Former Republican senator Chuck Hagel was hailed as a brave Republican maverick and became a liberal media favorite during the George W. Bush years, for comparing the Iraq War to Vietnam and serving as a general thorn in the Republican president's side. Journalist Dave Weigel likened this 2006 Hagel profile in the New York Times Magazine by former Times executive editor Joseph Lelyveld to "a hagiography master class." Now Obama is picking a fight with the GOP by nominating him Secretary of Defense, and New York Times reporters are still serving as reliable reinforcements.
Monday's off-lead introductory piece by Scott Shane and David Sanger was supportive of Hagel, as is the liberal media in general. The Times went so far as downplay anti-Jewish and anti-gay comments Hagel made during the Clinton administration about an ambassadorial candidate to Luxembourg, James Hormel.
Belluck also defended Planned Parenthood, leaving out recent controversies, including one uncovered by the pro-life group Live Action -- two videos showing Planned Parenthood staffers actively assisting a Live Action actor to procure a sex-selection abortion. (The Timesfiercely defended Planned Parenthood last year after the Komen Foundation cut off grants to the organization; Komen reinstated the funds under liberal media pressure.)
Last year, New York Times reporter Elisabeth Rosenthal said air conditioning was hurting the planet. The latest Sunday Review features more left-wing activism from the paper's supposedly impartial science reporter, this time on gun control: "More Guns = More Killing," which takes on the NRA's assertion that "a good guy with a gun" is the best way to protect school children.
In the wake of the tragic shooting deaths at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last month, the National Rifle Association proposed that the best way to protect schoolchildren was to place a guard -- a “good guy with a gun” -- in every school, part of a so-called National School Shield Emergency Response Program.
New York Times reporter Mark Landler extolled Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the "role model," for her "indomitable stamina" and "herculean work habits," but is concerned that the possible presidential candidate is just too darn committed to her job in Saturday's "Scare Amplifies Fears That Clinton's Work Has Taken Heavy Toll." The Benghazi scandal, in which Clinton has yet to testify, is mentioned only in passing.
Timothy Egan, former liberally biased New York Times reporter who now pens left-wing column rants for the Times in print and online, posted his "wish list of better tomorrows" for 2013 on Thursday. They sounded a lot like the same old left-wing ranting Egan has been doing since he stopped reporting for the paper around 2006.
The view from one Washington, with its self-inflicted and phony political crises, offers no hope. Let’s start 2013 by stating the obvious and repeat until fixed: the Republican House of Representatives is beyond broken, stuffed with politicians who lack the ability to divide up juice boxes in a kindergarten. Three-fourths of Americans think they are harming the rest of us. “Dereliction of duty” was Gov. Chris Christie’s apt phrase, referring to the failure to vote on promised aid for hurricane relief.
95% of the House Republican caucus reelected John Boehner as Speaker of the House on Thursday, but the 12 dissenting Republicans attracted intense coverage in the New York Times, including a front-page story saying the vote foretold "turmoil and division" in the new Congress.
By contrast, there was only scattered coverage when 19 members of the Democratic caucus refused to support Nancy Pelosi for House Speaker in January 2011, after the Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives in the 2010 elections. (The cases aren't quite parallel, as Pelosi was certain to lose her role as Speaker of the House in the newly elected Republican-majority House of 2011, while Boehner was expected to retain his position as head of the Republican-majority House in 2013.)
Monica Davey's Thursday front-page New York Times story on rising homicide numbers in Rahm Emanuel's Chicago ("A Soaring Homicide Rate, a Divide in Chicago") was suspiciously silent on the utter failure of the city's strict gun laws, but vocal about sorting the annual homicide numbers into patterns of race and class (as if equality among homicide victims would be preferred).
Davey focused on a recent killing that took place at a funeral on the South Side, where yet another homicide victim was just being laid to rest:
New York Times reporter Jonathan Weisman strangely painted the fiscal cliff deal (which displeased conservatives with its tax increases and lack of spending cuts) as a fiscal dream come true for Republicans in his "news analysis" for Wednesday's front page. Weisman also mocked the GOP's historical support for low taxes.
Just a few years ago, the tax deal pushed through Congress on Tuesday would have been a Republican fiscal fantasy, a sweeping bill that locks in virtually all of the Bush-era tax cuts, exempts almost all estates from taxation, and enshrines the former president’s credo that dividends and capital gains should be taxed equally and gently.
2012 was another banner year for bias at the New York Times, from slanted coverage of campaign 2012, to bizarre displays of unfairness to conservatives. The Times also intensified its push for liberal legislation on issues dear to the heart of its readership, like fighting "climate change" and amnesty for illegal immigrants. Here are some of the worst bits of bias from the year that was. (There's a more comprehensive version of this article on Times Watch.)
Taking Sides With Mitt Romney's Snobby Liberal Neighbors
Friday's New York Times teased on the front page two profiles of prominent figures in the gun control debate (conservative David Keene and liberal New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg). Can you guess which one got more respectful treatment?
