Today, New York Times congressional reporter Carl Hulse hands over nearly all his news hole for the newly empowered Democrats to whine about the GOP's supposedly corrupt years of control of Congress.
"Republican rule on Capitol Hill drew to an exhausted end just before dawn on Dec. 9 after lawmakers dispatched a pile of bills that few had read and even fewer had helped write. Democrats say the era of such chaotic and secretive legislating came to a close as well."
Hulse lets us know that a kinder, gentler group is taking over.
It's unanimous! Times Watch guest judges Stephen Spruiell, who runs National Review Online's Media Blog, and Times critic William McGowan, author of the upcoming book Gray Lady Down, both picked as his worst quote of the year one from New York Times PublisherArthur Sulzberger Jr. (The quote also earned Quote of the Year honors from Times Watch's parent organization, the Media Research Center.) Spruiell says it was the "sheer arrogance" of Sulzberger's speech that put the paper's publisher over the top.
The New York Times' "Immigrants' Families Figuring Out What to Do After Federal Raids" clearly sees illegal immigrants as sympathetic victims, putting the wet-eyed focus not on the criminal acts that resulted in the raids by immigration authorities, but how the raids have made immigrants afraid to venture out in public.
Julie Preston's Saturday story is set off with a four-day-old AP photo of a weeping mother who "held her 3-month-old son on Tuesday as her husband was held at a Swift meat plant in Greeley, Colo."
Mickey Kaus, the iconoclastic Democrat who loves picking on Democrats, points to this posting from Lt. Col. Bateman, which asks many pertinent and justified questions about a suspicious Associated Press story about six Sunnis burned to death and four mosques destroyed in the Baghdad neighborhood of Hurriya.
The AP doubled down on the story's veracity (though other press outlets, including Al Jazeera, have yet to confirm it) and insisted the story's main source, Iraqi police captain Jamil Hussein, does in fact exist.
"The Cost of an Overheated Planet" dominates the front page of the Tuesday Business section, accompanied by a cliched graphic of a Planet Earth with a giant thermometer stuck into it.
Reporter Steve Lohr is no less certain that global warming exists, as he celebrates the head of an energy company who favors federal regulations on carbon dioxide emissions.
"The iconic culprit in global warming is the coal-fired power plant. It burns the dirtiest, most carbon-laden of fuels, and its smokestacks belch millions of tons of carbon dioxide, the main global warming gas.
Saturday's New York Times obituary for Jeane Kirkpatrick, President Ronald Reagan's envoy to the United Nations, was written by Tim Weiner and draws on Weiner's background as the paper's liberal defense reporter during the 1990s.
Weiner takes a mostly positive look at Kirkpatrick's life and influence at the U.N., but can't resist inserting his own liberal foreign policy slant.
"At the United Nations, she defended Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982 and the American invasion of Grenada in 1983. She argued for El Salvador's right-wing junta and against Nicaragua’s left-wing ruling council, the Sandinistas."
"Augusto Pinochet, 91, Dictator Who Ruled by Terror in Chile, Dies" reads the headline to Jonathan Kandell's front-page obituary for the Chilean ruler in the New York Times Monday. A related editorial calls Pinochet "The Dextrous Dictator" (perhaps a play on words, as the Latin root of dextrous is dexter, meaning "on the right side," hardy har har).
Here's the lead of Kandell's obituary for Pinochet today:
"Gen. Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, the brutal dictator who repressed and reshaped Chile for nearly two decades and became a notorious symbol of human rights abuse and corruption, died yesterday at the Military Hospital of Santiago."
Pro-Muslim New York Times reporter Neil MacFarquhar covers the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's attempt at a Muslim sitcom, "Little Mosque on the Prairie," and manages to get what he considers a sad example of life imitating art almost totally wrong.
"The handsome, clean-cut young man of evidently Pakistani or Indian origin is standing in an airport line, gesticulating emphatically as he says into his cellphone, 'If Dad thinks that’s suicide, so be it,' adding after a pause, 'This is Allah’s plan for me.'
"As might be expected, a cop materializes almost instantly and drags the man off, telling him that his appointment in paradise will have to wait, even though the suicide he is referring to is of the career kind; he’s giving up the law to pursue a more spiritual occupation.
In a story on the resignation of United Nations ambassador John Bolton, reporter Helene Cooper, for the second time in three weeks, suggests (mockingly?) that defeated Sen. Lincoln Chafee, one of John Bolton's chief Republican critics, is actually a possibility to succeed Bolton as ambassador to the U.N.
