Thursday's "Political Points" podcast at nytimes.com featured New York Times reporters David Kirkpatrick, Adam Liptak, and Jodi Kantor talking about the Sonia Sotomayor nomination and displaying various liberal tics.
Kirkpatrick accused Newt Gingrich of "ad hominem attacks" against Sotomayor, while Kantor pondered the Republican dilemma: of possibly seeing "this bank of white male senators grill in a possibly antagonistic way the first Latina woman nominated to serve on this bench." Plus: Sotomayor will "not only speak to the cafeteria workers but she'll speak to them in Spanish."
An excerpt from about seven minutes into the podcast:
David Kirkpatrick: "There's a debate going on within the Republican Party right now over how to play this. There are some, including I think former speaker Newt Gingrich, who think it's appropriate at this time to begin ad hominem attacks, calling her a racist, attacking her sensibility, calling her manifestly unqualified. And there's another school of thought that says, We're gonna lose. They've got the numbers. We might as well have a high-minded debate about how we would approach the law versus how they would approach the law, rather than get dragged down into the mud.'"
Host Sam Roberts: "And also doesn't the Republican Party risk, among other things, alienating Hispanic voters whom they've been trying to hard to woo?"
Judge Sonia Sotomayor and Judge Clarence Thomas both had compelling life stories when they were nominated for the Supreme Court. But only Sotomayor's story has been celebrated that way by the New York Times.
Sotomayor's rise from a housing project in the East Bronx to Supreme Court nominee was "a compelling life story" in Thursday's lead article by Peter Baker and Adam Nagourney.
By contrast, the lead July 2, 1991 story by Maureen Dowd, then a White House reporter, was rather curt when it came to extolling the conservative Thomas's riveting life history. Dowd dispensed with Thomas's inspiring rise from poverty in Pin Point, Ga., where he was raised by his grandparents, in two and a half paragraphs, and suggested a cynical political motivation on the part of President George H.W. Bush. Thomas's life wasn't necessarily inspiring but was merely "offered as inspiring" by the president:
Baker and Zeleny never directly acknowledged Sotomayor's liberal outlook, although there is enough in her judicial record (and her own words) to indicate her ideology.
President Obama announced Tuesday that he would nominate Sonia Sotomayor, a federal appeals judge in New York, to the Supreme Court, choosing a daughter of Puerto Rican parents who was raised in a Bronx public housing project to become the nation's first Hispanic justice.
In making his first pick for the court, Mr. Obama emphasized Judge Sotomayor's "extraordinary journey" from modest beginnings to the Ivy League and now the pinnacle of the judicial system. Casting her as the embodiment of the American dream, he touched off a confirmation battle that he hopes to wage over biography more than ideology.
Judge Sotomayor's past comments about how her sex and ethnicity shaped her decisions, and the role of appeals courts in making policy, generated instant conservative complaints that she is a judicial activist. Senate Republicans vowed to scrutinize her record. But with Democrats in reach of the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster, the White House appeared eager to dare Republicans to stand against a history-making nomination at a time when both parties are courting the growing Hispanic vote.
Again, the Times hinted at but didn't directly label Sotomayor with the still-damaging label of "liberal," never using the term to describe her.
On Tuesday morning, President Obama announced his nominee to replace Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court -- U.S. Circuit Judge Sonia Sotomayor of New York State, who would be the first Hispanic to serve on the nation's highest court.
New York Times chief political reporter Adam Nagourney played the ethnicity card in a Tuesday afternoon post on the paper's "Caucus" blog, suggesting Republican opposition would be risky considering the party's low status among Hispanics.
President Obama's nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court has put the Republican Party in a bind, as it weighs the cost of aggressively opposing Mr. Obama's attempt to put the first Hispanic on the high court at a time when the party has struggled with sharp setbacks in its effort to appeal to Hispanic voters.
The Republican Party has been embroiled in a public argument over whether to tend to the ideological interests of its conservative base or to expand its appeal to a wider variety of voters in order to regain its strength following the defeats of 2008. Many conservatives came out fiercely against Ms. Sotomayor as soon her name was announced, denouncing her as liberal and promising Mr. Obama a tough nomination fight.
