According to exit polling of the 2012 election, just 5 percent of voters who turned out were gay. Yet voters said their states should legalize same-sex marriage by 49 percent to 46 percent. Indeed, social issues like gay marriage and the media-concocted “war on women” probably gave President Obama his margin of victory.
Consider another figure: According to a May 2011 Gallup poll, most U.S. adults “estimate that 25 percent of Americans are” gay or lesbian. In reality, the number of people who identify themselves that way is just 3.4 percent, according to a Gallup survey released in October 2012. But it’s understandable that so many people might overestimate the number.
It is not often that members of the liberal national media admit their biases. Americans know that the media is not impartial and that objectivity is not a priority when reporting on current events. Americans need and deserve a balanced media.
The New York Times Public Editor Arthur Brisbane gave us insight into the Times’ liberal slant in his final column after two years with the newspaper. He criticizes the Times for being “powerfully shaped by a culture of like minds.” The members of the liberal national media are surrounded by others who share their beliefs and political prejudices. This one-sided worldview leads to biased reporting that favors their views.
New York Times Public Editor Arthur Brisbane got in a little food fight with Ariel Kaminer, the Ethicist columnist for the paper's Sunday Magazine, over Kaminer's much-hyped essay contest in which readers were invited to defend the unenlightened, outdated, just plain bizarre practice of...eating meat?
Populist impatience with his paper's righteous liberal fussiness seeped out of Brisbane's copy: "The case for eating meat, as presented in The Times, is a pretty narrow one. If you can crawl through the eye of the needle with your in vitro burger in hand, you may feel free to chow down in good conscience." Proving his point, the winner of the popular vote was an essay from the founder of PETA, a vegetarian.
New York Times Public Editor Arthur Brisbane promised that the Times would take "A Hard Look at the President" during the 2012 presidential campaign cycle, while admitting that "the paper basked a bit in the warm glow of Mr. Obama’s election in 2008," in his latest column for the Sunday Review.
New York Times reporter Erik Eckholm (pictured), whose previous reporting betrays no conservative sympathies, listened to former presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday afternoon and winced at her attacks on President Obama. Thursday’s post for the paper’s “Caucus” blog, “Bachmann Assails Obama Before Conservatives.”
The Times is particularly sensitive to people accusing Obama of “apologizing for America” overseas. Public Editor Arthur Brisbane got huffy and pedantic in defense of the president back in January:
New York Times Public Editor Arthur Brisbane followed up in Sunday's edition on his controversial January 12 blog post, “Should The Times Be a Truth Vigilante?,” in which he asked readers if the paper should be more direct in challenging the statements of politicians in its straight news reporting. As Times Watch reported, the paper already does this, albeit almost solely to Republicans.
At The New York Times, coverage of campaign debates typically includes a main article and a sidebar labeled “Fact Check” in which candidates’ claims are vetted. Last week, to Mitt Romney’s claim that the president does not have a jobs plan, The Times countered: “This is incorrect.” To Ron Paul’s statement about troop deployment costs, The Times hedged: “not as black and white as Mr. Paul made it sound.”
There was a fascinating exchange last week between Melissa Cohlmia, spokesman for Koch Industries, and New York Times public editor (or ombudsman) Arthur Brisbane. Koch Industries, which engages in arts philanthropy and conservative-libertarian causes, is a target of obsession and hostility both by left-wingers and reporters and writers for the New York Times, as Times Watch has shown.
While Brisbane mostly defended the Times’s news coverage and its right to deliver anti-Koch opinions in op-eds and art critics, he admitted the paper’s overwhelming left-ward slant in its opinionizing made for “predictable and sometimes very dull reading,” “and there can be little doubt that the Times ownership and editorial page ascribe to a liberal perspective.”
New York Times’s Public Editor Arthur Brisbane made waves Thursday in a rare post to his nytimes.com blog asking “Should The Times Be a Truth Vigilante?” What he was really asking: Should the Times be more vigilant in fact-checking politicians?
And only Republican politicians, judging by the two examples he selected (claims that were relatively immune to being checked in the first place) and the paper’s history, which is replete with ardent defenses by reporters of liberal policy against “misleading exaggeration” by Republicans, but lacks any such vigilance when it comes to Democratic statements. Brisbane wrote:
New York Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief Ethan Bronner took some friendly fire from the paper’s Public Editor Arthur Brisbane in his Sunday column, “Tangled Relationships in Jerusalem.” Brisbane forwarded complaints from a left-wing anti-Israeli blogger about Bronner's business relationship with a conservative Israeli, Charley Levine. But Bronner's history of slanted reporting, especially his hostile coverage of "angry rampag[ing]" Jewish settlers in the West Bank, proves he can hardly be credibly accused of sympathizing with Israeli conservatives.
Conflict of interest, or the appearance of it, is poisonous in journalism. This is particularly so when it relates to reporting on Israel and the Palestinians, a subject that draws a steady stream of skepticism about New York Times coverage from readers and partisans on all sides.
Jill Abramson, the paper’s new executive editor, talked with the Times’s public editor Arthur Brisbane on Sunday, and touched on the paper’s perceived liberal slant. Abramson didn't quite deny it.
Brisbane: The legendary Times executive editor A. M. Rosenthal once told a colleague he felt the need to steer The Times to the right to compensate for the leftward political leanings of some staff. Will you do that?
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.”
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:
Most of the conspiracy theories about libertarian philanthropists Charles and David Koch have originated in the left-wing blogosphere. But a few media outlets, most notably MSNBC and the New York Times, have served to filter the anti-Koch campaigns into the mainstream political conversation.
The Times, which has printed numerousfactualinaccuracies relating to the Koch brothers of late, recently published a piece on its website that focused on a relatively obscure left-wing non-profit's attack campaign against them.
The article spurred Koch Indutries, the massive conglomerate owned by the billionaire brothers, to hit back at the paper. In a letter to its public editor, the company's general council asked whether the Times was "reporting on events or participating in them?" See the text of that letter below the break.
On Saturday, the New York Times's Public Editor offered a milquetoast apologia for the paper's leading role in falsely ascribing blame for the Tucson massacre to conservative pundits and politicians.
Nowhere in the column did Public Editor Arthur Brisbane address columnist Paul Krugman's false smear of Rep. Michele Bachmann, noted in a letter sent by NewsBusters to Brisbane's office on Friday.
Brisbane attributed the rush to blame, at least in part, Sarah Palin and other conservatives for the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 18 others at a Tucson Safeway to the Times's generic efforts "to define the context of a story, to set up a frame for it, sometimes before the facts can be fully understood."