Despite Vicious Swipes Against Perry, Even NYT Sides With Him Against 'the Product of an Overzealous Prosecution'

One of the editorials in Tuesday’s New York Times took on the subject of Texas Governor Rick Perry’s indictment by a Travis County, Texas grand jury on charges for threatening to veto funding for a public integrity unit led by the Travis County district attorney who had been convicted of drunk driving. While the ultra-liberal newspaper used the opportunity to excoriate Perry (R) for being “one of the least thoughtful and most damaging state leaders in America,” it sided with Perry on this particular matter against what “appears to be the product of an overzealous prosecution.”

The editorial began on a completely unrelated note by blasting Perry for “having done great harm to immigrants, abortion clinics and people without health insurance during his 14 years in office.” However, it said that “given the facts so far,” the paper ruled that an indictment was not exactly the best move. 

The paper summarized the troubled history of District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg’s actions last year and said that “[i]n addition to endangering people’s lives, she instantly lost her credibility as a prosecutor of drunken-driving cases.” Despite her office’s investigation into “whether several medical research grants were improperly given to people with connections to Mr. Perry,” the governor “had good reason to” ask for Lehmberg’s resignation.

However, the Times changed course again when it came to Perry’s actions over publically threatening to veto her unit’s funding. It wrote that: 

That was a bad idea. Had county officials not stepped in with some money, the veto could have shut down an important investigative body and its cases. Mr. Perry should have left the matter to the courts, where both a criminal and civil attempt to have her removed failed, or to the voters.

On the other hand, it is in their opinion that “his ill-advised veto still doesn’t seem to rise to the level of a criminal act.” It was only “[a]fter a complaint was filed by a liberal group” did a judge appoint a special prosecutor, assemble a grand jury, and then indict Perry on two separate felony counts.

Credit to the Times for disclosing that the investigation was launched by "a liberal group" (unlike most of the major broadcast networks besides one mention by ABC), but it still did not disclose the identity of the organization. Turns out, the group is called Texans for Public Justice and has received $500,000 from liberal billionaire George Soros. As the Media Research Center’s Mike Ciandella reported:

According to an Open Society Institute press release, OSI has given $500,00 to help form a coalition that “could change the way the progressive community engages public policy in Texas.”

While the editorial closed by declaring that “Texas voters should be more furious at Mr. Perry for refusing to expand Medicaid, and for all the favors he has done for big donors, than for a budget veto,” it refused to unmask the extremely wealthy instigators of this indictment.


Over at Investor’s Business Daily, their lead editorial described the charges as “[d]rape corruption charges” by those “motivated by bitternes” as a way “[t]o derail his plans to run for president” in 2016. Unlike the Times, which took one last, unrelated swipe at Perry, IBD suggested that:

Perry says the out-of-control nature of the indictment is a clarion call to reform lawless government agencies. He’s right. And it wouldn’t hurt to start looking at they moneybag forces manipulating these agencies like puppetmaster."

Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck is a news analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division