Kate Phillips blogged the Obama-Cheney dueling national security speeches Thursday morning at nytimes.com. Phillips got her Cheney feedback from New York Times reporter Jim Rutenberg, who was listening to Cheney live at the American Enterprise Institute. Cheney began his speech right after President Obama had finished addressing an audience at the National Archives.
A double standard was soon evident. While the reporters reacted passively to Obama's speech, simply relaying great chunks of it which went unchallenged, Phillips and Rutenberg peppered Cheney's speech with questions on several occasions or otherwise sniped at him. Some excerpts from the Times's live coverage of Cheney's speech:
Mr. Cheney Begins | 11:22 a.m. The former vice president steps up -- and you know he's ad-libbing a little when he begins by saying that you can tell that President Obama was in the Senate, not the House, (where Mr. Cheney once served), because representatives have a five-minute rule on the floor for speeches.
The New York Times is still having difficulty dealing with democracy in California -- namely the state's unique ballot initiatives, which sometimes produces results inconvenient to a liberal agenda. First it was last year's surprise passage of Proposition 8, a ban on gay marriage that threw the Times for a loop. This week it was the rejection of five fiscal measures in a special statewide referendum on Tuesday, notably Proposition 1A, pushed by supporters and the Times as a necessary measure of fiscal solvency that would have raised or extended a variety of taxes in return for a vague spending cap.
Mr. Biden has also been engaged on the Balkan issue since the early 1990s, when he was an outspoken advocate of the Bosnian cause. During his speech, Mr. Biden recalled his trip to the country in 1993, and how, flying in at the time, his plane was fired upon, and bombed-out homes with snipers inside could be seen.
Speaking of "old patterns" -- Biden sure got fired on a lot as a Democratic senator, didn't he? During the presidential campaign he claimed his helicopter was "forced down" in Afghanistan. (Turns out it was "forced down" by a snowstorm.)
After burying the story on page A18 Friday, the New York Times finally put the Nancy Pelosi-C.I.A. controversy on the front page Saturday. Yet congressional reporter Carl Hulse made excuses for House Speaker Pelosi, who accused the CIA of deliberately misleading her in 2002 about waterboarding.
Hulse glossed over the multiple contradictory accounts Pelosi has delivered of what she knew about waterboarding and when she knew it. He also insisted Pelosi was in no political danger and focused solely on the politics of the battle and the effectiveness of Republican attacks, not on the veracity of Pelosi's accounts of what the C.I.A. told her about waterboarding.
After many failed efforts, Republicans have finally found a weak spot in Nancy Pelosi's political armor as a fight over detainee interrogations engulfs Ms. Pelosi, Republicans and intelligence officials.
The furor was heightened on Friday when the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Leon E. Panetta, pushed back against an assertion by Ms. Pelosi, a Democrat who is the House speaker, that she had been misled by agency representatives seven years ago about harsh treatment of terrorism suspects, a claim that struck a raw nerve at the spy headquarters.
Mr. Panetta, a former Democratic congressman from California and a longtime associate of Ms. Pelosi, issued a statement that said the agency's "contemporaneous records from September 2002 indicate that C.I.A. officers briefed truthfully," a rebuttal of Ms. Pelosi's claim on Thursday that intelligence officials had lied to her.
President Obama delivered the commencement address at Notre Dame on Sunday, amid protests that the nation's preeminent Catholic college shouldn't be honoring a pro-choice president who even supports the gruesome procedure of partial-birth abortion.
President Obama directly confronted America's deep divide over abortion on Sunday as he appealed to partisans on each side to find ways to respect one another's basic decency and even work together to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies.
As anti-abortion demonstrators protested outside and a few hecklers shouted inside, Mr. Obama used a commencement address at the University of Notre Dame to call for more "open hearts, open minds, fair-minded words" in a debate that has polarized the country for decades. The audience at this Roman Catholic institution cheered his message and drowned out protesters, some of whom called him a "baby killer."
