President Obama seized on the re-emergence of an ambitious bipartisan budget plan in the Senate on Tuesday to invigorate his push for a big debt-reduction deal, and he summoned Congressional leaders back to the bargaining table this week to “start talking turkey.”
New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg took a cheap shot at Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann in Wednesday’s “Bachmann Says Severe Migraines Have Never Incapacitated Her” (notice how the print headline works in the danger words "severe" and "incapacitated") jumping off an anonymously sourced report from the Daily Caller on Monday alleging Bachmann had been “incapacitated” and “hospitalized” by migraines.
Stolberg emphasized disorders linked to migraines, including “work loss,” “depression,” and “fatigue,” loaded traits when it comes to questioning a candidate’s fitness for the office of the presidency. A search of Nexis and Google News suggests the Times is the sole newspaper that has so far linked migraines and depression in its Bachmann coverage.
Chief New York Times “Caucus” blog writer Michael Shear hosted the latest edition of the paper’s “Caucus” podcast (there's no direct link) Friday, where he, political reporter Jeff Zeleny, and White House reporter Mark Landler agreed that Republican candidate Michele Bachmann was wrong to dismiss concerns about possible financial consequences resulting from a failure to raise the debt ceiling.
About four and a half minutes from the end, Landler took side in the budget-cutting battle, emphasizing how far Obama had come toward the Republican position with “very significant cuts,” and sympathized with the president’s “frustration” over the “unreasonable” “intransigence of the Republicans.”
New York Times columnist Joe Nocera has devoted his last two columns to the spreading scandal over News Corp., owned by Rupert Murdoch, the media mogul who incurs the hatred of liberals.
Nocera, not content to report on the woes afflicting News Corp. outlets overseas, insisted without evidence on Saturday that one of Murdoch’s American media properties, the Wall Street Journal, has succumbed to the dreaded disease of “Fox-ification,” “The Journal Becomes Fox-ified.” As you can guess, that is not a compliment at the Times.
Yet in August 2010, the Times was puzzled as to why Atlanta school superintendent Beverly Hall, who is now under suspicion, was still under fire: "Even after an independent investigation recently found that the problem was much less widespread, critics have called for her resignation and attacked the investigation’s credibility."
James Traub, a contributing writer for the New York Times Sunday magazine, contributed a very positive 5,000-word profile of Obama foreign-affairs maven (and failed liberal Democratic presidential candidate) Sen. John Kerry for the Sunday magazine, under the online headline “How John Kerry Tries to Put Out Diplomatic Fires.” The table of contents and print edition headlines simply hailed Kerry as “The All-American,” while deep in the article itself Traub lamented that in 2004, “Kerry seemed to be the latest in a long line of decent, serious, honorable Democratic presidential candidates cut to ribbons by the Republican attack machine and bested by G.O.P. contenders whom voters would much rather have a beer with.”
Marcus Bachmann, husband to Minnesota congresswoman and G.O.P. presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, runs a Christian counseling center in Minnesota that has come under fire from liberals for allegedly promoting “reparative therapy” for homosexuals. Several days after a hidden-camera investigation from a gay activist group was played on ABC and NBC, the story was prominently displayed on the front page of the Sunday New York Times.
New York Times Public Editor Arthur Brisbane gave a dressing down to reporter Ian Urbina’s heavily criticized recent Sunday front-page article on natural gas extraction, “Insiders Sound an Alarm Amid a Natural Gas Rush,” in his Sunday column, “Clashing Views on the Future of Natural Gas.” The benign headline concealed a reasonably incisive critique, accusing Urbina of making unsubstantiated claims and failing to provide sufficient opposing views.
Urbina (pictured) has also penned questionable articles on the supposed environmental dangers of “fracking,” a process used to extract natural gas from shale. Brisbane wrote Sunday:
New York Times liberal Supreme Court reporter turned liberal online Times columnist Linda Greenhouse filed her "scorecard" Wednesday of the Supreme Court’s recently concluded term. Even her terminology is slanted, translating conservative as "regressive" and liberal as "progressive."
