While covering media mogul Rupert Murdoch's offer to buy The Wall Street Journal from, New York Times reporter Richard Perez-Pena uncovered a news organization with a political slant: Fox News Channel.
"Two members of the Ottaway family, a minority partner in Dow Jones & Company, released scathing statements yesterday saying that a takeover by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation would ruin Dow Jones and its crown jewel, The Wall Street Journal.
"The controlling Bancroft family said last week that family members representing 52 percent of shareholder votes opposed Mr. Murdoch’s $60-a-share bid, a steep premium for a stock that had recently traded around $36. But their statement was vague, leaving it unclear whether family members objected to the price, to Mr. Murdoch or to a sale on any terms.
The New York Times is still adjusting badly to conservative candidate Nicolas Sarkozy's big win in the French presidential election over Socialist candidate Segolene Royal, judging by reporter Craig Smith's report from Paris on the thuggish violence that occurred after Sarkozy's big win ("Hundreds Are Arrested in Post-Election Riots Across France").
Instead of blaming the rioters, Smith implied that furthur violence could be blamed on Sarkozy keeping his campaign promises.
"Violent protests against the election of Nicolas Sarkozy as president of France ended early Monday after hundreds of people were arrested, hundreds of cars gutted, and hundreds of windows smashed in several cities across France.
Paris-based New York Times reporter Elaine Sciolino continued to nurse her long-standing grudge against Nicolas Sarkozy, the tough-on-crime presidential candidate of France, in two stories, one before and one after Sarkozy routed Socialist candidate Segolene Royal to win the presidency.
"He has gambled -- apparently successfully -- during the campaign that by turning hard right he would win over supporters of Jean-Marie Le Pen, the head of the extreme right National Front who made it into the second round of the 2002 election but made it into only fourth place this time.
New York Times reporters can'tstand it when President Bush actually has the nerve to speak in front of supportive crowds, and neither did the headline writer to reporter Jim Rutenberg's Thursday story, "Outing Finds Bush in the Thick of Softball Season." The text box reads: "In a challenging time, the president turns to a friendly audience."
That "friendly audience" would be the Associated General Contractors of America. Rutenberg, as if in disbelief, quoted chapter and verse the often-religious, positive bent of some of the audience questions to Bush.
The New York Times' quest for social justice knows no out-of-bounds, judging by the front-page placement Wednesday of "Study of N.B.A. Sees Racial Bias in Calling Fouls" by sportswriter Alan Schwarz. Years after failing to secure Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor the right to golf at Augusta National Golf Club, the Times has now turned to the plight of multimillionaire NBA players who get bad foul calls.
"An academic study of the National Basketball Association, whose playoffs continue tonight, suggests that a racial bias found in other parts of American society has existed on the basketball court as well.
"A coming paper by a University of Pennsylvania professor and a Cornell University graduate student says that, during the 13 seasons from 1991 through 2004, white referees called fouls at a greater rate against black players than against white players.
Blogger, law professor and case expert KC Johnson has noted the Times has never corrected falsehoods in the timeline in Wilson's August 25 story. Wilson's Saturday piece hews closer to the truth, but without acknowledging his original errors.
Rubin's piece reads more like one of the Times' liberally slanted "news analysis" pieces then straight reporting, and sounds a lot like the Times' hand-wringing coverage of another protective "wall," the one separating Israelis from Palestinians who threaten suicide bombings. And Rubin brought some Steven Erlanger-style moral outrage to her story -- the horror of waiting in line.
"The unexpected outcry about the proposed construction of a wall around a Sunni Arab neighborhood has revealed the depths of Iraqi frustration with the petty humiliations created by the new security plan intended to protect them.
New York Times political reporter Adam Nagourney is typically hyper-sensitive to any hint of a Republican "attack" on a Democrat (not so much the other way around). So it was refreshing to read him actually having a little fun needling Democrat presidential candidate John Edwards on Friday as "The Breck Girl" for his preening over his hair and looks when he thinks he's off-camera (most notoriously in a widely seen YouTube video set to "I Feel Pretty")
Nagourney on Friday wrote about the mini-flap over Edwards' two $400 haircuts and brought up the YouTube video while suggesting a perception of hypocrisy.
