the cancellation of the program, questions that occasionally made it into the paper, until a report commissioned by the BBC gave Thompson a pass.
Journalist Maureen Orth has a useful new summary of what we know (and what we still don't know) on the web site of Vanity Fair.
The New York Times ran a front-page story Friday on Maureen O'Connor, the disgraced former mayor of San Diego who lost at least $13 million in casinos over the years, wagering a staggering $1 billion: "Ex-Mayor of San Diego Confronts $1 Billion Gambling Problem." O'Connor, who served between 1986 and 1992, was a rare Democratic mayor in San Diego, but you won't find the word "Democrat" in Jennifer Medina's article.
Jeremy Peters reported on Friday's front page on the surprise failure to advance the nomination of Obama's nominee for secretary of defense, former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel: "G.O.P. Blocks Vote on Hagel In the Senate." Once again, the New York Times placed the battle in the context of President Obama being unfairly delayed assembling his national security team while straining "partisan tensions." The paper also downplayed or ignored conservative concerns over Hagel's poor performance in congressional hearings and his hostile comments regarding Israel and the "Jewish lobby."
From the day President Obama nominated him, the New York Times has oozed sympathy for the plight of Chuck Hagel, Obama's nominee for secretary of Defense. Times reporters have warned darkly of the disappearance of congressional "comity" and "courtesy" (as if the clubbiness and glad-handing endemic to the U.S. Senate represents some shining exemplar of good government) among Republicans, who dare suggest Hagel came off grossly uninformed and confused on foreign policy issues in his congressional hearings.
Wagons were being circled in Thursday's "Senate Democrats, Accusing G.O.P. of Obstruction, Try to Force Hagel Vote," with reporters Jeremy Peters and Mark Mazzetti portraying the battle from the Democratic Party's point of view, with concerns about Benghazi reduced to "a point of conservative ire."
President Obama's State of the Union speech was covered by the New York Times' Mark Landler: "Obama Vows Push To Lift Economy For Middle Class." Landler, a master spinner for the president, marked the Supreme Court upholding Obama-care in embarrassingly syrupy prose in a June 2012 story: "While Mr. Obama will be remembered for bailing out the auto industry, winding down two wars and dispatching Osama bin Laden, health care was his play for history."
On Wednesday, Landler oddly claimed that Obama had signaled "the era of single-minded deficit-cutting should end" (as if it ever began), while chiding the Republican Party's "hard line stance on immigration" and pushing a higher minimum wage as an unmitigated boon for workers, though it may serve to make it even harder for the unemployed to get a job in the first place.
Welcome to Times-land, where a nation $16.5 trillion in debt is practicing "austerity" in an "age of spending cuts." That's according to Richard Stevenson's "news analysis" of Obama's State of the Union address, "In an Age of Spending Cuts, Making the Case for Government."
Stevenson was dismissive of "the conservative mantra that nearly all problems can be traced back to excess government" and criticized Obama's "more extreme conservative critics" for misrepresenting the moderate Obama.
Shocking news Monday morning -- the abdication of Pope Benedict XVI, the first time a pontiff has stepped down in almost 600 years. The banner headline over the front of Tuesday's New York Times read "Pope Resigns, With Church At Crossroads – Scandals and a Shift Away From Europe Pose Challenges." The story from Vatican City by Rachel Donadio and Elisabetta Povoledo was also front-loaded with negatives and the problems the church faces, seen through the prism of what liberal Manhattanites (i.e. Times reporters) consider vital issues: Condoms and the ordination of women.
Sam Tanenhaus, editor of the New York Times Book Review, penned a 5,000-plus excavation of the history of the GOP for the liberal magazine The New Republic (and its all-white staff): "Why Republicans Are the Party of White People -- An historical investigation," including racism accusations absent of evidence, like this: "It is not a coincidence that the resurgence of nullification is happening while our first African American president is in office."
Tanenhaus also predicted "The Death of Conservatism" in a 2009 book that was outdated as soon as it arrived, coming out during the Tea Party revival, the year before Republicans recaptured the House. Strangely, Tanenhaus is still considered by some left-wingers (like Paul Krugman, yesterday) to be a conservative, an opinion yet to be borne out by an iota of Tanenhaus's actual writing.
