In her "Big City" column Sunday, "Principal Is Trampled In a Rush to Vilify," New York Times reporter Ginia Bellafante (pictured) rushed to the defense of school principal Greta Hawkins, the subject of conservative criticism for cutting the patriotic song "God Bless the U.S.A." from her Coney Island kindergarten's graduation ceremony after months of childrens' rehearsals, saying it would "offend other cultures." The New York Post reported on June 9:
It was to be the rousing finale of their musical show at the June 20 commencement. The kids, dressed up for their big day, would wave tiny American flags -- which, as the lyrics proclaim, “still stand for freedom.” But Hawkins marched in on a recent rehearsal and ordered a CD playing the anthem to be shut off, staffers said. She told the teachers to drop the song from the program. “We don’t want to offend other cultures,” they quoted her as explaining.
Bellafante was only concerned about the principal who nixed the patriotic song, suggesting all criticism was invalid and personal:
Financial reporter Nathaniel Popper made the front of the New York Times Sunday Business section using the language of Occupy Wall Street, in a populist crusade against high chief executive pay disguised as a news story: "C.E.O. Pay, Rising Despite the Din."
Popper talked in familiar terms of "revolution," "the 99 percent," and the "nation’s have-a-lots" versus "the have-lesses," and the term "hyperwealth," delivered without quotes, which seems to be code for "earning more than the Times thinks you should be."
The New York Times went full Hollywood on the front of Sunday Styles. Jeremy Peters, a political-media reporter for the paper, profiled the imperious fashionista Anna Wintour as "an engaged politico and valuable asset to President Obama and his re-election effort." Wintour, the inspiration for the book and movie The Devil Wears Prada, raised her profile when she released a much-mocked fund-raising video invitation on behalf of Barack Obama: "Power Is Always in Vogue." (Because Wintour edits Vogue magazine, get it?)
For such a historic figure, Barack Obama sure doesn't have much influence on the world. That's the theme of reporter Peter Baker's front-page "news analysis" for Monday's New York Times, portraying the president as a passive victim of world events spinning unluckily out of his control: "Obama's Focus on Re-election Faces World of Complications."
For Barack Obama, a president who set out to restore good relations with the world in his first term, the world does not seem to be cooperating all that much with his bid to win a second.
New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter got huffy in a Friday blog post on behalf of his fellow liberal journalists, who took to Twitter en masse, aghast at the audacity of a reporter from a conservative news site interrupting President Obama's Rose Garden speech outlining his controversial new immigration policy (a version of Stelter's story also made it into print on Saturday).
The Timeswas kinder to an Iraqi journalist who hurled a shoe at President Bush during a December 2008 press conference in Baghdad, emphasizing his "defiant act" and "hero status" in Iraq.
New York Times campaign reporter Trip Gabriel followed up on his vital hard-news front-page expose of Ann Romney's horseback riding with an update on Sunday that also conveniently illuminated the stereotype of the Romneys as rich and out of touch, this time with the help of that quintessential man of the people, comedian Stephen Colbert: "Romney Horse Wins Spot on Olympic Dressage Team."
President Obama on Friday bypassed Congress to put in place the New York Times' beloved Dream Act by executive order that halted deportation of young people who came to the United States illegally. That merited Saturday's lead story slot, occupied by immigration beat reporter Julia Preston and John Cushman, "Obama To Permit Young Migrants To Remain In U.S."
Preston and Cushman devoted precisely two of their 28 paragraphs to opposing views from "angry" Republicans in Congress. The rest were devoted to Obama's announcement, joyful illegals, and their liberal supporters happy that immigrants could finally, as the Times has reported ad nauseum, "come out of the shadows" (Preston's reporting in particular is notoriously pro-amnesty.) And the paper's succeeding stories on the issue were little better.
I only am escaped alone to tell thee: Timothy Egan, a liberal reporter turned columnist for the New York Times, was forced to watch Fox News at the gym and lived to tell his readers about the horror in a Thursday post at nytimes.com, "The Clown and the Cop."
Trapped with a Fox News big screen in my stable of fellow trotters at the gym a few weeks ago, I took in the worldview that may give the White House to Republicans this year. After burning 400 calories, I was ready to torch the capital.
Given two chances, New York Times reporters Jonathan Weisman and Michael Shear couldn't identify the universal-health-care backers Families USA as liberal in their Friday piece on what happens after the Supreme Court's imminent ruling on the constitutionality of Obama-care: "Parties Plan Next Move Once Supreme Court Rules on Health Care." Yet they had no problem spotting conservatives on the other side.
New York Times reporter Michael Shear filed a "Political Memo" Thursday on the return of former Virginia Sen. George Allen, who lost in 2006 after the media and the Washington Post in particular harped on a daily basis after Allen referred to opponent's opposition research person as "macaca." Shear felt the need to kneecap Allen out of the starting gate by injecting all the old controversies and rumors of racism into the current news cycle for "A Comeback in Virginia, Shadowed by a Stumble."
