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.'
New York Times Public Editor Clark Hoyt got angry this week. Not at the Times' shoddy, statistically worthless slam of U.S. veterans that appeared on last Sunday's front page (next week, perhaps?), but at conservative blogger Ed Whelan, for having the temerity of bringing up a possible conflict of interest involving the Times' Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse.
Whelan, who is President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and writes the "Bench Memos" blog at National Review Online, unearthed the Supreme Court reporter's controversial tie last month.
The blogosphere continues to boil with outrage over the Times's front-page story from Sunday on veterans coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan and committing murders, a story immediately discredited by cursory research as journalistically and statistically worthless. The paper's main finding, that 121 veterans either committed a killing in this country or are charged with one, was useless without context, which the Times either couldn't or didn't provide.
The story failed basic journalism, with the Times making no attempt to compare murder rates of veterans to that of the general population. Can one imagine the Times spouting out a raw number of murders committed by, say, illegal immigrants? Without context, the Times' big finding was useless, a single data point floating in space.
The '80s are back -- Sylvester Stallone has prepped another "Rambo" movie, Chuck Norris is an Internet icon and Mr. T is doing commercials. Alex Williams tackled the "trend" for the Sunday Styles section of the New York Times, "Tough Guys for Tough Times." Williams' story is a retread in its own way; the first sentence below in particular could have been been found 20 years ago in any college rag, pretentiously penned by an earnest liberal student straining for profundity:
"The leading action symbols of the Reagan era -- with all their excess, jingoism and good vs. evil bombast -- have returned, as outsize and obvious as they were in the decade of stonewash. Yet as stars of prime-time hits and feature films (not to mention Republican mascots), these actors are still as ripped and imposing as they were 20 years ago, and they continue to carry an undeniable authority with fans old and new."
Williams cracked on insecure conservative men, albeit in code ("likely not Hillary Clinton supporters"):
The New York Times's Michael Cooper and Michael Luo covered the Republican debate Thursday night in Myrtle Beach, S.C., hitting the theme of a "faltering" Fred Thompson, lashing out in a desperate bid to salvage his campaign.
"Fred D. Thompson tried to salvage his faltering presidential campaign at a debate Thursday night with a barrage of sharp attacks on the 'liberal' policies of Mike Huckabee, the fellow Southerner whom he clearly sees as a rival in the South Carolina primary.
"The performance by Mr. Thompson, which including several pointed one-liners, capped a debate that showed the altered terrain of the Republican field as it moved beyond contests in Iowa and New Hampshire."
The Times portrayed Thompson as an aggressor and Mike Huckabee turning the other cheek.
After his surprisingly easy victory in the Iowa Caucuses, the New York Times is joining the rest of the media in promoting the historic candidacy of Sen. Barack Obama. Check how the Times flooded the country to get favorable Obama soundbites for Saturday's front-page story by Diane Cardwell, "Daring to Believe, Blacks Savor Obama Victory."The full byline:
"Reporting was contributed by James Barron, Timothy Williams and John Eligon from New York; Lakiesha R. Carr and Holli Chmela from Washington; Rebecca Cathcart from Los Angeles; Brenda Goodman from Birmingham, Ala.; Rachel Mosteller from Houston; Susan Saulny from Chicago; Kirk Semple from Miami; and Katie Zezima from Boston."
"For Sadou Brown in a Los Angeles suburb, the decisive victory of Senator Barack Obama in Iowa was a moment to show his 14-year-old son what is possible.
Well, the New York Times certainly can't be accused of excessive free market idolization. Peter Goodman breaks off from his gloomy economic assessments to cheer for regulation in Sunday's Week in Review story "The Free Market: A False Idol After All?"
In Goodman's telling, there is no question mark, stating the argument against the free market in simplistic liberal terms, right down to echoing the Reagan-era pejorative of "trickle down economics."
Welcome to the 2007 Top Ten Lowlights of The New York Times. As usual, the year brought a cornucopia of biased behavior by the nation's paper of record, from sliming innocent Duke lacrosse players to defending illegal immigration to yet another liberal rant from a high-level Times executive (this year it was Executive Editor Bill Keller who did the honors). Times Watch has whittled down the absolute worst from another liberally slanted year from the New York Times. For the full report, visit Times Watch. Here are the headlines for a taste:
10. Bill Keller Unleashed in London -- "War Going Very Badly in Iraq"
9. The Haditha "Massacre"
8. Doubting the Fort Dix Six Terror Plot
7. France's Fearsome Nicolas Sarkozy
6. Gee, Why Is Dick Cheney So Secretive?
5. Reporter Chastised for Saying "Surge" Worth a Shot...
4. Blaming the Victims in the Duke "Rape" Hoax
3. Loving the (Illegal) Alien
2. Deep Discount for MoveOn.org's "Petraeus-Betray Us" Ad
It's a Christmas tradition: Times Watch has selected its worst Quotes of the Year from The New York Times for 2007. Here's a sampling of the categories and some of the most bizarre examples of liberal bias. For all the quotes, plus the picks of our Times-dissecting judges for their "favorite" quote of the year, visit Times Watch.
