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 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of New York State is a critic, as reported a few days previous in the Times, and that the state teacher's union had withdrawn its support until fixes are made.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.
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).
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.
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:
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.
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?
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."
In his Sunday New York Times column, former White House reporter Frank Bruni took a whack at "America the Clueless" and Republicans in particular, but made a couple of pretty clueless errors of his own (Eighteen percent of AP survey respondents said Obama was Jewish)?
The New York Times did some damage control for the Obama administration in its lead editorial Tuesday, defending in part, the IRS's politically motivated audits against fledgling Tea Party nonprofits during the last campaign cycle. The paper ridiculously portrayed the White House as just as outraged as conservatives in a headline: "White House Under Fire: It Condemns I.R.S. Audits of Political Groups."
And the paper's own public editor lambasted the paper's soft-soap coverage of the scandal: "Many on the right – as noted last week in my blog posts about Benghazi – do not think they can get a fair shake from The Times. This coverage won’t do anything to dispel that belief."
New York Times's environmental reporter Justin Gillis earned an unusual two-column lead story part in Saturday's paper, part of his long-running scarefest series, "Temperatures Rising." The latest entry: "Heat-Trapping Gas Passes Milestone, Raising Fears." (Though that scary headline turns out to be upon further review a bit premature.) Gillis committed his usual smear of warming skeptics: "Climate-change contrarians, who have little scientific credibility but are politically influential in Washington...."
Scandalous news that the Internal Revenue Service intimidated nonprofit opponents of the Obama administration made page 11 of Saturday's New York Times.
The IRS apology to Tea Party and other conservative organizations for politically motivated targeting of their nonprofit status was dealt with in mild fashion by reporter Jonathan Weisman, though not on the front page. "I.R.S. Apologizes to Tea Party Groups Over Audits of Applications for Tax Exemption." The same audits that were applauded last year by the Times' s editorial page. And a Monday front-page follow-up was topped with what even liberal journalists found a bizarre headline: "IRS Focus on Conservatives Gives GOP an Issue to Seize On." That's the story?
New York Times reporter Mark Landler reported on the ongoing controversy over Benghazi on Friday, as House Republicans demanded the White House release what they consider an incriminating email showing officials knew Islamic terrorists were responsible for the attack, yet blamed an anti-Islamic Youtube video instead: "Benghazi Debate Focuses on Interpretation of Early E-Mail on Attackers."
Soft labeling of Communist dictators ("enigmatic"?) has been a historical problem for the New York Times. On Wednesday, reporters Mark Landler and David Sanger described the late South Korea president Park Chung-Hee as a "strongman" as his "steely conservative" daughter Park Geun-hye, current president of the country, meets President Obama for the first time.
In contrast, North Korea's new young dictator Kim Jong-un was an "erratic, often belligerent young leader in Pyongyang," the Times leaving out ideological labels and not mentioning the totalitarian nature of his regime.
Thursday's New York Times led with the congressional hearings into the Obama administration's response to the terrorist attack on Benghazi, Libya on the anniversary of September 11 that left four Americans dead: "Envoy Testifies Libya Questions Led To Demotion," reported by the team of Scott Shane, Jeremy Peters, and Eric Schmitt. But the paper still treated it as a partisan game of gotcha in an online symposium titled "Serious Investigations, or Partisan Ploys?"
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd offensively roped Clarence Thomas into her column on the arrest on sexual battery charges of Jeffrey Krusinski, the Air Force officer in charge of sexual assault prevention programs for the branch: "There was a fox-in-the-henhouse echo of Clarence Thomas, who Anita Hill said sexually harassed her when he was the nation’s top enforcer of laws against workplace sexual harassment."
Benghazi hearings open in the House on Wednesday, and the New York Times printed a preview on page 16 of Wednesday's edition that downplayed any possible revelations about the Obama administration's reaction to the terrorist attack, which killed ambassador Chris Stevens and three others. Testimony is expected by three State Department officials, led by U.S. diplomat Gregory Hicks, deputy mission chief in Tripoli, who said his pleas for military assistance were overruled.
Feeling reader pressure after the Washington Post led its Tuesday's edition by setting up the House hearings, Public Editor Margaret Sullivan addressed the issue on her blog Tuesday afternoon, posing a coverage question to Washington bureau chief (and former neoliberal economics reporter) David Leonhardt, who didn't anticipate hearing much new on Wednesday:
On your bike! New York Times's roaming critic Neil Genzlinger reviewed Constitution USA with Peter Sagal, airing Tuesday night on PBS. Judging by the headline, "The Philosophical Rumble Of That Living Document," Genzlinger's editor didn't know what to do with his puzzling, cranky review of the documentary (starring Sagal, liberal host of the NPR game show Wait Wait ... Don’t Tell Me!).
Margaret Sullivan, the New York Times public editor, noted a shameful anniversary for the paper -- the 10th anniversary of the Jayson Blair scandal -- but not without calling her paper as "world-class" as the scandal itself.
But to the paper's liberal readership, the more shameful mistake involved reporter Judy Miller's overly credulous reporting on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction during the run-up to the Iraq War.