New York Times sports columnist Harvey Araton issued a snotty broadside (“Curtain Closes on Tebow’s Season, but His Sideshow Goes On") against Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, whose religious displays, unconventional style, and clutch performances have divided fans and popular culture. Araton went beyond admitting discomfort at Tebow’s overt religiosity to begrudge the quarterback for a good deed -- spending time with a brain-damaged visitor after the Broncos’ playoff loss to the New England Patriots.
A look into Araton’s history reveals his anti-Tebow rant as liberal hypocrisy. Araton took the opposite view in an April 2009 column, marking NFL television commentator John Madden’s retirement by excoriating the Hall of Fame coach for failing to speak out on issues beside football. But for Araton, speaking out means speaking out on liberal views, like Bob Costas, who he praised. In a May 2006 column Araton faulted the Duke women's lacrosse team for speaking out in defense of male colleagues being falsely accused of rape, even suggesting college officials should intervene to stop them.
There was a fascinating exchange last week between Melissa Cohlmia, spokesman for Koch Industries, and New York Times public editor (or ombudsman) Arthur Brisbane. Koch Industries, which engages in arts philanthropy and conservative-libertarian causes, is a target of obsession and hostility both by left-wingers and reporters and writers for the New York Times, as Times Watch has shown.
While Brisbane mostly defended the Times’s news coverage and its right to deliver anti-Koch opinions in op-eds and art critics, he admitted the paper’s overwhelming left-ward slant in its opinionizing made for “predictable and sometimes very dull reading,” “and there can be little doubt that the Times ownership and editorial page ascribe to a liberal perspective.”
New York Times’s Public Editor Arthur Brisbane made waves Thursday in a rare post to his nytimes.com blog asking “Should The Times Be a Truth Vigilante?” What he was really asking: Should the Times be more vigilant in fact-checking politicians?
And only Republican politicians, judging by the two examples he selected (claims that were relatively immune to being checked in the first place) and the paper’s history, which is replete with ardent defenses by reporters of liberal policy against “misleading exaggeration” by Republicans, but lacks any such vigilance when it comes to Democratic statements. Brisbane wrote:
New York Times reporter Sabrina Tavernise highlighted a Pew Research Center survey in Thursday's “Survey Finds Rising Strain Between Rich And the Poor,” and quickly suggested it meant “the message of income inequality brandished by the Occupy Wall Street movement and pressed by Democrats may be seeping into the national consciousness.”
Tavernise also used a convenient source to credit the left-wing squatters for putting "the issue of undeserved wealth and fairness in American society at the top of the news." Thanks to sympathetic outlets like the Times, of course.
On Wednesday afternoon, New York Times political reporter Jodi Kantor hosted a live Facebook discussion on her new book on the Obamas and especially First Lady Michelle Obama. If this Facebook session is any indication, the book matches Kantor’s previous promotional coverage of the First Couple. On Facebook Kantor describes the First Lady as someone “with important ideas of her own about opportunity, access, equality, etc,” who “has redefined the role of first lady for successors...she's really raised the bar for ambitious initiatives.”
Revealingly, when asked about her latest scoops being allegedly used by Fox News and the Drudge Report as a “racial attack against the Obamas,” Kantor emphasized to her predominantly liberal audience how she broke the news about Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s ministry (in a bland story), and wrote a follow up “which I labored and labored over to make fair.” And it was “fair,” at least from the perspective of an Obama supporter.
After Mitt Romney’s comfortable win in the New Hampshire Republican primaries Tuesday, media attention shifts to the next primary, in socially conservative South Carolina, which New York Times campaign reporter Jim Rutenberg claims is “a place famous for surfacing the dark undercurrents of American politics” in his Wednesday front-page story, “In South Carolina, Challenges Await on Ideology and Faith.”
Rutenberg is mainly referring to an alleged incident during the 2000 campaign in which presidential candidate Sen. John McCain was victimized by anonymous phone calls (from either the George W. Bush campaign or Bush supporters) claiming McCain’s dark-skinned adopted daughter from Bangladesh was an illegitimate black love child. But is there hard evidence the smear even occurred? As the Media Research Center's Brent Bozell wrote in a column in January 2008: “No matter that McCain campaign manager Rick Davis couldn’t substantiate how many of these scurrilous phone calls were actually made, or by whom.”
Diversity, New York Times style. “Bipolar America,” the cover feature for the Sunday New York Times Book Review, compiles reviews of three new books on Tea Party-related politics, one reviewed by veteran liberal journalist Michael Kinsley, two others judged by Timothy Noah, veteran liberal journalist for The New Republic.
