This week's New York Times Sunday Review wasn't as loaded with bias as last week's edition, but did feature a political cri de couer by Times favorite Drew Westen, Emory University professor and left-winger, "America's Leftward Tilt?"
Westen really went out on a limb:
The presidential election is now a close contest, but barring an Electoral College tie, someone is going to win, someone is going to lose, and both sides will have to make sense of it all.
Through sympathetic alchemy, New York Times Magazine political writer Matt Bai managed to transform Barack Obama's factually loose biography as a sign of "his narrative sophistication, his novelistic instinct for developing themes and characters that make his point" in his profile capturing the disappointment of Obama's supporters (which seem to include Bai himself), "Still Waiting for the Narrator in Chief."
The New York Times leaned "Forward!" for Barack Obama's reelection in its campaign coverage over the weekend. The front of the paper's Saturday Election 2012 section featured a large photo from an Obama rally of a volunteer handing out flags at a fairground rally in Hilliard, Ohio on Friday. The caption noted "A crowd of 2,800 showed up to see Mr. Obama."
Meanwhile, campaign reporter Ashley Parker estimated on Twitter Friday night that 25,000 people attended a Romney rally in West Chester Township in Ohio. But those strong turnout figures for Romney, which suggested high levels of enthusiasm in a crucial state, were buried in the very back of Parker and Michael Barbaro's Sunday story from the campaign trail.
As Election Day draws closer, the New York Times's young star poll analyst Nate Silver (pictured) becomes more and more confident of an Obama win. As of Monday morning, his blog fixed Obama as having a 86.3% chance of winning re-election.
Monday morning Silver posted this on Twitter: "Obama unlikely to win by anything like his post-DNC margins. But Romney has no momentum, Obama's state polling is robust, and time is up."
New York Times star poll analyst Nate Silver continues giving hope to Democrats, and he's getting more confident in an Obama victory as the election draws closer, pegging Obama's odds of victory at around 75%. After a heated debate on MSNBC's Morning Joe, the normally mild-mannered Silver offered via Twitter on Thursday to bet host Joe Scarborough $2,000 that Obama would win, which drew some criticism from the paper's outspoken new Public Editor, Margaret Sullivan. Meanwhile, columnist Paul krugman termed conservative criticism of Silver's methodology "scary."
Silver, a former poster at the left-wing Daily Kos, who usually mans the Five-Thirty-Eight blog at nytimes.com, again made the paper on Thursday with "When State Polls Differ From National Polls," which asserted that Barack Obama will probably win both the Electoral College and popular vote:
New York Times Editorial Page editor Andrew Rosenthal's Sunday Review was wall-to-wall for Obama this week, with two left-wing op-eds on Obama on the front page, a full-page endorsement of Obama for re-election, and three liberal columnists simultaneously obsessed with abortion, including the paper's foreign policy columnist Thomas Friedman. (Right-of-center Ross Douthat also covered women's issues, but questioned Obama's "weirdly paternalistic form of social liberalism.")
Over the fold on page 1 was "The Price of a Black President" by Frederick Harris, director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University, praised blacks for voting for Obama before going on to criticize Obama from the left.
The closer Election Day looms, the more often New York Times golden-boy Nate Silver is thrust from his Five-Thirty-Eight blog into the print edition with another poll analysis rallying the troops for Obama. In last Saturday's paper Silver, who has been optimistic about Obama's chances in the fact of rising poll numbers for Romney, dismissed results from Gallup's tracking poll showing wide leads for Romney in "Gallup vs. the World." He also boosted Obama in Tuesday's print edition: "We calculate Mr. Obama’s odds of re-election as being about two chances out of three."
On Friday the former Daily Kos poster wrote "Gaining Momentum, Whatever That Is," adapted from a blog post whose headline was more explicit: "In Polls, Romney’s Momentum Seems to Have Stopped."
New York Times reporters Jonathan Weisman and Michael Cooper both suggested Mitt Romney would be hurt by comments made by Indiana's Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock at a debate Tuesday night. While explaining why he doesn't support abortion in the case of rape, Mourdock said: "I've struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen."
Democrats and their media allies pounced, devoting more airtime to Mourdock's comments than to damning emails showing the White House was informed within hours that the Benghazi attacks were terrorism, not a spontaneous reaction to a YouTube video. The paper's get-Romney attack line was clear from the headline in Thursday's edition: "Rape Remark Jolts a Senate Race, and the Presidential One, Too."
Bill Clinton the centrist, Rush Limbaugh among the "far right"? That's the gist of New York Times magazine political writer Matt Bai's thesis Wednesday on how the former president may actually have hurt President Obama's chances for reelection. Bai also made his usual case about "extreme forces" in the Republican Party.
Bai argued that Clinton made a strategic misstep when he advised Obama to hammer Romney as a "severe conservative."
Buried at the bottom of page A5 in the New York Times International section Thursday: "E-Mails Offer Glimpse at What U.S. Knew in First Hours After Attack in Libya." Intelligence reporter Eric Schmitt's text was as mild as his story's headline on the matter of the leaked emails, which proved the White House had intelligence suggesting the attacks in Libya were planned terrorism, not a spontaneous reaction to an anti-Muhammad clip on YouTube, as the president maintained a full two weeks after the attacks.
