The Media Bias Dossier of Time Reporter James Carney

How much of a liberal and Democratic partisan was new White House press secretary James Carney at Time magazine? Digging through the MRC archives provides a dossier of clues. Here's one. After George W. Bush went jogging with him in 2000, Carney turned around on his fellow Yale alum and "reported" that "Bush tore into McCain like a pit bull let loose in a slaughterhouse." Balance and equanimity were not Carney's style. He rose through the ranks to Washington Bureau Chief in 2005 by toeing the liberal line:

"In towns like Pushkino (pop. 90,000), many Russians view the tumult sweeping Moscow with more anxiety and skepticism than do their big-city compatriots...they wonder if the destruction of Soviet communism will bring them anything more than uncertainty and hardship."
-- Time reporter James Carney, September 9, 1991.

"Perhaps the most startling thing about Hillary Clinton's performance last week on Capitol Hill was the silent but devastating rebuke it sent to her cartoonists. This was not the Hillary as overbearing wife, the Hillary as left-wing ideologue, or even the Hillary as mushy-headed spiritual adviser to the nation. This was Hillary the polite but passionate American citizen -- strangely mesmerizing because of how she matched the poise and politics of her delivery with the power of her position. No wonder some of Washington's most acid tongues and pens took the week off."
-- Time reporters James Carney, Michael Duffy, and Julie Johnson, October 11, 1993.

Howard Fineman, Newsweek: "Jay, this Tuskegee experiment has been known about in public for decades. Why did Clinton do this now?"
James Carney, Time: "Well, for two reasons, Howard. One is he's the President to do it. I mean, previously Presidents didn't do it, in part because they didn't want to. Clinton -- this is an issue which Clinton has a fair amount of credibility on. He's always handled race issues very well for a white politician. In fact, he's probably the best white politician out there speaking on race issues."
-- Exchange on CNN's Capital Gang, May 18, 1997.

"You do have to wonder if Webb Hubbell isn’t the ultimate victim in all of this. I mean, indicted, indicted, and indicted."
-- Time White House reporter James Carney feeling the pain of former Hillary Clinton law partner and Justice Department official Webster Hubbell on CNN’s Inside Politics, November 13, 1998. (After going to prison for embezzling hundreds of thousands from the Rose Law Firm, Hubbell notoriously refused to testify against the Clintons to special prosecutor Kenneth Starr, and was rewarded with $700,000 in "make work" money from Clinton supporters, including -- $5,000 from Time Warner.)

"At 10 am E.T. last Thursday, nine of the nation’s top conservative economists stopped what they were doing, placed a call to the same telephone number and spent the next 90 minutes debating how to save George W. Bush from his own party."
-- Time reporter James Carney in an August 9, 1999 article titled "Bush’s Tax Tango: He wants to please rich Republicans and keep his pledge to be compassionate. Can he pull it off?"

"The fear that continues to fester about Bush -- as we read about his periodic foreign-policy gaffes and then hear him blithely assert that what he doesn't know he can learn from his advisers--is that at 53 he has the same cavalier attitude toward knowledge that he had at 21: he could learn what he needs to know, but he doesn't seem to think it's worth his time....There was something else jarring about what Bush said [about Israel]. There is no such thing as an 'inter'-ballistic missile. These mistakes may seem minor, but taken together they suggest that Bush is still under water when grappling with foreign- and defense-policy basics." -- Time reporter James Carney playing up Bush gaffes, November 15, 1999.

"As he unveiled his new-look campaign in South Carolina last week, including Oprah-style sessions with citizens and banners heralding him as A REFORMER WITH RESULTS,  Bush tore into McCain like a pit bull let loose in a slaughterhouse." -- Time reporter James Carney describing "My Jog With George," February 21, 2000.

"If it sounds as if George Bush is protesting too much, that's because he's got a credibility problem. It's hard enough being the leader of a party that has made headlines by shutting down the government and refusing to add a few quarters to the minimum wage. The Texas Governor also has his own recent past to overcome, including a bruising primary fight that featured him cozying up to the religious right and running a singularly uncompassionate campaign against his opponent, John McCain." 
--­ Time's James Carney and John F. Dickerson, April 24. 2000.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis