Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia managed to smear both McCain and fighter pilots in general when he told his home state paper, The Charleston Gazette, on Monday that:
"McCain was a fighter pilot, who dropped laser-guided missiles from 35,000 feet. He was long gone when they hit. What happened when they get to the ground? He doesn't know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues."
Phillips led off with Rockefeller's apology, not his offensive comments, then moved quickly on to his endorsement and praise of Obama.
Senator John D. Rockefeller IV personally apologized to Senator John McCain of Arizona on Tuesday after remarking in an interview that Mr. McCain's years as a Navy fighter pilot would not have given him an understanding of everyday issues faced by Americans.
There is fear in the halls of the Alabama State House. Your colleague may be wired. Somebody may be watching you. An indictment looms.
After a dozen legislators received subpoenas one day last month in a criminal investigation, an atmosphere of paranoia and anxiety has descended on the gleaming white building that houses the State Legislature, many of its occupants say.
Legislators are sweeping their offices for bugs. Routine horse-trading for votes is stymied, for fear it could be misinterpreted. A wary lawmaker agrees to meet a reporter only in a wide-open parking lot. After-hours get-togethers are off.
New York Times reporter Katie Thomas embraced radical chic near the end of her front-page story Tuesday on the prospect for political protests at the 2008 Olympics, hosted by China.
Perhaps the best-known examples are the American sprinters John Carlos and Tommie Smith, who at the 1968 Games in Mexico City raised their clenched fists on the medal podium during the playing of the national anthem in a salute to black power. The action enraged the Olympic organizers, and Mr. Carlos and Mr. Smith were soon ushered out of the country. Now, 40 years later, their action is celebrated as heroic.
Raising a "Black Power" fist in defiance of the national anthem qualifies as heroic in the mind of the Times?
Radical Pan-African activist Stokely Carmichael, who coined the phrase, said of his movement:
When you talk of black power, you talk of building a movement that will smash everything Western civilization has created.
Eric Lichtblau, who covers the Justice Department for the New York Times, has an article up on Slate's front page , adapted from his upcoming book "Bush's Law: The Remaking of American Justice," accusing the Bushadministration of lying to him about its anti-terrorist surveillance programs.
You may remember that Lichtblau and Times colleague James Risen, broke the news about the classified National Security Agency's wiretapping program in December 2005, ignoring pleas from the White House. Six months later those same two reporters, in an even more egregious revelation of classified information, revealed classified details about SWIFT, a U.S.-instigated international bank surveillance program.
Describing a tense pre-publication meeting in the White House, Lichtblau basically admitted the paper's bias against Vice President Dick Cheney:
(The Times's international edition headline over Uchitelle's story had the slant of an opinion piece: "McCain sticks to supply-side economics despite evidence it doesn't work.")
Uchitelle's NYT piece began snidely:
When Ronald Reagan ran for president in 1980, he promised to cut taxes in what seemed, at the time, a magical way. Tax revenue would go up, not down, he said, as the economy boomed in response to lower rates.
The New York Times continues to glorify Barack Obama for the speech he delivered on race, eager to help Obama not only move on from Wright, but to paint the whole affair in lambent tones, while suggesting GOP presidents including Reagan went "under cover" and used code words to promote racial strife and win elections.
The latest brushwork is on display on the front page of the Times's Sunday Week in Review, a story by Janny Scott, "Talk About Race."
Roger Cohen's column for the New York Times's international edition, "Beyond America's Original Sin," is the 1# read Times story at nytimes.com as of Friday morning, and it's no wonder -- Cohen basically endorses Barack Obama (not in so many words, as that would be a violation of finicky Times's regulations against columnists endorsing candidates).
The column itself is, frankly, embarrassing -- part Cohen apology for being born in apartheid South Africa, mostly Obama hagiography over his recent race speech that even appropriates the "Yes We Can" call-and-response slogan beloved of his more fervent supporters.
It takes bravery, and perhaps an unusual black-white vantage point, to navigate these places where hurt is profound, incomprehension the rule, just as it takes courage to say, as Obama did, that black "anger is real; it is powerful; and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races."