New York Times religion reporter Laurie Goodstein, in Atlanta to cover the annual meeting of Roman Catholic bishops, "Bishops Defend Fight Against Obama's Policy on Birth Control Coverage," portrayed the church as on the defensive over its fight for religious freedom, as did the story's text box ("Acknowledging criticism, even from some Catholics"). It was embellished with a photo not of the bishops but a small group of protesters in support of liberal nuns censored by the Vatican.
At least Goodstein didn't put the phrase "religious liberty" in scare quotes, as she did with "religious freedom" in a February article hostile to the church's opposition to Obama requiring religious institutions to provide birth control.
Even after being embarrassed by a series of misleading reports from reporter Ian Urbina in June 2011, the New York Times continues to lash out against hydro-fracking, the process of pumping chemicals and water into shale to extract gas.
As Times Watch reported Friday, the New York Times is getting heat from Congress for intelligence leaks that have shown up in long investigative stories on the front page of the newspaper. Many see the leaks as the White House trying to bolster Obama's image as a tough-on-terror leader, with the Times providing assistance.
A May 29 off-lead story showcased the president personally choosing targets (the "kill list") of drone strikes against Al Qaeda targets in Yemen and Pakistan. A June 1 piece based on a new book by foreign policy correspondent David Sanger, Confront and Conceal: Obama’s Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power, displayed Obama ordering the STUXNET cyber attack on Iran's nuclear program.
"Christians On Right Urge Reform On Migrants," ran the headline over Trip Gabriel's Wednesday piece. If it sounds familiar, it's because the New York Times runs these wishful-thinking "conservative Christians break with movement on immigration enforcement" on a regular basis.
From a July 2010 article by Laurie Goodstein: "At a time when the prospects for immigration overhaul seem most dim, supporters have unleashed a secret weapon: a group of influential evangelical Christian leaders."
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is attracting lots of media attention Bush for claiming that even conservative hero Ronald Reagan would struggle in today's Republican Party, a Tea Party-infused "orthodoxy that doesn’t allow for disagreement."
New York Times Political reporter Jim Rutenberg was intrigued: "Jeb Bush Offers Critical Views of Modern Republican Party and Its 'Orthodoxy.'" The online headline to his Tuesday story was more explicitly partisan: "Jeb Bush Questions G.O.P.’s Shift to the Right." A photo caption of Bush emphasized: "Jeb Bush, pictured here in January, criticized the current state of the Republican party for its strict adherence to ideology."
Is recent Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, who was freely elected over and over to the U.S. House of Representatives and then elevated by his peers there to the speakership, anything like the right-hand man in a Latin American dictatorship? That's the comparison reporter William Neuman made on Tuesday, on possible successors to ailing Venezuelan dictator (merely called "president" in the Times) Hugo Chavez: "Chávez Forces Venezuela To Contemplate a Void."
Another Tuesday, another out-of-nowhere attack by New York Times reporter Adam Liptak on the Supreme Court, as it waits to hear a case important to liberals. With a vital decision looming on Obama-care, Liptak last week wrote a front-page story on the results of an unusual poll question from the Times asking people what they thought of the Supreme Court. Liptak linked the public's alleged disdain of SCOTUS to two conservative decisions, including Citizens United, a free speech victory loathed by the left and in the Times that allowed corporations and unions to donate unlimited amounts to campaigns.
Late in the 2008 campaign, Republican presidential candidate John McCain was whacked in a front-page story in the New York Times for saying the "fundamentals of our economy are strong." But after President Obama said on Friday that "the private sector is doing fine" (he walked the statement back hours later) Times reporter Jackie Calmes conjured up some spin on Obama's behalf.
Thin-skinned New York Times columnist Paul Krugman spoke at the left-wing Netroots Nation conference held in Providence, R.I. this weekend (a fact overlooked in his own paper's story). In his Saturday morning talk, Krugman displayed his usual class and charm by calling Times Book Review editor Sam Tanenhaus "very much a noecon," a slur in Krugman's liberal circles, for allegedly assigning an unsympathetic critic to his new book End This Depression Now! according to the liberal news site Talking Points Memo.
In the aftermath of Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker defeating a union-backed recall election, New York Times reporter John Harwood still saw bright hopes for Obama both in Wisconsin and nationwide, basing his Saturday "political memo" on a study from a liberal group, in "Demographic Shifts in Key States Could Aid Obama in Fall." That's slanted enough. But why is Harwood also relying on the worthless exit poll from the Walker-Barrett vote last Tuesday to argue that Obama is ahead in Wisconsin?
