Former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller confessed to liberal bias at the Times, especially on social issues like gay marriage and the recent contraception debate, but defended it, saying “if we somehow achieved absolute objectivity, it would be kind of tedious to read,” and that "Watching The New York Times try to be even-handed on some issues is like trying to watch somebody dance their kids' dance styles. We look like we're trying too hard.”
Andrew Revkin, former New York Times environmental reporter who now blogs at Dot Earth on nytimes.com, is in a spat with fellow global warming believers, over fraud committed by environmental ideologue Peter Gleick against the Heartland Institute, a skeptical group.
Revkin’s initial coverage of the documents stolen from Heartland -- tax forms and donor lists, along with a “climate strategy” memo now known to be a fake -- was called out for hypocrisy by Times Watch for showing no moral disapproval over the theft.
New York Times White House reporter Jackie Calmes habitually makes excuses for President Obama while praising his big-spending budgets as serious proposals, defending his "stimulus" as successful, and insisting against all history that Obama-care will actually save federal money. She gave out some more in the latest edition of the PBS talk show Washington Week, which aired last week on PBS, talking of Obama's "investments" (i.e., spending) and agreeing with the administration that its broken promise on reducing the deficit really isn't its fault.
New York Times Editorial Page editor Andrew Rosenthal reliably delivers demonstrations of snugly (and smugly) cocooned leftism. His latest appeared on his "Loyal Opposition" blog Tuesday, “Government-Mandated Medical Procedures," on a Virginia bill that would require women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound the mother could then look at before making her decision. Rosenthal thinks he has a "gotcha" against the right.
If Libya was considered a good war in New York Timesland, war with Iran would definitely be a bad one, reporter Scott Shane says, lumping any action against Iran’s nuclear threat to our long and costly involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Shane tried to dissipate the threatening “whiff of gunpowder in the air” in his front-page “news analysis” Wednesday, “In Din Over Iran, Rattling Sabers Echo,” which is written in the style of an anti-war activist. He quoted four scholars, all of whom were dismissive of the threat and against intervention, and even noted criticism of his own paper for overstating Iran’s threat.
Veteran New York Times media reporter David Carr’s Monday column self-righteously attacked an unfortunate headline on an ESPN mobile website, “Chink in the Armor,” that was widely interpreted as a purposeful slur on the ethnicity of benchwarmer-turned-NBA-sensation Jeremy Lin: “Media Hype For Lin Stumbles On Race.”
Giving no benefit of the doubt to the ESPN editor, who has since been fired, Carr declared the headline one of myriad “underlying racist tropes that still lurk in the id of American sports journalism.” This lecture comes from a reporter who last year characterized Midwesterners as folks with “low-sloping foreheads,” akin to cavemen.
Oppel pounced on a Santorum comment on Obama’s “phony theology,” and falsely conflated the remark with rumors that Obama was a Muslim or not American, saying that such talk “got so bad at one point” during the 2008 campaign that John McCain had to correct one of his supporters. (Never mind that the “Birther” myth started among Hillary Clinton supporters in April 2008).
The New York Times’s most reliably conservative-loathing columnist, Paul Krugman, was interviewed for the March issue of Playboy, where he defended Occupy Wall Street (never mind all the crime and arrests), claimed that “environmental regulations could actually be creating jobs right now,” and defended his loathsome blog post from the morning of the 10th anniversary of 9-11.
Sympathetic interviewer Jonathan Tasini didn’t challenge Krugman’s Keynesian premises, though the introduction to the piece hit some of Krugman’s irritating character traits, like his arrogance, while noting the Obama “administration frets about what Krugman says...mainly because his voice is listened to by legions of liberals.” Krugman also indulged in the "broken window fallacy" when he claimed that more environmental regulations could create jobs. Some highlights:
In “For London Youth, Down and Out Is Way of Life,” New York Times reporter Landon Thomas Jr. came up with a sparkling new solution to the looters and rioters who stole sneakers and cell phones in last summer's nationwide rampage: Taxpayer-funded job training!
Thomas last got Times Watch’s attention last December with his bizarre hypothetical of what might happen if Europe abandoned it’s euro currency scheme. He wrote on Thursday’s front page:
While former environmental reporter Andrew Revkin showed a double standard in his Wednesday coverage of Climategate versus his coverage of documents swiped from climate-change skeptics, he looked positively fair compared to the hostile reporting on the stolen documents Thursday by Times colleagues Justin Gillis and Leslie Kaufman, “In Documents, a Plan to Discredit Climate Teaching.” The reporters suggest a highly dubious two-page "Climate Strategy" memo "closely matched that of other documents" in tone and content, reminiscent of the paper's September 15, 2004 headline in defense of the infamous Rathergate fraud: "Memos on Bush Are Fake But Accurate, Typist Says."
