The New York Times focused on the "treacherous political ground" occupied by President Obama as the election draws closer, while proving wrong pro-Obama assumptions made in recent stories by Times reporters Susan Saulny and Jackie Calmes, in Tuesday's front-page poll analysis "Obama's Rating Falls as Poll Reflects Volatility," by Jim Rutenberg and Marjorie Connelly. But it also buried some interesting findings that defied the liberal conventional wisdom about social conservatism and women voters.
What does the New York Times have against Texas A&M, a rare public university whose student body leans right? Manny Fernandez reported Saturday from the campus in College Station, on an illegal immigrant who lost his bid for student body president: "Vying for Campus President, Illegal Immigrant Gets a Gamut of Responses." Who was to blame? A conservative student body who made him feel unwelcome.
Jose Luis Zelaya stood with a crowd of other students waiting to hear the news. It was election day at Texas A&M University here, and he was running for student body president. A victory for Mr. Zelaya, a 24-year-old graduate student from Honduras, would make history at Texas A&M: He would become its first Hispanic student body president -- and the first illegal immigrant to hold the position.
The New York Times went all-out Sunday to prove that "centrist women" were fleeing the GOP in droves. Reporter Susan Saulny and six other reporters from across the country filed "Centrist Women Tell of Disenchantment With G.O.P.," for Sunday's paper.
Quick question: Is the Times counting the woman featured in the story's top photograph at a "Rally for Women's Rights," holding a Planned Parenthood sign that says "Stop the War On Women!", as a "centrist"?
As the presidential campaign heats up, partisan double standards infect even seemingly innocuous New York Times stories, like the music playlists of Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney. Friday's online "Caucus" post by music critic Jon Pareles, accusing Romney's song choice of leaving out blacks and women.
It's "bull..." and "pernicious nonsense" to suggest the New York Times is the liberal equivalent of Fox News, says Editorial Page editor Andrew Rosenthal, because "Fox News presents the news in a way that is deliberately skewed to promote political causes, and the New York Times simply does not."
Rosenthal was one of several guests on a Freakonomics podcast back on February 16 (h/t Jim Romenesko) with the intriguing subject "How Biased Is Your Media?" (The 2006 book Freakonomics was the surprise best-selling collaboration between journalist Stephen Dubner and economist Steven Levitt.)
Friday's lead New York Times story by Robert Pear, "White House Set To Shape Debate Over Health Law," passed right over the fascinating fact that the White House is helping "coordinate plans for a prayer vigil, press conferences and other events outside the court." Whatever happened to the dangers of mixing religion and politics, which was all the Times could fret about when it came to the Catholic Church's opposition to paying for birth control for employees?
Linda Greenhouse the New York Times's former Supreme Court reporter (and left-wing ranter at commencement speeches), now writes a twice-a-month column for nytimes.com. Wednesday she hailed birth-control activist and new liberal martyr Sandra Fluke as a civil rights pioneer on the level of (naturally) Anita Hill, while tarring Rush Limbaugh as a thug, in "Accidental Heroines."
Departing New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Ethan Bronner filed Thursday's off-lead front-page story from the West Bank town of Ramallah, passing on yet another sympathy note for the Palestinians, whose left-wing cause for statehood and against Israeli "occupation" is no longer being trumpeted as loudly in the wake of the tumult in the region: "Mideast Din Drowns Out Palestinians."
The above-the-fold photo featured two Israeli soldiers firing orange flame at "Palestinian stone throwers" in the West Bank....from a clash last month. A photo of a Palestinian "protester" throwing stones was relegated to the jump page.
The New York Times defended the Texas branches of Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, on the front page Thursday: "Women in Texas Losing Options For Health Care" was reported by Pam Belluck and Emily Ramshaw, a reporter for the Texas Tribune, which produces a twice-weekly local section for the Texas edition of the Times.
Ramshaw was last covered in Times Watch in January, lamenting the "bureaucratic nightmare" instigated by a pro-life law. (When was the last time the Times complained about overregulation?)
"Number of U.S. Hate Groups Is Rising, Report Says," New York Times Atlanta-based Kim Severson reported Thursday. But that "report" was not some government finding, but came straight from The Southern Poverty Law Center, a left-wing activist group whose fund-raising is based on finding as many dangerous right-wing groups as possible.
The Times has promoted the propagandists at SPLC before, most offensively after the shooting of Rep. Gabrille Giffords, to suggest that the mentally deranged shooter was a far-right activist.