The New York Times Sunday Magazine cover features a profile by Charles McGrath of actor-comedian Stephen Colbert, host of the satirical news show The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, in which Colbert plays a caricature of a conservative political personality.
Once you get past the slightly disturbing cover photo of Colbert in a fat suit as some Daddy Warbucks-type, “Stephen Colbert Wants Your Vote" goes deep into what McGrath terms the three Stephen Colberts, at least two of whom agitate for liberalism, including a fake political action committee, Colbert Super PAC. McGrath enjoyed Colbert's imitation of a "right-wing blowhard," referring to FOX News host Bill O'Reilly:
New York Times political profile writer Mark Leibovich, in Manchester, N.H. on Saturday, filed “The Santorum of 2012 Comes From a Long History of Political Brawling.” Times Watch sees a clear preference for Democrats and hostility toward Republican subjects in Leibovich’s writing, and this profile of GOP candidate and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is certainly not a game-changer in that regard, even citing the late Sen. Robert Byrd, a Democrat and former local Klan leader, as some kind of moral authority against Santorum.
On the eve of the New Hampshire primary, New York Times political reporters Jeff Zeleny (pictured) and Jim Rutenberg loaded up on crude anti-business stereotypes that went beyond even what front-runner Mitt Romney's GOP rivals were saying, in Tuesday’s “On Primary Eve, Rivals Try to Put Romney on Defensive.” (This version is lightly updated from the print version in Tuesday’s newspaper.)
“A Dog’s Right To Life?”, Ariel Kaminer’s “Ethicist” column in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, approvingly cited controversial Princeton University bio-ethics philosopher and animal rights “ethicist” Peter Singer, who has been protested by advocates for the disabled for radical statements. In an excerpt of his 1993 book Practical Ethics, Singer concluded: “Killing a disabled infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person. Very often it is not wrong at all.”
Kaminer addressed the dilemma of a veterinarian with an elderly client with an 8-year-old dog. She wanted the dog to be euthanized if she died before the dog did.
Eleven conservative labels were crammed into Eckholm’s 1,100-word story, not including three more in the photo captions and one in quoted material, and a “religious right” reference in the text for good measure. By contrast, in January 2008 the Times was reluctant to call even uber-liberal pols like Jesse Jackson and Ted Kennedy liberal; those two and 2008 Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards were only “populists.” Here’s a sampling from Saturday:
As part of a team of New York Times reporters fact-checking the presidential debate that took place Sunday morning in Concord, N.H., White House reporter Jackie Calmes once again baselessly claimed that expensive Obama-care is actually a money-saver, claiming GOP candidate Mitt Romney was false to assert otherwise. But the history of government cost projections (Medicare, anyone?) strongly suggest Calmes is wrong.
(After the GOP took the November 2010 elections, Calmes confidently stated as fact: “Republicans also say they will try to deny money to put Mr. Obama’s new health care law into effect, though they have not made clear what they would do to make up the cost savings that would be lost if they succeeded in repealing the law.”) Calmes posted Sunday:
Unrepentant, Rosenthal berated some of his critics for being “overtly racist themselves, including bigoted references to my last name.”
Rosenthal's only regret, apparently, was that he did not mention “that racially tinged and outright racist attacks did not begin with the election of Mr. Obama,” and brought up an old favorite he had previously written about, the Willie Horton ad used in the 1988 presidential campaign against Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis. (Never mind that it was Al Gore who brought up the ad in the first place.)
Reporter Shaila Dewan saw a “head of steam,” enough “to cheer President Obama as he enters an election year,” in Labor Department figures released Friday morning showing the U.S. unemployment rate fell from 8.7% to 8.5%: “Economy Gains Steam as 200,000 New Jobs Added.” Does this mean Dewan will no longer ask, as she did in a 2009 story, "Weren't we working too much, anyway?"
New York Times reporter Nicholas Kulish filed a light story from Berlin Friday on tributes to Knut, the cute, internationally famous polar bear who died last year: “In Death as in Life, Knut the Polar Bear Demands Attention.” But Kulish also included some of Al Gore’s guff about global warming driving polar bears into extinction that made good picturesbut were evetually shown to be without factual basis.
Talk about the 1% Percent! Even as the New York Times is freezing pensions for foreign citizen employees in overseas bureaus, it granted a $15 million golden parachute to former chief executive Janet Robinson after she abruptly departed the New York Times Co. t the end of 2011.
An online open letter to Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. from the local Newspaper Guild dated December 23 has so far been signed by 579 Times employees, including reporters and editors. Excerpts:
Thursday’s lead story on the aftermath of the Iowa caucuses, “Romney Showing Financial Muscle For Next Round,” found New York Times reporters Jim Rutenberg (pictured) and Jeff Zeleny a little label-happy in Manchester, New Hampshire, using twelve variations on the “conservative” label in a 1,236-word story.