Most regressive decision: In a competitive category, I’ll give the nod to a little-noticed decision the court issued just a week ago. By a vote of 5 to 4, with an unsigned opinion speaking for the majority, the court denied a temporary stay of execution to a Texas death-row inmate despite the urgent pleas of the federal government and the government of Mexico.
Timothy Egan, liberal New York Times reporter turned left-wing, Rush Limbaugh-despising online columnist for nytimes.com, tried to smear fiscal conservatives in Congress as akin to the violent anarchists (actually leftists) who rampaged through Seattle in 1999 in a “protest” against the World Trade Organization, using hammers to smash windows of retail chain stores.
Amid shattered glass and the black smoke of urban pyres, I found myself in a riot some years ago -- the anarchists-led assault on the World Trade Organization meetings of 1999. At the height of what became known as The Battle of Seattle, I bumped into an otherwise mild-mannered, libertarian-leaning friend on the streets, gasping at the bitter taste of tear gas. He was ecstatic.
Calmes’s reporting is often weighted toward Democrats, and she has expressed her sympathies for Obama in his dealings with Republicans the last few years, complaining the G.O.P. had not sufficiently “accomodated” the president by passing Obama-care and financial regulation. She wrote for Friday’s lead:
One has to wonder if departing New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller will leave behind many friends in the newsroom. First he bothered his media-beat reporters by writing of his dislike for new media like Twitter. It turns out he’s not crazy about old media (books) either – at least when writing them take his reporters away on book leave or detracts from their reporting.
His upcoming column for the July 17 Sunday Magazine, “Let’s Ban Books, or at Least Stop Writing Them,” sounded like a sotto voce corporate policy memo, with some surprisingly mocking cracks about his news staff: “Two editors were writing books about their dogs. At the same time!”
In her Tuesday posting on the New York Times's Internet-news blog “Bits,” the unusually named Jennifer 8. Lee (a food writer and former Times staff reporter who now occasionally shows up to write posts for “Bits” and the paper’s local “City Room” blog) interviewed Rebecca MacKinnon of the left-leaning New America Foundation. MacKinnon was speaking at the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh about the need to take Internet power away from private corporations and presumably hand it to the government.
Among the victims of private firms Lee brought up: the infamous anti-American anti-secrecy Wikileaks. But why didn’t Lee disclose she has done public relations work for the group in 2010?
The New York Times's chief economics writer David Leonhardt proposed his usual solution – tax hikes – to the ongoing budget and debt-ceiling battles between congressional Republicans and President Obama in his confidently titled Wednesday column “Why Taxes Will Rise In the End.” Leonhardt struggled to ponder why his fellow citizens stubbornly refuse to raise the debt ceiling.
Polls show that most Americans are opposed to raising the federal debt ceiling. Even when the Pew Research Center included the consequences in its question -- a national default that would damage the economy -- slightly more people were against raising the ceiling than were for it.
How could this be? Above all, I think it reflects a desire to return to the good old days. Not so long ago, nobody was talking about tax increases or Medicare cuts, and the federal budget seemed to be in fine shape. If only we could get back to the past -- get spending under control, as the cliché goes -- we’d be O.K. The debt ceiling, with its harsh finality, offers the chance.
Unfortunately, this nostalgic view depends on a misunderstanding of the budget. It imagines a budget in which the United States indefinitely has the world’s highest medical costs, its largest military, an aging population and, nonetheless, taxes that are among the world’s lowest. Economists have a name for that combination: a free lunch.
New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes’s latest front-page story on the budget battle displayed typical Times’s labeling bias, with “angry conservatives” but no liberals. Calmes also paid the Republican leadership a backhanded compliment for trying to stop their conservative base from provoking a financial crisis.
On Tuesday, Calmes claimed on the front page that Obama was “repositioning” himself as a centrist (after years of the Times insisting he already was one).