Stephen Spruiell of National Review Online caught it first when the story was posted to the Times website Monday, but the story was subsequently changed both online and in print, deleting the Chafee reference.
Zeleny quotes Dean: "'The other party made mistakes in the past claiming that elections are mandates. Elections are not mandates. The voters of this country loaned the Democrats the power of the country for two years. Now it’s our job to earn it back again.''
This morning, New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller announced the paper will follow NBC's lead and allow its reporters to refer to the conflict in Iraq as a "civil war."
Keller said in a statement to Editor & Publisher:
"After consulting with our reporters in the field and the editors who directly oversee this coverage, we have agreed that Times correspondents may describe the conflict in Iraq as a civil war when they and their editors believe it is appropriate. It's hard to argue that this war does not fit the generally accepted definition of civil war. We expect to use the phrase sparingly and carefully, not to the exclusion of other formulations, not for dramatic effect. The main shortcoming of 'civil war' is that, like other labels, it fails to capture the complexity of what is happening on the ground. The war in Iraq is, in addition to being a civil war, an occupation, a Baathist insurgency, a sectarian conflict, a front in a war against terrorists, a scene of criminal gangsterism and a cycle of vengeance. We believe 'civil war' should not become reductionist shorthand for a war that is colossally complicated."
New York Times reporter Robert McFadden covers the much-publicized shooting of three men by undercover cops after a bachelor party at a strip club in Queens for Sunday's edition.
"Hours before he was to be married, a man leaving his bachelor party at a strip club in Queens that was under police surveillance was shot and killed early yesterday in a hail of police bullets, witnesses and the police said. Two of his friends were wounded, one critically, they said.
"Many details of the shooting were not immediately clear, but relatives of the dead man, Sean Bell, 23, and community leaders, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, demanded an investigation into what some called an overreaction by officers that killed a man on his wedding day. "
While the rest of the press played up liberal-minded comparisons between the Vietnam War and the Iraq War and brought up old and unsubstantiated claims about Bush's Vietnam-era National Guard service, Sanger finds a different anti-Bush angle, one he’s used before – the president’s evidently disturbing lack of curiosity about the world.
After comparing Al Jazeera's core audience to that of Fox News, Alessandra Stanley's review of the Arab-language channel's American debut notes: "A promo for an upcoming program described American policy in Iraq as George Bush's 'alleged war on terror.'"
From Wednesday's lead Times editorial: "The nation's image is at stake, as well as the safety of every man and woman who is fighting Mr. Bush's so-called war on terror."
Looking for an election-season boost, the Times opened up its exclusive Times Select product to non-paying proles last week, sending editor-columnist Frank Rich's "2006: The Year of the 'Macaca,'" to the #1 most e-mailed story of the week (the free window is now closed, so you have to pay for Rich's deep thoughts on why Bush-style conservatism lost this year).
"This was callous conservatism, if not just plain mean.
"It’s the kind of conservatism that remains silent when Rush Limbaugh does a mocking impersonation of Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's symptoms to score partisan points. It’s the kind of conservatism that talks of humane immigration reform but looks the other way when candidates demonize foreigners as predatory animals. It's the kind of conservatism that pays lip service to 'tolerance' but stalls for days before taking down a campaign ad caricaturing an African-American candidate as a sexual magnet for white women.
But MacFarquhar, who went to elementary school in Libya and was once the Times' bureau chief in Cairo, disposes of the controversy in two sentences and frames it as Ellison being "attacked on religious grounds."
New York Times political reporter Mark Leibovich certainly doesn't hold back the snark in Thursday's ostensibly playful look at Bush's White House press conference following Republican losses on Election Day.
"It was one of those once-a-decade days in Washington where news, rumor and recrimination crackled in every direction. But the wounded duck at the center of it all, President Bush, offered by far the day’s most mesmerizing spectacle.
Like Chris Matthews last night, The Times seems to be bitter about not having everything go the Democrats' way last night, putting its usual racism spin on one of the GOP's few bright spots -- Bob Corker's win over Harold Ford Jr. in the race for Senate in Tennessee.
"Tennessee's open Senate seat stayed in Republican hands on Tuesday night after a campaign that drew national attention for its nastiness and for Democratic hopes that it would break a longstanding race barrier."
Nossiter blames racism in Tennessee:
"In addition, Mr. Ford was trying to become the first black senator from the South since Reconstruction.