Monday's print version is toned down from the original filing Sunday afternoon at nytimes.com. That story, credited to Peter Baker alone, had a headline with a more defensive thrust -- "At Notre Dame, Obama Defends His Abortion Stance." That filing (no longer available at nytimes.com, but you can read it here for now) also included this paragraph:
Maureen Dowd's Sunday column for the New York Times, datelined "The Final Frontier," beat to death the already tiresome conceit of comparing Barack Obama to the coolly rational Spock from Star Trek. In Dowd's version, Obama is going to beam down and save newspapers or something. The column is titled "Put Aside Logic," and it does.
The text box is even lamer: "Can we Kling On to our newspapers in the galactic age?" Some headline writer must have thought the play on words was clever enough to be worth the corniness. It wasn't.
Dowd did provide a few decent Obama tidbits amidst the silly premise: Not only is the Times the president's favorite paper (he gets "cranky" without it), he sold subscriptions briefly while attending Columbia University.
I dreamed that Spock saved our planet, The Daily Planet of journalism.
A New York Times story on Friday by young Atlanta-based reporter Robbie Brown, "Mississippi Mayor Facing Trial Dies After Election Loss," dealt with the death of Frank Melton, the controversial mayor of Jackson, Miss., and included a bizarre characterization of Fox News host Geraldo Rivera:
Less than two days after he lost his bid for re-election, and four days before he was to go on trial, the mayor of Jackson, Miss., died early Thursday, city officials said....Mr. Melton was known for his flashy, hands-on approach to combating urban crime. He carried a police badge, two guns, a bulletproof jacket and a large stick while personally patrolling Jackson's toughest streets, although he was not certified as a member of the Police Department. This approach earned him a national reputation and the support of conservatives like the Fox News commentatorGeraldo Rivera.
Contributing to Time Magazine's 2009 "Time 100" list, New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. sucked up to Mexican media mogul Carlos Slim (who has coincidentally purchased 6% of NYT Co. shares and lent the company $250 million recently). After acknowledging Slim's investment in NYT Co., Sulzberger gushed:
Carlos, a very shrewd businessman with an appreciation for great brands, showed a deep understanding of the role that news, information and education play in our interconnected global society....As he spoke at our meeting, he conveyed the quiet but fierce confidence that has enabled him to have a profound and lasting effect on millions of individuals in Mexico and neighboring countries. Carlos knows very well how much one person with courage, determination and vision can achieve.
Geez. That slobbering is quite a change from the paper's attitude toward Slim less than two years ago, when Eduardo Porter labeled the Mexican mogul a thief and robber baron in an August 2007 editorial:
Two days after the death of G.O.P. icon Jack Kemp, Newsweek Senior Editor Michael Hirsh posted a classless obituary on Monday, "The Dangers of Amateurism," calling the football player, politician, and self-taught economist Kemp an "amateur econo-cultist."
One does not want to be disrespectful of the dead, and Jack Kemp was an admirable man in many ways. If the Republican Party had only followed his advice about reaching out to the inner cities and underclass -- and ignored his happy talk about supply-side economics -- the GOP might not be in nearly the fix it is today. Unfortunately the opposite happened. Kemp, a consummate professional as a football player, was a classic case of an amateur econo-cultist whose understanding never reached quite deep enough. In mid-life, when he decided to switch from sports to politics, Kemp became enamored of simplistic free-market ideas, in particular a toxic combination of Arthur Laffer and Ayn Rand. He then sold another gifted amateur, Ronald Reagan, on the idea that drastic tax cuts would so stimulate the economy that the ensuing growth would more than make up for the loss in revenues....Kemp was such an economic purist -- i.e., amateur -- that he argued with Reagan himself a number of times when the president decided that perhaps he'd cut taxes enough.
The media's pro-Obama love affair is so obvious, even overdramatic New York Times liberal columnist Frank Rich thinks his colleages are overdoing it. In his latest Sunday column, "Enough With the 100 Days Already," Rich briefly empathized with conservatives who think the press is pro-Obama:
Believe it or not, there are Americans who have a "very negative" opinion of Barack Obama (13 percent, in the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll). Some are even angry at him (10 percent, New York Times/CBS News). As the First 100 Days hoopla started to jump the shark last week, I tried, as an experiment in empathy, to see the world through their eyes.