By contrast, back in 2008, the Times’s Michael Powell actually called the liberal Gov. Michael Dukakis a “pragmatist” and ultra-liberal politicians Sen. Ted Kennedy and Jesse Jackson “populists,” while calling Sen. Hillary Clinton a “liberal pragmatist” a grand total of once. In the same story, Sen. John Edwards was described as having wrapped himself in a “populist cloak.”
New York Times poverty beat-writer Jason Deparle, who once described Clinton’s welfare reform proposal as “a bill that begrudges poor infants their Pampers” and predicted it might cause women to “camp out on the streets and beg,” made Thursday’s front page with the claim that America is becoming “less equal...less mobile” with the poor stuck in place, in “Harder for Americans to Rise From Economy’s Lower Rungs.”
A photo caption read: “Occupy protesters, like these in Flint, Mich., have pushed discussions about economic mobility toward center stage.”
New York Times reporter Jan Hoffman celebrated explicit online sex education programs, including one run by abortion provider Planned Parenthood, in Saturday’s edition: “Sex Education Gets Directly to Youths, Via Text.” Hoffman found a video made by teens showing a girl being pelted with condoms to be "funny and blunt," and profiled a "vital" Chicago school program called Sex-Ed Loop that focused on "where to find low-cost lubricants."
Is House Speaker John Boehner an anti-Obama racist? Editorial Page editor Andrew Rosenthal all but accuses him in his Tuesday blog from Des Moines, “Nobody Likes to Talk About It, but It’s There.” (The web headline is blunter: “Republican Attacks Have Racist Undertones.”)
Actually, Rosenthal is all too happy to talk about racist Republicans if it helps Democrats politically, as he did on November 1, in one of his first blog posts: “...it was the Republicans who perfected the art of injecting racial fears into modern-day politics (remember Willie Horton in 1988?) and have conducted an unrelenting personal attack on President Obama that sometimes has not-so-subtle racial overtones.”
Unlike the paper’s standard eagerness to splash sensitive diplomatic secrets on the front page during the Wikileaks saga, the Times took the side of government when it came to the still-unknown whistleblowers behind Climate-gate, which revealed the underhanded tactics used by “climate change” forces to squelch dissenting scientific views on global warming. Kaufman accused the Climate-gate leakers of trying to “undercut climate scientists.”
The text box put a favorable spin on the Climate-gate scandal: “A push to find out who tried to undercut scientists, who were later vindicated.”
Like his colleague Ashley Parker did in her own Sunday Times story, Landler celebrated Obama’s oratory, but right at the beginning of his story, on the president keeping his support for gay marriage at an official arms length. Landler also assumed opposition to gay marriage will be a political loser for whoever the Republican candidate may be.
Times Watch’s end-of-year awards issue celebrates the best of the worst quotes that appeared in the paper or were uttered by Times reporters and columnists during 2011.
The New York Times spent much of the year in pro-Obama defense mode, excoriating the Tea Party and conservative opposition to Obama's agenda. Yet the paper found one movement it could embrace wholeheartedly – the leftist campouts known as Occupy Wall Street. And sometimes - as when China-loving columnist Tom Friedman spouted, "If this were China they would have walked to the game in the snow, and doing calculus along the way," Times journalism was just too ridiculous to take seriously. Paul Krugman made his usual sterling showing as well, using the tragedies of 9-11 and the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords to attack conservatives.
The New York Times’s slanted political personality reporter Mark Leibovich returned to the Times pages Thursday after a long book-leave absence to file a campaign trail story from Iowa on GOP candidate Newt Gingrich, aka “Nasty Newt”: “On Trail, Gingrich Strains to Show Nice-Guy Side.”
The Times has put Romney's mannerisms under the microscope on several occasions. Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic candidate in 2004, was another rich Northern politician with a reputation for woodenness and lack of the common touch, but it certainly wasn’t a dominant theme of Times campaign coverage.
“Dog-whistle politics” is a derogatory term, often employed to describe what liberals consider to be coded, subliminal racist messages “pitched” too high for the general public to recognize. Peters, who seems suspicious of the idea of appealing to evangelical Christians, gets in a dig at Catholics to boot.
New York Times environmental reporter Justin Gillis took the left-wing idea of extreme weather equaling harmful global warming to heart in his front-page Christmas Day “news analysis” lamenting the Republican block of measures that would document “climate change” more closely, in “Harsh Political Reality Slows Climate Studies Despite Extreme Year.” But an environmental scientist eviscerated Gillis’s article as “perhaps the worst piece of reporting I've ever seen in the Times on climate change.”