"For a combination of reasons -- increasingly bullish prognostications by independent handicappers, galloping optimism by Democratic leaders and bloggers, and polls that promise a Democratic blowout -- expectations for the party have soared into the stratosphere. Democrats are widely expected to take the House, and by a significant margin, and perhaps the Senate as well, while capturing a majority of governorships and legislatures.
"The battle for Congress rolled into a climactic final weekend with Republican Party leaders saying the best outcome they could foresee was losing 12 seats in the House. But they were increasingly steeling themselves for the loss of at least 15 seats and therefore control of the House for the first time in 12 years.
The White House bureau chief for United Press International since forever (until she quit when it was acquired by the company that owns the conservative Washington Times) at 87 she's now a syndicated columnist for Hearst News Service. She tells the Inquirer:
"I'm a liberal, I was born a liberal, and I will be a liberal till the day I die. That has nothing to do with whether or not this administration is telling the truth. Nor does it have anything to do with the way I presented my stories when I was a news reporter. When I was reporting news, as a person I never bowed out of the human race -- I felt my feelings and had my opinions about things, just as anyone does -- but it never got into my copy. I was never accused of slanting my copy."
Sen. John Kerry's "botched joke" was just a "classic freak-show story" unworthy of front-page play -- but Sen. George Allen's "macaca" was worthy of wall-to-wall coverage. That is apparently the opinion of the Washington Post's John harris.
For those who already suspect the New York Times has a liberal bias, the Halloween night Times Talk at the New York Historical Society on Manhattan's Upper West Side didn't provide too many scares.
"Writing About Politics in an Age of Contention" featured Editorial Page Editor Gail Collins, Managing Editor Jill Abramson, and Assistant Managing Editor Richard Berke, along with non-Times people Al Hunt, formerly the executive editor for the Wall Street Journal, and Dick Polman, reporter-blogger for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The usual liberal conventional wisdom prevailed, with little disagreement about anything (everyone seemed convinced Democrats would win the House, but warned that Democrats had been sure of victory before).
The New York Times sure doesn't like it when Republicans fail to give proper respect to Democratic politicians. Here's Mark Leibovich in his Tuesday story from the home district of House Speaker Dennis Hastert, "Controversy Gives Hastert Time at Home."
"Mr. Hastert is also fueled by what appears to be a genuine dislike of Representative Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, who would be speaker if Democrats gained 15 seats next week. To invoke Ms. Pelosi as speaker is a Republican talking point, but when Mr. Hastert does it, it smacks of disdain.
The Times can't get enough of the RNC's ad mocking Tennessee Democrat Harold Ford Jr., running for Senate against Republican Bob Corker. The Sunday Week in Review featured a front-page "TV Watch" column by television-beat reporter Alessandra Stanley, "Scary, Like Funny Scary."
"The much-seen Tennessee ad against Harold Ford Jr. placed by the Republican National Committee in support of his opponent, Bob Corker, was seen as racist."
The campaign ad mocking Tennessee Democratic Senate candidate Harold Ford Jr. may be fading from the airwaves, but not in the pages of the New York Times, which is still pushing the "racism" angle, as it does in Anne Kornblut and Jim Rutenberg's Friday story, "Federal Rules Help Shield Creators of Political Advertisements." Their opening paragraph was also strategically located on Friday's front page with the little headline "A Provocative Attack, A Familiar Creator." It read:
The Times jumps into the liberal-inspired brouhaha over the RNC's supposedly racist TV ad against Democratic Senate candidate Harold Ford Jr., who is running in Tennessee against Republican Bob Corker.
"The Tennessee Senate race, one of the most competitive and potentially decisive battles of the midterm election, became even more unpredictable this week after a furor over a Republican television commercial that stood out even in a year of negative advertising.
Reporter Randal Archibold gets a full story out of Kevin Tillman, brother of former NFL player Pat Tillman, who died by friendly fire after quitting pro football to go into service in Afghanistan. Kevin Tillman lashes out at the Bush administration in an article published on the Truthdig website on October 19. (Truthdig is run by Robert Scheer, the left-wing former columnist for the L.A. Times.)
The lead story for the June 23 New York Times exposed a U.S. terrorist surveillance program involving international bank transfers ("Bank Data Sifted In Secret By U.S. To Block Terror"):
"Under a secret Bush administration program initiated weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, counterterrorism officials have gained access to financial records from a vast international database and examined banking transactions involving thousands of Americans and others in the United States, according to government and industry officials."