No political motivations here! Devoting a full story to President Obama calling birth-control activist Sandra Fluke for the sake of his daughters, New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes (and her headline writer) on Wednesday gave the president the benefit of the doubt by not questioning the propriety of dragging his young daughters into the debate over Fluke, who was called a "slut" by Rush Limbaugh on his radio show: "Obama Call Was a Lesson For His Girls."
Seattle-based New York Times reporter William Yardley reported melodramatically from Boise Saturday on the retirement of a gay state lawmaker, Nicole LeFavour, raising her gay rights priorities over those of every other legislator in Idaho: "Idaho Senator to Push Gay Rights Bill From the Outside."
New York Times reporter Richard Perez-Pena wrote Tuesday about the low-brow fight that's broken out online between high-brow Columbia University and the women's college it's affiliated with, Barnard, over President Obama's politically motivated decision to speak at Barnard's commencement in May. Another wrinkle: Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson was the original graduation speaker at the women's school, but was bumped when Obama big-footed the invitation.
Novelist (and Socialist Workers Party member) China Mieville wrote the main essay for the London issue of the New York Times Sunday Magazine, "'Oh London, You Drama Queen.'" According to him, London is a mess of racism and youth alienation, and only free public housing and celebration of loud music on the tube will save it. He also excused last summer's burning and rioting, motivated by a "deep sense of injustice": "Youths taking TVs, clothes, carpets, food from broken-open shops, sometimes with dizzy exuberance, sometimes with what looked like thoughtful care."
Even the photo captions are replete with leftist smuggery, contrasting an old-fashioned butcher with a bleak-looking dance club: "Smithfield Market, in Central London, is rooted in the past./The scene at Plastic People, a club in Hackney, looks to the future."
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd made the front of the Sunday Review describing how she once had her feelings hurt by Rush Limbaugh, who is drawing liberal fire by calling leftist birth-control activist Sandra Fluke a "slut" on his radio show (he has since apologized): "Have You No Shame, Rush?" Also: Rick Santorum has a "medieval" view of women.
As a woman who has been viciously slashed by Rush Limbaugh, I can tell you, it’s no fun.
New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter on Monday defended Hollywood and the new HBO movie "Game Change," a hit job on the 2008 vice presidential campaign of Sarah Palin based on the book by liberal reporters John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. In "Rogue, Rube or G.O.P. Star: Portraying Palin," Stelter defended Hollywood from "conspiracy theories" that the movie is meant "to undermine a future run for president by Ms. Palin" (as if Hollywood liberals wouldn't love to have it accomplish just that).
Stelter also vigorously defended the movie-makers choice to focus solely on Palin at the expense of the portions of the book devoted to the bloody Democratic primary tussle between Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. But it doesn't take a conspiracy theorist to realize that overwhelmingly liberal and Democratic movie-makers would prefer the "Palin is an ignoramus" parts, rather than the parts that might have made Hillary and Obama look petty.
Occupy the New York Times! In January Times Watch noted that Times staffers who were members of the Newspaper Guild of New York were protesting the New York Times Co. for freezing pensions for some employees, even as it granted a $15 million golden parachute to former chief executive Janet Robinson after she departed in 2011. An open letter to Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. has so far been signed by 592 Times staffers. (Photo courtesy of New York Post.)
Just don’t expect this particular battle between the “1 Percent and the 99 Percent” to appear in a sanctimonious liberal news report in the Times.
New York Times media editor Bruce Headlam was less than gracious after the sudden death of conservative media activist Andrew Breitbart, citing in a Times webcast “his willingness to push the limits of what he saw as journalism, what a lot of other people saw as just stunts and demagoguery.”
Media reporter Jeremy Peters wrote the official Times obituary Friday for Breitbart, who died suddenly at age 43 after collapsing while walking outside his home in Los Angeles: “Andrew Breitbart, Conservative Blogger, Dies at 43.” As a news story it was balanced, but compared to the usual Times obituary it was certainly critical, starting in the third paragraph:
On Thursday, New York Times reporter Jonathan Weisman fretted over the lack of GOP centrists (a common and long-lasting theme in Timesland) after news broke of the surprise retirement of "fed up" moderate Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine: “After Many Tough Choices, the Choice to Quit.”