Gillis and Kaufman accuse Heartland of fighting “climate science,” and cast its opponents as noble “defenders of science education.” Skeptics would accuse them of using classrooms to spread global-warming hysteria. (Last Christmas, a piece by Gillis was eviscerated by a climate scientist as “perhaps the worst piece of reporting I've ever seen in the Times on climate change.”)
Unlike the Times’s arms-length treatment of the “Climategate” emails, the Times embraced these stolen documents in much the same way it welcomed the secret and classified diplomatic cables from Wikileaks, while giving only lip service acknowledgment to Heartland pointing out at least one of the trove is a fake:
Andrew Revkin, former environmental reporter for the New York Times, and now “Dot Earth” blogger for the paper, showed a stark double standard in his reporting Wednesday on a batch of documents obtained by fraud from the Heartland Institute, a group skeptical of human-based global warming hysteria. Revkin even blamed the victim of the fraud for failing to condemn the previous leak of the "Climategate" emails.
At first glance the incident is similar to Climategate -- the leaked emails from the East Anglia Climatic Research Unit that rocked the scientific world in November 2009 and helped erode support for apocalyptic predictions of global warming. The Climategate emails included some shockingly shoddy science and venomous attacks on climate-change dissenters by ostensibly objective climate scientists, and documented attempts to avoid legal Freedom of Information Act requests.
New York Times reporter Laurie Goodstein portrayed Obama’s “compromise” on his requirement that religion institutions provide contraception coverage as causing conflict within the Catholic church that could damage it politically, in Wednesday’s lead National section story, “Obama Shift On Providing Contraception Splits Critics.”
Goodstein, the paper’s religion reporter, hasn’t shown much patience with religious concerns in her coverage of Obama's contraceptive mandate; in her Saturday update she put “religious freedom” in quotation marks while writing dismissively on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops rejection of Obama’s purported compromise.
And in a front-page story February 10 she passed on popular but bad statistic, without even citing a source, falsely claiming “Studies have shown that 98 percent of Catholic women have used artificial contraception at some time in their lives.”
Calmes invariably sees Obama’s big-spending budgets through rose-colored glasses. This time last year, she was covering Obama's fiscal year 2012 proposal under helpful headlines like this one: "Obama's Budget Focuses On Path To Rein In Deficit." Calmes portrayed it as just right in its balance of spending cuts and tax increases and gave him a pass for putting off tough choices. But now that Obama has forsaken deficit reduction for 2013, Calmes puts the issue on the back-burner and instead emphasizes how the new budget plan may work for Obama politically. Obama’s broken promise on deficit reduction wasn’t broached until paragraph 20 of 22.
Reporter Matt Bai wrote on the paper's Caucus blog Monday that “A bunch of my liberal friends applauded and sent around this piece, which seemed to validate their sense that the conservative argument about government dependency is specious -- that, in fact, the poor are getting a smaller share of government assistance than they used to, while middle-class voters who resent government are gobbling up more of it.” Although Bai saw some warning signs for the left in the story as well.
The supposedly hard-news Times has long fawned over Michelle Obama the fashion plate, who “has become a powerful trendsetter in fashion,” and her high-end, high-cost dresses, while forgoing the usual liberal sniffing about such conspicuous consumption during a recession. Fashion writer Eric Wilson on April 15, 2010 called her “the First Lady of Fashion,” and Guy Trebay called her “U.S. Fashion's One-Woman Bailout" in a January 8, 2009 story.
New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny reported Saturday from Mitt Romney’s speech to the annual Conservative Political Action Conference in D.C., “Romney’s Record as Governor Resumes Central Role in Nomination Fight,” and noted that Mitt Romney used the “conservative” label “at least 25 times during a 25-minute speech.” Funny Zeleny should mention that, considering a Friday Times report from CPAC contains 23 instances of the word “conservative” in a 28-paragraph story, making it as popular a word choice as the conjunction “and.”
Zeleny's Saturday dispatch was only slightly less label-happy, using the word 12 times, not counting quoted material or the name of the conference itself. (Is the name Conservative Political Action Conference not a sufficient giveaway?)