It was difficult at first, but an interview with the official White House photographer, Pete Souza, on CNN, pushed me over the edge. Souza was showing all those beguiling behind-the-scenes pictures that, though government issued, were more or less passed off as journalism by virtually every news outlet in the land.
Inevitably we got to The Dog. "I want to show this picture because I find this to be a fascinating picture," said the CNN anchor John King, who found almost every picture fascinating. "The president running down the hall with his new jogging partner there, Bo." What, he asked Souza, is it like "to add this to the diversity of your work at the White House?"
I'll leave the photographer's answer to your imagination. But for a second, anyway, I could imagine what it's like to be among the Limbaugh-Cheney deadenders who loathe Obama. Those who feel the whole world is against them. Those who think the press corps is in the tank. Those so sickened by the fawning that they'd throw a brick through the television screen if the Bush-Cheney economy had left them with enough money to buy a new set.
Souter was nominated by the first President Bush but disappointed conservatives by often voting with the court's liberal bloc, which may be why Greenhouse wished him such a fond farewell:
David H. Souter had no agenda 19 years ago when he took his seat on the Supreme Court, but he did have a goal: not to become a creature of Washington, a captive of the privileges and power that came with a job he was entitled to hold for the rest of his life. In this, no matter what else can be said about his tenure on the court, he succeeded brilliantly.
Just a few decades ago, this would hardly have been a singular accomplishment. Even the most distinguished Supreme Court justices often disappeared from public view, speaking only through their opinions -- the full texts of which were all but inaccessible to ordinary citizens without access to a law library. But in this media-saturated age, the justices are everywhere. If they are not on book tours, they are opining on the authorship of Shakespeare's plays, or mingling with their peers in Europe, or on C-Span addressing high school students, or at least delivering named lectures at law schools.
None of this held any appeal for David Souter, who after returning home from his Rhodes scholarship at Magdalen College, Oxford, crossed the Atlantic only once again, for a reunion there. Who needed Paris if you had Boston, he would remark to friends. When the court is in recess, he gets in his Volkswagen and heads to Weare, N.H., to the small farmhouse that was home to his parents and grandparents.
Greenhouse took sides on a recent Supreme Court decision:
Did the NYT bury reporter Peter Baker's story on a memo written by Obama's own national intelligence director, suggesting that harsh interrogation methods had proved effective in understanding Al Qaeda? Washington Examiner journalist Byron York has his suspicions.
From Baker's 850-word online story, "Banned Techniques Yielded 'High Value Information,' Memo Says, " which has rocketed across the Drudge Report and the conservative web since it was posted at nytimes.com Tuesday:
President Obama's national intelligence director told colleagues in a private memo last week that the harsh interrogation techniques banned by the White House did produce significant information that helped the nation in its struggle with terrorists.
"High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa'ida organization that was attacking this country," Adm. Dennis C. Blair, the intelligence director, wrote in a memo to his staff last Thursday.
Baker caught an intriguing bit of redaction by the Obama administration:
New York Times reporter Ashley Parker, who specializes in soft profiles of Obama's staff, certainly made the president look good in her Monday look at Mike Kelleher, director of the Office of Correspondence at the White House -- he reads letters sent to the White House and passes a fortunate few on to Obama himself.
The task of keeping a president in touch with his public is daunting, as Mike Kelleher well knows.
Tens of thousands of letters, e-mail messages and faxes arrive at the White House every day. A few hundred are culled and end up each weekday afternoon on a round wooden table in the office of Mr. Kelleher, the director of the White House Office of Correspondence.
He chooses 10 letters, which are slipped into a purple folder and put in the daily briefing book that is delivered to President Obama at the White House residence. Designed to offer a sampling of what Americans are thinking, the letters are read by the president, and he sometimes answers them by hand, in black ink on azure paper.
"We pick messages that are compelling, things people say that, when you read it, you get a chill," said Mr. Kelleher, 47. "I send him letters that are uncomfortable messages."
