A left-wing "bus tour" protest prowled the affluent neighborhoods of Fairfield, Conn. on Saturday afternoon, looking for AIG execs to harass. The protest, run by a group sponsored by unlabeled leftists ACORN, were railing against the bonuses paid out to employees of the struggling insurance giant. The New York Times found the stunt worthy of a full story in the national section of Sunday's paper: "Carrying a Populist Message Into A.I.G. Territory." (The online headline differs from the print version.)
Reporter Manny Fernandez, while sounding supportive, remarked drily that more media than passengers were in attendance:
The bus pulled to a stop, and a pastor whose sister-in-law was facing foreclosure, a laid-off steelworker with a wife and five children, and a few of their colleagues nervously stepped out, like sightseers in some exotic land.
Liberally slanted legal reporter Neil Lewis has a scoop-let on President Obama's anticipated first court appointment, the "moderate" Judge David Hamilton, to the federal appeals court in Chicago ("Moderate Is Said to Be Pick for Court").
Lewis saw this upcoming move as a "signal" Obama's future appointees would be "moderate" as well. But how truly moderate is David Hamilton, federal trial court judge in Indiana and former board member for the Indiana ACLU?
Lewis provides no evidence, only the vague assertion that Hamilton "is said by lawyers to represent some of his state's traditionally moderate strain." But that seal of approval has a certain "strained" quality itself; if Hamilton is "said" to "represent some" of Indiana's moderation, then he's not all moderate, but something else as well. Probably something liberal. Why?
For one, the liberal Obama picked him. For another, his only memorable rulings, according to Lewis himself, were two anti-conservative ones. In one case, he sided with the ACLU on prayer, a ruling later overturned. Third, Hamilton clerked for a liberal judge. Lewis's assertion is contradicted by factual evidence from his own story.
Uncovering secret moderation among Western conservative yokels in the age of Obama is becoming a specialty of the New York Times's Western-based reporter Kirk Johnson. On Inauguration Day, Johnson wrote in condescending fashion about the "orderly phalanx marching behind Mr. McCain" in Oklahoma, which had the bad taste to give McCain his largest margin of victory in any state.
This Saturday, he profiled Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. in the negatively headlined "G.O.P. Governor Challenges Utah's Conservative Verities." The text box reads: "The governor breaks with conservative orthodoxy and is still popular." Basically, Johnson sees the death of conservatism in the repeal of Utah's one-of-a-kind liquor laws. Until last week, the state required patrons to purchase a membership in a bar's "private club" before they could have a drink.
Among Utah Republicans, who hold every statewide elected office and more than two-thirds of the State Legislature, Hamlet-like quests for purpose and direction are hardly the norm.
But the norms are dead for Republicans here, something that was in plain view this week as lawmakers overhauled the state's formerly untouchable liquor law at the urging of Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.
The debate was about scrapping the state's one-of-a-kind system of regulating bars and restaurants in a bid to boost the economy. But bound up in it was a profound, ongoing dialog, led by Mr. Huntsman, about what the Republican Party should be about and who should lead it.
Presenting the latest edition of Times Watch Quotes of Note: Some of the most biased quotes from the New York Times.
Nicer to Bomb-Thrower Ayers Than Conservative Buckley
"In your new book, Race Course: Against White Supremacy, you and your wife, Bernardine Dohrn, describe your long struggle against racism and social injustice. Do you think Obama's victory has put America on a new course?"
"How did you feel when Obama publicly disowned you, describing you as a guy in his neighborhood who had committed ‘despicable acts' when he was eight years old?"
"How do you feel when you wake up?"
"You're weirdly cheerful for a former bomb-thrower." -- Some of New York Times Magazine "Q&A" interviewer Deborah Solomon's questions to former Weather Underground bomber Bill Ayers, February 15.
"You have made so many offensive comments over the years. Do you regret any of them?"
"You seem indifferent to suffering. Have you ever suffered yourself?" -- Some of Solomon's questions to the late founder of National Review, William F. Buckley, in a July 11, 2004 New York Times Magazine interview.
New York Times reporter Rachel Swarns, former Johannesburg bureau chief for the Times, is now working hard on the Glorify Michelle Obama beat, pumping out four flattering pieces in the last month.
Her latest entry is a brief in Thursday's edition, "A White House Effort to Aid Women and Girls," celebrating an executive order from President Obama creating a White House Council on Women and Girls. Swarns didn't challenge the liberal myth about women being paid 78 cents for every dollar men make (in that case, why don't companies only hire women and reap the savings?).
