When President Obama’s guests arrive at the White House on Wednesday for a Gay Pride reception -- just days after New York became the largest state in the country to make same-sex marriage legal -- they will no doubt be in a mood to celebrate.
But for their host, who does not endorse same-sex marriage, it could be somewhat awkward.
Recently the New York Times has run several stories on various abortion legislation in the states, none more slanted than Eric Eckholm’s piece on Monday, “New Laws in 6 States Ban Abortions After 20 Weeks.” In February, Eckholm called the abortion providers Planned Parenthood “advocates for women’s health,” and his new story had a similar case of bias by omission involving abortion providers. Yet Eckholm easily managed to identify “anti-abortion campaigners.”
Dozens of new restrictions passed by states this year have chipped away at the right to abortion by requiring women to view ultrasounds, imposing waiting periods or cutting funds for clinics. But a new kind of law has gone beyond such restrictions, striking at the foundation of the abortion rules set out by the Supreme Court over the last four decades.
On Wednesday, the New York Times's Caracas-based reporter Simon Romero drew a favorable sketch of two anti-American strongmen, Cuba’s Communist dictator Fidel Castro and leftist autocrat and ideological sibling Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, in “Venezuelan, Like Castro, Has Brother At the Ready.”
Romero led off with left-wing flattery of the two nations:
To the many comparisons that can been made between Venezuela and Cuba -- two close allies, both infused with revolutionary zeal, driven by movements that revere their leaders -- consider one more: the presidential brother, stepping in during a time of illness.
The front page of Wednesday’s National section of the New York Times featured the suddenly ubiquitous Ian Urbina advancing the paper’s agenda against the natural gas industry, as he’s been doing all week: “Lawmakers Seek Inquiry Of Natural Gas Industry.”
Luckily for the Times, it found a few liberal Democrats to keep the story going by calling for an investigation into industry practices.
Tina Korbe at Hot Air has a good roundup of the rebuttals to Urbina’s slanted reporting. Korbe summarized Urbina’s Sunday piece:
The “Inside the List” column for the New York Times’s Sunday Book Review, compiled by Jennifer Schuessler, discussed Ann Coulter’s latest New York Times bestseller “Demonic” under the subhead “Woman In Black.”
The first paragraph of the Times’ official Topics page for Coulter describes the author as “ultraconservative,” and Schuessler’s Book Review brief is no less loaded:
New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny was with Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann in Waterloo, Iowa, at the official launching of her presidential campaign for Tuesday’s “Bachmann Opens Campaign as Expectations Grow.” But Zeleny concluded his mostly balanced story with a reference to Bachmann’s latest in a “string of gaffes” – her mistaken claim that Western movie star John Wayne had been born in Waterloo, Iowa (though his parents met there).
Yet the Times has totally ignored a far more by President Obama, who wrongly claimed in a speech he gave June 23 to the Army's 10th Mountain Division that he had awarded a Medal of Honor to a living soldier. Jared Monti had actually had been killed in Afghanistan in 2006 and had been bestowed the honor posthumously. Obama apologized to the family.
Reporter Jackie Calmes even filed an online report from Fort Drum, in upstate New York, but failed to note the flub.
“Page One,” a new documentary about a year in the life of the New York Times directed by Andrew Rossi, is showing at the sleek new Lincoln Center theatre on Manhattan’s Upper West Side for a mere $13. While not openly partisan or even political (there were no Obama stickers spotted on desks, no rants about the paper’s myriad conservative critics), “Page One,” which captures in semi-compellingif scatter-shot fashion a year or so in the life of the Times’s media desk, fits snugly in to the Upper West Side mentality of entitled liberalism.
It’s a running conversation running over with angst, as Times reporters tackle stories about new media while simultaneously pondering the paper’s own place in the rearranged cosmos, as the paper’s very reason for being seems under attack in the age of Facebook, Twitter, and liberal news aggregators like the Huffington Post stealing audience.
New York Times’s White House reporter Mark Landler provided puffball coverage of Vice President Joe Biden, who has evidently “overcome his reputation for gaffes” (says who?), in “Obama’s Growing Trust in Biden Is Reflected in His Call on Troops” Saturday. Landler emphasized the increasing confidence Biden is inspiring at the White House.
