Apparently it is politically significant, if not scandalous, that GOP candidate Mitt Romney wanted a little in-flight downtime without his attention being taken hostage by a seatmate haranguing him on health care. A Sunday evening post on the New York Times's “Caucus” blog by Emmarie Huetteman found out-of-touch Romney's behavior troubling: " An Aloof Romney in a Plane Encounter.”
In “Missed Jobs Forecast in 2009 Resonates in Campaign,” Richard Stevenson’s “Political Memo” buried in the New York Times's Saturday Business section, the paper’s political editor mounted a defense of Obama’s prediction of 6.5% unemployment and "stimulus," while regretting the administration’s “nuanced” argument would be buried by misleading Republicans: "Despite repeated Republican claims to the contrary, the stimulus bill created at least hundreds of thousands of jobs, according to nearly all nonpartisan analysts, including the Congressional Budget Office. But it’s impossible to compress the nuance onto a bumper sticker."
The New York Times continues to treat toublemakers at Occupy Wall Street as a fringe minority, but the Tea Party was "responsible for the behavior of people" at their rallies.
Sunday’s Metro section led with an above-the-fold look at the state of Occupy Wall Street as winter approaches from reporters Cara Buckley and Colin Moynihan, “A Protest Reaches a Crossroads.” They briefly noted the violence and criminal behavior at Zuccotti Park while providing plenty of room for excuse-making on the part of OWS, something reporter Kate Zernike most assuredly did not do for the Tea Party in her 2010 book on the movement, “Boiling Mad." Instead, Zernike suggested the entire movement should hold itself responsible for unsubstantiated allegations of racial slurs at a rally.
Eric Lichtblau is the latest New York Times reporter who can find no “liberals,” just well-meaning “advocates for the poor,” in a misleading left-wing publicity stunt to keep the welfare budget from being trimmed, in Friday's: “Interest Groups Seek to Catch Debt Committee’s Ear.”
In fact, only the first three and last three paragraphs of his budget cut-story deal with the “food stamp challenge,” but a large accompanying photo shows Rep. Jackie Speier taking part, sitting at her desk dolefully picking at a tuna and lettuce salad.
Yesterday Times Watch asked how prominently the New York Times would play the undeniable violence, property damage, and arrests that took place during the Occupy Oakland protests on Wednesday night. The answer: On the front of the National section, page A15. Reporter Maria Wollan got in some of the destructive details from the protests, but still tried to emphasize the “peaceful march” that proceeded the violent part and to separate the ordinary Occupy Oakland protesters from the "fringe group" responsible for violence.
In his Thursday New York Times column “The Birth Control Solution,” Nicholas Kristof becomes the latest Times person to use news of the world reaching an estimated seven billion to suggest there are too many people on the planet. (Yet no one is volunteering to leave.)
The New York Times’s coverage of the left-anarchist Occupy movement has been very favorable, pushing the group’s vague aims of “fighting economic inequality” while downplaying the anti-Semitism, violence, vandalism, and general squalor of the leftist campouts. Now that undeniable violence has broken out at an Occupy Oakland protest that blocked the city port and halted commerce, how will the Times respond?
Well, Maureen Dowd’s Wednesday New York Times column on anonymous accusations of sexual harassment against Herman Cain, “Cain Not Able,” certainly shows she has no fear of causing racial offense, at least when writing about conservative political figures: “Even Barack Obama couldn’t be lucky enough to waltz past two wacky black conservatives, first Alan Keyes and then Cain.”
New York Times reporter Mireya Navarro in Tuesday’s edition wrote sympathetically about the struggle of an environmental group “breaking the taboo” of discussing overpopulation in “Breaking a Long Silence On Population Control.” Such groups had it easier in the 1970s, Navarro wrote, before the rise of “social conservatism” and America’s “aversion to anything perceived as restricting individual freedoms, be it the right to bear arms or children.” Unfortunately, "the notion that curbing births is an effective way to control emissions is not an easy sell."
Navarro is disturbed by the lack of population control in movies as well; she actually criticized the comedy “Knocked Up” in June 2007 for failing to hail abortion as an option in the plot and included this telling sentence: "Many conservative bloggers have claimed 'Knocked Up' as an anti-choice movie, in part because the movie never presents abortion as a serious option." Pro-life conservatives generally don’t go around using liberal lingo like “anti-choice.”
The New York Times is once again trying very hard to make the GOP candidates’s tough stands against illegal immigration a damaging campaign issue. Saturday's entry was reported by Jennifer Steinhauer, “Some Republicans in Congress Are Pushing Steps to Ease Immigration.” She gave congressional Republicans backhanded praise for being "more nuanced and measured" on immigration than their presidential candidates, whose trail rhetoric "bristles with talk of moats, militarization and electrified fences when it comes to illegal immigration."
It helps that Steinhauer conflates proposals to increase legal immigration (which many Republicans support) with stopping illegal immigration.
New York Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal, better known as James Taranto’s punching bag at Opinion Journal, has a new blog at nytimes.com, “The Loyal Opposition.” On Tuesday Rosenthal posted the provocatively titled “Herman Cain and the ‘Liberal Media,’” where he broadcasts his alarm at how “quickly the right wing jumps on an issue almost in unison,” blames Republicans for injecting racial fears into modern-day politics with Willie Horton, and even claiming the phrase "community organizer" is racist when applied to Obama.
Former New York Times economics reporter turned editorial board member Eduardo Porter is the latest Times staffer to declare that the leftists of Occupy Wall Street have it figured out: “Wall Street Protesters Hit the Bull’s-Eye.” Porter wrote: "Their complaint that the privileged few in the top 1 percent are getting a disproportionate share of the nation's prosperity, however, is spot on."
Turns out there’s one union the New York Times is not totally enamored with: The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, New York City’s largest police union. Saturday’s front page featured a hostile anti-police story by N.R. Kleinfield and John Eligon related to charges of wide-spread ticket-fixing, “Officers Unleash Vitriol as Peers Are Charged in Ticket-Fixing.”
The reporters didn't seem all that concerned about presumption of innocence, either:
Robert Worth, staff writer for the New York Times Magazine, wrote a “news analysis” for the paper's Sunday Review, “The Arab Intellectuals Who Didn’t Roar,” suggesting the Arab spring needs a Communist tyrant like Lenin or Mao to become a symbol of “people’s aspirations.”
A Sunday New York Times editorial on crime, “Falling Crime, Teeming Prisons,” indirectly acknowledged (at last) the paper’s blinkered liberal failure to connect the seemingly obvious idea that crime falls when more criminals are behind bars, as captured by a notorious headline on a September 28, 1997 "Week in Review" story by Fox Butterfield, "Crime Keeps on Falling, But Prisons Keep on Filling." As if the two trends were unrelated.
Attempting to humanize the Occupy Wall Street protesters, New York Times Metro reporter Corey Kilgannon laughed off comedic threats of violence in Friday’s Metro section story on a show hosted by comedian/activist Randy Credico for Occupy Wall Street protesters in Greenwich Village this week, “Protesters’ Night Out: Jokes, Laughs, and an Anthem on Autoharp.”
Read the excerpt, especially in the wake of the anti-cop violence at Occupy Oakland, then think of how the Times conjured up imaginary Republican threats of violence from much less, like a graphic from Sarah Palin’s political action committee in 2010 showing cross hairs over the districts of some Democrats after the shooting of Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona.
The thrust of the New York Times’s coverage of the violence in Oakland begs the question: When even the left-wing magazine Mother Jones reports of police in Oakland being assaulted with eggs, glass, and vinegar, what is the “objective” Times excuse for virtually ignoring the protester violence?
Yet Jesse McKinley and Malia Wollan’s report from the “Occupy Oakland” protests Friday focused not on the anti-cop violence, but on a military veteran hit in the head by a projectile and the outpouring of sympathy from all the suddenly staunch pro-military people at the Oakland encampment: “Outrage Over Veteran Injured at ‘Occupy’ Protest.”
In the New York Times's Thursday Styles section, contributor Helaine Olen talked to some liberal Manhattanites who took their children to Zuccotti Park to enrich them with “teachable moments” (i.e. using them as political props) and "to enlighten them on matters ranging from income inequality to theright to protest":“For Children’s Sake, Taking to the Streets.”
Sam Roberts, who also hosts the New York Times’s weekly political podcast “The Caucus,” had a left-wing take on a study on income disparity in Wednesday’s edition suggesting it justified the left-wing Occupy Wall Street Protest: “As the Data Show, There’s a Reason the Protesters Chose New York.” Included was a graphic on “The New Gilded Age,” with an income disparity chart sourced from the left-leaning Urban Institute and Brookings Institution.
Reporter Robert Pear also bought into class warfare in Wednesday’s paper: “It’s Official: The Rich Get Richer,” keyed to a Congressional Budget Office report showing “The top 1 percent of earners more than doubled their share of the nation’s income over the last three decades.” Alongside was a photo of a protester sympathizing with the Occupy Wall Street sit-in by holding an “I Am 99%” sign, with a photo caption concluding hopefully: “A new report may spur the protests.”
The New York Times greeted Rick Perry’s “20-20” flat-tax plan with predictable hostility. In Wednesday's “Perry Calls His Flat Tax Proposal ‘Bold Reform,” Richard Oppel Jr. took only two sentences to sniff “the plan would grant a major tax cut for the wealthy”. He also saw it “requiring drastically austere federal budgets,” of the sort we haven’t seen since...well, President Bill Clinton, actually.
Andrew Rosenthal may think twice before engaging in political parlay with James Taranto again. Rosenthal, the New York Times’s editorial page editor, came out on the losing end of a Twitter argument with Taranto, who puts together Opinion Journal’s Best of the Web, a Wall Street Journal project. Taranto summarized the argument in Monday's edition.
It started with an article by Slate's David Weigel shows Obama crushing GOP candidate Herman Cain among North Carolina voters, 86%-6%, barely improving on the Republican’s 2008 candidate John McCain, who got 5 percent of the black vote.
While the New York Times was hypersensitive to any signs of racial prejudice among the massive, peaceful Tea Party protests, reporter Joseph Berger raised and dismissed the idea of anti-Semitism at Occupy Wall Street, in Saturday’s “Cries of Anti-Semitism, But Not at Zuccotti Park.”
Just two of many references: Reporter David Herszenhorn assumed racism was a force in the movement in an April 1, 2010 podcast: “One is clearly there’s a racial component. Some members of Congress you know, had epithets hurled at them as protesters marched around the Capitol on the day of the big House vote.” Those claims have never been substantiated. On July 18, 2010 Matt Bai reported about hypothetical “hateful 25-year-olds” at Tea Party rallies.
Will freelance reporter Natasha Lennard be reporting on Occupy Wall Street for the New York Times anytime soon? Lennard contributed some of the paper’s reporting earlier this month from OWS, most notably when writing about her arrest on the Brooklyn Bridge at nytimes.com. Her last filing appears to be October 8.
Lennard, who has also reported for Politico and the left-wing Salon magazine, addressed a discussion of Occupy Wall Street at the feminist Bluestockings book store on the Lower East Side of Manhattan on October 14, filmed and promoted by the radical magazine Jacobin (note the guillotine), reported Lee Stranahan at Big Government on Sunday. (The full video is also available at Times Watch).
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman may not be making a speech addressing the lefties at the anti-Wall Street camp-out in Zuccotti Park, but he visited on Thursday and blogged about it at nytimes.com Friday morning, “Trying to Unwarp the Debate,” concluding with a big wet kiss to the protesters: “Thank you, OWS." He also unleashed personal insults at the "clownish" and dishonest Rep. Paul Ryan, who dared submit a credible federal budget plan.
Won't someone please make New York Times columnist Gail Collins happy, and bring up the tale of Mitt Romney’s dog Seamus? Collins is apparently frustrated that the image of Romney's habit of strapping the family dog to the roof of the car in a crate on family vacations to Canada has not become the iconic image of the Romney campaign (like the media tried to make Gingrich’s big bill at Tiffany's).
Since the Boston Globe revealed crate-gate in the summer of 2007, Collins has (according to a Nexis search) mentioned the dog's dilemma in 23 columns since her August 4, 2007 manifesto, “Haunted by Seamus.” The motif is only increasing in frequency as the 2012 campaign goes on. Here is Collins relaying the details in 2007:
The New York Times has been anxiously awaiting the day the “sleeping giant” of the Hispanic vote wake up with an electoral roar to slaughter the G.O.P. once and for all. It hasn’t happened yet, but perhaps in 2012 the Republican line on immigration reform will cost Republicans the Hispanic vote and the presidency. After all, “some party officials,” allied with “some Republican strategists,” think it may.
New York Times reporter Susan Saulny suggested G.O.P. presidential contender Herman Cain employed old anti-black stereotypes in Wednesday’s “Behind Cain’s Humor, a Question of Seriousness,” even letting a professor accuse Cain of using “a certain kind of minstrelsy to play to white audiences.”
Appearing on the front of the New York Times Arts section Tuesday interviewing Pixar founder and “Cars 2” director John Lasseter, Hollywood reporter Brooks Barnes indulged in his preoccupation with political correctness on screen and in movie studios: “It Wasn’t a Wreck, Not Really.”
The "wreck" in question was the critical opprobrium foisted upon the "Cars" sequel, which Lasseter directed. He defended the movie, the only true critical flop from the innovative animated movie studio. But Barnes wanted to talk quotas.