Swarns "reporting" could have come straight off a press release:
New York Times "visual op-ed" columnist Charles Blow remains giddy over Republican failures in his latest column, "Three Blind Mice." Blow's mice (aka "the axis of drivel") are Republican governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, RNC chairman Michael Steele, and talk show giant Rush Limbaugh (the latter of whom controls "Limbaugh-tomized minions of the far, far right").
All these insults are packed into one puny-sized column in Saturday's edition, accompanied by a graph (that would be the "visual" part) demonstrating beyond a shadow of a doubt that among citizens at large, the newly elected President of the United States is more popular than a conservative talk show host. This apparently proves something or other.
...the Republicans have dissolved into a querulous lot of nags and naysayers without a voice, a direction or a clue, and we are not amused.
And who has surfaced as their saviors? Bobby Jindal, Michael Steele and Rush Limbaugh -- the axis of drivel.
New York Times reporter Mark Leibovich specializes in spunky profiles of politicians -- hostile profiles of conservatives, flattering ones of liberals.
His latest, on controversial Republican Sen. Jim Bunning, "Republicans Looking for a Reliever in Kentucky," fell safely into the former category, crammed with personal attacks ("questions about his mental fitness") and colorful insults(Bunning's "a bit of a screwball"). The headline is a reference to Bunning's former fame as a baseball pitcher.
Leibovich's latest is similar in tone to his profile of another conservative Republican, former Rep. James Sensenbrenner ("commonly described as 'prickly,' 'cantankerous' and 'unpleasant'"). By contrast, Leibovich has been quite kind to liberals like Al Gore (a "compelling" "pop-culture icon") and Sen. Chris Dodd (a "happy warrior" in a "joyous orbit").
Liberal New York Times reporter turned liberal nytimes.com blogger Timothy Egan's latest rant against conservative talk radio giant Rush Limbaugh, "Fears of a Clown," was propped up on the front page of nytimes.com on Thursday for the delight of the paper's liberal audience.
Last February, Egan called Limbaugh "talk radio's leading gasbag." Today, after lamenting about the ubiquity of Limbaugh on the radio, Egan piled onto the White House-driven bash-Rush bandwagon, focusing on Limbaugh's speech to the recent Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which was broadcast live on FOX News and CSPAN.
As someone who spends a lot of time on the road, I used to find Limbaugh to be an obnoxious but entertaining companion, his eruptions more reliable than Old Faithful. But now that Limbaugh has become something else -- the face of the Republican Party, by a White House that has played him brilliantly -- he has been transformed into car-wreck-quality spectacle, at once scary and sad.
In his column "Exposing the Truth About Exposing the Truth," New York Times sportswriter Harvey Araton defended his "good friend" Selena Roberts -- a former Times sports columnist now reporting for Sports Illustrated -- from "misogynist ravings" launched after her recent reporting on steroid use by Yankees baseball star Alex Rodriguez.
Roberts has Rodriguez dead to rights on his steroid use and even made him cough up a public apology for previously lying about it. But Araton failed to reveal his former colleague's own sexist attacks and unfair persecution of Duke lacrosse players when they were falsely accused of raping a stripper in 2006. The case fell apart, and the Times, which pushed hard for the prosecution on its front page, came off looking both vengeful and pathetic.
Although the New York Times never complained when lefties called George W. Bush and other Republicans "fascist" for eight years running, reporter Mark Leibovich is suddenly concerned with rhetorical precision now that conservatives are using "socialist" as a "demonizing" epithet against President Obama's massive spending plans.
Leibovich used the news hook of the recent 2009 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington to write a front-page Sunday Week in Review story portraying conservatives as mindless mockers of the concept of socialism: "'Socialism!' Boo, Hiss, Repeat."
Conservatives might be seeking a spiritual leader, organizing principle and fresh identity, but they at least seem to have settled on a favorite rhetorical ogre: socialism.
As in, Democrats are intent on forcing socialism on the "U.S.S.A" (as the bumper sticker says, under the words "Comrade Obama").
It seems that "socialist" has supplanted "liberal" as the go-to slur among much of a conservative world confronting a one-two-three punch of bank bailouts, budget blowouts and stimulus bills. Right-leaning bloggers and talk radio hosts are wearing out the brickbat. Senate and House Republicans have been tripping over their podiums to invoke it. The S-bomb has become as surefire a red-meat line at conservative gatherings as "Clinton" was in the 1990s and "Pelosi" is today.