The New York Times posted a surprising column by international columnist Roger Cohen that appeared in its international edition Tuesday, “In Defense of Murdoch.” That would be media mogul Rupert Murdoch (a name loathed by all good liberals)whose vast empire of newspapers and television news is under siege after allegations of phone hacking including missing teens, police officers, even a former prime minister.
Fair warning: This column is a defense of Rupert Murdoch. If you add everything up, he’s been good for newspapers over the past several decades, keeping them alive and vigorous and noisy and relevant. Without him, the British newspaper industry might have disappeared entirely.
For the last three years we’ve been told by the Times and the rest of the media Obama was in fact a “pragmatic” centrist, unlike the conservative George W. Bush. Why would Obama have to "reposition" himself to ground he already occupied?
President Obama made no apparent headway on Monday in his attempt to forge a crisis-averting budget deal, but he put on full display his effort to position himself as a pragmatic centrist willing to confront both parties and address intractable problems.
Monday’s New York Times front-page story by Motoko Rich, “Economy Faces a Jolt as Benefit Checks Run Out,” portrayed massive government spending on unemployment benefits and food stamps as an economic plus, not a potential drain, warning that cutting that funding would be a drag on the fragile recovery.
An extraordinary amount of personal income is coming directly from the government.
With 14 million Americans out of work, New York Times economics reporter Catherine Rampell is wondering where the left-wing mobs are in the front-page story for Sunday Business, “Somehow, the Unemployed Became Invisible.” The text box imagined a better time: “In the 1930s, Americans did not endure unemployment so quietly.”
(Back on June 18, Rampell agonized over how “one little word” was depriving jobless Arizonans of additional weeks of federal benefits.)
New York Times Executive Editor and "collapsed Catholic" Bill Keller reviewed “Absolute Monarchs – A History of the Papacy” by John Julius Norwich --the cover review for the Times Sunday Book Review. The issue included an editorial note at the front of the magazine confessing the paper’s rough relationship with the Catholic Church (which Times Watch has documented).
Through the years, The New York Times’s coverage of the Roman Catholic Church and the Vatican has received sharp criticism from practicing Catholics -- including the past eight years that Bill Keller has been the paper’s executive editor. Yet Keller, who wrote this week’s cover review of “Absolute Monarchs: A History of the Papacy,” by John Julius Norwich, was raised within the fold.
President Obama’s budget blueprint may have been unanimously rejected by Congress in late May, but suddenly the president is the courageous, ambitious one on budget talks after issuing new rhetoric indicating a willingness to make cuts in social programs like Medicare.
In his Sunday front-page story, “House Speaker Is Pulling Back On Deficit Deal – $4 Trillion Plan Stalls Over Tax Increase,” congressional reporter Carl Hulse (pictured) continued to shade his own word choices in a pro-Democratic direction. Though the headline accurately stated that the stumbling block in negotiations are Democratic calls for a “tax increase,” Hulse reliably avoided the unpopular phrase in his report. The text box also underlined the idea of Obama the risk-taker: “An attempt at something big that some Republicans found too big.”
Tuesday’s notorious column from the New York Times’s “conservative” David Brooks, “The Mother of All No-Brainers,” in which he accused Tea Party sympathizers of having "no sense of moral decency," is getting fulsome praise from staunch conservatives like Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Here’s Politico:
Reid, on the floor on Tuesday, gave his approval to many of the points Brooks made in his piece.
“I repeat: a conservative columnist said this,” Reid said, according to prepared remarks. “The Republican Party has been taken over by ideologues either devoted to or terrified by Grover Norquist and his no-tax pledge.”
Frank Rich, the New York Times’s puzzlingly influential former op-ed columnist and over-dramatic hater of the Bush administration and the Tea Party, has landed with a splash at New York Magazine,penning the magazine’s new cover story, “Obama’s Original Sin,” going after the president's timidity from the left in a way he never managed at the Times.
What haunts the Obama administration is what still haunts the country: the stunning lack of accountability for the greed and misdeeds that brought America to its gravest financial crisis since the Great Depression. There has been no legal, moral, or financial reckoning for the most powerful wrongdoers.