New York Times Paris correspondent Scott Sayare reported from a predominantly Muslim slum in Toulouse, France on Thursday, following up on the massacre earlier this year by Mohammad Merah, a resident of the projects, of three soldiers, a rabbi, and three Jewish children. Sayare suggested that societal "forces of rejection and discrimination" against young Muslims wre at least partially to blame for the rampage, and sought out "understanding" for the massacre among Merah's former neighbors in "Neighborhood Is Torn Over a Killer’s Legacy."
A report into the British Broadcasting Corporation handling of the Jimmy Savile child-sex abuse scandal was released Wednesday, and the upper management of the BBC got off lightly, though the management culture of the BBC came in for criticism. One prominent member of that management: Mark Thompson, who served as director-general of the BBC for eight years until earlier this year, when he became chief executive of the New York Times Co.
Interestingly, Thursday's front-page Times story from London by John Burns and Stephen Castle, "Report Faults Lax Leadership At BBC in Sex Abuse Scandal," featured Thompson more prominently than the report itself did. A text box on the Times's inside page reads, "An inquiry that some say went too easy on top management." From the Times:
Dan Abrams at Mediaite caught a weird bit of anti-Israel bias in Jeffrey Gettleman's brutal investigation on Sunday's New York Timesfront page of the carnage in Congo:
But for years Tutsi-led Rwanda has tried to carve out a zone of influence in eastern Congo, using ethnic Tutsi militias and Tutsi businessmen inside Congo to do its bidding. Rwanda has a very disciplined, patriotic army that punches above its weight -- the Israel of Africa. It was Rwanda’s invasion in 1996 that sent Congo into a tailspin it has yet to recover from.
After a decent story by political reporter Jeff Zeleny Tuesday, the New York Times expressed in an op-ed a racially charged, far-left view on the appointment of African-American Republican Rep. Tim Scott to the U.S. Senate: as a "token," the GOP's human equivalent of the racist poll tax and literacy test.
Besides offensively decrying in his op-ed Wednesday the appointment of Scott, the first African-American senator from the South since 1881 and the only black senator in the current Senate, Adolph Reed Jr., University of Pennsylvania professor and contributor to the hard-left Nation, also tackled "the thinly veiled racism" of the Tea Party.
Sunday's episode of The Chris Matthews Show featured an exchange between host Pete Williams and New York Times White House reporter Helene Cooper on President Obama pushing for stronger gun control legislation the day of the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. Cooper laid out the issue in emotional terms, suggesting people must choose between the protection of the Second Amendment and the safety of little kids at school. As if even a total repeal could ever guarantee that.
Demonstrating rapidly shifting attitudes toward gun control in the aftermath of a massacre in a Connecticut school, many pro-gun Congressional Democrats -- including Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader and a longstanding gun rights supporter -- signaled an openness Monday to new restrictions on guns.
On the front of Sunday's New York Times, reporters Jackie Calmes and Jonathan Weisman suggested President Obama has a "mandate" for tax hikes in the ongoing tactical battle in Congress over the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts in "Soured History Hampers Talks Between Obama and Boehner."
Last year, Mr. Boehner had the edge as Mr. Obama faced a difficult re-election campaign and needed Republicans’ support to increase the nation’s borrowing limit, lest the government default. Now, after a decisive re-election victory and Democratic gains in Congress, Mr. Obama has the stronger hand. He also made higher taxes for the wealthy a central campaign issue, suggesting a mandate borne out in public polls. And he benefits from a hard deadline, Dec. 31, after which all of the Bush-era tax cuts expire if action is not taken to extend them. Polls show that voters would hold Republicans responsible if no deal is reached in time.
New York Times reporter Jonathan Weisman threw around hostile labels in his Thursday piece on the ongoing tactical fight in Washington, pitting the "far right" against responsible "pragmatists" in the tactical battle over fiscal policy in "Boehner Tries to Contain Defections on Fiscal Unity."
Speaker John A. Boehner moved Wednesday to maintain Republican unity on deficit reduction talks as lawmakers on the far right openly chafed at his leadership and some pragmatists pressed for quick accommodation on tax rate increases on the rich.
New York Times intelligence reporter Scott Shane made Thursday's front-page with a quasi-movie review of "Zero Dark Thirty," the critically acclaimed new release about the Bin Laden raid that suggests "enhanced interrogation" like waterboarding aided in finding him. The headline, "Portrayal of C.I.A. Torture in Bin Laden Film Reopens a Debate," shows the Times comfortable using the loaded word "torture" to describe interrogation methods like water-boarding that inflict temporary physical panic.
Previously Shane has fiercely resisted the idea that waterboarding contributed to finding Osama bin Laden, ignoring CIA director Leon Panetta's admission that it had. Shane wrote on May 4, 2011: "But a closer look at prisoner interrogations suggests that the harsh techniques played a small role at most in identifying Bin Laden's trusted courier and exposing his hide-out."