"John Edwards, the North Carolina Democrat, announced on Thursday that he was reimbursing his campaign $800 to cover what his aides said was the cost of two haircuts -- yes, you read that correctly -- by a Beverly Hills barber, though, perhaps, the word stylist is more applicable….Mr. Edwards has presented himself in the Democratic field as an advocate of working-class Americans, lamenting the nation’s growing economic disparity."
When three white Duke lacrosse players falsely accused of raping a black stripper were finally declared innocent by the attorney general of North Carolina earlier this month, New York Times critics focused on the paper's lousy coverage of the case, including Times Watch (citing research by law writer Stuart Taylor Jr.) and most prominently Fox News anchor Brit Hume on his April 12 "Special Report."
Even as the case fell apart and other liberal media outlets backed away, the Times issued a notorious 5,000-word portrait of the case on August 25, 2006, in which reporter Duff Wilson concluded that there was enough evidence against the players for local prosecutor Michael Nifong the case to trial.
As usual, company man Calame lets the Times off easier than it deserves, but his mild, overly faithful criticism does tease out a few nuggets of insight.
Paul Schneider, a contributor to the Times' Friday Travel section, visits the quaint Southern town of Flippin, Ark., the center of the first of many Clinton administration scandals, in "Remember Whitewater? The Place Is Still There."
Though his story is mostly concerned with hiking, fishing and caving (and occasional cracks about the South), Schneider opened with liberal conventional wisdom:
"It's hard now to remember those shiny days before 9/11 when Congress seemed to believe that the greatest threat to the republic lay in an obscure land deal in northwestern Arkansas called Whitewater. Given all that has passed under the bridge, there’s something quaint and nostalgic about so much froth and fury over something that in the end went nowhere, like a slightly gonzo Norman Rockwell cover showing democracy in action.
In the aftermath of the Duke lacrosse rape hoax, New York Times columnist Peter Applebome spoke out against the "socially conscious left" that was ready to convict the innocent Duke lacrosse players without evidence. Was fellow Times columnist Selena Roberts listening?
"The rape case that cost three Duke University lacrosse players a year of their lives and much more of their youth finally ended on Wednesday, when North Carolina Attorney General Roy A. Cooper said what many people have long known: all three were totally innocent of the charges against them.
Thursday's New York Times was the only major newspaper to lead with the big news out of North Carolina -- the state's attorney general is dropping all charges against the three former Duke University lacrosse players falsely accused of the sexual assault of a stripper at an off-campus house.
The story by Duff Wilson and David Barstow, "Duke Prosecutor Throws Out Case Against Players," noted:
"North Carolina’s attorney general declared three former Duke University lacrosse players accused of sexually assaulting a stripper innocent of all charges on Wednesday, ending a prosecution that provoked bitter debate over race, class and the tactics of the Durham County district attorney."
After sliming the Duke lacrosse players falsely accused of raping a stripper, Times sports columnist Selena Roberts returned to school on Wednesday with "A First Class Response to a Second-Class Putdown," about the Don Imus-Rutgers University women's basketball team controversy, in which the talk radio host denigrated the team by referring to them as "nappy-headed ho's." Roberts gushed about the Rutgers' players speaking truth to power:
"Of grace and dignity, without a single boob joke for ratings or a raunchy sidekick for on-air laughs, the women wearing Rutgers scarlet managed to capsize society’s power differential yesterday….But possessing the power differential means bullying someone your own size. With the ear of a national audience, Imus denigrated women who have revealed the courage to play a sport in its pure, fundamental form even though it is often branded inferior to the dunk style of men. The gals absorb enough put-downs as it is."
