Showing how difficult it is to make the smallest reductions in federal spending, New York Times personal finance reporter Tara Siegel Bernard's latest "Your Money" column criticized, as hurting the old and poor, a proposed change in how inflation is calculated that would slightly curb the annual increases in entitlement spending. The proposal is generally supported by conservatives and reviled by liberals.
Until we fully understand what turned two brothers who allegedly perpetrated the Boston Marathon bombings into murderers, it is hard to make any policy recommendation other than this: We need to redouble our efforts to make America stronger and healthier so it remains a vibrant counterexample to whatever bigoted ideology may have gripped these young men. With all our warts, we have built a unique society -- a country where a black man, whose middle name is Hussein, whose grandfather was a Muslim, can run for president and first defeat a woman in his own party and then four years later a Mormon from the opposition, and no one thinks twice about it. With so many societies around the world being torn apart, especially in the Middle East, it is vital that America survives and flourishes as a beacon of pluralism.
The New York Times has been mostly steady and factual in its coverage of the bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. But the paper is taking criticism Friday for its benign headline over its online story on two terrorist suspects from Chechnya, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, killed in a shootout early Friday morning, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, still on the loose Friday afternoon.
For President Obama, this week delivered a painful double blow, with the Senate defeating his emotional campaign to pass tougher gun legislation and a pair of crude bombs at the Boston Marathon bringing terrorism back to American soil.
It was more painful to the victims of the blast in Boston, but Landler focused solely on how it made the president feel for the Senate to refuse to "break from the past on gun laws."
Brian Stelter, media reporter for the New York Times, foisted his peculiar news judgment on Fox News, weighing President Obama's petulant remarks after the defeat of his gun control plans as more newsworthy than a fire at a Texas fertilizer plant that has killed at least 12 people and injured up to 200.
The New York Times' claims of racially motivated "stop and frisk" procedures by the NYPD are disintegrating, but casual Times readers would never know it.
Thursday's paper brought a followup by reporter Joseph Goldstein's to his accusatory front-page story of March 21 suggesting that racial profiling plays a major part of the police's "stop and frisk" crime-fighting tactics in unsafe neighborhoods. The story was criticized as overstated by the paper's liberal-leaning Public Editor.
The New York Times led Thursday's edition with the Senate defeat of President Obama's gun control proposals in a series of procedural votes, including one on expanding background checks that Democrats had hoped would pass. The front page featured a photo of an angry Obama in the Rose Garden after his quest for more gun control laws in the wake of Sandy Hook came up short: "Gun Control Drive Blocked In Senate; Obama, In Defeat, Sees 'Shameful Day.'"
The New York Times marked the day of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher's funeral with disrespect, with London bureau chief John Burns reporting from one of the last places on earth likely to offer sympathetic tribute to the prime minister who broke the left-wing coal miners' union: A mining town in the middle of England.
And the paper's post-funeral story today offered left-wing "complaints about its cost and appropriateness" of the funeral sandwiched around accounts of ghoulish lefty celebrations of Thatcher's passing.
Shane and his headline writer harped on the "nonpartisan" nature of the Constitution Project, despite the fact that it clearly leans left, as a scan of the group's priorities (not to mention the personal remarks of its very own president in the Times itself) reveals.
A mere month after the trial began, the New York Times has, under pressure, sent a reporter to Philadelphia to cover the trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell on charges of mass infanticide.
Trip Gabriel did indeed file from Philadelphia on Tuesday, "Online Furor Draws Press to Abortion Doctor's Trial." But his location was mostly irrelevant, as he only pinned two and a half paragraphs from what happened in court on Monday to the end of his report. Most of the story was a recap of the trial's "grisly details," accusations from "conservatives" that the media was ignoring the story, and defenses from unlabeled liberal media "experts" denying a coverup.
At least one major paper is taking seriously the illicit taping of Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell's strategy session by a left-wing Democratic PAC, which then found its way into the left-wing magazine Mother Jones.
