Tropical Storm Isaac is more than just a logistical inconvenience for Republicans gathered in Tampa: it is a powerful reminder both of Republican incompetence in handling Hurricane Katrina seven years ago, and the party’s no-less-disastrous plans to further cut emergency-related spending.
How painfully predictable: The New York Times filled the news gap caused by the cancellation of Monday's events with rumors of party discord. In fact, the Times first tried to gin up controversy at the 2012 Republican National Convention long ago. Here's a May 13, 2010 report from Damien Cave on how toxic beaches in Tampa might ruin the Republican convention, then over two years away:
The wrong mix of poverty juxtaposed with Republicans partying - perhaps against a backdrop of oil-stained beaches – could give Democrats just what they need to portray their opponents as woefully disconnected from the middle class."
When the New York Times sends reporters to compare and contrast the Romney and Obama campaign styles, little surprise who comes off looking best. The banner headline on the front of Monday's special Campaign 2012 section set the scene: "Two Campaigns With Styles as Similar as Red and Blue."
Even the weather is tilting against the GOP, Jim Rutenberg (pictured) and Michael Shear reported from the Republican National Convention in Tampa for Monday's New York Times. They cynically employed the threat of Tropical Storm Isaac, shaping it into a desperate pro-Obama weapon to use against Republican principles of limited government: "Storm Rewrites G.O.P.'s Script For Convention."
The Times accused the Romney campaign of ads "falsely charging that Mr. Obama has eliminated work and job training requirements for welfare beneficiaries," claiming such "moves reflect a campaign infused with a sharper edge and overtones of class and race." Yet the claim made in Romney's ad holds up -- unlike the Times's claim that Romney's recent joke about Obama's birth certificate was playing the race card.
In anticipation of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, the New York Times Sunday Review section, edited by liberal veteran reporter Andrew Rosenthal, was crammed with articles, interviews, and features hostile toward Republicans.
Los Angeles bureau chief Adam Nagourney found the GOP in danger of losing the South and maybe even Texas one day in "The Sun Belt, Eclipsed."
Don't believe in global warming? Are you pro-life? Then you're an idiot, says Timothy Egan, a former liberal New York Times reporter turned left-wing Times columnist. In his Friday online column "The Crackpot Caucus" he said of the Republican Party: "...if intelligence were contagious, [the GOP] would be giving out vaccines for it."
Egan strings together quotes of some congressional Republicans making missteps on matters of science and religion, before lumping creationist Republicans with pro-lifers and climate skeptics into one big bag of GOP anti-science stupidity.
On Friday, New York Times political reporter Mark Landler pushed Bill Clinton as Barack Obama's hope to win the white working class, and dubiously defended the Obama administration's gutting of the welfare reform law pushed by Republicans and signed by Clinton in 1996: "It’s the President’s Message, With President Clinton."
Thursday's New York Times front page included a report by Michael Cooper (pictured) and Dalia Sussman on a new CBS News/Quinnipiac University/New York Times poll of likely voters in the crucial states of Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin after Romney's choice as running mate Medicare reformer Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin: "In Poll, Obama Is Given Trust Over Medicare."
Showing how the same findings can be interpreted in politically slanted ways, the Times even squeezed in a front-page graphic of Obama's superior standing on Medicare in the swing states of Ohio, Florida, and Wisconsin, but downplayed the tightening of the actual electoral race in Florida and Wisconsin, which was picked up on by other outlets reading the same poll data.
Is the New York Times trying to change the subject from the bad economy to social issues, for Obama's sake? On Thursday Michael Shear (pictured) and Jonathan Weisman did their best to tie controversial comments by Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin to Mitt Romney's running mate Paul Ryan: "Romney Strategists Say They’ll Stay the Course Amid Focus on Abortion."
Mitt Romney’s campaign advisers have concluded that they do not need any major adjustments in strategy to respond to the new focus on abortion and reproductive rights caused by Representative Todd Akin, betting that their candidate’s economic message will still resonate with female voters after the controversy over Mr. Akin’s remarks about “legitimate rape.”
New York Times reporter Trip Gabriel posted Wednesday on "Chris the Baker" -- Chris McMurray, a cookie store owner who made waves when he turned away VP Joe Biden from a prospective shop visit. Yesterday he joined Rep. Paul Ryan at a campaign rally in Roanoke, Va., site of President Obama's infamous "You didn't build that" remark, widely seen as dismissive of individual initiative and entrepreneurship.