This marks huge hypocrisy on the part of Roberts, given that in the Duke lacrosse case, she eagerly sided with two separate bases of "power "-- an out-of-control local prosecutor, Michael Nifong, who now faces an ethics complaint from the North Carolina state bar*, as well as a politically correct college faculty and administration eager to side with what they considered an oppressed minority victim.
New York Times reporter Manny Fernandez attended one of the Rev. Al Sharpton's weekly "action rallies" at his Harlem headquarters ("Meetings Are Part Revival, Part Rally, but All Sharpton") for Sunday's edition -- convenient timing, given that disgraced radio host Don Imus would be appearing on Sharpton's radio show the next day to apologize for his "nappy-headed ho's" comment denigrating the Rutgers University womens' basketball team.
Fernandez, for whatever reason, apparently didn't interview the great man himself. Still, Sharpton was on safe territory, given that the paper has rarely if ever challenged him on his past hateful statements and inflammatory acts, which include spreading the incendiary Tawana Brawley hoax. In 1987, Sharpton insisted that the black teenager was raped by a group of white men, including prosecutor Steve Pagones. The Brawley case fell apart, and Pagones eventually won a huge settlement against Sharpton for defamation.
New York Times reporters Helene Cooper and Carl Hulse's Saturday "Washington Memo" -- "As One Syria Trip Draws Fire, Others Draw Silence" -- defended House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's controversial trip to Syria with familiar Democratic talking points.
"With a final stop in Lisbon on Friday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi headed home to a Washington that is still ringing with complaints from senior Bush officials that her stop in Damascus to visit with Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, bolstered the image of Syria at a time when United States policy is to isolate it.
It was a Vietnam flashback in Thursday's news pages, as New York Times reporter Jim Rutenberg deployed 2004-era Times language to attack the veracity of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the Vietnam veterans group that successfully challenged John Kerry's Vietnam war record. The story concerned Sam Fox, Bush's nominee for ambassador to Belgium, who was forced to withdraw from consideration after Sen. John Kerry made a stink that Fox donated $50,000 to the Swifties. Bush took advantage of the Congressional recess to install Fox as ambassador without waiting for Senate approval.
So far the New York Times has apparently yet to do any original reporting on the lawsuit filed by six imams against US Airways and some passengers who reported suspicious behavior by the imams before a flight from Minneapolis to Phoenix last year. The imams were taken off the plane in Minneapolis for behavior that included loud chanting, cursing the United States, and praising Saddam Hussein. Yet even passage by the House of a bill to protect passengers who report suspicious behavior on airlines apparently hasn't motivated the newspaper to actually cover the controversy for itself.
The New York Times finally reports on the results of the troop increase in Baghdad, which seems to have brought a measure of safety to some of the most dangerous areas of Iraq's capital – but Kirk Semple and Alissa Rubin's A1 article Wednesday ("Sweeps in Iraq Cram Two Jails With Detainees") ignored that angle in favor of concern over…crowded Baghdad jails.
"Hundreds of Iraqis detained in the Baghdad security crackdown have been crammed into two detention centers run by the Defense Ministry that were designed to hold only dozens of people, a government monitoring group said Tuesday.
Veteran reporter and New York Times theatre critic Wilborn Hampton reviewed a revival of the ancient Greek mythological play "Prometheus Bound," showing in Manhattan's East Village, and predictably finds modern-day resonance in the tale of an "autocratic ruler."
"Even for the Greek gods, what goes around comes around. If Zeus has the upper hand in Aeschylus’ 'Prometheus Bound,' it is a sure bet that Prometheus, the Olympian rebel who defied authority and saved the human race, will have the last laugh.
When it comes to slurring innocent Duke lacrosse players, New York Times sports columnist Selena Roberts is apparently angling to become the Amanda Marcotte of the New York Times. Even after the three lacrosse players have been all but formally cleared of the sexual assault of a stripper (in a case brought forward by a zealous local prosecutor Mike Nifong, to go on trial himself for ethics violations in his handling of the case), Roberts apparently thinks it was worth it in her Sunday column, "Closing a Case Will Not Mean Closure at Duke."