Courtesy of James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal's "Opinion Journal" page Friday: Under the subheadline "Great Moments in Socialized Medicine," Taranto pointed to an abject failure of Britain's National Health Service in a Times account of "shockingly bad care" at a British hospital:
"Shockingly bad care and inhumane treatment at a hospital in the Midlands led to hundreds of unnecessary deaths and stripped countless patients of their dignity and self-respect, according to a scathing report published on Wednesday," reports the New York Times's Sarah Lyall from London:
Larry Rohter, who was perhaps the New York Times' most biased reporter during the 2008 campaign (beating some stiff competition) now works the foreign arts beat. In a Sunday Arts & Leisure profile of Pablo Larrain, director of the movie "No," about the 1988 vote that ended the long dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, Rohter actually compared Pinochet indirectly to the Tea Party and the libertarian industrialists, the Koch brothers.
The New York Times managed to find mitigating circumstances for ex-cop and accused killer Christopher Dorner, subject of a manhunt in California, in its weekend coverage. On Saturday, L.A.-based Adam Nagourney reported "For Some, Shooting Suspect's Charges of Police Racism Resonate – They Say Accusations Raise Memories Of Past Abuses, Despite Much Progress."
The Times, which had nothing to say in its previous reports about Dorner's praise for liberal media personalities contained in his chatty Facebook "manifesto," certainly showed respect to his (perhaps falsified) beefs about racism in the LAPD. Can one imagine the conspiratorial rants of elderly American Nazi James von Brunn, who killed a security guard at the Holocaust Museum in D.C., given similar respect in the Times?
A day after the New York Times ignored the connection between Floyd Corkins, who attempted a mass murder at a conservative think tank, and the left-wing "hate group" monitor Southern Poverty Law Center, which had labeled FRC "anti-gay," there broke another case of bias by omission regarding news that might embarrass prominent liberals. Chris Dorner, an ex-cop on a vengeful rampage against police officers in Los Angeles, praised liberal media personalities in his oddly chatty "manifesto" posted on Facebook. Those details were absent from Friday's account by Adam Nagourney and Ian Lovett, "Manhunt On for Ex-Officer Accused of Police Vendetta."
Yet the Times has previously made up entirely fantastical accusations about conservatives like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Bill O'Reilly, accusing them with no links or evidence whatsoever of fanning flames of hatred that incited murder.
Floyd Corkins Jr. pleaded guilty on Wednesday to wounding a security guard at the Washington headquarters of the Family Research Council, a conservative Christian lobbying group fighting against gay marriage, on August 15 last year. Corkins was carrying 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches at the time – the restaurant chain noteworthy for its public, Christian-based opposition to gay marriage – and intended to rub the sandwiches in his victims' faces.
The New York Times made do with a brief from Reuters that did not mention a vital angle: That FRC was brought to the attention of Corkins via the website of the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center, which has labeled FRC a "hate group."
News that the New York Times and Washington Post kept secret until recently the secret U.S. drone base in Saudi Arabia is once again raising questions on the paper's politicized double standards on keeping state secrets related to the war on terror.
Contrast the deference paid to the Obama administration's request for secrecy, going along with the national security arguments advanced by Obama (until Wednesday's expose of White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, Obama's choice to head the CIA) with how the paper routinely leaked secrets during the Bush administration that may have hurt anti-terrorist programs. Here are just some of the national security low-lights and double standards Times Watch has documented at the Times over the years.
President Obama's media acolytes must really be disappointed – they're comparing his administration's unilateral behavior in the war on terror to that of George W. Bush. The new interest was kicked off by a Justice Department document leaked on Monday that offered a legal analysis of when the president can order the targeted killing of an American citizen suspected of terrorism, without due process. Wednesday's lead New York Times article from Yemen was a rundown of the fatal drone strikes authorized by President Obama and his "kill list" coordinator John Brennan, now Obama's nominee to head the C.I.A.
The Times relegated the actual news about the leaked document to page 11, in the International section, in a "news analysis" by reporters Scott Shane and Charlie Savage that dug into the politics of the controversy under an odd, vague headline: "Report on Targeted Killing Whets Appetite for Less Secrecy."