Michelle Obama is sitting out the tight Senate races in 2014, and the New York Times seems a bit worried. Saturday's front page story by Jackie Calmes was interspersed with praise for both the crowd-rousing Michelle and that resilient "ace" campaigner, former first lady Hillary Clinton.
New York Times former Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse held a dubious celebration of Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. in her nytimes.com column, while attacking the Court’s "steady regression on race and its deregulatory hijacking of the First Amendment" and Justice Clarence Thomas's "full-steam-back-to-the-18th-century" approach to constitutional interpretation.
The reporter who broke the Rotherham sex abuse scandal, Andrew Norfolk of the Times (UK), first had to get over his misgivings that the awful facts would "be a dream story for the far right" in England.
As the referendum for Scottish independence from Britain draws near, the New York Times continues to bang the drums for separatism.
In the heated run-up to the September 18 independence vote in Scotland, where Scots will vote on whether to separate from the United Kingdom after 307 years, the New York Times has planted its flag on the liberal, pro-independence side in its coverage, with jabs at the ruling Conservative Party and some old-fashioned Margaret Thatcher-bashing thrown in.
Continuing a broader mainstream media pattern Sunday's New York Times and Washington Post hit Obama almost exclusively (and emotionally) from the left on his decision to hold off on his brand of unilateral immigration "reform" until after the 2014 election cycle.
Last week Newsbusters analyzed the strange new respect granted a local Texas candidate (and Bush family member) George P. Bush: His global warming advocacy which, according to an approving headline, "Stray[ed] From Party Ideology."
Reporter Neena Satija of the Texas Tribune praised Bush, a candidate for Texas Land Commissioner, for avoiding making a "Tea Party talking point" and admitting the threat of global warming “honestly keeps me up at night.” But that's not what Bush actually said, according to the full transcript of the Satija-Bush interview posted at the Texas Tribune, a left-leaning journalism center which partners with the Times. In fact, reporter Satija was the one constantly introducing the subject of climate change, and used egregiously out-of-context quotes to make a phony case that Bush was a true believer in human-caused global warming. Sarah Rumpf at Breitbart has the scoop:
Strange New Respect? The national edition of Sunday's New York Times featured a favorable profile of a Bush family politician: George P. Bush (son of former Florida governor Jeb Bush) who's running for a minor state government post in Texas this fall. So what makes him worthy of a news story in the Sunday Times?
Well, here's the headline: "On Climate, a Younger Bush’s Ideas Stray From Party Ideology." Ah, that would explain it. Reporter Neena Satija clearly approved:
The New York Times invariably casts any GOP inquiry into the intelligence failures that led to the death of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, as a purely partisan venture. The pattern was noted last year by the paper's own Public Editor Margaret Sullivan, who wrote before hearings in May 2013, "The Times has had a tendency to both play down the subject, which has significant news value, and to pursue it most aggressively as a story about political divisiveness rather than one about national security mistakes and the lack of government transparency. Many readers would like to see more on that front, and so would I."
But the Times is still at it. Friday's story by Jonathan Weisman and Jennifer Steinhauer reduced a deliberative investigative effort by GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy to a politically motivated ploy to damage former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's presidential run in 2016: "Democrats Wary of Benghazi Inquiry Stretching Into ’16 Election Season." They also reveal that Benghazi is an outrage only for "the Republican Party's most conservative voters."
The New York Times tried to keep the politicized hit job against Texas Gov. Rick Perry alive in Wednesday's edition, insisting the dubious partisan indictment (from a Democratic district attorney's office that has filed failed charges against prominent national GOP figures) actually has merit, with a "complicated back story" and "deep roots," while pouting that Perry's team has had "substantial success in the court of public opinion" so far. No thanks to the overexcited Times coverage.
Reporter David Montgomery filed "Texas v. Perry Emerges From Years of Struggle Over Anticorruption Unit," a follow-up to his Tuesday print edition hit. (By contrast, the Washington Post has limited its recent Perry coverage to blogs and Associated Press briefs.)
Race-baiter turned MSNBC host Al Sharpton garnered an egregiously fawning profile in Monday's New York Times, which has long hailed the "civil rights leader" while glossing over or ignoring his racially inflammatory past (Tawana Brawley, "white interlopers").
The worst criticism reporters Nikita Stewart and Jason Horowitz can muster in "A Slimmed-Down Sharpton Savors an Expanded Profile": Sharpton was once "divisive" and "overweight" in his gold medallion and track-suit days. But now he has the White House's ear and an even wider field for activism: "The slimmer Mr. Sharpton gets, the more space he takes up....for him, these are very good days."
As of Saturday, Fares Akram, the New York Times correspondent in Gaza usually relegated to second billing or "contributed additional reporting" on stories, is being credited with lead bylines. The timing for Akram's higher profile is inauspicious, given a recent Forbes investigation by Richard Behar on the media's slanted coverage of Israel, especially the Times, which he called "the most important media outlet in the world...widely regarded the most authoritative media outlet in the world for international coverage."
Behar dug up a photo on Akram's Facebook page of Palestinian Liberation Organization terrorist leader Yassir Arafat that Akram previously used as his profile photo. Arafat was responsible for the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics and has been lionized by the Times for his "heroic history" as a "father figure of Palestinian nationalism."