Americans like their toilet tissue soft: exotic confections that are silken, thick and hot-air-fluffed.
The national obsession with soft paper has driven the growth of brands like Cottonelle Ultra, Quilted Northern Ultra and Charmin Ultra -- which in 2008 alone increased its sales by 40 percent in some markets, according to Information Resources, Inc., a marketing research firm.
But fluffiness comes at a price: millions of trees harvested in North America and in Latin American countries, including some percentage of trees from rare old-growth forests in Canada. Although toilet tissue can be made at similar cost from recycled material, it is the fiber taken from standing trees that help give it that plush feel, and most large manufacturers rely on them.
Naturally, America is to blame:
Other countries are far less picky about toilet tissue. In many European nations, a rough sheet of paper is deemed sufficient. Other countries are also more willing to use toilet tissue made in part or exclusively from recycled paper.
It's official: The New York Times got pranked by the girls of "Dating a Banker Anonymous," referred to in a fizzy Times profile last month as a "support group" dedicated to women whose "monthly Bergdorf's allowance has been halved."
Linda Holmes, blogging at National Public Radio, was dubious from the start: "Isn't it totally obvious that this is a put-on?" She dismissed the idea of a "support group" and figured the people behind the blog were angling for a book deal. The Times responded to Holmes, defending the piece and snottily concluding:
I'm not sure what is thought might be fake about this. Ravi did talk to some of the men to verify the relationships and get their side.
But Holmes's skepticism has been vindicated, based on the "Editor's Note" in Wednesday's Times admitting the January 28 article by freelance reporter Ravi Somaiya was overblown:
The New York Times seems to think there was no such thing as partisanship in Washington, D.C. until conservative Republicans came around in the 1990s to invent it. White House reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg's front-page Sunday Week in Review story, "Cutting the President Slack Is So Old School," is another example of that ideological blindness, impying that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich personally invented partisanship.
That requires ignoring Bill Clinton's "war room," his administration's persecution of the White House Travel Office, and before that, the personal attacks made by liberal interest groups on conservative Republican Supreme Court nominees Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas. Which is just what Stolberg does:
....the concept of the "loyal opposition" came to mean that a president, especially a new one elected by comfortable majority, could expect cooperation from the other side, in deference to the will of the voters. But in the partisan politics of recent decades, another view developed, advanced by Congressional leaders like Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, that the minority party has the right, even obligation, to stick to its ideological principles.
There's nothing in Santos's story Wednesday about the fact that the leader of this alleged "grass-roots effort," ACORN, receives funding from the federal government through various federal programs and third-party groups, or that it registered thousands and thousands of ineligible voters during the last presidential campaign. Instead, readers were treated to 1,260 words of "power to the people" sloganeering straight from ACORN without a single dissenting voice.
As resistance to foreclosure evictions grows among homeowners, community leaders and some law enforcement officials, a broad civil disobedience campaign is starting in New York and other cities to support families who refuse orders to vacate their homes.
"Conservatism Is Dead," blares the cover of the February 18 edition of The New Republic, heralding an article by Sam Tanenhaus, editor of The New York Times Book Review and Week in Review. Tanenhaus came to bury conservatism, arguing up front that today's GOP is too weak to resist Obama. (Perhaps a premature burial, given the GOP's stand against the "stimulus" package.)
Some 40 years later, there are conservatives who still inveigh against the perils of socialized medicine.
In his New Republic cover story, Tanenhaus sounded at best like a neo-liberal, making brief cursory criticism of liberal overreach while bearing down hard on conservative opposition to food stamps and the welfare state in general, with much discussion of Joe McCarthy, "the emptiness of free-market liturgy," and conservative malice toward the poor.
New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller is participating in the paper's "Talk to the Newsroom" online chat this week, discussing, among other things, the potential for the Times to again start charging for online content, but also taking cheap shots at conservatives Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter and even just-released columnist Bill Kristol in an ill-advised attempt at satire.
Keller's running commentary also marks the third time in less than a week that a Times editor has gone after FOX News talk show host Bill O'Reilly.
Google the words "Bill O'Reilly" and "white, Christian male power structure" for another YouTube taste of the Fox News host assailing the immigration views of "the far left" (including The Times) as racially traitorous.