Did New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller really sign on to a proposal by G.O.P. libertarian candidate Ron Paul? Yes, though it had nothing to do with the gold standard, abolishing the Federal Reserve, or lowering taxes, but a possible conservative compromise position on gay marriage which would give Republicans "a chance to avoid being on the wrong side of history."
In the wake of New York State’s vote to allow gay marriage, Executive Editor Bill Keller’s supportive column for the July 3 Sunday magazine, “Solving the G.O.P.’s Gay Marriage Problem,” was rushed up online almost a full week early.
Even before New York passed its law last week, the move toward legalization of same-sex marriage in America had become inexorable. It may feel excruciatingly slow for those who are waiting their turn, but it’s just a matter of time until the country lives up to what it believes.
As expected, New York Times coverage of the law passed late Friday night allowing gay marraige in New York State was heavily favorable. Sunday’s front page New York Times story provided the tick-tock on how New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo marshaled support to pass gay marriage in the Republican-controlled New York State Senate in part by convincing “super-rich Republican donors” to support him, in Michael Barbaro’s “Behind Gay Marriage, an Unlikely Mix of Forces.” It included this odd anecdote about a Democratic state senator and holdout against history:
New York Times investigative reporter James Risen, notorious for exposing (along with colleague Eric Lichtblau) two anti-terrorist government programs during the Bush years, filed an affidavit in federal court in Virginia on Tuesday, refusing to comply with a subpoena that he identify a source in his 2006 book “State of War” about a C.I.A. plan to feed Iran bad information to cripple its nuclear program.
After a long promotional listing of his journalistic credentials, Risen in the affidavit cites a 2006 report from ABC News claiming the Bush administration had harassed Risen and other journalists. "The Bush administration eventually singled me out as a target for political harassment," Risen writes in the filing.
It’s a major story, packed with statistics and charts and interviews, clocking in at 2,500 words, which suggests the idea to bring Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels down a peg was being bandied about back when the governor seemed about to enter the Republican presidential race (he declined on May 22, citing family concerns).
Gov. Mitch Daniels sits in his grand cave of a Renaissance Revival office and reviews Indiana’s economic fortunes, his self-effacing manner not entirely disguising satisfaction. The state’s pension funds are relatively healthy, the unemployment rate is dropping slowly and per capita income is ticking up, slowly.
Isn’t it inspiring? Once again, the Obama family is bringing peace and raising esteem for America in a foreign land by their very presence.
Back on March 21, New York Times reporters Alexei Barrionuevo and Jackie Calmes with Obama gushed “Brazilians who gathered at a plaza trying to catch a glimpse of him said that he had inspired millions in this country because of his African heritage.” Paris correspondent Scott Sayare on September 23, 2010 praised Obama’s magical abilities: “But anti-American sentiment, once pervasive in these neighborhoods, seems to have been all but erased since the election of Mr. Obama, who has proved to be a powerful symbol of hope here and a powerful diplomatic tool.”
New York Times reporter Jennifer Steinhauer showed her labeling slant in Wednesday’s “news analysis” on how the war in Libya is tearing apart the Republican Party, “U.S. Mission Exposes Divisions in Congress and Within G.O.P.,” finding “conservatives” and “right-of-center” pols, but failing to identify the ultra-liberal Rep. Dennis Kucinich as a liberal. The strongest word Steinhauer could find for Kucinich was “anti-war.”
In the past Steinhauer has singled out Republican politicians as ideologically extreme, citing Rep. Allen West for his “hard-right stands” and overdosing on the “conservative” label. She wrote on Wednesday:
The New York Times may flinch at the thought of cutting Medicare or unemployment benefits to cut deficits, but reporters have quickly warmed to the idea of a speedy withdrawal from Afghanistan in the name of cost-cutting.
The New York Times marked Father’s Day last Sunday in its own special way -- here’s the front-page tease to a 4,000-word story by N.R. Kleinfeld: “In Brooklyn, a single mother, her son, her sperm donor and his lover are helping to redefine the concept of the American family.”
At Opinion Journal, James Taranto was bothered by the Times's blithe unconcern for the child’s privacy in its rush to celebrate an alternative family lifestyle. Under the cutting headlines “Happy Donor's Day! The New York Times celebrates fatherhood by cruelly invading a 3-year-old's privacy,” he wrote:
Jay Blotcher and Brook Garrett are as married as two men can be.