The front page of Monday’s Business Day featured New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter’s oh-so-respectful profile of MSNBC’s newest left-wing host, Melissa Harris-Perry (she also teaches at Tulane University, which impresses Stelter and the Times enormously): “At MSNBC, A Professor As TV Host.”
Harris-Perry is not just another MSNBC host but will soon become, in Stelter’s phrase, “the only tenured professor in the United States -- and one of a very small number of African-American women -- who serves as a cable news host.” Stelter even found time to suck up to another liberal host, Rachel Maddow, “a Rhodes scholar...lauded for her long, carefully argued essays.” Stelter also insisted cable TV now contains "pockets of intellectual stimulation that did not exist a decade ago." Which all just happen to reside on the liberal network MSNBC.
New York Times reporters Michael Shear (pictured) and Erik Eckholm filed an 1,189-word dispatch Friday from the Conservative Political Action Conference, the conservapalooza held annually in Washington, D.C. Perhaps caught up in the excitement, the reporters committed some amusing label overload: “Romney Takes Conservative Leaders’ Questions in Bid to ‘Reconnect’” contains 22 examples of the word “conservative,” the headline making 23.
Fifteen of those 22 incidents are descriptions of groups and individuals by the reporters themselves. By way of comparison, the common conjunction “and” appears 24 times. Here’s a representative slice:
New York Times reporter Erik Eckholm (pictured), whose previous reporting betrays no conservative sympathies, listened to former presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday afternoon and winced at her attacks on President Obama. Thursday’s post for the paper’s “Caucus” blog, “Bachmann Assails Obama Before Conservatives.”
The Times is particularly sensitive to people accusing Obama of “apologizing for America” overseas. Public Editor Arthur Brisbane got huffy and pedantic in defense of the president back in January:
A new Washington Post/ABC News poll with a striking finding has New York Times Editorial Page editor Andrew Rosenthal in dismay: 53 percent of self-described liberal Democrats support keeping Guantanamo Bay open. Does this mean their previous virulent opposition was not based on concern for civil liberties, but was just partisan Bush-hatred? Of course not.
Rosenthal’s Thursday morning post “Hurray for Guantanamo Bay” ignored that clear Democratic hypocrisy while making excuses for President Obama. Apparently it’s all the fault of Republicans in Congress. (Left-wing civil liberties advocate Glenn Greenwald strongly disagreed in a March 2011 op-ed for Salon.) Rosenthal wrote:
The front of Thursday’s New York Times National section featured Jennifer Steinhauer’s “Birth Control is Covered, And G.O.P. Vows a Fight.” Steinhauer portrayed the fight in cynical political terms, showcasing Republicans as being opportunistic rather than motivated by principled opposition to Obama’s requirement that Catholic universities and charities violate their religious beliefs by offering free birth control via their health insurance plans.
Congressional Republicans, seizing on the type of social issue that motivates and unifies their base, stepped forcefully Wednesday into the battle over an Obama administration rule requiring health insurance plans provided by Catholic universities and charities to offer free birth control to women, vowing to fight back with legislation to unravel the new policy.
“Stop Compromising,” pleaded New York Times Editorial Page editor Andrew Rosenthal on his “Loyal Opposition” blog Wednesday morning.
Rosenthal was aggrieved to hear Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod suggest the president was open to “compromise”on the administration’s plan requiring religious institutions to violate their beliefs and cover birth control in their employees’ health insurance plans. (Apparently compromise is no longer a good thing in Washington.)
Rosenthal (pictured) urged Obama to make a more full-throated defense of the rule, pointing out that “this isn’t a theocracy.”
New York Times campaign reporters Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg found no hypocrisy in President Obama’s Monday flip-flop on the evils of "Super PAC" fund-raising in Tuesday’s front-page story, “Obama Yields In Marshaling Of ‘Super PAC.’” As of yesterday, Obama is encouraging Democrats to give to the political action committee Priorities USA, which is led by two former White House aides.
After the 2010 Supreme Court decision Citizens United such Super PACs can raise unlimited sums from corporations, unions and invididuals. The Times' passive headline puts no responsibility on Obama, portraying his change of heart as a necessary evil he has little control over.
Potential Obama opponent Mitt Romney is “the gift that keeps on giving” according to the Obama campaign team, the New York Times' Helene Cooper eagerly reports in her Monday “Political Memo,” “The Flub Watch Never Stops for Obama’s Team.” The text box reads: “If Romney makes a misstep, the Democrats are ready to pounce.” And Cooper is right there to cover Team Ohama's glorious Twitter victories in loving detail.