The New York Times's "Visual op-ed" columnist Charles Blow issued his latest conservative-baiting column on Saturday, "The Enemies Within." Blow actually defended the infamous report from the Department of Homeland Security that vaguely tarred anyone active in conservative causes like abortion or immigration as potential extremists.
Blow focused on what the report said about U.S. veterans, who are apparently not smart enough to avoid getting involved in hate groups after returning home. The text box read: "Hate groups want our veterans." Blow's piece came with a helpful visual aid showing the number of "Veterans in White Supremacist Groups." The total confirmed or claimed over the last seven years? A less than overwhelming 203 out of a group numbering millions.
The New York Times finally noticed -- kind of -- the nationwide "tea party" protests against the bailouts, the stimulus plan, and President Obama's budget. Reporter Liz Robbins' story, "Tax Day Is Met With Tea Parties" is the first Times news report to deal with any of the conservative anti-spending protests, and does so in a predictably snide manner and in a relatively short article on Page 16 of Thursday's edition.
This paragraph from Robbins' initial version of the story, posted at nytimes.com Wednesday afternoon at 2:30 (no longer online), got a few facts about conservatives wrong:
Fox News was covering the events and streaming live video as its own commentators Neil Cavuto and Michelle Malkin were headlining the protests in Sacramento, Sean Hannity appeared in Atlanta, and Newt Gingrich showed up at City Hall Park in New York.
Oops. Neil Cavuto is a host at Fox News, not a commentator, and given that her story was filed Wednesday afternoon, Robbins couldn't have actually reported on Newt Gingrich's speech at City Hall Park, which didn't start until sometime past 7:30 p.m.
An attack from that first filing that didn't make it into the print version accused the protestors of "group therapy" and of "expressing their anger, but offering no solutions."
Of course, when the small band of colonists dressed as Indians and dumped tea in Boston Harbor in 1773 to protest King George's import tax and imperial government, that movement led to independence.
All of these tax day parties seemed less about revolution and more about group therapy. At least with the more widely known protest against government spending, people attending the rallies were dressed patriotically and held signs expressing their anger, but offering no solutions.
Slackman managed to write an entire story on the anti-Israel terrorist group Hezbollah without a single mention of the word "terrorism," preferring to euphemize the group as a "military, political and social organization in Lebanon with strong ties to Iran." And it's not the first time the paper has avoided the term.
Egypt released new details on Monday of what it said was a Hezbollah plot to smuggle weapons into the Gaza Strip, to attack Israeli tourist sites in the Sinai Peninsula and to fire on ships in the Suez Canal. Officials said the police were hunting for 10 Lebanese suspects believed to be hiding in the mountainous terrain of central Sinai.
And they say journalists don't know enough about religion. Whatever gives people that idea?
Three corrections from the New York Times:
Correction Appended: April 14, 2009 -- "An article on Monday about the final Easter Mass celebrated by Cardinal Edward M. Egan, the Roman Catholic archbishop of New York, referred incorrectly to the service he presided over on Good Friday. It was a liturgical service, not a Mass. (No Mass is said on Good Friday.)"
"In Unexpected Visit to Iraq, Obama Wins Troops' Cheers -- Military personnel at Camp Victory in Baghdad applauded President Obama on Tuesday when he said 'It is time for us to transition to the Iraqis.'" -- Front-page photo caption over an enormous photo of Obama meeting troops on his first trip to Iraq as president, April 8, 2009.
"President Bush with American troops yesterday at the mess hall at Baghdad International Airport." -- Front-page photo caption to medium-sized photo of Bush's dramatic, secret Thanksgiving visit to Baghdad, November 28, 2003.
"President Bush posed for a photograph yesterday during his surprise visit to American troops at the airport in Baghdad, Iraq. Few journalists were told of the trip or allowed to cover it." -- Photo caption to a jump-page photo of Bush's Thanksgiving visit, November 28, 2003.
The front page of Wednesday's New York Times featured a huge Associated Press photo of President Obama greeting troops on his surprise trip to Baghdad. The caption (from the print edition, emphasis in original):
In Unexpected Visit to Iraq, Obama Wins Troops' Cheers -- Military personnel at Camp Victory in Baghdad applauded President Obama on Tuesday when he said "It is time for us to transition to the Iraqis."
