New York Times reporter Jonathan Weisman threw around hostile labels in his Thursday piece on the ongoing tactical fight in Washington, pitting the "far right" against responsible "pragmatists" in the tactical battle over fiscal policy in "Boehner Tries to Contain Defections on Fiscal Unity."
Speaker John A. Boehner moved Wednesday to maintain Republican unity on deficit reduction talks as lawmakers on the far right openly chafed at his leadership and some pragmatists pressed for quick accommodation on tax rate increases on the rich.
New York Times intelligence reporter Scott Shane made Thursday's front-page with a quasi-movie review of "Zero Dark Thirty," the critically acclaimed new release about the Bin Laden raid that suggests "enhanced interrogation" like waterboarding aided in finding him. The headline, "Portrayal of C.I.A. Torture in Bin Laden Film Reopens a Debate," shows the Times comfortable using the loaded word "torture" to describe interrogation methods like water-boarding that inflict temporary physical panic.
Previously Shane has fiercely resisted the idea that waterboarding contributed to finding Osama bin Laden, ignoring CIA director Leon Panetta's admission that it had. Shane wrote on May 4, 2011: "But a closer look at prisoner interrogations suggests that the harsh techniques played a small role at most in identifying Bin Laden's trusted courier and exposing his hide-out."
In other words, it may have helped, but don't make me write it.
With a Republican newly elected as governor and a Republican-controlled legislature, North Carolina, long a politically moderate player in the South, will soon have its most conservative government in a century.
In one of the most fascinating media-related pieces I’ve read in a while, Dan Froomkin interviews Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, two longtime Washington observers who wrote a book together and soon after, they say, found themselves near pariahs in a city that didn’t want to hear what they had to say.
Wednesday's New York Times's front page featured Monica Davey's latest dispatch from Lansing, after the Michigan legislature passed and the governor signed right-to-work legislation that would forbid unions to coerce membership dues from workers in the traditionally union-dominated state.
Liberal New York Times reporter, now far-left Times columnist Timothy Egan ludicrously diagnoses a national squelching of debate on gun control in Thursday's post, "The Great Gun Gag." Along the way he claimed that "Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Malkin "are to reasoned argument what salt is to a slug."
New York Times climate reporter John Broder went all the way to Doha, Qatar to reveal that the United Nation's climate talks went nowhere, in Sunday's "Climate Talks Yield Commitment to Ambitious, but Unclear, Actions." Online Broder showed his respect for dissenting opinions: "Few would compare a United Nations climate change conference to a garden party, but a pair of skeptical skunks showed up on Thursday in the persons of Senator James Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma, and Christopher Monckton, the Viscount Monckton of Benchley."
Broder, whose climate reporting is full of liberal assumptions that "global warming" or "climate change" is caused by man and endangers the planet, in his Sunday print story again quoted scientists who assumed the worst, with rising temperatures inevitable.
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd didn't hide her contempt for the GOP, or her pleasure in predicting its eternal demise, in Sunday's "A Lost Civilization."
The Mayans were right, as it turns out, when they predicted the world would end in 2012. It was just a select world: the G.O.P. universe of arrogant, uptight, entitled, bossy, retrogressive white guys.
Dictatorship and double standards invade the New York Times once again. Check the headline over Dennis Lim's Sunday Arts & Leisure profileof the director of "Barbara," set in Communist East Germany in 1980: "Summoning Halcyon Days Of Failed Ideals." "Failed Ideals"? Can one imagine the paper running a headline that suggested a fascist society like Nazi Germany was built on "failed ideals"?
Born in 1960 to parents who had just emigrated from East to West Germany, the director Christian Petzold spent his first few months at a refugee camp near Düsseldorf. He has lived in the West all his life, but when he started making films in the ’90s he found himself drawn to unfamiliar environments, which often meant the former East.
New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor graced Sunday's front page with a "will she or won't she run for president" profile of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, "Clinton’s Countless Choices Hinge on One: 2016." Kantor talks of Clinton as "a widely respected figure" of "historic potential" without mentioning the scandal of the Clinton White House, like Travelgate.
Kantor is author of a sympathetic biography of the Obamas, but she has also spent plenty of hagiography on Hillary over the years. During the 2008 campaign she opined in a news story that "Mrs. Clinton seemed to channel the lives of regular women, who often saw her as an avenging angel." This Sunday Kantor speculated on the political future of Hillary, who "may appear to be a figure of nearly limitless possibility."
On Friday's front page, New York Times reporter Jennifer Steinhauer relayed the shock retirement of leading conservative Sen. Jim Demint of South Carolina, "Tea Party Hero Leaving Senate For New Pulpit." Steinhauer used her full allotment of "conservative" labels.
Meanwhile, another Steinhauer story bolstered Republican House leader John Boehner against those childish conservatives in his caucus: "....many House Republicans appear to view Mr. Boehner with the same sort of respect that adult children award their parents for the sage counsel they ignored in their younger days." For good measure she called South Carolina "a very conservative state."