Schmitt provided some cover for the president by suggesting a "lag between turning often contradictory and incomplete field reporting into a finished assessment" and showed the administration and intelligence officials "trying to put into context the e-mails sent by the State Department operations center...."
Bronner, former Jerusalem bureau chief for the New York Times, wrung his hands over all the issues missed during the third and last presidential debate Monday night, which focused (mostly) on foreign policy. While he didn't suggest criticizing Muslim countries, or critcizing Palestinian terrorism against Israelis, he used the term against Israel, wondering where the "criticism" was of "its settlements or its occupation of the West Bank."
New York Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan challenged her paper on its incoming chief executive Mark Thompson, who was director general of the BBC when it "killed an investigative segment on its Newsnight program about a celebrity TV personality, Jimmy Savile, accused of sexually abusing hundreds of young girls."
Tarnished Silver? The New York Times's young star pollster Nate Silver got some guff last week for dismissing Mitt Romney's large leads in the Gallup tracking poll.
In an October 18 post on his FiveThirtyEight blog at nytimes.com, "Gallup vs. the World" (it also appeared, heavily edited, in print) Silver claimed the Gallup poll was overrated and "its results turn out badly" when it's an outlier, noting that in 2008 it "had a four-point miss," predicting an 11-point win by Obama that turned out to be a seven-point margin.
Guess what other big-time poll had Obama pegged as an 11-point winner in 2008? The New York Times-CBS News poll. Though to be fair, in 2008 Silver was not with the Times but writing for his own blog after cutting his political teeth at the left-wing blog Daily Kos (Silver calls himself a "rational progressive.")
Alessandra Stanley, "The TV Watch" columnist for the New York Times, has reviewed all four debates this election season – three presidential debates and the one vice-presidential debate -- and clearly favored the Democrats in each review.
While even the liberal media conceded Romney won the first debate and that Joe Biden may have blown the vice-presidential debate with inappropriate laughter, Stanley's coverage suggested she thought the Romney rout was a boring draw and that Biden beat Ryan. Stanley also more explicitly awarded the final two presidential debates to Obama.
"Paul Ryan Can't Lose," a 5,000-word cover story by Mark Leibovich, the New York Times magazine's chief national correspondent, conformed to the writer's history of cynical, unsympathetic profiles of Republican candidates.
According to Leibovich, Newt Gingrich is "among the more divisive political figures of recent decade," always threatening to become "Nasty Newt," yet former vice president Al Gore is a "compelling" "pop culture icon." Offered the fat target of Vice President Joe Biden, Leibovich instead buttered him up. Yet former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney didn't escape: "Critics deride him as a Prince of Darkness whose occasional odd episodes - swearing at a United States senator, shooting a friend in a hunting accident and then barely acknowledging it publicly - suggest a striking indifference to how he is perceived."
Leibovich even used his Ryan profile to take an arbitrary and snotty swipe at the "let’s say, knowledge-averse bent" of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann.
Tony Gervino's long, embarrassingly effusive New York Times profile of gay-marriage activist and Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe was sufficiently over the top to embarrass Kluwe himself, if he's as self-aware as Gervino painted him on the front of the Saturday Sports section. According to "The Punter Makes His Point," Kluwe, "the most interesting man in the N.F.L.," with a "perfect verbal score on the SAT," has done tangible good for "lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people in the Twin Cities and elsewhere" with his "ability to turn a memorable phrase."
By contrast, Times columnist Harvey Araton wasn't nearly so nice to Tim Tebow, an active Christian athlete, in a January 2012 column begrudging the time Tebow spent with a brain-damaged locker-room visitor after a playoff loss.
Is the New York Times engaging in some front-page pre-debate inoculation Monday on behalf of Obama regarding his administration's contradictory reaction to the Benghazi massacre? Reporter Eric Schmitt gave the administration the benefit of the doubt in its contradictory responses to the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, which it first blamed on a YouTube clip: "How the Gap Arose Between Talk and New Intelligence."
Schmitt forwarded fog-of-war-style excuses for the administration, but failed to mention Obama's United Nations speech on Sept. 25, a full two weeks after the attacks, in which the president still blamed the uprising on an anti-Mohammed YouTube clip.
New York Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan on Sunday defended the paper against conservative criticism that it has favored Obama in its sparse Libya coverage "Connecting the Dots in Libya," and elicited this from Managing Editor Susan Chira (pictured): "We're aware that people see us as tilting liberal." But Chira also said she and her colleagues "can't be guided by that." Sullivan wrote:
The New York Times' s acclaimed poll-meister Nate Silver has a reputation for statistical expertise, but he's getting some guff for dismissing Mitt Romney's recent large leads in the Gallup tracking poll.
Silver's Thursday evening post on his FiveThirtyEight blog at nytimes.com, "Gallup vs. the World" claimed that Gallup's "results are deeply inconsistent with the results that other polling firms are showing in the presidential race, and the Gallup poll has a history of performing very poorly when that is the case."
