An April 20, 2008 New York Times story by David Barstow, “MESSAGE MACHINE: Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand,” won a Pulitzer Prize for the explosive claim that the Pentagon had cultivated “military analysts” in a “trojan horse” campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the terrorist prison at Guantanamo Bay.
On December 1 of this year, the Washington Times reported that an investigation by the Pentagon’s inspector general, spurred by Barstow’s reporting, found no wrongdoing, and quoted a spokesman for former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld saying the New York Times should return its Pulitzer. But the New York Times itself did not report the Pentagon's vindication until Christmas Day, on page A20.
Right from the start of her off-lead story Wednesday, New York Times reporter Jennifer Steinhauer dramatically portrayed GOP conservatives (standing firm against a legislative compromise that would temporarily extend the payroll tax cut instead of a long-term solution) as isolated from mainstream politics. “G.O.P. In House Rejects Stopgap On Payroll Tax.”
New York Times art critic Holland Cotter’s year-i- review piece Sunday opened with an awkward metaphorical shout-out to the lefty park-squatters of Occupy Wall Street and an excoriation of the “noxious” 1 percent: “Complacency Butts Up Against Game Changers”: "...art-worldlings did at least adopt one thing from the Occupy Wall Street movement: a new identifying label for the source of particularly noxious vibes emanating from art fairs, V.I.P. galas and museum boardrooms: namely the 1 percent."
Can we declare a moratorium on using the word “enigmatic” to describe North Korea’s totalitarian leadership?
The death of the North Korea dictator Kim Jong-il made the late edition of the Monday New York Times. The obituary by veteran foreign policy reporter David Sanger appeared under the rather neutral online headline “A Ruler Who Turned North Korea Into a Nuclear State.”
Those GOP moderates just keep “dwindling” away. New York Times Political editor Richard Stevenson Sunday wrote about Americans Elect, a new organization that favors an alternative nominating process for electing a president in the name of nonpartisanship: “Group Clears a Path For a Third-Party Bid.” But what Stevenson called a “process to enable creation of a centrist ticket” was in fact packed with Democratic Party soldiers and disgruntled Republicans. Stevenson employed an old Times trick to denigrate the GOP by singling out for approval “one of a dwindling band of moderate Republicans.”
New York Times legal reporter Charlie Savage played softball with Attorney General Eric Holder on Sunday’s front page: “A Lightning Rod Undeterred by G.O.P. Thunder.” The online headline even more strongly suggested that Holder was standing brave and firm against a torrent of politically motivated Republican criticism: “Under Partisan Fire, Holder Soldiers On.”
Savage has previously downplayed the Fast and Furious “gun-walking” scandal, when the Justice Department signed off on a plan that allowed guns to flow untracked into the U.S. and Mexico, putting thousands of illegally purchased firearms on the street, one of which led to the death of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. Savage’s November 8 coverage of Holder’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee omitted Holder’s admission that his initial statements to Congress about his knowledge of the gun-walking were "inaccurate,” while the Washington Post recognized its importance with Page 2 placement and a headline mention.
The day the war in Iraq was officially declared over, the New York Times returned to the 2005 Haditha “massacre” on Thursday’s front page. Baghdad-based reporter Michael Schmidt uncovered classified military documents about to be burned for fuel to cook a fish: “Junkyard Gives Up Secret Accounts of Massacre.” Just above the story stood a photo of President Obama greeting crowds at Fort Bragg, N.C. with the subhead “Obama Thanks Troops as He Observes End of Iraq War," teasing the paper's actual end-of-the-war story, which only made page A20.
As the war marked its official end, Schmidt let his feelings show, accusing "traumatized" troops of having grown "increasingly twitchy, killing more and more civilians in accidental encounters. Others became so desensitized and inured to the killing that they fired on Iraqi civilians deliberately..."
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who poses as a tough friend of Israel, offensively referred to the “Israel lobby” in his Wednesday column “Newt, Mitt, Bibi and Vladimir."
After bashing Newt Gingrich for suggesting the Palestinians are an “invented” people, Friedman reiterated the usual talking points in support of a Palestinian state, but with a hostile and paranoid twist.
New York Times reporter Ashley Parker, on the Mitt Romney beat, again got cynically snide and personal with the “robotic” candidate in the lead to Wednesday’s "Political Memo" from the campaign trail in New Hampshire, “As Rivalry Tightens, Romney Is Reflective.”
In his Monday column “The Good Newt,” former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller dished out some rare if backhanded defense for Newt Gingrich, at least on Newt’s amnesty-style ideas on illegal immigration: “There are plenty of reasons the thought of President Newt Gingrich makes me shudder. But on this hard, defining American issue, he’s shown a combination of brains, heart and guts that puts the rest of his party to shame.” Later, after backlash from liberal readers, Keller posted that he would avoid using the word "illegals" in future.
The New York Times showed desperate liberal Euro-philia -- an embrace of collective economic action at the expense of national sovereignty -- on the front of Tuesday’s Business section, as reporter Landon Thomas Jr., writing from London, pondered a frightening (and extremely hypothetical) martial-law scenario in Greece if the euro currency were to be abandoned by that country, a member of the European Union: “Pondering a Dire Day: Leaving the Euro.” (Greece joined the EU's single currency in 2001.)
British Prime Minister David Cameron was embraced by conservatives and euro-skeptics after rejecting a European Union agreement aimed at stabilizing the troubled economic union. Yet the tone of the New York Times news coverage is that he blundered, “isolating” Britain by failing to accept the accord’s requirements, including that members submit their budgets to the EU for approval even before being considered by their country’s own parliaments.
New York Times reporter Trip Gabriel, covering the Gingrich campaign, inflated conventional pro-Israel, anti-"peace process" opinions delivered by Newt Gingrich into a diplomatic drama about Gingrich scrapping the two-state solution worthy of "damage control," in Saturday’s “Gingrich Suggests a Reversal of Mideast Policy.”
The New York Times devoted a front-page story Monday to casting doubt on a theoretical nuclear threat publicized (among his many, many other ideas) by Newt Gingrich -- what scientists call electromagnetic pulse (EMP), a burst of electromagnetic radiation released by a nuclear explosion that could damage or destroy electrical service. Science reporter William Broad filed “Among Gingrich’s Passions, a Doomsday Vision.”
Some of the worst bias from the New York Times over the past month:
Surging GOPers “Are to Varying Degrees Yahoos”
“The candidates who surged before [Gingrich] are to varying degrees yahoos. They proved it anew last week. Michele Bachmann seemed to be under the impression that we had an embassy in Iran, and Rick Perry was definitely under the delusion that the voting age in this country is 21 instead of 18.” – Former White House correspondent, now columnist Frank Bruni, December 4.
Herman Cain “Seems Like Someone Who ...Has Never Opened a Newspaper”
“Let us pause here to make a necessarily severe assessment: to say that Herman Cain has an imperfect grasp of policy would be unfair not only to George W. Bush in 1999 but also to Britney Spears in 1999. Herman Cain seems like someone who, quite frankly, has never opened a newspaper.” –T.A. Frank in the November 13 edition of the Times Sunday Magazine.
The Obama administration blocked over-the-counter sales of Plan B One-Step, the “morning-after” pill, to girls under 17, and New York Times reporters Jackie Calmes (pictured) and Gardiner Harris sniffed out a political move to assuage “conservatives" in Friday’s “Obama Backs Aide’s Stance on Morning-After Pill.”
While the Times mentioned “conservatives” four times in discussing the surprise decision by Kathleen Sebelius, secretary for Health and Human Services, there were zero “liberals” labeled in opposition, merely “women’s rights” groups -- as if all women would favor the sale. And while "anti-abortion groups" were identified, there were no "pro-abortion" or even "pro-choice" groups on the other side, merely harmless "reproductive rights groups."
“Trickle-down economics” is a derogatory term for the Reaganesque idea that tax cuts for the rich encourage investment, leading to economic growth that benefit everyone. It’s a favorite of Times columnist Paul Krugman and liberals in general, but the Times has generally refrained from using the term as a straight description in news stories. But Oppel did it twice, with no quote marks around the phrase to show that it’s not actually a neutral journalistic description, but a liberal Democratic interpretation of conservative policy. In contrast, the Times invariably places conservative catch-phrases like "death tax" in protective quotation marks, so that readers get the hint that it's just partisan rhetoric.
Thursday’s New York Times front-page campaign story by Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg prominently featured Obama campaign advisor David Axelrod frankly discussing how the party plans to influence the GOP primary by pitting Newt Gingrich (himself a "juicy target") against Mitt Romney: “Democrats See 2-Horse Race, Adding Whip.” It’s the kind of early White House attacks the Times once disapproved of, at least when done by Republican President George W. Bush.
Through his Open Society Institute, Soros has invested heavily in left-wing groups Moveon.org and the Center for American Progress. Although his philanthropy and fierce rhetoric and political activism clearly mark the billionaire moneyman on the left, Strom is averse to putting an ideological label on Soros in her coverage.
New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter may have let his personal views color his enthusiastic reception of the popularity of Occupy Wall Street’s “99 percent” motif, but he was right that it is cropping up in a lot of places these days, especially among liberal activists. It has certainly sunken into the collective consciousness of New York Times journalists.
After a stint as a White House reporter for the Times after George W. Bush took office in 2001, Frank Bruni wrote a fairly respectful biography of the president, Ambling Into History. But as a recently minted Times columnist, Bruni has betrayed no similar feeling for the current Republican candidates, who “are to varying degrees yahoos," according to his mocking Sunday Review column "And Now ... Professor Gingrich."
The New York Times “Caucus” podcast recorded December 1 featured reporter and podcast host Sam Roberts wondering if it was a potentially dangerous tactic” for GOP candidates to insult the Occupy Wall Street movement. This exchange came a minute and a half from the end, after Roberts asked how the Occupy movement’s “99%” slogan was playing out in the Republican primary.
In Friday’s lead New York Times story, White House correspondent Jackie Calmes again finds the Democrats with political momentum on the policy front, as she has, wrongly, on several occasions in the past, shown by the headline over her optimistic April 2 story, “Jobs Growth Could Stump Obama’s Critics.” (Nope.) This time, it’s Democrats allegedly putting the GOP in a “political bind” over cutting the payroll tax, due to the stubborn refusal by Republicans to raise taxes on "the rich."
On Thursday’s front page, New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter produced another homage to Occupy Wall Street, this time their slogan:“Camps Are Cleared, but ‘99 Percent’ Still Occupies the Lexicon.”(Thanks in no small part to fawning reporters like Stelter and others at the Times.) Part of his evidence? Google searches and an opposition blog that had not been updated in two whole weeks.
A decade ago Stoll established Smarter Times, an influential blog of New York Times criticism, before becoming editor of the right-of-center newspaper The New York Sun. The Sun is only an online product now, but Stoll is keeping his hand in Times criticism. In his latest post, Stoll summarized the philanthropic work of Lauder, wealthy heir to the Estee Lauder fortune, then noted how:
Yet the Times has ignored recent polls from firms it has cited in the past showing a sharp decline in support for the left-wing Occupy Wall Street, which show OWS's public appeal well below that of the Tea Party. (By contrast, the Times trumpeted its own earlier poll showing favorable results for Occupy Wall Street on the October 26 front page.)