Is the New York Times trying to soften up the Supreme Court before its Obama-care ruling, which may come later in June and could see the law declared unconstitutional? An unusual poll conducted by the Times and poll partner CBS News and plastered on Friday's front page is food for thought.
Gillis's preoccupation with the alleged dangers of overpopulation and overuse of natural resources are reminscent of the alarmism created by Paul Erlich's book The Population Bomb, which notoriously predicted in 1968 that 65 millions Americans would die of starvation in the 1970s (more like dieting).
The front of Thursday's New York Times Home section (!) features a large story targeting Mitt Romney that makes the paper's notorious front-page investigation into Ann Romney's troubling horse habit look as significant as Watergate by comparison.
Political reporter Michael Barbaro invaded the Home section and devoted a staggering 1,800-word investigation to the fact that Romney's liberal neighbors in La Jolla, California don't approve of his presence or his politics: "The Candidate Next Door." The text box: "On a cul-de-sac in La Jolla, residents are not happy about their new neighbor's renovation plans – or his entourage."
Wisconsin's reforming Republican Gov. Scott Walker easily turned back a recall attempt by labor activists angry at him for ending collective bargaining for public service unions. But the New York Times, pushing its own agenda, would prefer the story to be about the "stunning amount" of money in politics. The Times and other media have obsessed over the big spending by Walker supporters, which is rather galling considering that it was the left responsible for holding this election in the first place. Also absent: credit to Tea Party activists.
Republican House Speaker John Boehner strongly objected to a slanted story on the Fast and Furious scandal by Times legal reporter Charlie Savage posted at the New York Times on Tuesday (it evidently did not make it into print).
The Daily Caller reported: "A spokesman for Speaker of the House John Boehner told The Daily Caller on Tuesday night that the New York Times published a false story alleging the speaker is trying to cut a deal with Attorney General Eric Holder over congressional subpoenas related to the Operation Fast and Furious scandal."
Another day, another vitriolic attack from New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd on the Catholic Church comparing its treatment of women to Saudi Arabia. The Vatican has recently censured a 2006 book on sexual ethics by Sister Margaret Farley as “not consistent with authentic Catholic theology." According to a Times report Tuesday, the book, Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics, "attempted to present a theological rationale for same-sex relationships, masturbation and remarriage after divorce."
Dowd responded in her Wednesday column, "Is Pleasure a Sin?" Ignoring questions of theology and Catholic teaching, Dowd simply called it another "thuggish" attack by a rigid male hierarchy against women, including the de rigueur comparison to Saudi Arabia.
While confessing Democrats and unions were dealt a "painful blow" Tuesday night as Republican Gov. Scott Walker handily beat Democratic challenger Tom Barrett in the Wisconsin recall election, Wednesday's lead story by Monica Davey and Jeff Zeleny opened with the liberal argument that Walker was to blame for undermining the "civility" of the state's progressive politics by engaging in his successful reform of public sector unions. (The online headline, "Walker Survives Wisconsin Recall Effort," is a slightly churlish acknowledgement of Walker's convincing win of 53%-46%.)
Gov. Scott Walker, whose decision to cut collective bargaining rights for most public workers set off a firestorm in a state usually known for its political civility, easily held on to his job on Tuesday, becoming the first governor in the country to survive a recall election and dealing a painful blow to Democrats and labor unions.
Al Sharpton, the veteran Democratic activist and racial provocateur who hosts "PoliticsNation" on MSNBC, reviewed a James Brown biography for the New York Times Sunday Book Review and was interviewed in the Reviews' "Up Front" section. Sharpton credited the biography by RJ Smith for placing Brown in the context of the civil rights movement. But why would the Times consider Sharpton qualified to comment on anything, much less racial matters?
As usual, the Times didn't address at all Sharpton's racially inflammatory past or any of his controversies. As MRC president Brent Bozell recently wrote:
So much for libertine Manhattan. White House reporter turned liberal columnist Frank Bruni supports New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg's overbearing initiative to downsize the sodas New Yorkers will be allowed to purchase in restaurants and movie theaters, in the name of fighting obesity: "Trimming a Fat City."
While Michelle Obama focused on carrots, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg brandished a stick. It’s what we deserve. Cry all you want about a nanny state, but as a city and a nation we’ve gorged and guzzled past the point where a gentle nudge toward roughage suffices. We need a weight watcher willing to mete out some stricter discipline.
Pity President Obama, it's not his fault; after over three years in office, he is still helpless as a newborn when it comes to changing the economy for the better. Sympathetic New York Times White House reporter Jackie Calmes teamed with Nicholas Kulish for Sunday's "Weak Economy Points To Obama’s Constraints."
The bleak jobs report on Friday predictably had heads snapping toward the White House, looking to President Obama to do something. Yet his proposed remedies only underscore how much the president, just five months before he faces voters, is at the mercy of actors in Europe, China and Congress whose political interests often conflict with his own.