In other words, it may have helped, but don't make me write it.
With a Republican newly elected as governor and a Republican-controlled legislature, North Carolina, long a politically moderate player in the South, will soon have its most conservative government in a century.
In one of the most fascinating media-related pieces I’ve read in a while, Dan Froomkin interviews Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, two longtime Washington observers who wrote a book together and soon after, they say, found themselves near pariahs in a city that didn’t want to hear what they had to say.
Wednesday's New York Times's front page featured Monica Davey's latest dispatch from Lansing, after the Michigan legislature passed and the governor signed right-to-work legislation that would forbid unions to coerce membership dues from workers in the traditionally union-dominated state.
Liberal New York Times reporter, now far-left Times columnist Timothy Egan ludicrously diagnoses a national squelching of debate on gun control in Thursday's post, "The Great Gun Gag." Along the way he claimed that "Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Malkin "are to reasoned argument what salt is to a slug."
New York Times climate reporter John Broder went all the way to Doha, Qatar to reveal that the United Nation's climate talks went nowhere, in Sunday's "Climate Talks Yield Commitment to Ambitious, but Unclear, Actions." Online Broder showed his respect for dissenting opinions: "Few would compare a United Nations climate change conference to a garden party, but a pair of skeptical skunks showed up on Thursday in the persons of Senator James Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma, and Christopher Monckton, the Viscount Monckton of Benchley."
Broder, whose climate reporting is full of liberal assumptions that "global warming" or "climate change" is caused by man and endangers the planet, in his Sunday print story again quoted scientists who assumed the worst, with rising temperatures inevitable.
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd didn't hide her contempt for the GOP, or her pleasure in predicting its eternal demise, in Sunday's "A Lost Civilization."
The Mayans were right, as it turns out, when they predicted the world would end in 2012. It was just a select world: the G.O.P. universe of arrogant, uptight, entitled, bossy, retrogressive white guys.
Dictatorship and double standards invade the New York Times once again. Check the headline over Dennis Lim's Sunday Arts & Leisure profileof the director of "Barbara," set in Communist East Germany in 1980: "Summoning Halcyon Days Of Failed Ideals." "Failed Ideals"? Can one imagine the paper running a headline that suggested a fascist society like Nazi Germany was built on "failed ideals"?
Born in 1960 to parents who had just emigrated from East to West Germany, the director Christian Petzold spent his first few months at a refugee camp near Düsseldorf. He has lived in the West all his life, but when he started making films in the ’90s he found himself drawn to unfamiliar environments, which often meant the former East.
New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor graced Sunday's front page with a "will she or won't she run for president" profile of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, "Clinton’s Countless Choices Hinge on One: 2016." Kantor talks of Clinton as "a widely respected figure" of "historic potential" without mentioning the scandal of the Clinton White House, like Travelgate.
Kantor is author of a sympathetic biography of the Obamas, but she has also spent plenty of hagiography on Hillary over the years. During the 2008 campaign she opined in a news story that "Mrs. Clinton seemed to channel the lives of regular women, who often saw her as an avenging angel." This Sunday Kantor speculated on the political future of Hillary, who "may appear to be a figure of nearly limitless possibility."
On Friday's front page, New York Times reporter Jennifer Steinhauer relayed the shock retirement of leading conservative Sen. Jim Demint of South Carolina, "Tea Party Hero Leaving Senate For New Pulpit." Steinhauer used her full allotment of "conservative" labels.
Meanwhile, another Steinhauer story bolstered Republican House leader John Boehner against those childish conservatives in his caucus: "....many House Republicans appear to view Mr. Boehner with the same sort of respect that adult children award their parents for the sage counsel they ignored in their younger days." For good measure she called South Carolina "a very conservative state."
By comparison, the introduction of two liberal laws in Washington State, on gay marriage and marijuana legalization, were welcomed under the headline: "Two Laws Are Welcomed After Midnight in Seattle," with a single paragraph of dissent at the end. Legal reporter Charlie Savage did file a separate story on the Obama administration weighing legal action against Washington State and Colorado, but the issues there were technical and the sparse quotes were legalistic and neutral.
When he was director general of the BBC, controversial new New York Times Co. chief executive Mark Thompson "launched a scathing attack on Rupert Murdoch's media empire, warning that BSkyB [Murdoch's British Sky Broadcasting Group]" was too powerful and threatened to "dwarf" the BBC. He also accused Sarah Palin of misleading the American public by using the phrase "death panel" when discussing Obama-care.
(Thompson is facing questions concerning what he knew about the Jimmy Savile sex-abuse coverup at the BBC that occurred under his watch. A BBC report, including questioning of Thompson, is expected in mid-December. Times Watch is keeping watch on the ongoing controversy over what Thompson knew about the cancellation of a BBC investigative program into the multiple allegations against Savile, eccentric icon of the BBC.)