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."
Remember Chris Hedges, the former Times reporter and Middle East bureau chief for the paper who got unplugged for his anti-war ranting at a Rockford College graduation ceremony in 2003?
Here was his stirring opener to the assembled graduates:
“Thank you very much. I want to speak to you today about war and empire. The killing, or at least the worst of it, is over in Iraq, although blood will continue to spill, theirs and ours; be prepared for this. For we are embarking on an occupation that if history is any guide will be as damaging to our souls as it will be to our prestige and power and security. But this will come later, our empire expands and in all this we become pariahs, tyrants to others weaker than ourselves."
Something about Vice President Dick Cheney really riles reporters at the New York Times, who delight in making fun of both the veep's alleged lack of charisma and the deluded red-state folk who can't see what a dullard he is.
"Mr. Cheney’s favorability ratings might be in an underground bunker, somewhere beneath the president’s (at 20 percent in the most recent New York Times poll). Critics deride him as a Prince of Darkness whose occasional odd episodes -- swearing at a United States senator, shooting a friend in a hunting accident and then barely acknowledging it publicly -- suggest a striking indifference to how he is perceived. Even admirers who laud his intellect and steadiness rarely mention anything about his electrifying rooms or people.
New York Times editor/columnist Frank Rich, fresh off last week's Oprah Winfrey appearance plugging his anti-Bush book, goes wild in his Sunday (TimesSelect $ required) column, "The Gay Old Party Comes Out," doing a little cowardly outing by proxy regarding the alleged "list" of prominent gay Republicans. He doesn't actually wave the list, Joe McCarthy style, but helpfully hints how you can dig it up.
"And while you're cruising the Internet, a little creative Googling will yield a long list of who else is gay, openly and not, in the highest ranks of both the Bush administration and the Republican hierarchy....The split between the Republicans' outward homophobia and inner gayness isn’t just hypocrisy; it's pathology. Take the bizarre case of Karl Rove. Every one of his Bush campaigns has been marked by a dirty dealing of the gay card, dating back to the lesbian whispers that pursued Ann Richards when Mr. Bush ousted her as Texas governor in 1994. Yet we now learn from 'The Architect,' the recent book by the Texas journalists James Moore and Wayne Slater, that Mr. Rove’s own (and beloved) adoptive father, Louis Rove, was openly gay in the years before his death in 2004. This will be a future case study for psychiatric clinicians as well as historians."
New York Times reporter Philip Shenon covers the possible financial scandal involving House Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid…very carefully. For one, "Senator Offers to Amend Financial Forms" is the most benign headline imaginable -- as if Reid is doing everyone a favor by offering to follow the law.
Contrast that with the negative headline over the Times' AP story about Republican Sen. George Allen from Monday, which has no problem focusing the blame: "Virginia Senator Did Not Disclose Stock Options."
Thursday's editorial "Doubting Inhofe," seems a bit defensive about Republican Sen. James Inhofe's recent scathing criticism of the media's over-credulous coverage of global warming -- perhaps because Inhofe cites the Times' history of bad coverage of the issue, including its mid-70s warnings of "global cooling," which are now as passe as Pet Rocks.
"In a recent speech in the Senate, James Inhofe of Oklahoma called himself 'the senator who has spent more time educating about the actual facts about global warming.' Too bad he is not the senator who has spent more time educating himself.
Writer-editor Kurt Andersen, a card-carrying member of Manhattan's liberal cultural elite, may be coming around to the idea of bias in the Times, judging by his New York magazine story on the paper's slanted coverage of the Duke lacrosse "rape" case, "Rape, Justice, and the ‘Times.’"
Here's the subhead to the provocative story, on what many have come to feel is a perversion of justice on the Durham college campus driven by a politically motivated prosecutor: "'I've never felt so ill,' says one reporter about the paper’s coverage of the Duke lacrosse-team case. Luckily, a blogger’s on the story, too."
Andersen celebrates blogger K.C. Johnson, who'd been on the case:
Monday's Business section story by Tom Zeller Jr., "A Slippery Slope of Censorship at YouTube," defends conservative columnist's Michelle Malkin right to free expression at the popular video website -- with palpable reluctance.
"Lastweek, as YouTube continued its recent campaign to spit-shine its image and, perhaps, to look a little less ragtag to potential buyers (including Google, which was said to be eyeing the upstart in the $1.6 billion range), the company took a scrub bucket to some questionable political graffiti on its servers, including a video entry from the doyenne of right-wing blogs, Michelle Malkin."