The magazine's first foray into hidden video struck left-wing gold -- capturing candidate Mitt Romney's claim at a fundraiser about the "47 percent" who would vote for Obama because they were dependent on government. But this new clip, in which McConnell's staff discusses a potential Democratic opponent, actress Ashley Judd, seems to have backfired on the magazine and the liberal PAC Progress Kentucky, who provided the clip, both of which are in legal hot water.
But New York Times reporter Trip Gabriel saw only embarrassment on Sen. McConnell's side in his Friday account, buried under an innocuous headline on page 14, "McConnell Recording Is Linked To a PAC."
Kermit Gosnell is the late-term abortion doctor in Philadelphia, on trial for infanticide in the gruesome killing of seven babies. The day after his trial began March 18 (as Tom Blumer noted at Newsbusters) Jon Hurdle at the New York Times opened by telling readers that "In opening statements in court on Monday, prosecutors charged that a doctor who operated a women’s health clinic here killed seven viable fetuses..."
Fetuses? The Times more accurately described it in a January 2011 brief, when Gosnell was first charged with murder:
But even some liberal journalists think Van Meter left a lot out of his cover story. And conservative blogger Ace of Spades' timeline of the summer 2011 scandal suggests Van Meter is shielding Weiner by tossing details of the scandal down the media memory hole while ignoring the indispensable role played by the late Andrew Breitbart:
The New York Times continued its push for immigration "reform" in Thursday's edition. The front of the National section included a page-width photo of "tens of thousands of immigrants, Latinos, union members, gay rights and other advocates" who rallied at the Capitol Wednesday.
Reporters Julia Preston and Ashley Parker, among the most slanted on the paper's staff, used even higher figures for the march while covering the so-called Group of 8's deal on an immigration amnesty bill, "Bipartisan Senators’ Group Reaches Deal on Immigration Bill." The phrasing was awkward, as vagueness (there are no official crowd estimates) grasped for specificity: "several tens of thousands of immigrants..."
Music critic Jon Caramanica reviewed country star Brad Paisley's latest album "Wheelhouse," in "Taking Country Less Conservative" for the Arts section of Wednesday's New York Times. Caramanica gave Paisley backhanded compliments for "openmindedness" while insulting the genre of country music as rigidly conservative (Caramanica has previously given backhanded praised to country music itself, for not being as homophobic as some people think).
These are country music’s postmilitarization years. A decade ago, there were songs about strong soldiers and a just war, weeping soldiers and unimpeachable ideology -- the genre latched onto the political moment and held fast like a remora.
Campaign 2016 has already started, and the New York Times weighed in on the presidential hopefuls in three stories Tuesday. So far, it's a hail for Hillary, a ho-hum greeting for Joe Biden, and hostility toward Republican governors Chris Christie and Bobby Jindal. David Halbfinger's Tuesday front-page story was loaded with hostility toward New Jersey's governor: "Brash Christie Plays Rutgers Circumspectly."
It does not take much for Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey to uncork his temper. He has called a Navy combat veteran an “idiot,” suggested reporters “take the bat” to a lawmaker in her 70s, and gone taunt-to-taunt with detractors on the boardwalk and in countless town hall meetings.
The death at 87 of former British Prime Minister and Cold War conservative icon Margaret Thatcher was marked with a respectful obituary on Tuesday's New York Times front page by Joseph Gregory: "'Iron Lady' Who Set Britain on a New Course."
A front-page "news analysis" by reporters John Burns and Alan Cowell was more objectionable, "Hard Policies In Hard Times." The online headline picked a fight: "Thatcher Fiscal Policies Are Still a Tough Sell for Europe."
Social liberalism continues to dominate the New York Times. Reporter Jess Bidgood didn't even blink over the controversy of a Planned Parenthood-affiliated student group distributing condoms on a Catholic campus, Boston College, in Monday's "Ban on Free Condoms Jeopardizes Student Group’s Work With Catholic College." Bidgood led off with libertine language from the condom-pushers:
Chelsea Lennox, a junior at Boston College, the Gothic university overlooking this natty Boston suburb, picked up a bouquet of brightly colored condom packages and put them into the envelope that she views as a tiny beacon of sexual health resources at the deeply Catholic institution.
