While his New York Times columnist colleague Maureen Dowd made liberals nervous with some pungent punches at the Clintons (their "opprobrium and well-known taste for vengeance") in her Sunday Review piece, Thomas Friedman's "It's Not Just About Obama" was surely soothing, as he rose in "partial defense" of Obama's passive foreign policy, saying that the enemy is us and our collective failure to raise taxes to save the environment. And of course, President Bush.
New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes, a reliable defender of President Obama, placed the blame on the cynical GOP for depriving poor West Virginians of health care for electoral advantage, in Sunday's "Political Stigma Is Depressing Participation in Health Law." The text box read: "Misconceptions are common as attack ads fill airwaves in West Virginia."
Calmes pitted a cynical, misleading, partisan GOP against supposedly non-partisan health professionals.
Even though the Supreme Court voted 6-2 to uphold Michigan's ban on affirmative action, New York Times's Supreme Court reporter Adam Liptak in his lead story in Wednesday's paper first quoted Justice Sonia Sotomayor's dissent, the "most passionate and most significant dissent of her career."
Liptak also promoted liberal ex-Justice John Paul Stevens's tirade against money in politics in a Tuesday interview, with the reporter lamenting that the Citizens United case -- in which the Court made the pro-free-speech ruling that government can't ban election spending by corporations -- had become "a judicial landmark."
The headlines over the lead story of Sunday's New York Times reduced the fierce opposition to the Common Core education standards among both conservatives and liberals to cynical "wedge issue" anti-Obama politics by the angry right: "As G.O.P. Wedge, the Common Core Cuts Both Ways – Associated With Obama – Education Benchmarks Once Backed by Party Now Divide It."
The actual article by reporter Jonathan Martin was equally shallow, a partisan-driven analysis that failed to mention the bizarre, confusing math problems that have gotten parents up in arms. Martin left out the inconvenient fact that even the liberal governor of New York State is a critic, as reported a few days previous in the Times, and that the state teacher's union had withdrawn its support until fixes are made.
The New York Times resolutely refused to see a pattern of jihad on the part of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in its sympathetic front-page Tuesday profile of his prison conditions. Yet on Wednesday the Times ran an op-ed that used an anti-Semitic killer in Kansas to represent the hidden domestic terror threat of military veterans.
First, try not to shed a tear for Tsarnaev as you read the opening strains of Michael Wines and Serge Kovaleski's Tuesday story, "Marathon Bombing Suspect Waits in Isolation."
The New York Times has made a front-page push for higher taxes and stringent regulation in the name of "climate change" two days in a row (the Washington Post had the self-control to leave its own related stories off the front page).
Notorious climate activist/journalist Justin Gillis's lead story in Monday's Times warned "Climate Efforts Falling Short, U.N. Panel Says," but found good news: There's still time to tax, spend, and regulate the problem away.
New York Times political reporter Ashley Parker dominated the paper this weekend, getting front page stories both Saturday and Sunday, one praising a liberal Democrat as a diligent workhorse (just like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton!), the other criticizing a conservative Republican as controversial and out of the mainstream.
On Saturday's front page she fawned over liberal, former comedian Sen. Al Franken: "Franken’s Campaign Against Comcast Is No Joke." On Sunday she turned around and called out the "strains" in the Republican Party in a U.S. Senate primary race in North Carolina, warning of "far-right Senate candidates" that had won primaries in 2012 only to lose in the general.
Congressional reporters Jeremy Peters and Carl Hulse touted Democratic attacks against the paper's favorite enemy, libertarian donors Charles and David Koch, on the front of the National Edition of the Sunday New York Times, in "To Hit Back at Kochs, Democrats Revive Tactic That Hurt Romney."
It's just the latest in a series of Times reports and editorials highlighting and tacitly approving Democratic attacks against the Koch brothers in the run up to the 2014 elections, while avoiding mentioning Sen. Harry Reid's false allegations against them, some documented by Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler.
The New York Times attacked Republican Rep. Paul Ryan's new budget proposal from several angles on Wednesday. Congressional reporter Jonathan Weisman adopted an accusatory pro-Democratic tone in his report, "Ryan’s Budget Would Cut $5 Trillion in Spending Over a Decade," warning that it proposed "steep cuts to Medicaid and food stamps, and the total repeal of the Affordable Care Act just as millions are reaping the benefits of the law," and promised it would give Democrats a big target in the 2014 elections.
Elsewhere, columnist Paul Krugman called Ryan a "con man," and an editorial accused Ryan of having "very dangerous ideas."
New York Times political correspondent turned left-wing editorial writer David Firestone unleashed a fiery attack on a GOP donor in an inflammatory nytimes.com post Monday afternoon: "The Line to Kiss Sheldon Adelson's Boots."
The very thought of Republican politicians speaking at a Las Vegas meeting of an Adelson-backed lobbying group made Firestone want to retch:
Sunday's New York Times was troubled by attempts by Republican state leaders to impose uniformity in voting rules and predictably made it a racial matter in "New G.O.P. Bid to Limit Voting in Swing States."
