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?
The New YorkTimes 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.
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."
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.
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.
The Supreme Court is still not moving fast enough to the left on social issues to please some liberals, and New York Times Supreme Court reporter Adam Liptak is on it. His latest front-page report, "Justices’ Rulings Advance Gays; Women Less So," used a speech by liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as his launch point. Not once did he question Ginsburg's liberal reasoning in his front-page article.
Liptak has previously described the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision as a defeat for women's rights, without specifying what right was being taken from women. He has also suggested the U.S. Constitution as old and outdated for failing to guarantee entitlements and health care for its citizenry.
As the fighting rages on in Israel, the New York Times again showed its anti-Israel slant in two days of stories that went beyond dispassionate journalism and into emotional manipulation.
Times readers on Monday were greeted with a large front-page photo of a Palestinian man carrying an injured child. Also on Monday's front: Ben Hubbard and Jodi Rudoren's "Questions of Weapons and Warnings in Past Barrage on a Shelter." The front-page text box placed Israel in the paper's favorite spot -- on the defensive: "After a 'Safe Zone' Becomes Deadly, Fire from Israelis Comes Under Scrutiny." Andthe Times even asked an Israeli military spokesman "to point out where Israeli forces were operating." You know, the way you always do during battle.
New York Times Cairo bureau chief David Kirkpatrick's front-page story on Thursday, "Arab Leaders, Viewing Hamas as Worse Than Israel, Stay Silent," appeared under a sympathy-inducing photo of a shattered United Nations school allegedly hit by an Israeli shell, while Kirkpatrick's story tried to induce sympathy toward Hamas, abandoned by Egypt and Saudi Arabia, its erstwhile allies in the fight for the destruction of Israel.
An online teaser actually suggested Egypt's opposition to the terror group Hamas was a regrettable obstacle to peace: "Led by Egypt, a coalition of Arab states has effectively lined up with Israel in its fight against Hamas, posing new obstacles to efforts to end the Gaza conflict." Acording to Kirkpatrick, Hamas's terrorist status is up for debate, as it is merely "deemed a terrorist group by the United States and Israel."
In his Wednesday afternoon posting at nytimes.com, "Religious Conservatives Embrace Proposed E.P.A. Rules," Times reporter Theodore Schleifer lent a megaphone to a prayer circle of alleged "conservative Christians" and "parts of the religious right" who favor more stringent EPA regulations on coal plants. The only thing missing from his report? Actual conservative Christians.
It's the latest gullible "strange new respect" story in which the New York Times embraces religion, at least when allegedly "conservative" religious groups conveniently embrace liberal stands on issues like illegal immigration or the environment. Actual Christian conservatives by the standard definition of the term are nowhere to be found.
Still worried about North Carolina's swing to the right, the New York Times is scouring for evidence that the state's conservative rollback of taxes and regulations is backfiring on Republicans. The political infighting made the front page of Saturday's Times, which typically buries state political news on the back pages: "Move to Center Divides G.O.P. in N. Carolina."
Reporter Richard Fausset set the scene from Raleigh, attempting to show a GOP that's gone too far and is now frantically scrabbling back to the center. State Speaker of the House Thom Tillis is trying to win a U.S. Senate seat, yet finds himself (in the paper's loaded language) "caught between the hard-right face of the last session and his likely need to appeal to more moderate voters..."
When the New York Times starts praising religious activists, you know there's a deeper agenda at work. National religion reporter Michael Paulson, whose reporting is preoccupied with gay marriage and the church, praised denominations of all stripes that lined up on the Times' side of an issue -- granting amnesty to the streams of unaccompanied children crossing the U.S. border illegally, while fighting conservative "anger," outrage," and "hate talk."
In June, Bennhold tried to make the UK government investigation sound ludicrous and prejudiced, summing up the situation with the regretful: "But stereotypes die hard." But a new British government investigation shows the situation in Birmingham, England even more disturbing than previously thought, as Bennhold confirmed in Wednesday's Times, albeit after some throat-clearing and hesitation.
Yet Rudoren clearly slanted against Israel in her unbalanced condemnations of rhetoric vs. reality in the region, claiming that discussion of the dead in Gaza on Israeli news programs lacks a "human, moral" context, ignoring the years of dehumanization of Jews as monkeys and pigs on official Palestinian media.
The New York Times' coverage of the ongoing situation in Israel, which began with the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers, continued this past week to be marked by intense anti-Israel bias in tone and labeling, and overwhelming emotionalism over the deaths of Palestinian civilians in the crossfire (Israeli deaths from terrorism rarely if ever merited such heart-felt treatment). After the tragic deaths of four young Gazan boys on a beach, the Times let its photographer hint at something sinister: "Children, maybe four feet tall, dressed in summer clothes, running from an explosion, don’t fit the description of Hamas fighters, either."