"Many of the videos, showing sniper attacks against Americans and roadside bombs exploding under American military vehicles, have been posted not by insurgents or their official supporters but apparently by Internet users in the United States and other countries, who have passed along videos found elsewhere."
Perhaps the Times should rethink its policy on commencement speeches, given that every time a Times staffer gets up in front of a college audience he or she seems to spout left-wing rhetoric that contradicts the paper's increasingly disbelieved claims of objective reporting.
The most recent controversy involved Times Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse , who returned to her alma mater Harvard in June and delivered these pearls of wisdom: "Our government had turned its energy and attention away from upholding the rule of law and toward creating law-free zones at Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, Haditha, and other places around the world. And let’s not forget the sustained assault on women’s reproductive freedom and the hijacking of public policy by religious fundamentalism."(Greenhouse also marched in an abortion-rights rally in 1989.)
The same bias against Rep. Helen Chenoweth that Amy Ridenour recognized in the late Congresswoman's obituary in the Washington Post and by Michael Bates in the Chicago Tribune was also evident in New York Times reporter Randal Archibold's notice.
"Former Representative Helen P. Chenoweth-Hage of Idaho, an archconservative who ridiculed the Endangered Species Act and the protection of salmon in her own state and called for disbanding large parts of the federal government, died on Monday in a car accident in Nevada. She was 68....She said she did not condone violence against the federal government, which militias and racial separatists in her largely rural district called for, but she had a reputation as a sagebrush rebel who sometimes sympathized with their causes....As much as liberals and environmentalists loathed her -- 'Can Helen, Not Salmon' went one bumper sticker -- supporters admired what they considered a principled, call-it-as-I-see-it manner."
The latest CBS/New York Times poll is reported out in Thursday's lead story by reporters Adam Nagourney and Janet Elder: "Only 25% In Poll Voice Approval of the Congress -- An Echo of 1994 Findings -- Links to Special Interests Are Cited -- Standing of Bush Also Lags."
Nagourney and his headline writer see parallels to the 1994 Republican sweep of Congress -- an event, incidentally, that the Times never saw coming, and certainly didn't anticipate as eagerly as it now does a Democratic reclamation.
Anyone who doubts the Times has a predominantly liberal audience should check out the paper's new political blog, The Caucus. The posts themselves( by Times staffers) aren't terribly slanted, although liberal assumptions and conventional wisdoms aren't hard to sniff out. But when it comes to liberal hostility the commenters give the left-wing mobs at the Daily Kos a run for their money.
Check out this comments thread on a post about Sen. George Allen of Virginia's response to a weird, hostile question about his Jewish ancestry during a televised debate with Democrat opponent James Webb. In a charming turn, the left net-roots and the Webb campaign have taken to spelling out the senator's full name "George Felix Allen," and "Felix" crops up in the Times' comments section as well.
Chief political reporter Adam Nagourney today writes the first edition of "Political Action," a new political column in the Times that will run in the paper every Tuesday until the November elections. The first entry is (rather predictably) "The Republican Divide."
"With fewer than 50 days left until Election Day, as many as 40 House and 10 Senate seats are in play, fueling Democratic hopes of capturing power in November. Washington is awaiting polling data that will show how much success the White House has had in trying to put Democrats on the defensive on national security -- and whether that effort has been undercut by the battle among Republicans over what is permissible in interrogating terrorism suspects.
"Enlightenment absolutists like Ms. Hirsi Ali and Mr. van Gogh turned apoplectic at any efforts to appease or accommodate Muslims on, say, gay rights or women’s rights, and they were not alone in their fears."
From the start, Wyatt adopts the POV of the Clintonians that tried to stop ABC from airing the miniseries:
"The first half of ABC’s dramatic mini-series 'The Path to 9/11,' which drew fierce advance partisan reaction last week over its portrayal of Clinton administration officials, drew an estimated 13 million viewers Sunday night, several million more than a rebroadcast of a CBS documentary about Sept. 11 but far fewer than NBC’s opening-week National Football League game.
The New York Times' reliably liberal television-beat reporter Alessandra Stanley offered up a surprising assessment in her mostly favorable review of “The Path to 9-11," a review which ran on Friday when there was still some doubt as to whether or not ABC would cave in to the Clintonistas and various left-wing bloggers furious at the network. The first part of the miniseries ran last night with some selective edits but with the essence of the story intact, further infuriating the left with its picture of a Clinton administration unwilling to take terrorism seriously.