By comparison, the introduction of two liberal laws in Washington State, on gay marriage and marijuana legalization, were welcomed under the headline: "Two Laws Are Welcomed After Midnight in Seattle," with a single paragraph of dissent at the end. Legal reporter Charlie Savage did file a separate story on the Obama administration weighing legal action against Washington State and Colorado, but the issues there were technical and the sparse quotes were legalistic and neutral.
When he was director general of the BBC, controversial new New York Times Co. chief executive Mark Thompson "launched a scathing attack on Rupert Murdoch's media empire, warning that BSkyB [Murdoch's British Sky Broadcasting Group]" was too powerful and threatened to "dwarf" the BBC. He also accused Sarah Palin of misleading the American public by using the phrase "death panel" when discussing Obama-care.
(Thompson is facing questions concerning what he knew about the Jimmy Savile sex-abuse coverup at the BBC that occurred under his watch. A BBC report, including questioning of Thompson, is expected in mid-December. Times Watch is keeping watch on the ongoing controversy over what Thompson knew about the cancellation of a BBC investigative program into the multiple allegations against Savile, eccentric icon of the BBC.)
Preston, who is unabashedly pro-amnesty, doesn't actually name these "conservatives" supporting amnesty, though the ever-reliable Richard Land makes his usual appearance in this standard-issue Times article, as a stand in for all "religious conservatives breaking away from the GOP on amnesty."
The New York Times's alarmist environmental reporter Justin Gillis made the front of Business Day Wednesday with a left-wing protest movement at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, which is apparently "at the vanguard of a national movement": "The Divestment Brigade."
A group of Swarthmore College students is asking the school administration to take a seemingly simple step to combat pollution and climate change: sell off the endowment’s holdings in large fossil fuel companies. For months, they have been getting a simple answer: no.
As they consider how to ratchet up their campaign, the students suddenly find themselves at the vanguard of a national movement.
On MSNBC's The Ed Show Monday night, New York Times sports columnist William Rhoden defended NBC sportscaster Bob Costas's controversial comments, made during halftime of an NFL game Sunday night, on the murder-suicide committed by Kansas City Chief player Jovan Belcher, even agreeing to the idea that the NFL commissioner try to ban players from owning guns.
Costas had quoted an anti-gun screed by sports columnist Jason Whitlock, in part: "Our current gun culture ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy, and that more convenience-store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead. Handguns do not enhance our safety. They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments, and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it." (Video below.)
New York Times's Sheryl Gay Stolberg profiled White House chief of staff and "fiscal cliff" negotiator Jacob Lew (who may be the next Treasury secretary) on Sunday's front page, calling liberal Lew "a policy nerd" who "morphs into a warrior" when it comes to helping the poor. Yet he's also a "pragmatist," just like his boss Barack Obama, and also makes "a mean potato kugel."
New York Times environmental reporters Justin Gillis and John Broder teamed up on Monday to unload some hot warming bias: "With Carbon Dioxide Emissions at Record high, Worries on How to Slow Warming." Gillis (pictured) in particular has a history of apocalypse-now! style climate reporting that has been ridiculed by actual scientists in the field. He and Broder certainly didn't hedge, taking as fact the theory that temperatures are rising inexorably because of man and will result in "higher seas and greater coastal flooding, more intense weather disasters like droughts and heat waves."
New York Times Washington bureau chief David Leonhardt appeared on The Diane Rehm Show on NPR Friday and purveyed Washington's conventional wisdom about how Republicans were losing the battle of the "fiscal cliff." Leonhardt also foresaw "the end of the great era of American tax cutting."
After Laura Meckler of the Wall Street Journal brought up Republican Rep. Tom Cole taking Obama's position, Leonhardt responded: "And that is a very big deal because while the fiscal cliff talks at most have been happening behind the scenes, what President Obama has talked about the most in public is pushing Congress to vote on this extension of the Bush-era tax rates for, he says, 98 percent of the American people. The fact that Tom Cole is a powerful Republican in the House, has said, yeah, let's go ahead with that and then deal with the top 2 percent later. It would be a big victory for President Obama and something that I think many Democrats and outside observers did not expect him to get quite as easily is it looks like it might be on the verge of happening."
The New York Times continued to push for amnesty for illegal immigrants, this time on Saturday's front page, courtesy of its most reliable pro-amnesty reporter, Julia Preston, reporting from New Haven, "Young Immigrants Say It's Obama's Time to Act." For the umpteenth time the paper boasted of illegals emerging "from the shadows" (although for a such a frightened group, they sure do get their pictures in the Times a lot).
But in fact, most Americans in 2010 paid far less in total taxes -- federal, state and local -- than they would have paid 30 years ago. According to an analysis by The New York Times, the combination of all income taxes, sales taxes and property taxes took a smaller share of their income than it took from households with the same inflation-adjusted income in 1980.