On their dining room table, they have laid out the proof: a New York City certificate of domestic partnership from April 2000, a Vermont certificate of civil union from October 2000, an actual marriage license from California in 2008 and -- perhaps the sentimental favorite, if legally the most anemic -- an affidavit of marriage from that euphoric moment in 2004 when nearby New Paltz, N.Y., became the center of the gay marriage movement.
“Euphoric” for whom? For the couples, yes, but evidently for Times reporters as well.
New York Times investigative reporter Mike McIntire penned a hit piece on Justice Clarence Thomas for Sunday’s front page, trying to find a controversy in the funding by a friend of Thomas of a cultural museum in the justice’s hometown of Pin Point, Ga.: “The Justice and the Magnate – Friendship and Museum Project Put Focus on Ethics.” But looking past the loaded headline and lacings of ominous word choices like "ethically sensitive," one is hard-pressed to find any hints of actual wrongdoing on the part of Justice Thomas.
Prominently placed, hostile investigations of conservative-friendly groups (that lead nowhere) are a specialty of McIntire’s. His front-page story from March 2011 accused a Tea Party group of pushing the agenda of an Indonesian corporation fighting U.S. tariffs. In September 2010 he went after the group Americans for Job Security, another group with Tea Party ties.
Previously this year, Times reporters had questioned “deepest and most far-reaching” cuts in unemployment benefits by Michigan and Florida, although the supposedly drastic cuts reduced total (state plus federal) unemployment benefits to the jobless by a mere six weeks out of up to 99.
Rampell found a sympathetic case whom she sketched as being in a tragic, “for want of a nail” situation, and seemed to think the decision a no-brainer for Arizona because, after all, the federal government was paying for it:
New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny followed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to Tampa and filed “Democrats Scowl at Romney Joke” for Friday's edition, treating as a weighty matter a harmless joke by the candidate to a group of unemployed people as one of a series of “occasionally awkward...off-the-cuff remarks.” Yet the Times has remained silent as President Obama has reeled off a series of gaffes about the high unemployment under his watch.
Mitt Romney sat at the head of the table at a coffee shop here on Thursday, listening to a group of unemployed Floridians explain the challenges of looking for work. When they finished, he weighed in with a predicament of his own.
“I should tell my story,” Mr. Romney said. “I’m also unemployed.”
New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller’s latest column for the Sunday Magazine tackled what the subhead called “Sarah Palin’s codependent relationship with the press (and vice versa).” In two contradictory paragraphs, Keller bluntly revealed the liberal media mindset of Palin loathing – then dismissed the idea of liberal media slant as almost entirely mythical. Keller also stated that "a lot of journalists, regardless of their politics, find her confounding and a little frightening."
If the 2012 election were held in the newsrooms of America and pitted Sarah Palin against Barack Obama, I doubt Palin would get 10 percent of the vote. However tempting the newsworthy havoc of a Palin presidency, I’m pretty sure most journalists would recoil in horror from the idea.
That is not -- or not entirely -- for the reasons Palin thinks: that journalists are liberal elitists, that they find the Tea Party fringe ridiculous or alarming or that they are infatuated with the cerebral black liberal in the White House. There’s a grain of truth and a loaf of myth in each of those. But I think it’s more visceral than that. It has to do with a profound and mutual lack of respect that is not quite like any I recall between a candidate (or pretend candidate) and the press.
Was disgraced Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner, who carried on several inappropriate online chats with young women, a victim of a newly “puritanical” climate in Washington? That’s the inference from Kate Zernike’s front-page story for the New York Times's Week in Review, “Naked Hubris...While digital flux makes it easier for politicians to stray,” a companion piece to Sheryl Gay Stolberg’s “When it comes to scandal, boys will be boys.”
On Sunday, New York Times movie critic John Anderson issued a favorable profile of “If a Tree Falls,” a partisan documentary from Marshall Curry featuring convicted arsonist Daniel McGowan of the environmental terrorist group Earth Liberation Front: “Activist or Terrorist, Rendered in Red, White and Green.”