The New York Times’ Wal-Mart beat reporter Michael Barbaro teams up with Stephanie Strom for a story on the front page of Friday’s business section, “Conservatives Help Wal-Mart, and Vice Versa.”
“As Wal-Mart Stores struggles to rebut criticism from unions and Democratic leaders, the company has discovered a reliable ally: prominent conservative research groups like the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation and the Manhattan Institute.
Thursday’s off-lead story in the New York Times on a new CBS/NYT poll, “9/11 Polls Find Lingering Fears in New York City,” dwells on the fears that remain five years after the terrorist attacks in Manhattan and at the Pentagon.
But the national poll itself (the consortium also conducted a separate poll of just New Yorkers) found some interesting responses to three questions not mentioned in the story, perhaps because they conflicted with one of the Times’ irresponsible security scoops -- its revelation of the National Security Agency’s program to monitor communications between terror suspects without warrants
Taking its cue from left-wing bloggers (as noted by NB's Noel Sheppard), California-based New York Times reporter Jesse McKinley files a respectful story today on left-wing complaints about the ABC miniseries "The Path to 9/11," "9/11 Miniseries Is Criticized As Inaccurate And Biased." "Criticized" by left-wingers and former Clintonites, though the Times tries its best to hide that fact.
"Days before its scheduled debut, the first major television miniseries about the Sept. 11 attacks was being criticized on Tuesday as biased and inaccurate by bloggers, terrorism experts and a member of the Sept. 11 commission, whose report makes up much of the film’s source material.
Ever since the "controversy" was ignited by Bush enemies like Joseph Wilson three years ago, The New York Times has run almost 40 front-page stories on the leak of the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame (Wilson's wife) to Robert Novak. But now that the prime anti-Bush angle has fizzled out, the Times has been notably reluctant to return to the scene of the non-crime.
Valerie who? The New York Times seems to need a reminder.
Judging by its sparse coverage, the Times is apparently trying to pretend the Valerie Plame "outing," (which for three years was a matter of national import on its editorial page, news pages, and among its stable of liberal columnists), is no longer even newsworthy, now that the inconvenient truth (Armitage?) is out.
The text box: "A group of critics says it has found signs of widespread voting irregularities." The phrase "far-left critics" would have been more accurate, but there's not a single label to be found in Urbina's story.
Now we know, thanks to "Hubris," a new book by Newsweek reporter Michael Isikoff and left-wing writer David Corn of The Nation -- someone who bears much responsibility for puffing up the Plame non-story in the first place.
Times legal reporter Neil Lewis reports what everyone who has Internet access already knows -- that Richard Armitage, former deputy secretary of state under Colin Powell, was columnist Robert Novak's source for the information that Joe Wilson's wife, Valerie Wilson/Plame, worked for the CIA.
NY Times theatre critic/playwright George Hunka's "A Sermon on Corporations, Neighborhoods and Loss" celebrates a left-wing performance artist for exposing the evils of large corporations. Hunka, of course, is writing this for the New York Times, part of a modest little enterprise known as the New York Times Co., which had revenues of a mere $3.4 billion in 2005.
"Reverend Billy -- the alter ego of the performance artist Bill Talen, bleach-blond pompadoured and an impressive presence at 6-foot-3 in his pale brown leisure suit -- struts, preaches and sings his way across the Spiegeltent stage at the South Street Seaport, bringing his anticorporatist, environmentalist message to the converted via a sermon and several songs, accompanied by the Church of Stop Shopping gospel choir and a seven-piece band."
"Country music videos flashed on a television set at the Idle Hour, a Music Row bar where a Crock-Pot of beef stew simmered for hungry musicians.
"Sitting at a table in early August, Bobby Braddock, the longtime songwriter, lamented the conservatism of the country music industry that was demonstrated when the lead singer of the Dixie Chicks became a target of fury three years ago after saying she was ashamed that her band and President Bush shared the same home state.
Sabrina Tavernise reports from a village in Lebanon for Friday's "A Girl's Life Bound Close To Hezbollah," and honors the mantra of the terrorist group as a "social services network," just like her colleague John Kifner did on Wednesday -- and again, without using the word "terrorism."
"Israel's goal of uprooting Hezbollah from southern Lebanon has frequently been questioned by critics who say the group is deeply woven into society and cannot simply be cut out. An afternoon with the Fadlallah family in this southern Lebanese village shows that the group not only is part of society, but also helps form the shape of life itself.