In two weekend stories, the New York Times did its best to discredit Arizona Republicans fighting illegal immigration both on the border and the ballot box. First up, Fernanda Santos's Saturday report, "As Primary Nears, Governor Candidates Turn Eyes to Border."
Right off Santos suggested Arizona citizens who showed up to a forum to express concerns about border security were misguided because, after all, Mexico was "at least 200 miles away," thus illegal immigration wouldn't affect them (never mind that Massachusetts, 2,000 miles away from Mexico, hosted planeloads of illegals caught at the border, proving the border issue is a national concern).
More pampering of Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder on the front page of the New York Times: Wednesday's edition featured "Shared Vision, Varying Styles," yet another defense of Holder (and criticism of Obama from the left) in a "news analysis" in the paper's off-lead slot by White House reporter Peter Baker, with Matt Apuzzo.
Strangely for a story on racial matters under Obama, the story made no mention of Obama's infamous judgment that Boston police had "acted stupidly" after a racially fraught incident in July 2009 involving the arrest of black Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates. Also nothing about Holder playing the race card by blaming opposition to the administration's policies on "racial animus."
An obituary by the New York Times' Bruce Weber for Vermont Sen. Jim Jeffords, a soft Republican who swung Senate control to the Democrats when he disavowed his party and went independent ("Jim Jeffords, Who Altered Power in Senate, Dies at 80") appeared in Tuesday's edition.
The most ideological label Weber could find for Jeffords, who made headlines in 2001 when he defected from the GOP to vote with the Democrats in a split U.S. Senate, was "left-leaning." Weber used much of the obituary to criticize the GOP's "conservative orthodoxy." The same politicized tone showed in a previous Weber obit for influential conservative Paul Weyrich.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a possible Republican presidential candidate in 2016, was indicted by a county grand jury for abuse of power, after threatening to cut off state funding to a public corruption unit unless the district attorney in charge of it resigned. Perry had pushed for the removal of DA Rosemary Lehmberg after her arrest for drunk driving.
The indictment predictably made the front of Saturday's New York Times, in the prominent off-lead story slot, under a slanted deck of headlines: "Texas Governor Indicted in Case Alleging Abuses --Vetoing a Foe's Funding -- Charges Against Perry Interrupt Presidential Ambitions." According to the Times, the politically motivated indictment is a "major roadblock" and a "stunning rebuke" that "threaten[s] to tarnish his legacy."
New York Times congressional correspondent Jonathan Weisman continued his label-happy party-pooping of Republican prospects in Wednesday's "On Immigration, G.O.P. Starts to Embrace Tea Party." The subject was how the rightward shift of the party on immigration was political suicide.
In all, Weisman crammed five "conservative" labels, two references to conservative "hard-liners," and two "right"-wing characterizations into his story, with a "conservative" picture caption thrown in. All those hostile labels were aligned against GOP voices of reason who favor "immigration overhaul" -- the party "elders" (who got two mentions).
As a 72-hour ceasefire takes hold in Israel, New York Times Gaza-based reporters remain locked in a peculiar moral equivalency between Israel and the terrorist group Hamas bent on the nation's destruction, with reporters taking pains on social media and television to stick up for Hamas, dismissing the idea of Hamas harassment of journalists as "nonsense," and even criticizing Hillary Clinton for taking on the group..
Reporter Anne Barnard appeared on Sunday's edition of CNN's Reliable Sources, hosted by former Times colleague Brian Stelter. When Stelter asked Barnard about the "biggest misconceptions" in the coverage offered by naysayers "thousands of miles" away from Gaza, she herself raised the subject of unfair accusations against Hamas.
Old New York Times reporters don't fade away -- they just get liberal column perches at nytimes.com, where they can rant, unfiltered, on their own deeply dubious pet causes, such as treating abortion as a constitutional right (Linda Greenhouse), or how forest fires are a sign of global warming (Timothy Egan). On Wednesday, former Supreme Court reporter Greenhouse continued her pro-abortion crusade with "A Right Like Any Other," on abortion as an undeniable and inalienable right embedded in the Constitution:
Listening to politicians talk about abortion, watching state legislatures put up ever more daunting obstacles, reading the opinions of judges who give the states a free pass, it’s abundantly clear to me that some constitutional rights are more equal than others. Or to put it another way, there are constitutional rights and then there is abortion -- a right, increasingly, in name only, treated as something separate and apart, vulnerable in its isolation from the mainstream of those rights the Constitution actually protects.
As a ceasefire takes hold in Israel, a review of the most recent New York Times coverage of the conflict shows old anti-Israel patterns die hard, with the paper's Jerusalem bureau chief bizarrely suggesting that "in Israel, open discourse and dissent appear to be among the casualties of the monthlong war in Gaza." No mention was made of the violent threats made by the Hamas dictatorship against both journalists and critical Palestinians.
On the front of Thursday's National edition of the Times, Jodi Rudoren and Fares Akram dwelled on the economic miseries inflicted on Palestinians by Israel in "Conflict Leaves Industry in Ashes and Gaza Reeling From Economic Toll." (Hmm...how much did all those rockets fired at Israel cost?)