Oh, Those Awful Conservatives
"Could adversity temper a jurisprudence that critics of the chief justice have discerned as bloodless and unduly distant from the messy reality of the lives of ordinary people who fail to file their appeals on time?" -- Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse's August 1 "Supreme Court Memo," the day after Chief Justice John Roberts suffered a seizure at his house.
In his signed editorial today, "Campaigns Like These Make It Hard to Find a Reason to Believe," New York Times reporter turned editorial board member Eduardo Porter came out as a proud atheist and concluded with a bizarre comparison between Saudi Arabia's harsh rules against adultery and the GOP presidential fields' feelings toward gays.
"As I watched Mitt Romney tie himself into a constitutional knot as he argued that religion should provide a guide for public policy but not be used to choose a president, it made me suspect that all the candidates in the race -- Republican and Democratic -- must believe that I lack some essential virtue.
Shane began by likening the CIA to a group of grifters afraid their luck may finally be running out.
"For six years, Central Intelligence Agency officers have worried that someday the tide of post-Sept. 11 opinion would turn, and their harsh treatment of prisoners from Al Qaeda would be subjected to hostile scrutiny and possible criminal prosecution.
Times Executive Editor Bill Keller delivered the Hugo Young Memorial Lecture in London last week, sponsored by the liberal Guardian newspaper, and said some things to his journalistic friends he might not have felt comfortable telling a more general audience.
In remarks reminiscent of those made a year and a half ago in a college commencement speech by his boss, Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., Keller unleashed his liberalism, denouncing talk radio and Karl Rove.
In "Wall St. Sees Silver Lining," new New York Times economics reporter Peter Goodman (formerly of the Washington Post) made Saturday's front page with a "news analysis" that impressively managed to put last week's big stock market rally in the context of an "ailing economy" that was "imperiled by the crumbling housing market."
As the 2008 election approaches, the New York Times uses the image of a sinking red "RECE$$ION" to communicate a fear that is so far only a phantom menace. Peter Goodman's Sunday Week in Review cover story, "Trying to Guess What Happens Next," displayed plenty of pessimism about the U.S. economy after years of foreign-financed easy money.
But the accompanying graphic communicated even more starkly the feeling the Times no doubt wanted to convey -- a fearful, sinking feeling among U.S. consumers (and November voters). The top half of the page was dominated by white space, with the big red word "RECE$$ION" sinking below the horizon.
Is there a single economist who thinks the U.S. economy, with inflation tamed for now and a low unemployment rate, is currently in recession? Not even Goodman himself goes that far, though his pessimism seems pretty overblown.
The New York Times's liberal readership surely got indigestion over Tuesday's lead story from Baghdad by Damien Cave and Alissa Rubin, "Baghdad Starts to Exhale as Security Improves." It's even accompanied by three photos of normal life in the Iraqi capital.
Yes, this is the same New York Times that declared less than a month ago in the lead sentence to a lead editorial:
"The news out of Iraq just keeps getting worse."
But on Tuesday the Times made a public bow to the improving reality in Iraq, admitting:
"The security improvements in most neighborhoods are real. Days now pass without a car bomb, after a high of 44 in the city in February. The number of bodies appearing on Baghdad’s streets has plummeted to about 5 a day, from as many as 35 eight months ago, and suicide bombings across Iraq fell to 16 in October, half the number of last summer and down sharply from a recent peak of 59 in March, the American military says.
Times columnist David Brooks blew a hole into the left-wing myth of Ronald Reagan appealing to Southern racists to kick off his 1980 presidential campaign. What makes Brooks's Friday column doubly valuable -- it's a bank-shot sinking of fellow Times columnist and Republican-hater Paul Krugman.
Brooks's "History and Calumny" defends then-candidate Ronald Reagan from leftists like Krugman who have long slurred his 1980 campaign kick-off in Philadelphia, Miss. as a racist appeal.
"Today, I'm going to write about a slur. It's a distortion that's been around for a while, but has spread like a weed over the past few months. It was concocted for partisan reasons: to flatter the prejudices of one side, to demonize the other and to simplify a complicated reality into a political nursery tale.
It was waterboard Wednesday in the New York Times, as Philip Shenon and Scott Shane filed separate articles on the issue of waterboarding and "torture" in general.
Shenon's article on the positive outlook for Michael Mukasey's attorney general nomination tsk-tsked:
"Even some of Mr. Mukasey's supporters said at the hearing to vote on the nomination that they were troubled by the way Mr. Mukasey handled questions about waterboarding, which the United States has fiercely condemned when carried out by other nations and had prosecuted as a war crime after World War II."
In an editorial with the misleadingly bland title "Legal Loopholes in Iraq," the Times editorial page took a leap into left-wing logic Monday, referring to private security contractors like Blackwater as "mercenaries."
"Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice refers to the lack of legal accountability that allows mercenaries working for the American government to kill Iraqis without fear of prosecution as 'a lacuna' in our law."
The editorial writer seemed determined to rub readers' faces with the word, using it three times in a short editorial, even though "private contractors" would have been more accurate and less inflammatory.