According to the front-page story, after a Supreme Court ruling last year loosened restrictions, "swing states under Republican control are embracing significant new electoral restrictions on registering and voting," which "shake up fundamental components of state election systems." Reporters Steven Yaccino and Lizette Alvarez Pivotal fretted that "Republicans in Ohio and Wisconsin this winter pushed through measures limiting the time polls are open, in particular cutting into weekend voting favored by low-income voters and blacks, who sometimes caravan from churches to polls on the Sunday before election."
The Supreme Court today hears oral arguments in a highly charged case, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, which will decide whether private corporations under Obama-care have the right to exercise religious objections to covering certain forms of emergency birth control, like morning-after pills, that the company believes are tantamount to abortion. The chain of arts-and-craft stores is challenging the provision under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which sets a high bar on government regulation involving religious belief.
But New York Times legal reporter Adam Liptak managed to get it wrong in his lead sentence in Tuesday's paper:
Barack Obama, Catholic in spirit? That was the tone of "The Catholic Roots of Obama's Activism," Jason Horowitz's fawning front-page Sunday New York Times profile of Obama's brief mid-1980s spell as a Catholic-affiliated political activist in Chicago. According to Horowitz, the young Obama was "steeped in the social justice wing of the church" before becoming an allegedly "pragmatic" politician. The president meets with Pope Francis at the Vatican next week.
Obama's incendiary race-baiting preacher Jeremiah Wright, whose church he attended for decades, is mentioned only in passing, and Wright's controversies, including spouting that the 9-11 attacks were "America’s chickens are coming home to roost," and his "God damn America!" rant, were totally absent.
New York Times environmental reporter Justin Gillis declared yet another "global warming" emergency in his latest monthly "By Degrees" column, "Scientists Sound Alarm on Climate," on the front of Tuesday's Science Times section. The text box read: "A stark new report is intended to awaken the public to the urgency of the threat to the planet."
Gillis, who works as an apocalyptic climate activist from his journalist perch at the Times, profiled Dr. Mario Molina, who alerted the world to the hazards that chloroflurocarbons posed to the ozone layer, but now sees an even greater threat to the planet, as shown in a report given before official release to the sympathetic Gillis.
On the eve of his Senate confirmation to the Supreme Court in 1991, Judge Clarence Thomas was confronted with old, unsubstantiated charges of sexual harassment by former colleague Anita Hill. A fawning documentary of Hill has just been released, and New York Times's political reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg uses it as an excuse for a fawning interview with Hill on the front page of Sunday's Arts & Leisure section under the headline "Standing by Her Story."
Stolberg is only the latest Times reporter to sympathize strongly with Hill in the decades-long saga, slamming insensitive male senators who took years to "make amends" for their tough questioning of Hill and portraying her as a "legend" for "awe-struck," teary-eyed young women.
Tuesday's lead New York Times editorial attack on the paper's favorite conservative bogeyman, the Koch brothers ("The Democrats Stand Up to the Kochs") followed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's political playbook, denouncing Obama-care horror stories as "phony," while approving of Reid's Senate-floor smear of donors Charles and David Koch as "un-American."
And a recent Times report on Reid's push by Ashley Parker (pictured) skipped completely the slur by Reid, who stated in a February 26 speech on the Senate floor denouncing Koch-funded ads publicizing ObamaCare horror stories: "The Koch brothers are about as un-American as anyone I can imagine."
The New York Times covered the latest annual gathering of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) with its usual mix of suspicion, overloaded labeling bias, and anti-GOP doomsaying. The paper's skeptical coverage of the three-day conservative confab, held this year at National Harbor on the Potomac, opened with two stories in Friday's edition, one on the organizers's attempts to put "a less strident face on the convention and the party."
Reporter Jonathan Martin's rundown of the speech by Republican star Sen. Marco Rubio, still in the mix for the 2016 presidential race, contained nine "conservative" labels, which actually makes it a model of restraint for the Times compared to last year's label-heavy reporting. Yet the question remains: Just how many "conservative" labels do you need, when the conference has the actual word "conservative" in the title?
New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters let the Republicans in Congress know he was tired of their silly and "waste of time" attempts to repeal Obamacare in Wednesday's "House to Vote Yet Again On Health Care Repeal."
(Peters was last seen helping Chuck Hagel, Obama's nominee for Secretary of Defense, limp across the confirmation finish line.) He wrote on Wednesday:
As multiple scandals engulfed the presidency, "Watching Washington This Week," a nytimes.com video featuring New York Times congressional reporters Jeremy Peters and Ashley Parker having a pseudo-informal chat outside the White House, managed to place President Obama as the victim of a cold Republican Congress.
Tuesday's front-page New York Times story by Michael Shear and Jonathan Weisman, "Obama Dismisses Benghazi Furor But Assails I.R.S," again emphasized partisan back-and-forth at the expense of journalistic digging into the actual facts of the IRS and Benghazi controversies swirling around the Obama White House.
Weisman's byline is an assurance that the story to follow will be light on details and heavy breathing on Republican partisanship. Tuesday's entry fit the bill, especially the lead sentence, in which Weisman prioritized the partisan angle of "Republican adversaries" over the substantive angle of "new questions about the administration’s conduct."