That teased a favorable story about Obama's visit on Page 11, which included another photo of Obama and the troops, with a more straightforward caption (again from the print):
President Obama spoke to American troops at Camp Victory, Iraq, on Tuesday. The president said that it was time for Iraqis "to take responsibility for their country and for their sovereignty."
Compare the photographic enthusiasm the Times showed over Obama's first trip as president to Iraq to the coolness with which the paper's photo-caption writers greeted President George W. Bush's dramatic first, secret visit to Iraq on Thanksgiving Day 2003, which occurred during intense wartime hostilities.
Liberal double standards ahoy! The New York Times news pages have virtually ignored the grass-roots "tea party" protests held in various towns across the country opposing Obama's big-spending and supporting free markets. The paper has run not a single story on a protest, even when one happened in the paper's own backyard of Ridgefield, Conn.
By contrast, a much smaller "bus tour" protest organized by a left-wing group of the homes of AIG executives received prominent and sympathetic coverage in the paper's National section, a protest where the media (50) outnumbered the protestors (40).
On Tuesday, Times editorial writer Lawrence Downes took the plunge and covered a genuine "tea party" in Northport, N.Y., a hamlet on Long Island Sound, complete with costumes and wooden crates for the dumping.
The only question is: Why did he bother?
From the start of his signed editorial, "Don't Tread on Them," it's clear Downes considers the movement a patchwork of right-wing kooks, snottily caricaturizing the protestors as silly, lazy, and greedy ("mostly, it was about tax cuts"). The text box: "Long Island patriots strike a blow against tyranny and whatever."
Saturday's New York Times front-page story by Shaila Dewan from Columbia, S.C., was a hostile profile of the state's conservative Republican Gov. Mark Sanford, who has been unpopular on the Times news pages ever since he dared challenge Barack Obama's expensive spending ideas.
Dewan mocked Sanford's "extreme" frugality (an odd thing to make fun of in these recessionary times) in "Rejecting Aid, One Governor Irks His Own." Showing her own frugality, Dewan squeezed two insults into her first line: Rich and cheap.
For a millionaire, Gov.Mark Sanfordhas a reputation for frugality that borders on the extreme.
Former employees say he has been known to require his staff to use both sides of a Post-it note. When Mr. Sanford was a congressman, he slept on a futon in his office and returned his housing allowance. And when, after he moved into the Governor's Mansion here, tax collectors declared his family's home on Sullivan's Island a secondary residence subject to a higher tax rate, he appealed and won.
Funny, you could easily imagine the Times pushing such frugal traits as endearing in a liberal Democrat trying to reduce his carbon footprint.
Former professor Ward Churchill, who infamously likened some 9-11 victims to Nazis in an essay written on September 12, 2001, won a civil trial on a technicality yesterday, winning $1 in damages for having been unjustly dismissed from his teaching position at the University of Colorado.
In a Friday New York Times story from Denver, Kirk Johnson and Katharine Seelye team up to cover the trial of Churchill, who was fired for plagiarism in his scholarly work as a consequence of scrutiny after public attention was focused on his essay calling the "technocratic corps" murdered in the World Trade Center "little Eichmanns" who had it coming.
The verdict by the panel of four women and two men -- none of whom wished to be interviewed by reporters, court officials said -- seemed unlikely to resolve the larger debate surrounding Mr. Churchill that was engendered by the case. Is Mr. Churchill, as his supporters contend, a torchbearer for the right to hold unpopular political views? Or is he unpatriotic or -- as his harshest critics contend -- an outright collaborator with the nation's enemies at a time of war?
The jury seemed at least partly undecided on what to think about the man at the center of the fight, whose essay made him a polarizing national figure.
The Times is far too kind. We can safely assume that someone who applauds the death of American citizens for the crime of being American citizens is by definition "unpatriotic." Churchill's statements were only "polarizing" in the sense that he and a few fellow left-wing extremists believed them, while the rest of the country was suitably disgusted.