The New York Times has aggressively covered lurid scandals involving its perceived ideological opponents, from questioning what Pope Benedict XVI knew about the sex abuse and coverup in the Catholic Church, to the phone-hacking committed in Rupert Murdoch's tabloid empire. But when it comes to a pedophilia scandal and coverup that has been brought into the New York Times Co.'s own backyard, the coverage is muted and tamed.
Mark Thompson, new chief executive for the NYT Co., was director general of the BBC from 2004 until 2011, and was in charge when the decision was made by higherups in 2011 to abandon a 'Newsnight' story investigating accusations of pedophilia against long-time BBC star Jimmy Savile.
New York Times White House reporter Jackie Calmes celebrated President George H.W. Bush's 1990 budget deal "achievement" in her "Debt Reckoning" column Thursday, part of a new feature on the debate over the "fiscal cliff": "Looking for Lessons In the 1990 Budget Deal." The deal was blasted by conservatives as a disaster which failed to close the deficit as promised, because the proposed spending cuts never came, while income tax rates dutifully rose.
Calmes, who almost always takes the Democrats side in budget disputes, even took sides in her descriptions, calling former Democratic House Speaker Tom Foley "genial" while pronouncing former Republican White House chief of staff John Sununu "pugnacious."
A front-page "news analysis" Thursday by New York Times intelligence reporter Scott Shane, "Talking Points Overshadow Bigger Libya Issues," downplayed the seriousness of the controversy and attempted to reduce GOP criticism of UN ambassador Susan Rice, a possible Secretary of State candidate, into just more food for the partisan "meat grinder."
Shane questioned why "four pallid sentences that intelligence analysts cautiously delivered are the unlikely center of a quintessential Washington drama, in which a genuine tragedy has been fed into the meat grinder of election-year politics." The paper wasn't so forgiving about President George W. Bush's famous "16 words" in 2003 about Saddam Hussein looking for nuclear material in Africa.
Wednesday's lead New York Times story from California-based Adam Nagourney strongly suggested that tax hikes promoted by Gov. Jerry Brown (and Nagourney himself) were paying off in economic resurgence in the already tax-high state: "California Finds Economic Gloom Starting To Lift."
After nearly five years of brutal economic decline, government retrenchment and a widespread loss of confidence in its future, California is showing the first signs of a rebound. There is evidence of job growth, economic stability, a resurgent housing market and rising spirits in a state that was among the worst hit by the recession.
Wednesday's New York Times front page featured Susan Rice's failed attempt to assuage concerns of three Senate Republicans on her false statements about the Benghazi massacre in "Rice Concedes Error on Libya: G.O.P. Digs In." Inside was an unflattering photo of a peeved-looking Sen. John McCain. Posing Republican senator and Rice critic McCain as the bad guy, an on-line text box accompanying the article highlighted a reader comment from "Them or Us": "If you think these three Senators walked in with open minds and no agenda, I'd like to sell you a bridge that crosses the East River into Brooklyn. McCain's little kangaroo court is about as transparent as his anger." Meanwhile, on the back pages, two liberal Times columnists disagreed on Benghazi's significance.
In the front-page story, reporters Mark Landler and Jeremy Peters minimized the import of the policy scandal by focusing on the personal, portraying Rice, who may be nominated by President Obama to the post of UN ambassador, as offering an olive branch that "hostile Senate Republicans" rejected.
Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist has suddenly become liberal Public Enemy #1 as the media pressures Republicans to accede to rising taxes. Frank Bruni devoted one of his excessively personal New York Times columns Tuesday to demonizing Norquist: "Is Grover Finally Over?" The text box: "Pledges are for purists, who have no place in a democracy." Is that how the paper feels about regulatory activists like Ralph Nader?
Norquist is evidently guilty of once regaling Bruni ("on a long train ride") with the case for Mitt Romney choosing the governor of Puerto Rico, Luis Fortuño, as his vice presidential nominee. Bruni used the tale to accuse Norquist of not being a serious policymaker.
It was Apocalypse Now, or at least Fairly Soon, on the front page of the Sunday Review in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Contributing opinion writer James Atlas asked, in poetical fashion, "Is This the End?" (Graphic by Owen Freeman.)
The subhead saw a dire fate for the city as inevitable: "Whether in 50 or 100 or 200 years, there is a good chance New York City will sink beneath the sea." Why? You guessed it: climate change. Atlas also managed to sneak in unfair criticism about President Bush's response to vague terror warnings.
New York Times reporter Jonathan Weisman claimed to document the "Senate's Long Slide to Gridlock" on Sunday's front page, but his history was tilted toward blaming obstructionist Republicans, though historically Congress has been dominated by Democrats. He even seemed to pine for the days of Democratic congressional barons, laying the fault of dysfunction on C-Span cameras and Republicans Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum back when they were conservative congressmen.
Senator Bob Dole had just assumed the mantle of Senate majority leader, after the Republican landslide of 1994, when he confronted a problem.
Piles of Republican legislation from Newt Gingrich’s self-styled “revolutionary” House were stacking up in a narrowly divided, more deliberate Senate, and Democrats were threatening to gum up the works with amendments that would stall the bills.