New York Times reporter Mark Leibovich was featured on Wednesday night's Charlie Rose show on PBS to talk about Al Gore's return to Capitol Hill, and his description of the former vice president-turned-global warming-crusader was even gushier than his news story on Wednesday.
After host Rose read excerpts from Leibovich's front-page article, Rose asked the reporter to discuss Gore's "fascinating transformation."
Baghdad-based correspondent Edward Wong is the eternally pessimistic New York Times reporter who was itching to declare Iraq in "civil war" over a year before the rest of the liberal media. Friday's "Attack on Sadr City Mayor Hinders Antimilitia Effort" was co-written by Wong and Damien Cave and contained this painfully obvious attempt to mask potential good news from the troop "surge" in Iraq, which may actually be having a positive effect on the ground in Baghdad.
That's quite an ominous headline over Sheryl Gay Stolberg's story in today's New York Times about the conviction on perjury and obstruction of justice charges of Lewis Libby, former chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney -- "A Judgment on Cheney Is Still to Come."
"In legal terms, the jury has spoken in the Libby case. In political terms, Dick Cheney is still awaiting a judgment. "For weeks, Washington watched, mesmerized, as the trial of I. Lewis Libby Jr. cast Vice President Cheney, his former boss, in the role of puppeteer, pulling the strings in a covert public relations campaign to defend the Bush administration’s case for war in Iraq and discredit a critic.
Chief New York Times political reporter Adam Nagourney went to CPAC, the 3-day conservervapalooza gathering in Washington, D.C., and came back with profiles of Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, both trying to appeal to social conservatives despite their past liberal stands on some social issues.
But Nagourney also guarded the Clintons' right flank on its history of fighting terror by misleadingly suggesting former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani gave the Clinton administration a pass in its response to terrorism before 9-11, although Giuilani devoted several minutes of his CPAC speech to criticizing the Democratic mindset on fighting terror.
It's one story that would seem to be of interest to the New York Times political blog "The Caucus" -- the nutty rants of the left-wing Huffington Post community and others, after Tuesday's news that a suicide bomber had blown himself up outside a military base in Afghanistan where Vice President Dick Cheney was staying.
Many Huffpost commenters posted regrets that the bomber had not managed to assassinate Cheney (the offensive comments have since been removed from the site, but Michelle Malkin reprints some and has a link to the full slimy set).
This morning's tragic incident in Afghanistan, when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the gate of the U.S. military base where Vice President Dick Cheney was staying, seems to answer any questions regarding "excessive secrecy" of Cheney's trip to Pakistan and then Afghanistan.
But as of this morning, New York Times reporter David Sanger had his doubts. In his Tuesday morning print story, "Cheney Warns Pakistan To Act Against Terrorists," Sanger devoted a great deal of space to the "unusual secrecy" surrounding Cheney's trip.
After no huge caches of weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq, the New York Times felt burnt by liberal accusations of being water-carriers for Bush in the run-up to the Iraq war -- an accusation based almost entirely on a handful of overly credulous pieces filed by former reporter Judith Miller.
These days, the Times is leaning heavily in the opposite direction, preening about how skeptical it has been about U.S. government evidence demonstrating Iran's role in providing bombs to Shiite militias in Iraq. Monday's headline makes that clear and the front-page story itself by James Glanz and Richard Oppel Jr. is hedged to the hilt: "U.S. Says Raid in Iraq Supports Claim on Iran, but Doubts Persist."
The New York Times surprised on Wednesday with a front-page article by James McKinley Jr. suggesting that tougher border security in the form of new barriers and more guards was actually reducing illegal immigration along the Mexican border ("Tougher Tactics Deter Migrants At U.S. Border").
"All along the border, there are signs that the measures the Border Patrol and other federal agencies have taken over the last year, from erecting new barriers to posting 6,000 National Guardsmen as armed sentinels, are beginning to slow the flow of illegal immigrants.