New York Times political personality reporter Mark Leibovich, whose mission is delivering profiles with attitude, mostly laid off the jabs in his Sunday front-page profile of what would seem to be an easy target -- the garrulous, gaffe-prone Vice President Joe Biden -- in "Speaking Freely, Sometimes, Biden Finds Influential Role."
Biden's history of colorful statements should have made him a prime target for a Leibovich fillet. But Leibovich has a habit of only bringing out his carving knife against conservative Republicans, while flattering Democrats. He didn't call Biden "a bit of a screwball," as he did conservative Kentucky Republican Sen. Jim Bunning.
To the contrary, Leibovich buttered up Biden, trying to convince readers that, appearances aside, Biden really is an active player in the Obama administration. The front-page photo caption read: "The influence Vice President Biden wielded in the debate on Afghan war policy is a signal of his stature in the administration."
There's a clear difference between how conservative news hosts and left-wingers are greeted by the New York Times. Check out Monday's front-page profile of radio host turned FOX News Channel phenom Glenn Beck by media reporters Brian Stelter and Bill Carter, "He's Mad, Apocalyptic, Tearful, And a Rising Star on Fox News."
The Beck profile read nothing like the warm greetings extended in the Times to MSNBC's latest leftist star, former Air America host Rachel Maddow, or even the rabidly anti-Republican conspiracy-monger Keith Olbermann.
"You are not alone," Glenn Beck likes to say. For the disaffected and aggrieved Americans of the Obama era, he could not have picked a better rallying cry.
Mr. Beck, an early-evening host on the Fox News Channel, is suddenly one of the most powerful media voices for the nation's conservative populist anger. Barely two months into his job at Fox, his program is a phenomenon: it typically draws about 2.3 million viewers, more than any other cable news host except Bill O'Reilly or Sean Hannity, despite being on at 5 p.m., a slow shift for cable news.
With a mix of moral lessons, outrage and an apocalyptic view of the future, Mr. Beck, a longtime radio host who jumped to Fox from CNN's Headline News channel this year, is capturing the feelings of an alienated class of Americans.
It's enlightening to see what topics New York Times editors find disturbing and newsworthy and which ones they shrug off or ignore.
New York's new senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, is a Democrat who is nonetheless under strong suspicions at the liberal Times for her support of gun rights and her previous representation of a white conservative district. On Friday's front page, she came under fire via a stash of old ammo in a story by Raymond Hernandez and David Kocieniewski. "As New Lawyer, Senator Defended Big Tobacco." Gillibrand is in trouble for defending Big Tobacco as a lawyer representing Philip Morris back in 1996.
The Philip Morris Company did not like to talk about what went on inside its lab in Cologne, Germany, where researchers secretly conducted experiments exploring the effects of cigarette smoking.
So when the Justice Department tried to get its hands on that research in 1996 to prove that tobacco industry executives had lied about the dangers of smoking, the company moved to fend off the effort with the help of a highly regarded young lawyer named Kirsten Rutnik.
Ms. Rutnik, who now goes by her married name, Gillibrand, threw herself into the work. She traveled to Germany at least twice, interviewing the lab's top scientists, whose research showed a connection between smoking and cancer but was kept far from public view.
On Wednesday, the New York Times did its best to muddy the seemingly clear-cut case regarding the character of cop-killer Lovelle Mixon, who shot and killed two motorcycle officers at a routine traffic stop in Oakland, then shot and killed two SWAT sergeants while on the run, before being himself killed by police.
The text box painted a mixed picture of the murderer of four officers: "A man who obeyed some conditions of parole, but not others," while the text from reporters Solomon Moore and Jesse McKinley suggested the killer had been "failed by an overloaded and flawed California penal system." Another omission: Three of the slain officers were white (the other had a Japanese surname). But even though Mixon was black, don't expect the Times to raise any hate-crime possibilities in this particular case. In fact, the Times didn't even mention their names.
When Lovelle Mixon walked out of a prison last fall in the remote town of Susanville, Calif., he knew exactly where he was headed: back to Oakland, back to his family and back to his life of dreams and zero prospects.