The second attack on O'Reilly came via a post on the the paper's editorial board blog, "The Nativists Are Restless, Continued," after the Fox News host devoted the first half hour of the Monday night edition of "The O'Reilly Factor" taking on the Times for attacking him.
Reporter Jason DeParle garnered Monday's lead story slot in the New York Times with an investigation into how the U.S. welfare system, which went through enormous changes in 1996 after President Clinton signed a bill replacing cash entitlement with work requirements and time limits, is functioning state by state during tough economic times ("Welfare Aid Failing to Grow as Economy Lags)."
But DeParle might not be the most objective teller of this particular tale -- his reporting has always been opposed to the welfare reform bill pushed by the GOP and signed by Clinton. At the time, he called it "a bill that begrudges poor infants their Pampers" and warned of more homelessness, drug use, prostitution, and abortions, none of which came to pass.
DeParle doesn't acknowledge that in his story, which began:
Despite soaring unemployment and the worst economic crisis in decades, 18 states cut their welfare rolls last year, and nationally the number of people receiving cash assistance remained at or near the lowest in more than 40 years.
The trends, based on an analysis of new state data collected by The New York Times, raise questions about how well a revamped welfare system with great state discretion is responding to growing hardships.
A liberal New York Times sports columnist begged Bruce Springsteen on Friday to make a political statement during his halftime Super Bowl concert. Harvey Araton suggested: "maybe we'll get lucky and there will be at least one bold moment Sunday night when Springsteen goes rogue and rails against -- oh, I don't know -- offensive Wall Street bonuses, $18.4 billion worth. Go ahead, Bruce, make those corporate fat cats squirm on their sofas."
Araton chipped in with his own financial expertise (and Bruce Springsteen fandom) in his Super Bowl column from Tampa, "At the Half, It's B-r-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-c-e." Araton, whose liberal huffing backfired in 2006 when he assumed the guilt of the Duke lacrosse players before the case against them collapsed, revealed himself to be a liberal fanboy for Springsteen rivaling leftist media critic Eric Alterman and urged the lefty rocker to make the fat cats squirm. After accusing the Super Bowl event of "crass commercialism occasionally mixed with patriotic pandering," the slobber commenced to run:
Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand is the new senator from New York, replacing Hillary Clinton, who resigned her Senate seat to become Secretary of State in the Obama administration. But the New York Times hasn't exactly rolled out the welcome mat. So far the paper has done little but nag Gillibrand for being insufficiently liberal, pushing her to back away from her stands against amnesty for illegal immigrants and her support of gun rights.
During her one term in the House of Representatives, from a largely rural, traditionally Republican district, Kirsten E. Gillibrand was on safe political ground adopting a tough stance against illegal immigration.
Ms. Gillibrand, a Democrat, opposed any sort of amnesty for illegal immigrants, supported deputizing local law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration laws, spoke out against Gov. Eliot Spitzer's proposal to allow illegal immigrants to have driver's licenses and sought to make English the official language of the United States.
But since her appointment by Gov. David A. Paterson last week to fill the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton, Ms. Gillibrand has found herself besieged by immigrant advocates and Democratic colleagues who have cast her as out of step with a majority of the state, with its big cities and sprawling immigrant enclaves.
The New York Times celebrated Obama's presidency Inauguration Night at a hip location in the already painfully hip Lower East Side of Manhattan. Reid Pillifant, blogging for the New York Observer, filed the day after Tuesday night's NYT party at the New Museum on the Bowery, a Twitter-ific shindig co-sponsored by Facebook:
Last night at the New Museum on the Bowery, a crowd of left-behind New Yorkers gathered to celebrate the inauguration of Barack Obama. The party, sponsored by The New York Times, attracted not the hoped-for celebrities (it was rumored that Moby, Dave Matthews, andIsaac Mizrahi would be attending), but rather the crowd of young Internet scenesters who seem to show up, like moths to a flame, at every media open bar party in town (who knows how long that gravy train will last?)
Pillifant noticed the Times had its own take on Obama's famous "O" emblem:
In the run-up to Barack Obama's inauguration, the New York Times has run several articles praising the President-elect's "eloquence," the most visible being Monday's front-page story by the paper's lead book critic (and prominent Bush-basher) Michiko Kakutani, "From Books, New President Found Voice," who praised Obama for...reading:
In college, as he was getting involved in protests against the apartheid government in South Africa, Barack Obama noticed, he has written, "that people had begun to listen to my opinions." Words, the young Mr. Obama realized, had the power "to transform": "with the right words everything could change -- South Africa, the lives of ghetto kids just a few miles away, my own tenuous place in the world."