Timothy Egan, a liberal reporter for the New York Times who is now a left-wing columnist for nytimes.com, wrote a post Thursday on the second presidential debate. It followed the paper's desperate-sounding editorial that same day that tried to paint Mitt Romney as sexist for a reasonable observation about flexibility for women in the workplace. While Thursday's editorial accused Romney of a "1952 sensibility," Egan generously pegged it at 1956. Great minds think alike...?
The time capsule quality of Romney the C.E.O., circa 1956, was evident in several answers. On pay equality, it was not just “binders full of women” that made Romney seem like someone who popped to life with a hula hoop in hand. “I recognize that, if you’re going to have women in the work force, that sometimes you need to be flexible.” But only so the little honeys can get home in time to cook dinner for the gang.
With Wednesday's "Costs Seen In Income Inequality," New York Times economics reporter Annie Lowrey got on the paper's liberal hobby horse of income inequality, which has the imprimatur of Executive Editor Jill Abramson, who promised to make such issues a priority.
Lowrey's article was a classic of the genre, with loose talk of "the haves and the have-nots" more at home in a left-wing op-ed than a news article, though the phrasing occures regularly in the Times's alleged news sections.
New York Times intelligence reporter Scott Shane's mock Q&A in Thursday's edition, "What Happened in Libya? Clearing Up a Fierce Dispute," served to shield President Obama from criticism on how his administration described the terrorist attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, misleadingly emphasizing that Obama "referred to the attack as an 'act of terror' twice" in two days. Shane omitted that Obama and his administration proceeded to blame the attacks on spontaneous protests over a YouTube video, with Obama himself doing so several times in a September 26 speech to the United Nations.
Shane is worried that "what happened in the attack, and disputes over who said what about it, have left many people confused." (Is "confused" code for "criticizing the Obama administration"?) He's the latest Times reporter to insist that Obama "applied the 'terror' label to the attack" in his Rose Garden address on September 12, while admitting "the reference was indirect." The Times' s own managing editors would quibble with that assessment.
The New York Times must be really worried about bolstering Obama's support among women, with a Gallup poll shows Romney pulling even with Obama among women (though reporter Michael Shear strenously downplayed the fact in a Wednesday post by saying that "other surveys -- and Mr. Obama’s top strategists -- disputed that finding.")
Wednesday's banner New York Times headline on the second presidential debate was studiously neutral: "Obama and Romney Mount Biting Attacks in Debate Rematch." Jim Rutenberg and Jeff Zeleny's underlying report played it straight, as did Peter Baker in his front-page "news analysis," under the punchy headline "Punch, Punch, Punch."
But while the Obama cheerleading was muted in print, Times journalists let their slant show during live fact-check of the debate, and especially on the TimesCast. Baker wrote for Wednesday's edition:
The second 2012 presidential debate hosted by Candy Crowley got the full court press from the New York Times, with live fact-checking online and a 40-minute TimesCast wrap-up, that found Times reporters wrongly defending Obama and bashing Mitt Romney on a fiery exchange on Libya. Times journalists were highly supportive of Barack Obama's performance and critical of the "peevish" Mitt Romney, who "was arguably showing disrespect for the president," as Jackie Calmes insisted.
Times journalists also falsely insisted that President Obama had called the Benghazi attacks "an act of terror" in a Rose Garden speech the day after, and that Mitt Romney had made a "serious gaffe" when he suggested Obama had not. Yet in fact, as two other Times journalists softly pointed out later in the videocast, Obama was only speaking generally when he said in his Rose Garden speech that "no acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this nation." Of the Benghazi assault, Managing Editor Richard Berke admitted that Obama "didn't say 'it was a terrorist attack.' It was more of a vague quote."
Atlanta-based New York Times reporter Kim Severson wrote Monday about Christian conservative backlash against a school program started by the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center in which kids "are encouraged to hang out with someone they normally might not speak to," "intended as a way to break up cliques and prevent bullying." ("Seeing a Homosexual Agenda, a Christian Group Protests an Anti-Bullying Program.")
But while the American Family Association was tabled as "a conservative evangelical group" and "a Bible-based cultural watchdog organization," the lefties at SPLC, who go around labeling other nonprofits they disapprove of as "hate groups," get kinder labeling from Severson, who has promoted the group's propaganda before.
The New York Times Sunday Styles profile by Amy Chozick of Obama campaign manager Stephanie Cutter, "A Messenger Who Does the Shooting," reads as a bit behind on current events (many Sunday profile-type pieces are written several days in advance).
It comes off like a snapshot from before Cutter shamelessly politicized the Libya attack last Thursday by suggesting the only reason anyone cared about Benghazi was the Romney-Ryan campaign. And Chozick must have written the profile during that extremely brief time when the Cutter-inspired emphasis on Big Bird seemed hip and clever, not desperate and out of touch.
Two New York Times's liberal columnists are agreed: Repealing Obama-care would have a massive body count. Paul Krugman (pictured) wished readers a happy Monday with his cheerfully titled column "Death by Ideology."
Mitt Romney doesn’t see dead people. But that’s only because he doesn’t want to see them; if he did, he’d have to acknowledge the ugly reality of what will happen if he and Paul Ryan get their way on health care.