As Weisman tells it, it was the rise of those distracting “social issues” that sent Snowe over the edge:
Moving after midnight, bailiffs supported by police officers dismantled a tent encampment outside St. Paul's Cathedral here early Tuesday, ending a four-month protest that caused tension within the Church of England and resonated with Britons opposed to what they see as runaway capitalist greed.
Liberal New York Times economics reporter turned left-wing editorial board member Eduardo Porter has published his first “Economic Scene” column, taking over from David Leonhardt, who is now Washington bureau chief.
Porter is known at Times Watch for his embrace of Occupy Wall Street and for calling Mexican media mogul Carlos Slim a "thief" and "robber baron" in a 2007 editorial -- before Slim loaned $250 million to the NYT Co. and became, in the words of Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger, "a very shrewd businessman with an appreciation for great brands."
Luo in particular wrote several articles in 2010 suggesting the IRS and the Federal Election Commission might find it worthwhile to investigate GOP-affiliated groups making campaign ads, with Karl Rove a particular target. The Times’s concern over questionable campaign funding has certainly risen since 2008, when Obama scandals were greeted with nothing-to-see-here headline like this, from October 7, 2008: "G.O.P. Query Involves 1% of Giving to Obama." Sunday's piece is not as explicit (Obama is indulging in Super PAC's as well, as the reporters briefly note) but the implication remains:
Times Watch has shown how deeply the Occupy Wall Street movement has embedded itself into the liberal psyche of New York Times reporters, who can’t help clogging their stories with flattering references to the lefty sit-in. The protesters may be dispersed, but the dream lives on in Times stories on such seemingly unlikely subjects as a revival of an Arthur Miller play and the sinking of the Titanic (marking the second Titanic anniversary story from the Times containing a “99%” percent reference).
New York Times theatre critic Charles Isherwood wedged in some praise for the Occupy Wall Street movement in a story on the revival of the Arthur Miller play “Death of a Salesman” in Sunday Arts & Leisure section, “‘Salesman’ Comes Calling, Right on Time.” Isherwood thinks it comes at just the right moment, a corrective to the “ethos of the banker-gods and C.E.O.’s set the overriding cultural tone for much of the last 30 years.” (He’s talking about the Reagan era.)
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd went after the “uncharitable nasties” in the Republican field in her Sunday column, “Ghastly Outdated Party,” and for good measure accused Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida of stealing the election for his brother George in 2000.
The contenders in the Hester Prynne primaries are tripping over one another trying to be the most radical, unreasonable and insane candidate they can be. They pounce on any traces of sanity in the other candidates -- be it humanity toward women, compassion toward immigrants or the willingness to make the rich pay a nickel more in taxes -- and try to destroy them with it.
The lead story in Sunday’s New York Times National section, “Before Vote, Republicans Make Moves To the Right” by New York Times reporter Jonathan Weisman, focused on Republicans pressuring their candidates to “stampede to the right” before the elections. As the story’s original online headline unflatteringly put it: “Republicans Stampede to the Right Ahead of 2012 Election.”
Weisman, who was formerly at the Wall Street Journal, made his case using ideological ratings of Republican senators from the Club for Growth, an anti-tax group. Yet the Times has dismissed ratings of ultra-liberal senators as “so-called liberal ratings.”
Barack Obama, secret deficit hawk? New York Times White House reporter Jackie Calmes showed her usual pro-Obama sympathies in Monday’s enormous front page tick-tock story on the Obama team’s debate over a big deficit reduction plan the president has long promised but failed to deliver: “Obama’s Deficit Dilemma – Adopting a Panel’s Ideas, While Seeming Not To.”
Calmes once again defended the president’s lack of budgetary leadership, though less aggressively than usual. Last February she hailed Obama’s brilliant budgetary maneuvers, and has consistently boosted Obama's stimulus package, while insisting against all history that Obama-care will actually save money.
The Chicago News Cooperative is -- or was -- a nonprofit journalistic entity that produces content for the Chicago edition of the New York Times. It will cease filing this weekend, having lost an expected grant. Among the delights Chicago readers will miss: Suggestions that the GOP is fueling anti-Muslim rhetoric and even hate crimes, under the label of objective reporting. David Lepeska contributed “A Group to Counter Anti-Islam Sentiment” to Friday’s Chicago edition of the Times, making unsubstantiated assertions and commiting bias by omission.
As anti-Muslim rhetoric rises locally and nationally -- some of it fueled by the presidential campaign -- a group of Chicago-area Muslims is battling back, using tactics including a television ad campaign and public forums against bigotry.