Gabriel predictably accused McMurray and the GOP of "willfully twisting the president's remark" and blamed Ryan for having "continued the misrepresentation" of what Obama actually said. But do Obama's actual words help him at all?
The New York Times extended the controversy over offensive comments made by Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin to indict the entire Republican Party, misleadingly conflating Akin's remark about "legitimate rape" with the party's traditional pro-life stance. Wednesday's two connected lead stories were ushered in under the banner headline "Ignoring Deadline to Quit, G.O.P. Senate Candidate Defies His Party Leaders: Unexpected Twist in the Election Campaigns."
The headline over Jennifer Steinhauer's story nationalized the firestorm in Missouri: "Unexpected Turn in Campaign for President," and the story's headline on the jump page crystalized Democratic wishful thinking: "Missouri Controversy May Endanger Republican Chances in the Fall."
Other Republicans are trying to cover up their true identity to get elected. Even as party leaders attempted to lock the crazy uncle in the attic in Missouri, they were doing their own crazy thing down in Tampa, Fla., by reiterating language in their platform calling for a no-exceptions Constitutional amendment outlawing abortion, even in cases of rape, incest and threat to the life of the mother.
As executive editor, Raines caused controversy even among the liberal media in 2003 for his constant front-page crusade against the all-male membership policies of a private entity, The Augusta National Golf Club, home of The Masters golf tournament. Raines went so far as to spike columns by two of his own writers for taking issue with the paper's embarrassing editorial suggesting Tiger Woods boycott the Masters in the name of solidarity with women.
Golf writer Karen Crouse, the author of Tuesday's front-page piece, who had her own ideological fender-bender on the issue, wrote in typical overheated fashion:
New York Times environmental reporter Elisabeth Rosenthal's latest 1,600-word attack on air conditioning,"The Cost of Cool," made the front of the Sunday Review. " The text box: "Air-conditioning makes us feel better, but it's hurting the planet."
Rosenthal previously argued in a June 21 post on the paper's "Green" blog complaining that she can't buy an environmentally correct air conditioner and so chose to suffer (but not in silence) in the name of fighting "climate change," which she assumes is a proven fact and a clear danger to humanity.
Maureen Dowd really, really dislikes Paul Ryan, resenting even the man's moderate demeanor for hiding what she is sure is "full-tilt virulence." Her Sunday column for the New York Times, "Beware a Beautiful Calm," not only extensively quotes that well-known political commentator Tom Morello (of the left-wing rock band Rage Against the Machine, which hasn't released a studio album since the year 2000), but diagnosed Ryan as psychologically "hysterical."
New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter made a little news at the end of his Saturday report on the picking of the moderators for the upcoming presidential and vice presidential debates: "Criticism Greets List of Debate Moderators."
Dismissing conservative concerns of liberal bias on the part of moderators as a predictable Rush Limbaugh talking point, Stelter focused more on liberal concerns about the historical lack of black and female moderators, and reported that PBS political host Gwen Ifill was "livid" about not being chosen (old-time PBS hand Jim Lehrer was coaxed out of retirement to fill the bill insetad).
Former reporter turned New York Times columnist Timothy Egan's hostile anti-Mitt Romney column on Thursday had a peculiar omission. Egan insulted the likely Republican nominee by calling him an "Olympic" caliber flip-flopper, yet somehow managed not once to mention Romney's successful management as chief executive officer of the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.
In focus groups, he’s described as a tin man, a shell, an empty suit, vacuous, a multimillionaire in mom jeans. And that’s from supporters.
More Obama favortism from Helene Cooper on the campaign trail. The New York Times reporter followed Obama campaigning in Iowa for Thursday's "Health Care Leads Campaign Dialogue in Midwest" and gave the president credit for lowering the rhetorical temperature of the campaign.
That involved skipping completely the false and vicious attack from Priorities USA, an Obama-affiliated SuperPAC, that tied Mitt Romney to the death of a woman from cancer, and downplaying the offensiveness of Vice President Joe Biden's remark to a mostly black Southern audience that the GOP would "put y'all back in chains."
New York Times fashion reporter Cathy Horyn's "Critics Notebook" entry on Paul Ryan, "Embracing The Right Fit," (get it?) made the front of Thursday Styles section criticizing Ryan's fashion sense and offensively suggesting that Republicans (but not Democrats) need hot politicians to salivate over:
The shooting of a security guard at the D.C. headquarters of the Family Research Council, a social conservative group, by a volunteer for a local gay community center, failed to raise the New York Times's usual politically motivated concerns about harmful and hateful rhetoric it's shown in the past.
