On Thursday's edition of the New York Times's daily TimesCast, liberal columnists Charles Blow and Bill Keller discussed Mitt Romney's appearance at the NAACP convention (which Keller, the paper's former executive editor, found condescending).
They took on the issue of voter ID laws in various states. Over a montage of still photos of blacks in line to vote, Keller called voter fraud "kind of a tiny problem comapred to voter participation." Blow one-upped Keller, saying "not just a tiny problem I mean, it's minuscule."
In her latest nytimes.com column, posted Wednesday night, "The Mystery of John Roberts," Linda Greenhouse, former Supreme Court reporter for the New York Times, retraced previous conservatives losses at the Supreme Court from the pre-Internet days of the early '90s and the relatively muted response of conservative activists.
That set the stage for Greenhouse to criticize the "torrent of right-wing leaks" and "invective" that poured over Roberts after his shock decision upholding Obama-Care. Greenhouse, whose strident liberal moralizing is obvious now that she is no longer a reporter, suggested Roberts may have "evolved" to his position partially due to "the breathtaking radicalism of the other four conservative justices," and quoted one of her favorite judges in suggesting Roberts may read the criticism and think to himself "What am I doing with this crowd of lunatics?"
No matter what campaign tactic Mitt Romney chooses, it's the wrong one. A July 12 New York Times headline reads: "Romney Faces Calls to Deliver Counterpunch." Jeff Zeleny and Ashley Parker began their front-page "campaign memo" relaying concerns from the GOP that he is not counterattacking Obama:
Mitt Romney and his team of advisers built a reputation during the Republican primaries as tough street fighters skilled in the tactics of political warfare. They quietly took pride in tearing apart Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and the rest of their rivals.
Parker emphasized the "cackles and boos" he received for his criticism of Obama-Care, and even used Romney's father, the late Michigan Gov. George Romney, to dismiss his record on "civil rights and diversity."
The media mythology of Kennedy's Camelot lives on in the news pages of Wednesday's New York Times, in a puzzling tribute by reporter Ralph Blumenthal to a French village museum devoted to Pierre Salinger, the Kennedy press secretary who later served for years as chief foreign correspondent for ABC News: "Medieval French Village Echoes With the Voice Of Kennedy’s Camelot."
If the French loved John F. Kennedy, there is a special spot in their hearts for Pierre Salinger, his rotund, cigar-smoking, francophone-ish press secretary whose maternal grandfather served in the Assemblée Nationale and fought to clear Capt. Alfred Dreyfus.
Saturday's story from the Obama trail by New York Times reporter Mark Landler, "Obama Urges Voters to Look Ahead on Economy," was not as blatantly pro-president as Landler's June 29 paean hailing the president as "bailing out the auto industry, winding down two wars and dispatching Osama bin Laden." But it was still quite sympathetic to the president's plight.
The text box highlighted Obama's hunt for economic silver linings ("Extracting a few bits of good news from an anemic monthly employment report") and the lead polished his halo as an "evangelist of hope and change."
Sunday's front-page "political memo" from New York Times reporter Richard Stevenson played into the Obama campaign's hands by obsessing over Romney's supposedly ostentatious displays of wealth, in contrast to Barack Obama's down-home populism: "On Tricky Terrain of Class, Contrasting Paths."
The print edition featured large dueling photos contrasting a down-home President Obama at the Kozy Corners restaurant in Ohio, with Romney and family on a boat at his New Hampshire estate. The online headline was blunter: "Obama and Romney Gamble on Wealth Divide."
On Monday, New York Times reporters Michael Barbaro and Sarah Wheaton made much of a left-wing protest of Mitt Romney fundraising in the well-heeled Hamptons, "Romney Mines the Hamptons for Campaign Cash." The text box: "Protesters gather outside events in sprawling homes."
President Obama hauled in $15 million in Hollywood at a fundraiser on George Clooney's Hollywood estate on May10. Yet searches of Nexis and nytimes.com indicate the Times didn't even cover the fundraiser in its print edition, limiting event coverage to a noncritical blog post.
New York Times reporters are eager to see the influence of the left-wing sit-in Occupy Wall Street around every corner. On Sunday's front page, Tanzina Vega even credited Occupy Wall Street for a new batch of class-warfare themed television ads from McDonald's and others, inspiring overworked employees to actually take their lunch breaks and vacation days: "In Ads, the Workers Rise Up...and Go to Lunch."