A defense of infidelity, put forward by gay-rights activist and explicit sex-advice columnist Dan Savage and penned by Mark Oppenheimer, “Married, With Infidelities,” served as the cover of the latest New York Times Sunday Magazine. The subhead to the banner headline in the print edition described Savage as a “devoted husband, proud father, sex columnist.” Left off the resume: Doorknob licker and conservative presidential campaign saboteur.
Savage believes monogamy is right for many couples. But he believes that our discourse about it, and about sexuality more generally, is dishonest. Some people need more than one partner, he writes….Savage says a more flexible attitude within marriage may be just what the straight community needs. Treating monogamy, rather than honesty or joy or humor, as the main indicator of a successful marriage gives people unrealistic expectations of themselves and their partners. And that, Savage says, destroys more families than it saves.
The latest edition of the New York Times’s Sunday magazine gave conservatives a rare opportunity to repurpose Times Executive Editor Bill Keller as a pinata, though the paper’s intent may have been to make its conservative critics look irrational. Readers responded bluntly to Keller’s trashing of Sarah Palin in his column for the June 19 issue, in which he claimed “most journalists would recoil in horror from the idea” of a Palin presidency.
The Times printed a full page of letters, a dozen in all, from insulting Keller critics and Palin sympathizers. A few were incisive:
You write that only 21 percent of Americans have a favorable view of Sarah Palin. If you had the press constantly attacking you and putting you under the magnifying glass and all that was reported was negative press, perhaps no one would find favor with you, either. Had your fellow media colleagues given Barack Obama the same treatment as you have given Mrs. Palin, no one would care for him either.
Do Republican Tea Party sympathizers “have no sense of moral decency”? That suggestion comes not from conservative-loathing New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, but the paper’s chief “conservative” columnist David Brooks on Tuesday, “The Mother Of All No-Brainers.”
While omitting the phrase “Tea Party,” Brooks claimed a “faction” of the Republican Party was more interested in “psychological protest than a practical, governing alternative.”
The New York Times celebrated the Independence Day holiday weekend with a joyless story on the front of Saturday’s Business Day on the cancer threat posed by your all-American cookout. William Neuman reported “What’s Inside the Bun?”
If there is no such thing as a healthy hot dog, how do you limit the damage at this weekend’s weenie roast?
Don’t count on the label to help much. Those pricey “natural” and “organic” hot dogs often contain just as much or more of the cancer-linked preservatives nitrate and nitrite as that old-fashioned Oscar Mayer wiener.
Mahler, who writes for the paper’s Sunday magazine and the Book Review, managed to drag the Iraq War, the Bush administration, even the ancient Ken Starr investigation into his criticism of the prosecutions of sports titans Roger Clemens and Lance Armstrong.
New York Times reporters Danny Hakim and Nicholas Confessore filed another in a series of front-page stories Friday revolving around the natural gas industry, especially the “fracking” process by which natural gas is obtained from shale and is opposed by liberal environmentalists. This time the scene is the paper’s own backyard: “Cuomo Moving To End a Freeze On Gas Drilling.”
The Cuomo administration is seeking to lift what has effectively been a moratorium in New York State on hydraulic fracturing, a controversial technique used to extract natural gas from shale, state environmental regulators said on Thursday.
The process would be allowed on private lands, opening New York to one of the fastest-growing -- critics would say reckless -- areas of the energy industry. It would be banned inside New York City’s sprawling upstate watershed, as well as inside a watershed used by Syracuse, and in underground water sources used by other cities and towns. It would also be banned on state lands, like parks and wildlife preserves.
In the past few weeks, Gov. Rick Scott has traveled around the state extolling the accomplishments of the recent legislative session and promoting his success in pushing Florida down a more conservative, financially sound path.
Gov. Rick Scott at the budget signing in May, which was marred by reports that some Democrats were removed from the event
So why is his approval rating the lowest of any governor in America?