Two New York Times columnists embarrassed themselves over the weekend, betraying anti-gun ignorance in the paper's Sunday Review.
Frank Bruni went hunting for the first time (with the chef of a ritzy Manhattan restaurant), and remarked "what an unfair fight" hunting is, as if he was the first person to think that up. After lamenting "how thoroughly a weapon can be romanticized and fetishized," he pivoted to easy access to guns in "this country of ours."
Of course Hillary is running. I’ve never met a man who was told he could be president who didn’t want to be president. So naturally, a woman who’s told she can be the first commandress in chief wants to be.
The New York Timeskeeps harping on how the sequester-fueled budger cuts may make flying more dangerous, led by reporter Matthew Wald. On February 22 Wald warned "Airlines and airports across the country are preparing for across-the-board federal budget cuts due to hit next week as if they were a hurricane, although with even less certainty about how many flights they will have to cancel and how many passengers will be stranded."
The Federal Aviation Administration said Friday that it would delay closing control towers at 149 airports until June to allow for safety analyses and “to attempt to resolve multiple legal challenges.”
The closings had been planned as part of a $637 million spending reduction at the agency required under the across-the-board budget cuts known as the sequester.
The Times actually contradicted itself within its headline, announcing Obama's proposed budget "cutback," yet admitting in the next line that Obama's proposal -- incorporating a revision in how inflation is calculated that's known as "chained C.P.I." (for Consumer Price Index) -- would actually just mean a "smaller increase" in federal spending year to year. It would reduce the growth of annual spending in programs like Social Security, but not actually reduce the amount spent.
President Obama caused ruffles on a fundraising jaunt to San Francisco when he said in a speech at a fundraising house party that state Attorney General Kamala Harris (pictured) was "by far the best-looking attorney general in the country." The Washington Post made a full story out of it, using the throwaway line the same way the media has done so often against Republican politicians, suggesting it was part of a larger pattern of regrettable behavior: "Obama rekindles talk of a White House boys' club."
President Obama reopened the debate Thursday over whether his administration is too influenced by men after praising the looks of Kamala Harris, California’s attorney general and a possible future gubernatorial candidate....Obama’s remarks during a fundraising trip to the Bay Area buzzed through Twitter and other social media, where reaction ranged from appalled to leave-the-guy-alone.
Will New York Times environmental reporter Justin Gillis offer an addendum to his alarmist March 8 report, "Global Temperatures Highest in 4,000 Years," in the face of new information that discredits the underlying data?
In that story Gillis summarized a report (whose lead author is Oregon State University earth scientist Shaun Marcott) to declare without hesitation:
There's another Republican backing gay marriage, and it's...Ronald Reagan? (Headline hat tip to New York magazine.)
The New York Times was the first news outlet to find newsworthy remarks made by Patti Davis, the liberal activist daughter of the late president, who said her father would have surely approved of gay marriage: "Daughter Speculates on Reagan's Gay-Rights Views." Somehow this speculation merited a full "news" story in Thursday's edition.
Since the existing background-check system began, in 1994, officials have screened more than 108 million people before they could buy a gun, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the federal government has blocked 1.9 million attempted purchases because of felony convictions or other problems with the would-be buyers’ background.
But no background check is required for about 40 percent of gun purchases, including those made online or at gun shows, federal officials estimate. Requiring checks for those purchases would be the single most effective way to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, advocates say.
The New York Times's politically correct evolution on immigration issues continues apace. Public editor Margaret Sullivan blogged Tuesday afternoon on the paper reconsidering the use of term "illegal immigrant," in the wake of the Associated Press's announcement that it would cease using it.
The Associated Press made a bold move on Tuesday in dropping the term “illegal immigrant” from its influential stylebook.
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman was giddy over a triumph of the liberal vision in the supposedly resurgent California economy in Monday's "Lessons From A Comeback." The state has overcome a "fanatical conservative minority" to push through "desperately needed tax increases." But is California really back?
....California has been solidly Democratic since the late 1990s. And ever since the political balance shifted, conservatives have declared the state doomed. Their specifics keep changing, but the moral is always the same: liberal do-gooders are bringing California to its knees.