The New York Times' California-based correspondent John Broder is usually happy to relay bad news about Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Friday’s story from Sacramento doesn’t disappoint: “Humbled Schwarzenegger Apologizes for ’04 Election, and Then Proposes a Centrist Agenda.”
Catch the headline goof? That’s how TimesWatch's hard copy reads. (Online, the year has been corrected to ‘05.) The “election” in question was the ambitious slate of special election ballot measures Schwarzenegger put on a state ballot (and which were rejected last November).
Broder prefers the new “uncharacteristically humble” governor.
“Arnold Schwarzenegger apologized to the voters of California on Thursday night and proposed a series of policies that represent a dramatic return to the political center after an ill-fated lurch to the right last year….In his annual State of the State message, Mr. Schwarzenegger said he had gone against the people's will by sponsoring a costly special election in November that was widely seen as an effort to punish public employees and Democratic lawmakers.”
“Widely seen” among public employees and Democratic lawmakers, perhaps, but maybe only by them.
Broder characterizes the governor’s new liberal activism as appealing to "moderate voters," while the headline insists Schwarzenegger is pursuing a “centrist agenda.”
“Mr. Schwarzenegger used the speech to propose policies intended to appeal to working families and moderate voters, who all but abandoned him last year as he pursued a conservative agenda. He advocated a $1-an-hour increase in the state minimum wage, to $7.75 an hour, and he called on Congress and the Bush administration to let Californians import cheaper drugs from Canada. In 2004 and 2005, he vetoed Democratic-sponsored measures on drug imports and the minimum wage. The governor promised to restore $2 billion taken from school spending to help balance the state budget, and he offered to roll back a plan to increase tuition at state colleges by 8 percent this year. The proposals were applauded by Democrats, who hold strong majorities in the Assembly and Senate. Conservative Republicans found little to like, accusing Mr. Schwarzenegger of lacking conviction.”
Question: If “Conservative Republicans found little to like” and Democrats (no “liberal” Democrats?) were applauding, just how centrist could Schwarzenegger’s new agenda really be?
For more examples of NYT bias, visit TimesWatch.