James Taranto performed an invaluable service from his Opinion Journal "Best of the Web" perch this week, revealingNew York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, a notorious liberal crusader on various fronts, to be perhaps the most gullible of the paper's many liberal writers. (He's also suggested Mao Tse-Tung and Saddam Hussein weren't that bad.)
Taranto teed up Kristof with this example of corruption of the peer-review process in scientific research:
Breaking story from the New York Times: Obama attended a pretentious dinner party in Rome back in March, hob-nobbing with particle physicists and captains of industry. Reporter Julie Hirschfeld Davis, whose articles on Obama outside the White House give the president free rein to insult the GOP, on Tuesday slobbered over Obama the intellectual, and his fabulous dinner guests from all over the world, drinking Drappier Champagne and talking of "the importance of understanding science, the future of the universe, how sports brings people together, and many other things," according to party hostess Linda Douglass.
Douglass, an Obama-defending reporter at CBS and ABC who joined the Obama campaign in 2008 and became an Obama-care spokesperson, is the wife of John Phillips, U.S. ambassador to Rome. The Times left out Douglass's journalism past, merely calling her a former Obama aide.
"A Damaging Distance," Ethan Bronner's news analysis for the New York Times Sunday Review, blamed the "growing human distance between Israelis and Palestinians" not on Palestinian terrorist attacks against civilians, but Israel's security measures to stop it.
Bronner's tenure as Jerusalem Bureau Chief for the Times was marked by pro-Palestinian bias, including slanted labeling, calling hard-line Israeli supporters "extreme right" without bestowing similar labels on the hard-left of Israel. He also helped spread the truly dehumanizing characterization of Jewish settlers as "rampaging" during protests. He left a consolation card for the Palestinian cause upon his departure in March 2012.
Three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped on June 12 while hitchhiking home in the West Bank. They were found dead on June 30, murdered by Hamas militants. Palestinians attacked the ambulance carrying their bodies. Later Hamas launched rocket attacks on Israeli civilians, while Israel countered with air strikes on specific terrorist targets.
The paper's coverage of the ongoing situation has been marked by intense anti-Israel bias in tone and labeling, and a false moral equivalence between the behavior of "extremist" Israelis and merely "militant" Palestinian terrorists.
The New York Times used a recent Hillary Clinton statement from an online chat to briefly, tentatively bring up an old issue, first uncovered by the Washington Free Beacon, that could resonate uncomfortably with her liberal feminist fans: Hillary's cavalier and casual attitude on how a case against one of her then-clients, an accused rapist, collapsed, and her questioning the credibility of the victim, a 12-year-old girl.
The headline over Tuesday's meager 300-word story by Amy Chozick (pictured) read "Clinton Defends Her Handling of a Rape Case in 1975." The placement of that weirdly specific date in the headline makes one wonder if the Times is hinting to readers that this is ancient history that no longer matters.
One must perversely admire the gall of the New York Times editorial page. Sunday's lead editorial, "The Real IRS Scandal," says that the "real scandal" at the politicized agency isn't its targeting of citizens with anti-Obama views before the last election, isn't the suspiciously lost emails by an agent who pled the fifth before Congress, but a lack of sufficient funds because of the GOP.
Republican-fostered cuts to the agency's budget have evidently meant less audits of "the rich," which in turn spells "bad news for building roads, keeping the air clean, protecting the nation’s security, and countless other vital government tasks." A commenter accurately accused the Times of changing the subject.
Sam Tanenhaus's 6,300-word cover story for the New York Times' Sunday Magazine, "Can the G.O.P. Be a Party of Ideas?" is marinated in the same superior smugness that distorted his 2009 hit-piece book on the conservative movement.
Tanenhaus, currently a "writer-at-large" for the Times, is still hailed in liberal circles as an expert on the conservative movement, even though his slim, slanted 2009 book The Death of Conservatism (talk about wishful thinking) proved rather ill-timed, coming as it did before the Tea Party resurgence. The book ludicrously labeled President Obama a centrist in a long line of Democratic centrists, including ... George McGovern, Walter Mondale, and Michael Dukakis. Tanenhaus also likened the conservative movement to "the exhumed figures of Pompeii, trapped in postures of frozen flight, clenched in the rigor mortis of a defunct ideology." So when the Times wants an "objective" view of the conservative movement, it's obvious Tanenhaus is the guy to provide it.
Liptak, the paper's Supreme Court reporter, covered the emergency injunction issued by the Supreme Court on behalf of a Christian college in Illinois related to religious freedom and Obama-care. Briefly, the majority gave Wheaton College a reprieve from being forced to fill out forms to submit to insurers as an alternative way to deliver "free" contraception to employees/students under Obama-care. But Liptak managed to find a blunt violation of "women's rights" in that complicated tangle.