A photo caption from an ad for Las Vegas tourism began: "Experts say some companies are tapping the spirit of Occupy Wall Street in ads."
Former Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee talked to Andrew Goldman for the New York Times Magazine, who used a media myth to give Huckabee a platform to call the Republican Party "hyperorthodox" and excessively ideological: "Mike Huckabee Likes Romney. Really."
Goldman's opening question basically begged Huckabee to bash the GOP: "During the Republican primary debates, audience members booed a question from an active serviceman who was gay and shouted, “Let him die,” about a hypothetical gravely ill patient without insurance. Is this different from the party that you know and love?"
Landler, whose reporting on Obama is getting more gushy as the election nears, shone his journalistic flashlight on any slivers of good economic news he could find and suggested they would benefit Obama in the Midwest.
...Her book, 'As Texas Goes... ,' pays particular attention to the state’s staggering inequality, casual embrace of crony capitalism and creaky educational pipeline. These are problems for Texas, of course, but Ms. Collins’s concern is that Texas itself is everyone’s problem. “Personally, I prefer to think that all Americans are in the same boat,” she says. “And Texas has a lot to do with where we’re heading.”
Greider politely corrected some of Collins's factual errors: "....the problem with this book is one that has dogged other outsiders’ accounts: stereotypes about Texas are so strong that they may trump the record."
Not even in death will the New York Times accurately describe Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yassir Arafat as a terrorist.
In a January 6, 2005 story not long after Arafat's death, then-Jersualem bureau chief Steven Erlanger described Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas as having "no heroic history like that of his predecessor as chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Yasir Arafat...."
The New York Times marked Independence Day in its usual dismal fashion, with editor-novelist Kurt Andersen's op-ed, "The Downside of Liberty," claiming that the "libertarian coin" "minted around 1967" has made Americans shamelessly selfish. (It's the second-most emailed Times story as of noon Thursday.)
This spring I was on a panel at the Woodstock Writers Festival. An audience member asked a question: Why had the revolution dreamed up in the late 1960s mostly been won on the social and cultural fronts -- women’s rights, gay rights, black president, ecology, sex, drugs, rock ’n’ roll -- but lost in the economic realm, with old-school free-market ideas gaining traction all the time?
The obituary in Sunday's New York Times of an abortion activist followed the paper's standard liberal template of obfuscation when discussing unpopular liberal stands on social issues: "Joan Dunlop, 78, Advocate for Women’s Health Rights." The text box read: "A life spent helping women expand control of their bodies." Including abortion. Yet although the Reagan-hating Joan Dunlop worked for the nation's largest abortion provider Planned Parenthood, the headline and text box avoided the word.
Reporter Douglas Martin also avoided stating "abortion" until paragraph seven, emphasizing other aspects of Dunlop's career:
Reporter Steven Lee Myers heaped praise on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a 5,500-word profile for the New York Times Sunday Magazine, evident in the title, "Last Tour of the Rock-Star Diplomat."
One of Myers's big scoops is that Hillary Clinton can remember names and personal details, which is apparently just as important as all that foreign policy guff: "Whatever she might have lacked in scholarship or experience in foreign affairs, she has made up for with a politician’s touch....She has an acute attention to detail, remembering names and personal details." Myers concluded by promoting a Hillary run for president in 2016, when she would be "more iconic than ever."
Myers was not nearly as big a fan of a Republican at war, President George W. Bush. He wrote for the Times on February 12, 2008: "Mr. Bush never sounds surer of himself than when the subject is Sept. 11, even when his critics argue that he has squandered the country's moral authority, violated American and international law, and led the United States into the foolhardy distraction of Iraq."
The reliably liberal Dargis also tried to ruin the summer movie seasons of 2008 and 2011, with lectures on "separate and unequal" roles for women in movies. On Sunday she made the same points, adding a hit on "the Reagan years" that seems there only to validate the conservative joke that liberals blame everything on Ronald Reagan.
Landler was passionate about the "change we can believe in" wrought by the president through the Affordable Care Act, which Landler called his expansion of the "nation's safety net" and an effort to reduce income inequality (with a single mild paragraph on those historic tax hikes buried over halfway down).