Barack Obama's Philadelphia speech Tuesday was a transparent attempt to quell the controversy over his ties to fiery anti-American minister Jeremiah Wright. But the New York Times, along with the rest of the media, portrayed the speech just the way the Obama camp would have wanted -- as a transcendent address on race in America, past, present and future, with Obama's long connection to Wright a secondary matter.
It was an extraordinary moment -- the first black candidate with a good chance at becoming a presidential nominee, in a country in which racial distrust runs deep and often unspoken, embarking at a critical juncture in his campaign upon what may be the most significant public discussion of race in decades.
In the latest entry on his "Outposts" blog at nytimes.com, former New York Times reporter Timothy Egan tells a potentially interesting tale about the Irish of Butte, Mont. Apparently "the city had a higher percentage of Irish than any other in America -- including Boston."
But Egan, the Times's former Pacific Northwest correspondent, also uses "Outposts" as a convenient tree-stand from which to target prominent conservatives, andhe used a ten-year old conversation to slam unnamed Fox News hosts (Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity?) and revere JFK. (In February Egan called Rush Limbaugh "talk radio's leading gasbag.")
It is only when the Irish forget about the underdog, as the keeper of the graves said, that they stray. In the 1930s, there was Father Charles Coughlin, a virulent anti-Semite who had a radio audience larger than that of Rush Limbaugh's today. He used his microphone for hate. In the 1950s, another man with a link to Ireland, Senator Joseph McCarthy, twined ignorance and fear to make a mockery of congressional inquiry.Today, there are television bullies with Irish surnames on Fox, backing more tax cuts for hedge fund managers, and doing everything they can to keep the poorest of Americans from getting health care.
The Times held a "Times Talks" event Tuesday night at TheTimesCenter (all one word), part of the new New York Times Building now dominating 40th and 41st Street in Midtown Manhattan like a behemoth power station. "Inside the News: The Issues & The Elections: Where Do the Candidates Stand?" was advertised as a sell-out, but there were at least 70 empty seats in the 373-seat auditorium.
From a low stage, Times journalists Richard Berke, Elisabeth Bumiller, Michael Gordon, David Leonhardt and Robin Toner took turns outlining the placement on the ideological spectrum of Obama and Clinton's various policies and advisors (McCain was often ignored). A bug kept zapping at the speakers in turn, to the amusement of the audience.
Around the 30-minute mark, moderator and Times Assistant Managing Editor (the title understates his influence) Richard Berke asked for a show of hands to measure support for the candidates. My very rough count in the darkened auditorium: 140 Obama supporters, 120 Clinton supporters, 50 independents and maybe half a dozen McCain supporters. Berke's follow-up call for Huckabee supporters drew derisive laughter.
The front of the New York Times Week in Review is dominated by business columnist-reporter David Leonhardt's "The Border And The Ballot Box," his slanted essay on anti-immigration crusades then and now. The accompanying drawings give the debate the feel of a prison camp, with Americans as prison guards and potential illegals as prisoners, and the archive illustrations on the jump page include a drawing of a burning church, bearing the caption:
Anti-Catholic -- Burning of St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church in Philadelphia, 1844. As immigration soared, so did nativist reaction.
Another archive illustration is captioned:
Anti-Chinese -- An illustration of a massacre published in Harper's Weekly, 1885. Chinese laborers were attacked by white coal miners.
On Wednesday, New York Times congressional reporter Carl Hulse reported a flaky story on an apparent controversy over whether John McCain's birthplace (the Panama Canal Zone, where his Navy officer father was stationed in 1936) makes the Arizona senator ineligible for the presidency. Article II of the Constitution declares that only a "natural-born citizen" can serve as president.
And conservative blogs and television commentators accuse Mr. Obama of all manner of unpatriotic derelictions....Mr. McCain, for his part, lobbed a few shots over the weekend into the Democratic Party ranks.
If either Democrat withdrew troops from Iraq as proposed, he said in a speech Saturday night before the Republican Governors Association in Washington, Al Qaeda would "celebrate to the world that they have defeated the United States of America."
Bill Keller, the executive editor of The Times, said the article about John McCain that appeared in Thursday's paper was about a man nearly felled by scandal who rebuilt himself as a fighter against corruption but is still "careless about appearances, careless about his reputation, and that's a pretty important thing to know about somebody who wants to be president of the United States."
The fallout continues from yesterday's New York Times hit piece on John McCain. The paper itself doesn't seem eager to put up a fight as network news broadcasts, liberal bloggers, journalism professors, and the general public are questioning the Times's journalistic standards.
Yesterday's inflammatory story, which used anonymous sources to forward nine-year-old allegations from his first presidential run suggesting an improper relationship by John McCain with a female telecommunications lobbyist, received prominent front-page placement; today's follow-up on McCain's press conference was relegated to page 20 -- Elisabeth Bumiller's "McCain Disputes That Aides Warned Him About Ties to Lobbyist."
The New York Times's John McCain "bombshell" story, hinted at since December, was unloaded on Thursday's front-page -- and promptly fizzled out among conservatives and liberals alike, who dismissed the story from a four-person team as a strained mix of sex innuendo and old news (The Keating Five?).
It's no wonder if you take a look. This story is all hype and no substance:
The "charismatic" Cuban dictator Fidel Castro's shock retirement for health reasons is covered on the New York Times web site this morning by James McKinley Jr., writing from Mexico City -- "Fidel Castro Resigns as Cuba's President."
President Castro? Was there nothing stronger in the NYT thesaurus this morning?
New York Times media reporter Jacques Steinberg interviewed conservative talk radio giant Rush Limbaugh on his strong opposition to GOP presidential front-runner John McCain for Friday's "Warring on McCain, Limbaugh Sees No Reconciliation." The interview was OK, but the response from the Times's liberal readership was vitriolic.
"Rush Limbaugh took his show on the road this week, forsaking his main broadcast studio in Palm Beach, Fla., for one in Midtown Manhattan. But the change of scenery did nothing to dampen the Republican-on-Republican smackdown he has been waging from afar against Senator John McCain, the party's likely presidential nominee, whom Mr. Limbaugh considers too moderate.
As he opened his radio program Wednesday, Mr. Limbaugh lobbed yet another grenade.
New York Times reporter Steven Lee Myers's "news analysis" on Tuesday's front page, "Trial's Focus To Suit Bush" (on seeking the death penalty for six Guantanamo detainees for the 9-11 attacks) could have more accurately been labeled "one reporter's anti-war opinion."
Note the strangely precise excorations that Myers elicited from unnamed "critics."
Mr. Bush never sounds surer of himself than when the subject is Sept. 11, even when his critics argue that he has squandered the country's moral authority, violated American and international law, and led the United States into the foolhardy distraction of Iraq.
Economist and columnist Paul Krugman continues to rile his natural liberal allies by filing anti-Barack Obama screeds. On Monday he delivered the ultimate sanction, comparing Obama supporters to Clinton haters and even (gasp!) Richard Nixon in "Hate Springs Eternal."
In fact, these days even the Democratic Party seems to be turning into Nixonland.
Philip Shenon, investigative reporter for the New York Times, has written a book on the 9-11 Commission and talked about it with Fresh Air host Terry Gross on National Public Radio Monday. Judging by Shenon's past willingness to heap all of the blame for 9-11 on the then eight-month old Bush administration (as opposed to the eight years of Clinton that preceded it), it's no surprise he praised Clinton's former National Security Advisor, the disgraced Sandy Berger, who got caught and convicted for shoving copies of classified documents into his socks.
As Mitt Romney tries to close the gap with John McCain before the voting on Super Duper Tuesday, New York Times reporter Michael Luo took an unsympathetic look at Romney's political makeover in Tuesday's "Meet the New Mitt Romney, The Anti-Insider Populist."
Former New York Times White House reporter Elisabeth Bumiller is on the campaign trail after writing a book on Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, but Monday's "Once a Thorn, McCain Now Courts a Wary Party" betrayed some ignorance about the nature of past opposition to McCain.
At least Bumiller's honest about McCain's base:
He says he is not enough of a masochist to listen to Rush Limbaugh. He jokes at a Republican dinner about a looming foreign policy crisis: "I have a four-hour speech on the North Korean nuclear buildup that I know you've been waiting for." And he still treats the media as his No. 1 constituency, plying them with nonstop talk and stories, like one about a date from his Navy days who cleaned her nails with a switchblade.
Then it's on to the myth about McCain's summer meltdown:
On the New York Times's political blog this morning, Ariel Alexovich reported in a very mild tone on a very shocking speech by National Council of La Raza President Janet Murguia -- "A Call to End Hate Speech."
By calling to end "hate speech" (an inflammatory phrase the Times doesn't put in quotation marks), Murguia means that anyone harshly criticizing illegal immigrants -- specifically, mainstream opinion-makers like Sean Hannity on FOX News and Lou Dobbs and Glenn Beck of CNN -- should be removed from the air waves.
"The head of the country's largest Latino civil rights organization called on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News to stop providing a forum for pundits who consistently disparage the documented and undocumented Hispanic immigrant population.
The presidential field has winnowed down further, with Democrat John Edwards and Republican Rudy Giuliani announcing their withdrawal from the presidential race on the same day. But while the left-wing Democrat was serenaded as a trailblazer, the moderate Republican was mocked for "living an illusion."
While few were surprised by Giuliani's announcement (and subsequent endorsement of fellow moderate John McCain) after his distant third-place finish in Florida, Edwards' decision must have shocked at least one person -- New York Times reporter Julie Bosman, who must be feeling snake-bit after her Tuesday story portraying Edwards as the Energizer Bunny, motoring on and becoming a possible kingmaker at the Democratic convention.
The front of Sunday's Week in Review featured "Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler" by food writer Mark Bittman, which considered the (by his lights) welcome possibility that Americans might be eating far less meat in the near future.
There might be more than a pinch of liberal ideology in Bittman's recipe. Back in May 2004, Bittman expounded on the joys of vegetarianism in phrases that sounded straight out of a PETA pamphlet.
To the surprise of few, the New York Times on Friday became the latest newspaper to endorse John McCain for president, picking the Arizona senator in the Republican primary over former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani. McCain is a huge favorite among liberal editorial pages as the acceptable (or in the Times's case, the barely acceptable) Republican in the race for president. The editorial also lambasted Giuliani while explaining why it didn't endorse the former mayor of the Times's hometown.
"Still, there is a choice to be made, and it is an easy one. Senator John McCain of Arizona is the only Republican who promises to end the George Bush style of governing from and on behalf of a small, angry fringe. With a record of working across the aisle to develop sound bipartisan legislation, he would offer a choice to a broader range of Americans than the rest of the Republican field.
It remains the Times's most e-mailed story as of Thursday afternoon, so it's no doubt an issue near and dear to the heart of Manhattan's liberal elite gourmands -- who might be just a little less sophisticated (at least in matters of science) than they think they are.
The left-wing Center for Public Integrity has put together a database allegedly proving the Bush administration lied about WMDs in Iraq, and the New York Times joined the rest of the media in celebrating it with left-wing talking points that sound like they came straight off a press release.
For one, the Times failed to pin an ideological label on the organization and made no mention of CPI's ties to the left-wing billionaire George Soros, which funds the organization through his Open Society Institute.
For the rest, well, simply read the encouraging prose and references to Watergate.
"Mitt Romney, whose 1950s manner and celebratory drink of choice call to mind a milkshake man more than a rap singer, gave a shout out Monday that left no doubt that he had spent little time listening to hip-hop.
"Mr. Romney, the Republican candidate from Massachusetts by way of Michigan and Utah who enjoys a milkshake at the end of a long day, stopped by a staging area for a Martin Luther King Birthday parade here. In his dress shirt and tie, and with his unwavering smile, he walked over and posed for photographs with a group of black youngsters. Putting his arm around a teenage girl, he waved to the cameras and offered, 'Who let the dogs out?' He added a tepid 'woof woof.'