NYT Mediates a Fight Between the Left and Far-Left: 'Bill Clinton Defends His Legacy'

New York Times writer Amy Chozick on Thursday mediated a dispute between liberals like Bill Clinton and very liberal Democrats, such as Senator Elizabeth Warren. The 1250 word article included this uncritical headline: "Bill Clinton Defends a Legacy." Chozick sympathetically explained, "Former President Bill Clinton, who has grown increasingly frustrated that his economic policies are viewed as out-of-step with the current focus on income inequality, on Wednesday delivered his most muscular defense of his economic legacy." 

Although the story included a quote from Ralph Nader attacking Hillary Clinton, the piece mostly relied on old allies of the former president to defend the power couple. Chozick helpfully lectured, "Voters generally have a rosy view of the 1990s." The journalist informed, "The speech reflected a strategic effort by Mr. Clinton and his advisers to reclaim the populist ground now occupied by Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and other ascendant left-leaning Democrats..." 

Recounting the address at Georgetown University, Chozick including these Clinton friends: 

“People can make their criticisms, but if you look back on the economy, people thought it was pretty darn good, especially for working-class people,” John Podesta, a former chief of staff to Mr. Clinton, and a senior adviser to President Obama, said in an interview last fall.

...

Al From, an adviser to Mr. Clinton who worked on his 1992 campaign, said, “We argued starting in 1991 that the progressive position ought to be that nobody who works full time in America to support a family ought to be poor.”

He added, “I’m sure he feels that he doesn’t get the credit he deserves for the economic gains that happened during his administration.”

Hitting Clinton from the left, Chozick revealed: 

As she decides whether to run for president in 2016, Mrs. Clinton has come under criticism from some left-leaning Democrats who view her as too cozy with Wall Street. During her 2008 bid, Mrs. Clinton had to balance promoting the economic success of her husband’s administration with distancing herself from policies less popular with Democratic primary voters, like the North American Free Trade Agreement and the deregulation of the financial industry.

At no time did Chozick wonder if Bill Clinton had meddled too much in the economy or offered too many onerous regulations and taxes. 

The piece also included Clinton praising himself regarding the '90s economy: "You know the rest...It worked out pretty well." 

Chozick accepted this completely, offering no skepticism or questions about the dot.com bubble that burst at the end of his presidency, the era of Enron. There was no mention of the housing crisis that developed in the '90s. 

The journalist did feature Nader chiding Hillary Clinton for not aggressively touting a minimum wage increase. Yet, she made no mention of the fact that the same Nader also called for the impeachment of Barack Obama. 

In the October 15, 2012, Chozick ran a promotional piece on Obama campaign manager Stephanie Cutter. 

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org