Most notoriously, the Times repeatedly, falsely, and maliciously suggested that Tucson gunman Jared Loughner, who killed six people and seriously wounded Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, had been motivated to kill by conservatism in general and Sarah Palin in particular, even before any information about Loughner was available.
Eduardo Porter's column on the front of Wednesday's Business section of the New York Times explained how "America's Aversion To Taxes" was dooming the country, and urged Americans to be more like the overly regulated, bankrupt financial basket-case Italy, which enjoys confiscatory taxes and "the benefits of public health care," and a "more generous social safety net."
There were some stark contrasts on the campaign trail in Wednesday's New York Times. After Vice President Joe Biden warned a racially mixed south Virginia audience of the Republican ticket: "They're going to put y'all back in chains." A five-paragraph brief on Biden's comments by Rebecca Berg made page A14 Wednesday, including a brief quote of Mitt Romney's counterattack on the Obama camp in Chillicothe, Ohio, under the soporific headline "A Metaphor Draws Notice."
Berg helpfully corrected Biden's grammar by removing the veep's condescending second-person plural Southernism ("y'all"), replacing it with the more standard "you all." By contrast, the exchange was highlighted in a front-page Washington Post article, which retained Biden's contraction.
Maureen Dowd brings her brand of sour sarcasm to bear on Mitt Romney's vice presidential pick Paul Ryan in her Wednesday New York Times column "When Cruelty Is Cute": "Who better to rain misery upon the heads of millions of Americans?"
I’d been wondering how long it would take Republicans to realize that Paul Ryan is their guy.
He’s the cutest package that cruelty ever came in. He has a winning air of sad cheerfulness. He’s affable, clean cut and really cut, with the Irish altar-boy widow’s peak and droopy, winsome blue eyes and unashamed sentimentality.
Who better to rain misery upon the heads of millions of Americans?
A Tuesday story from London-based New York Times reporter Alan Cowell on London's successful staging of the 2012 Olympics had this aside blaming last year's riots on societal "greed."
The Games took place almost exactly a year after riots and looting spread from London to other British cities, shocking the country with a vision of a society whose greed had produced an underclass fueled by violence, envy and alienation.
In September 2011, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman told CNN's Gloria Borger that Rep. Paul Ryan's Medicare voucher plan "would kill people, no question." As you can imagine, he's not terribly happy about Romney picking Ryan as his running mate.
Krugman can't even bear fellow liberals offering grudging praise to Ryan. discussing on a Monday morning blog post "a lamentable but revealing column by William Saletan, which illustrates perfectly how the essentially ludicrous Paul Ryan has gotten so far – namely, by playing to the gullibility of self-proclaimed centrists, who want to show their 'balance' by finding a conservative to praise."
Is the Tea Party on the decline or not? Don't ask the New York Times. Political reporter Michael Shear wrote in Monday's paper that "Tea Party Hopes to Gain Larger Stage in Election With Romney's Pick." The text box: "A movement already energized by a string of electoral victories." But in May, a Times reporter wrote that the Tea Party "has lost momentum." Here's Shear:
For two years, Tea Party lawmakers in the House have been the stubborn barbarians at the gate, strong-arming their often reluctant Republican colleagues by refusing to compromise on spending, taxes, debt or social policy.
Former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller went after Republicans and the party's "disciplined conservative infrastructure" in his 1,200-word Monday column on Romney's vice presidential pick Paul Ryan – "The Romney Package." Pecking at a multitude of conservative targets, Keller also said Reagan conservative Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork was "attacked (with justification) as a radical," and accused the Swift Boat Veterans for truth of a "slander" against John Kerry in 2004.
Republican Mitt Romney's choice of conservative budget expert Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate brought confessions of his likability and intellect from the New York Times over the weekend, but also labeling slant and concern that Ryan's proposals to reform out-of-control entitlement programs are too radical for voters to stomach. By contrast, Obama's 2008 pick of Sen. Joe Biden resulted in virtually zero descriptions of Biden's liberal outlook.
On Sunday's front page, White House correspondent Jackie Calmes called Ryan "the author of the audacious House Republican budget plan," but gave off an air of concern around the vice presidential nominee's budget proposals, accusing him of "largely undoing the social safety net," though federal spending would actually increase under his plan.