Much has been made of Mr. Obama's eloquence -- his ability to use words in his speeches to persuade and uplift and inspire. But his appreciation of the magic of language and his ardent love of reading have not only endowed him with a rare ability to communicate his ideas to millions of Americans while contextualizing complex ideas about race and religion, they have also shaped his sense of who he is and his apprehension of the world.
At a time when the United States is fighting two wars and faces a severe recession and huge budget deficits, the inauguration of Barack Obama as the nation's 44th president is estimated to cost $45 million. Bush's 2004 inauguration cost roughly $40 million. But though the figures are similar, there's been a major shift in the tone of coverage at the New York Times.
While the Times spent much of January 2005 making clear its disapproval of Bush extravagantly celebrating his inauguration during wartime, that concerned tone is conspicuously absent from the Times in January 2009, although the country is not only still at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also in danger of a deep recession. The difference? Perhaps because this time, it's the Times's favored candidate who is readying to assume the highest office.
A January 11, 2005 editorial on Bush's second inauguration, "Victor's Spoils," sniffed:
At the rate President Bush's supporters are giving money, his second inauguration threatens to stand out in the history books like the common folks' muddy boot prints on the White House furniture at Andrew Jackson's gala. The $40 million record for inaugural partying set four years ago for Mr. Bush is expected to be shattered this month....Ordinary citizens might have hoped that the overriding issue in Washington -- the perilous Iraq war, with its drain on the nation's blood and treasure -- would dictate restraint. But plans for the four-day extravaganza roll forward with nine celebratory balls being underwritten by the usual corporate and fat-cat supplicants in the political power mill. There's nothing new in Washington's triumphalist celebrations, festooned with price tags for access, but war usually mutes the singing and dancing. Not this year.
With a liberal Democrat coming to power, the New York Times has evidently gotten over the false fear of "big cuts" in Medicare it displayed when Republicans tried to trim the program back in 1995.
Thursday's lead story by Jeff Zeleny and John Harwood, "Obama Promises Bid To Overhaul Retiree Spending," characterized the president-elect's stated willingness to tackle huge entitlement programs Social Security and Medicare in mostly positive terms. The reporters described Obama's vague proposal as an "overhauling," an "approach to rein in Social Security and Medicare," and an "effort to cut back the rates of growth of the two programs."
President-elect Barack Obama said Wednesday that overhauling Social Security and Medicare would be "a central part" of his administration's efforts to contain federal spending, signaling for the first time that he would wade into the thorny politics of entitlement programs.
As Israel "assaulted" Hamas positions in Gaza with a ground offensive following an aerial bombardment, the New York Times's dispatches over the weekend began to slant toward pro-Palestinian sympathy, reminiscent of its biased coverage of Israel's attack on the terrorist group Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Ray Rivera attended a Times Square anti-Israel demonstration on Saturday that was filled with left-wing protestors. Yet no trace of that ideology made it into his Sunday story, "Rally Protests Fighting in Gaza -- Pro-Palestinian Crowd Marches to Israel Consulate." The text box claimed: "Across Seventh Avenue, others vent their anger at Hamas." As if the anti-Israeli protestors weren't showing anger toward the entire nation of Israel.
Anger over the Israeli assault on Gaza spilled into Times Square on Saturday, as hundreds of protesters condemned the attacks in a demonstration that stretched four blocks and clogged much of the city's central tourist district for several hours.
The protest came as Israeli troops began a ground incursion into the Hamas-controlled territory in what officials described as an effort to end Hamas rocket attacks on southern Israel. The land campaign followed eight days of Israeli airstrikes that have killed more than 430 Palestinians, many of them civilians.
History will tell that the New York Times actually endorsed John McCain as its preferred Republican nominee, albeit in a hold-your-nose fashion. History will also tell that the paper began souring on its former favorite "maverick" and moderate Republican almost immediately after he clinched the nomination and becoming the only thing standing between the White House and a historic Democratic victory for either the first woman or first black president.
Even before the presidential race narrowed down to an Obama-McCain matchup, the Times did its best to kneecap GOP candidates, reserving special hostility to its hometown Republican, New York Gov. Rudy Giuliani, portraying him as a racist mayor who exaggerated his post 9-11 herosim.