New York Times legal reporter Adam Liptak used his Friday lead (five other reporters contributed research) on Obama-care being upheld at the Supreme Court to take another crack at the argument by conservatives and libertarians, the so-called broccoli argument "as misguided, if not frivolous."
Conservatives took comfort from two parts of the decision: the new limits it placed on federal regulation of commerce and on the conditions the federal government may impose on money it gives the states.
The New York Times's latest TimesCast was wholly devoted to the shocking decision on Obama-Care, in which Chief Justice John Roberts, appointed to the bench by a Republican president, joined the four liberals on the court to uphold Obama's legislation.
In a possible sign of bias to come, the TimesCast will feature commentary from Ben Smith of Buzzfeed.com during the election season. Host Megan Liberman ended Thursday's edition by chatting with a smug Smith, who tastelessly singled out individual conservatives on Twitter unhappy about the Obama-Care ruling, mocking those "not very bright" conservatives for saying "totally insane...wildly over-the-top things" such as claiming "America was doomed" or that they were "prepared to go to war against radical liberalism."
On the eve of the Supreme Court's monumental decision on Obama-care Thursday morning, New York Times reporter Ethan Bronner chided Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for politicizing the bench in "A Dissent By Scalia Is Criticized As Political." But when liberal Justices get political, they are "'passionate and pointed" and finding their own voice.
New York Times reporters have been hammering away at Mitt Romney over his handling of the immigration issue, using last week's Supreme Court decision that unanimously upheld the main component of Arizona's immigration enforcement law to portray him as in an awkward and defensive position with Latino voters (while downplaying the fact that illegal immigration is a lower priority for Latinos than employment).
Campaign reporter Jeff Zeleny said on PBS's Washington Week last Friday that Romney "really took a hard right stance during this Republican primary nomination" on immigration enforcement, and several minutes of Friday's TimesCast were devoted to portraying Romney on the defensive.
But a couple of other Times stories, including one by Jodi Kantor took a sympathetic and defensive view of Obama-Care that suggested the measure had suffered because of Republican deception and a failure to understand the bill's benefits.
Michael Shear, the New York Times's "Caucus" reporter, previewed in Monday's paper the expected political reaction to several big Supreme Court's decisions coming down the pike this week, including the biggest of all, Obama-Care, expected Thursday morning. One reaction that was all too predictable: Labeling disparity and a focus on "angry" conservatives (there were no references to liberals).
Aides to Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, are prepared to use the court’s rulings to their advantage, no matter how they turn out.
If the court strikes down the health care law, they will argue that Mr. Obama lost his biggest legacy. If the court upholds it, they will argue that Mr. Romney is the last hope for conservatives seeking to undo the law.
An online "Room for Debate" segment posted on the New York Times website June 21 posed a left-leaning question to a symposium of six left-leaning outside experts: "Should Air-Conditioning Go Global, or Be Rationed Away?" While it may have been acceptable for New Yorkers to beat the heat with air conditioning, when developing countries like India strives for the same comfort, it becomes an environmental concern to privileged liberals. The Times asked from its air-conditioned headquarters in Midtown Manhattan:
Ignoring the liberal slant of virtually every other media outlet, New York Times media reporter Jeremy Peters singled out the Fox News morning show Fox and Friends for partisan slant: "Enemies And Allies For ‘Friends.’" Peters never questioned why Republican candidates may shun liberal media outlets like NBC.
When it comes to sitting for interviews Mitt Romney is not usually a willing and eager subject. But there is one invitation he rarely turns down.
“Fox & Friends” has had Mr. Romney as a guest 21 times in the last year. That’s almost twice a month, vastly more than the four times each he has appeared on NBC’s “Today” and ABC’s “Good Morning America,” which draw five times the audience.
The New York Times is disturbed that the blue-collar folks of Pennsylvania haven't swallowed Obama-care. Reporter Abby Goodnough blames conservative ad campaigns for convincing gullible citizens while suggesting the facts are on the side of Obama-care supporters, while opponents harbor "resentments and dark predictions." From the front of Thursday's National section, "Opinion of Health Care Law Reflects Ad Spending":
The Rachel Maddow show on MSNBC Monday night featured New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. During the supportive chat, Keynesian Krugman again asserted that more federal spending would have headed off what he calls our current Depression: