Times reporter Ashley Parker’s profile of Texas Gov. Rick Perry on the campaign trail in New Hampshire portrayed a more cautious and subdued candidate, days after Perry’s claim that actions taken by Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, were potentially “treasonous,” a remark that offended the delicate sensibilities of Times reporter Binyamin Appelbaum, who found it simply “horrifying.” Parker's Thursday piece from New Hampshire, “Day After Fed Uproar, Perry Tones It Down," featured six paragraphs on an exchange on global warming between Perry and N.H. citizen Jim Rubens, described by Parker as a “a Republican activist and high-tech investor from Etna."
But Rubens is also a consultant with the left-wing environmental group Union of Concerned Scientists, a fact Parker didn’t include but which found its way into the Los Angeles Times: “One of his questioners was Jim Rubens, a Republican from the village of Etna who works as a consultant for the Union of Concerned Scientists.” UCS, which was formed in 1969 to protest the Vietnam War, has lobbied against Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative ("Star Wars") and nuclear power.
New York Times environmental reporter John Broder, who in February 2010 called skeptics of global warming “deniers” and “relatively uninformed,” warned on Thursday’s front page that worrisome “Republican orthodoxy” on the evils of the Environmental Protection Agency “may prove a liability in the general election, pollsters and analysts say.” The headline had loaded language: “Bashing E.P.A. Is New Theme In G.O.P. Race.”
Opposition to regulation and skepticism about climate change have become tenets of Republican orthodoxy, but they are embraced with extraordinary intensity this year because of the faltering economy, high fuel prices, the Tea Party passion for smaller government and an activist Republican base that insists on strict adherence to the party’s central agenda.
As the presidential candidacy of Republican Gov. Rick Perry of Texas revs to life, the New York Times is doing its best in both its opinion and news sections to throw sand in the gears.
Times reporter James McKinley Jr. actively led the cheers for Perry’s Democratic opponent during Perry’s 2010 gubernatorial race. This time around, columnist Paul Krugman on Monday tried and failed to knock down Perry’s successful economic record as Texas governor with a misleading column, “The Texas Unmiracle.”
New York Times reporter David Kocieniewski reported on the front of Tuesday’s Business section reported on the op-ed by billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s in Monday’s Times which has gone viral in liberal circles. Buffett called for higher taxes on rich people like him in the name of fairness, claiming his 17% effective tax rate was lower than anyone else in his office.
Kocieniewski, who in January 2005 took advantage of a book by moderate Republican governor Christine Whitman of New Jersey to attack "conservative hubris" and the Republican party's "lurch to the right,” used the flawed static analysis employed by liberal economists to prove that higher tax rates would automatically lead to higher tax revenues, as if raising rates would have no effect on how people invest their money.
New York Times reporter Campbell Robertson reported Sunday from Cullman, Ala., “Alabama Law Criminalizes Samaritans, Bishops Say.” The Times showed an unusual and convenient respect for Southern Christians who are taking a liberal and paranoid stand on a new state law against illegal immigration -- the issue perhaps most likely to bring out the Times’s liberal bias.
On a sofa in the hallway of his office here, Mitchell Williams, the pastor of First United Methodist Church, announced that he was going to break the law. He is not the only church leader making such a declaration these days.
Kaus wrote that the emphasis on nonexistent “defensiveness” “must be heartening to Times readers. It’s also the stuff of which delusions are made – the familiar process of cocooning, in which Times-addicted Democrats wake up election day expecting President Kerry to have been swept into office only to discover that the paper of record has mistaken the views of its editorial board for the views of voters.” Kaus concluded “The NYT gets more like MSNBC every day.”
The New York Times’s “Caucus” podcast last Friday was focused on the financial crisis. Washington correspondent Binyamin Appelbaum, who focuses on financial issues, joined hosts Sam Roberts and Michael Shear to call for yet more federal spending on infrastructure "investment" in the face of a national debt of $14 trillion.
Binyamin Appelbaum: “....we’re in the middle of this economic malaise, as you said it a moment ago. And for governments, the real problem is that there’s this tremendous political pressure to get smaller, and everything we know about economics tells us that they should be doing the opposite, they should be getting bigger right now.”
New York Times’s Public Editor (or ombudsman) Arthur Brisbane weighed in on columnist Joe Nocera, who apologized in print last week for having compared Tea Party members to terrorists in a column August 2.
Just four months into his new job as a New York Times Op-Ed columnist, Joe Nocera banged out a blistering screed against Tea Party Republicans who “have waged jihad on the American people.”
These “terrorists” were willing to sacrifice the nation’s creditworthiness to achieve deep spending cuts -- a goal they believed was “worth blowing up the country for,” he wrote in his Aug. 2 column. He concluded the piece by saying that, for now, “the Tea Party Republicans can put aside their suicide vests. But rest assured: They’ll have them on again soon enough.”
The New York Times on Friday downplayed results in its own poll that found 44 percent of respondents think the cuts in the debt deal didn't go far enough, versus only 15 percent who said "too far." In an article starting on the front page, writers Michael Cooper and Megan Thee-Brenan didn't mention this fact until the ninth paragraph of page A-14.
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd on Wednesday continued to ramp up the newspaper's vitriolic attacks against Tea Party conservatives, bizarrely describing them as "cannibals" "zombies" and "vampires."
Connecting the debt ceiling deal to The Exorcist, Halloween and Alien (among other horror movies), Dowd offered these hyperbolic comparisons:
“Republicans, who are experts at such maneuvers, have been holding the reauthorization of the F.A.A. hostage for months, trying to get Democrats in the Senate to agree to weaken transportation workers’ rights,” today’s Times editorial groused. That’s a considerable escalation in rhetoric from the Times’s July 28 editorial which hit the Republican stance on FAA funding as a “sorry and cynical tale.”
“[E]ven with some state control, experts say, property sales could transform Cuba more than any of the economic reforms announced by President Raul Castro’s government,” Cave noted before noting unnamed “experts” who fear that “[t]he opportunities for profits and loans would be far larger than what Cuba’s small businesses offer… potentially creating the disparities of wealth that have accompanied property ownership in places like Eastern Europe and China.”
An arguably unconstitutional effort in San Francisco at regulating the speech of pro-life crisis pregnancy centers was portrayed by New York Times reporter Jesse McKinley as an effort to “stem… misleading advertising”:
Seeking to stem what they call misleading advertising, San Francisco officials on Tuesday began a two-pronged attack on ‘crisis pregnancy centers,’ which are billed as places for pregnant women to get advice, but often use counseling to discourage abortions.
McKinley noted that the “first element was a bill introduced to the city’s Board of Supervisors that would make it illegal for such centers to advertise falsely about their pregnancy-related services,” noting that Supervisor Malia Cohen wrote the bill “to protect low-income women who are drawn into the centers, which often offer free services.”
New York Times food writer and junk food sin-tax advocate Mark Bittman took to the August 2 edition of MSNBC’s “Dylan Ratigan” show as part of his promotional tour for “Bad Food? Tax It.” He found a receptive, uncritical audience in the former CNBC business reporter.
“It’s like, do you want to use taxes to help people or do you want to use taxes to hurt people? It seems to me right now we’re doing just about everything wrong, at least when it comes to food,” Bittman complained, adding "we’re subsidizing, we’re directly subsidizing the crops that produce junk food, bad meat, hyper-processed food, and we’re not subsidizing the foods that we know make us healthy.”
Yet Zeleny’s analysis was chock full of the typical liberal bias slant that puffs up President Obama, slams the Tea Party as “intractable” and ignores the partisanship of liberal Senate members, particularly Harry Reid (emphasis mine):
But now "when President Obama announced even stricter standards — in fact, the largest increase in mileage requirements since the government began regulating" fuel economy, "the chief executives of Detroit’s Big Three were in Washington again," this time "standing in solidarity with the president."
Of course, a few paragraphs later, Vlasic allowed that the massive federal bailout of GM and Chrysler helped push the auto industry into obeisance:
Huffington Post Business Editor Peter Goodman wrote a provocative column today. It was no Esquire “Have More Satisfying Sex Than DSK”, but it did compare Republicans to terrorists.
“The same Republicans who have so eagerly prosecuted the war on terror, running up huge deficits in the process, are now behaving like the enemies on which they have squandered so much blood and treasure: They are acting like terrorists. Yes, terrorists.”
Wednesday’s “Lessons From The Malaise” is David Leonhardt’s last economics column before becoming the New York Times's Washington bureau chief. It pretty much encapsulates his liberal worldview, while assuming his premises are universally shared.
One of the tricky things about the subject is that almost nothing is certain in the way that, say, two plus two equals four. Economics -- which is at root a study of human behavior -- tends to be messier. Because it’s messier, it can be tempting to think that all uncertainty is equal and that we don’t really know anything.
Leonhardt again writes as if it is all serious thinkers admit tax increases are necessary.
House Republican leaders were forced on Tuesday night to delay a vote scheduled on their plan to raise the nation’s debt ceiling, as conservative lawmakers expressed skepticism and Congressional budget officials said the plan did not deliver the promised savings.
Showing the New York Times's reputation for knee-jerk liberalism has a long pedigree, veteran comic Mort Sahl had a joke about a hypothetical Times headline after nuclear Armageddon: "World Ends, Women & Minorities Hardest Hit."
New York Times food writer (and food scold) Mark Bittman made the front of the Sunday Review with his latest modest proposal, the 2,100-word “Bad Food? Tax It.”
(In a March 29 column, Bittman self-righteously announced a fast on behalf of the poor against proposed G.O.P. budget cuts: “These supposedly deficit-reducing cuts -- they’d barely make a dent -- will quite literally cause more people to starve to death, go to bed hungry or live more miserably than are doing so now.”)
Bittman’s latest melodramatic bid as head of the food police involves raising taxes to change poor people’s eating habits to save “tens of millions of lives” and “tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars in health care costs.”
New York Times international columnist Roger Cohen smeared Sarah Palin and Republicans in general in a politically opportunistic hit piece, ostensibly about the massacre in Norway, posted to nytimes.com on Monday, “Breivik and His Enablers.”
On one level Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian responsible for the biggest massacre by a single gunman in modern times, is just a particularly murderous psychotic loner: the 32-year-old mama’s boy with no contact with his father, obsessed by video games (Dragon Age II) as he preens himself (“There was a relatively hot girl on [sic] the restaurant today checking me out”) and dedicates his time in asexual isolation to the cultivation of hatred and the assembly of a bomb from crushed aspirin and fertilizer.
No doubt, that is how Islamophobic right-wingers in Europe and the United States who share his views but not his methods will seek to portray Breivik.
We’ve seen the movie. When Jared Loughner shot Representative Gabrielle Giffords this year in Tuscon [sic], Arizona -- after Sarah Palin placed rifle sights over Giffords’ constituency and Giffords herself predicted that “there are consequences to that” -- the right went into overdrive to portray Loughner as a schizophrenic loner whose crazed universe owed nothing to those fanning hatred under the slogan of “Take America Back.” (That non-specific taking-back would of course be from Muslims and the likes of the liberal and Jewish Giffords.)
But while the Times showed no reluctance to identify Anders Behring Breivik, the lone gunman in the Norway attacks, as a “Christian extremist” in a front-page headline and hinted at more danger from "right-wing extremists" in Europe (photo credit Jon-Are Berg-Jacobsen/Agence France-Presse) the paper previously showed a clear reluctance to identify Islam after the last major terrorist attack on Europe, the deadly July 7, 2005 attacks by Muslim terrorists on subways and buses in London that killed 52. Instead the Times treated the attacks as British Prime Minister Tony Blair's "bitter harvest" for following President George W. Bush into Iraq.
Staffing shifts continue at the New York Times. The paper’s chief economics writer David Leonhardt will be the paper’s next Washington bureau chief as of Labor Day, a move confirmed by Times’ media reporter Jeremy Peters Friday morning. Leonhardt will replace Dean Baquet, who is moving to New York to be managing editor under Executive Editor-in-waiting Jill Abramson.
Leonhardt’s columns in defense of Obama’s “stimulus” package and Obama-care health “reform” made him a very popular man at the White House and among congressional Democrats, who passed around his pieces via email and Twitter.
One can hardly imagine a newspaper running a headline that suggested a fascist society like Nazi Germany had its good points. Yet the New York Times has carved out a side industry in headlines that suggest a bright side to Communist tyranny in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.
The latest came attached to art critic Holland Cotter’s 1,700-word review of “Ostalgia,” an exhibit of Soviet and post-Soviet art at the New Museum in Manhattan, splashed along the top fold of Friday’s Weekend Arts section: “When Repression Was a Muse.” “Ostalgia” is a coinage for the strange cultural nostalgia for Communism (i.e., inferior but somehow endearing cars like the East German Trabant) felt by some East Germans who found it hard to cope with the freedoms, opportunities, and responsibilities of a more capitalist society.
Not content with its front-page drumbeat of stories related to the “News of the World” hacking scandal, the New York Times keeps uncovering multiple angles of attack against Rupert Murdoch’s media empire News Corp.
Media reporter Brian Stelter made the front of Wednesday’s Business Day by relaying threats from the hard left – or rather “progressive activists and public interest groups” – that want to break up Murdoch’s right-leaning stable of newspapers and networks: “Scandal Stirs U.S. Debate On Big Media.”
Chief New York Times economics writer David Leonhardt celebrated the return of Obama the “fiscal conservative” in his Wednesday column, “Negotiating Election Headwinds.”
Maybe it’s not the economy, stupid.
White House officials have begun to entertain the idea that they can run for re-election without being able to point to a strengthening economy. For one thing, they may not have a choice. For another, they believe that recent Republican budget proposals have given President Obama an opportunity to draw contrasts in which he is more in line with most voters.