When Daniel McGowan moved in with his sister after college, he was so passionate about recycling that he took all the labels off her canned food. The problem was, he didn’t wait for her to open the cans. 'I didn’t know if I had soup, or what kind of soup; I don’t know if there’s peas, or corn,' Lisa McGowan said in an interview. 'He said, 'I never thought of that.'
Some would call Mr. McGowan overeager. The government calls him a terrorist.
The problem is, McGowan isn’t in jail for taking labels off canned food items but for arson and conspiracy related to the destruction of two lumber companies in Oregon, domestic terrorism credited to the Earth Liberation Front.
Joyless New York Times movie critic Manohla Dargis took to the Sunday Arts & Leisure page to spoil yet another summer movie season by ranting about the alleged paucity of roles for women on film: “The Living Is Easy; The Women Are Missing.”
If you’re a woman who roared, snorted or sniggered at 'Bridesmaids,' if you like watching other women on screen, you should see it again. Because that hit comedy written by Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo and directed by Paul Feig, turns out to be one of the few occasions this summer when you can enjoy a movie about and with women released by a major studio. From now through August, American films will again be almost all male, almost all the time (the occasional decorative gal pal notwithstanding) as this year’s boys of summer -- the Green Lantern and Captain America, Conan the Barbarian and Conan O’Brien -- invade the multiplex, seizing media-entertainment minds and your dollars.
This is an update of the argument Dargis unleashed both on May 1 of this year and in the summer of 2008, when she slammed that year's crop of summer movies for the sin of featuring men as leads: “Iron Man, Batman, Big Angry Green Man -- to judge from the new popcorn season it seems as if Hollywood has realized that the best way to deal with its female troubles is to not have any, women, that is.”
New York Times business columnist Joe Nocera, now a regular on the paper’s op-ed page, equated congressional oversight with Anthony Weiner’s sexual peccadillos in Saturday’s “Blocking Elizabeth Warren.” Warren, a Harvard law professor, bankruptcy “expert,” and liberal crusader, is special advisor to the White House and a favorite among liberals and the Times for pushing the creation of a federal agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
It’s official: Elizabeth Warren will return to the torture chamber known as the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on July 14. Earlier this week, Darrell Issa, the California Republican who is chairman of the committee, tweeted the news. Apparently, Democrats aren’t the only ones who use Twitter to harass women.
In the three years since Sarah Palin stormed the national political stage, her brief tenure as governor of Alaska has often been reduced to caricature. Critics cast her as petty, preoccupied and disengaged. Supporters say she was a maverick reformer, a salt-of-the-earth true believer who bucked the establishment elite.
The Times’s own coverage of Palin certainly fits the “critics” part of the bill, and the paper's decision to "crowd-source" the Palin email dump with help from its liberal readership suggests it was eager to uncover controversy. It didn't quite turn out that way, forcing reporters to write around the absence of bombshells.
Michael Shear, chief writer for the New York Times’s “Caucus” blog, sounded sarcastic and bitter, almost angry, at the opening of the paper’s last “Caucus” podcast on Thursday about having to talk about the Anthony Weiner sex scandal.
Host Sam Roberts: “But you pointed out that this is a particularly inopportune time for this latest sex scandal to break in Washington. Why is that?”
Michael Shear: “Lots of policy and we’re going to start with the sex scandal! That’s fine. Yeah, it’s not a good time for Democrats.”
So what vital hard-core political news did Shear spend the entire following day covering to compensate for having to discuss Weinergate? The three-year-old trove of Sarah Palin emails from her time as Alaska governor.
Timothy Egan, liberal reporter turned leftist online columnist for the New York Times, gave a potential kiss-of-death endorsement Thursday evening to a Republican presidential candidate -- moderate former Utah governor (and Obama ambassador to China) Jon Huntsman, in "The G.O.P.'s Jon Huntsman, the Reluctant Mormon." You see, unlike the "fact-denial chorus" who throw "red meat to the wackos" in a "sea of craziness" (now those are some seriously mixed metaphors) Huntsman is a thoughtful skeptic (i.e., he believes in manmade global warming and gay civil unions). After claiming Huntsman "brings a strong resume to the presidential race," Egan lamented:
But for the increasingly intolerant minority who will decide the next Republican nominee, Huntsman is already a heretic for speaking common sense on climate change, gay civil unions and immigration. And, of course, his decision to answer a call to service by going to China for President Obama doesn’t help his cause.