Times Watch has put together the 10 absolute worst stories that appeared in the Times during Campaign 2008, pitting that historic beacon of hope, Democrat Barack Obama, versus the temperamental, inarticulate appeaser of right-wing racists, Republican John McCain.
The roundtable on Monday night's Special Report with Brit Hume on FNC was not kind to the New York Times's hit piece on Sunday's front page that blamed President Bush and only Bush for the mortgage meltdown, ignoring the Democrats in Congress who protected the irresponsible push for more "affordable housing" by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (as Times Watch noted yesterday).
Nina Easton, Washington bureau chief of Fortune magazine, pronounced herself "flabbergasted when I read this story, flabbergasted....You cannot write a story about affordable housing policies and blame it on George Bush instead of the Democrats. I mean, it’s just, it’s outrageous."
From the Monday night Special Report with Brit Hume:
The New York Times's embrace of Barack Obama's candidacy, and its fervent defense of him against John McCain's "racist" and unfair attacks, made 2008 a particularly bias-packed year for the paper. During the 2008 campaign Times bias often came with a smile, instead of a snarl, with the Times and the rest of the mainstream media having fallen hard for Obama's "historic" candidacy (jilting its previous love, Hillary Clinton). The Times even praised the moderate maverick McCain for a while -- until he clinched the Republican nomination and became the only thing in the way of a groundbreaking victory for either a liberal woman (Clinton) or a liberal African-American (Obama).
Below are the favorite quotes from Times Watch's five Times-dissecting judges. You can read all of the worst quotes of Campaign 2008 at Times Watch.
"On Thursday evening in a glittering Berlin, cheered by as many as 200,000 people, Mr. Obama delivered a tone poem to American and European ideals and shared history. In contrast, just before he spoke, Mr. McCain, was sitting in Schmidt's Sausage Haus und Restaurant in Columbus, Ohio, having a bratwurst, and saying grumpily that he would prefer to speak to Germans when he is president, not before." -- Steven Erlanger in a July 26 filing from Paris while covering Barack Obama's world tour.
The New York Times and the rest of the media can't get enough of the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at President Bush during a press conference in Baghdad, with a front-page story calling the potentially dangerous action a "defiant act" and a "mythic moment" and commenting on shoe-hurling Muntader al-Zaidi's "hero status" in the Arab world.
Calling someone the "son of a shoe" is one of the worst insults in Iraq. But the lowly shoe and the Iraqi who threw both of his at President Bush, with widely admired aim, were embraced around the Arab world on Monday as symbols of rage at a still unpopular war.
In Saudi Arabia, a newspaper reported that a man had offered $10 million to buy just one of what has almost certainly become the world's most famous pair of black dress shoes.
A daughter of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, the Libyan leader, reportedly awarded the shoe thrower, Muntader al-Zaidi, a 29-year-old journalist, a medal of courage.
On Sunday the New York Times released its annual year-end list of the "100 Notable Books of 2008," both fiction and non-fiction, and unsurprisingly, conservative books weren't "notable."
The 52 nonfiction selections, all reviewed favorably by the Times during 2008, included works by (my count) at least six liberal journalists from outside the paper, including Jacob Heilbrunn's "They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons," and New Yorker writer Jane Mayer's "The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals." Of the 52 books, six others were from Times writers: four from reporters, one from a columnist, and one from a magazine contributor.
The closest thing to a conservative book I could identify was "The Race Card: How Bluffing About Bias Makes Race Relations Worse" by black Stanford Law professor Richard Thompson Ford, described by the Times as a skewering of liberal sacred cows from a "humane, centrist position."
There was an interesting post Tuesday morning on the New York Times's "City Room" blog, "Che, or a Statue of an Actor Playing Che," about a statue of an actor playing Che Guevara recently installed in a corner of Central Park. David Gonzalez interviewed passerby delighted at the representation (once-removed) of Guevara, the colorful Communist thug romanticized among the benighted left and the uninformed public for his colorful charisma and sex appeal.
Che Guevara has been put on a pedestal in Manhattan. This is something not lacking in irony, since Manhattan might not exist today had the Argentine-born, Cuban-tested revolutionary had his way and unleashed the Soviet nukes against the United States during the 1962 missile crisis.
Are New Yorkers really allowing such an homage to occupy the southeast corner of Central Park? Technically, no. The statue actually depicts a Barcelona street performer portraying Che, part of three bronze sculptures by Christian Janowski, which were recently installed by the Public Art Fund.
The Times's Gonzalez didn't genuflect to the urban hipster mentality.