Campaign 2016 has already started, and the New York Times weighed in on the presidential hopefuls in three stories Tuesday. So far, it's a hail for Hillary, a ho-hum greeting for Joe Biden, and hostility toward Republican governors Chris Christie and Bobby Jindal. David Halbfinger's Tuesday front-page story was loaded with hostility toward New Jersey's governor: "Brash Christie Plays Rutgers Circumspectly."
It does not take much for Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey to uncork his temper. He has called a Navy combat veteran an “idiot,” suggested reporters “take the bat” to a lawmaker in her 70s, and gone taunt-to-taunt with detractors on the boardwalk and in countless town hall meetings.
It may seem surprising that the job of taking back the House -- Democrats need 25 seats to do so -- has fallen not to a bloodthirsty partisan, but to the easygoing Mr. Israel: an unassuming centrist from Long Island who once voted with President George W. Bush nearly half of the time and has barely made a mark after a decade in Congress.
“Unassuming”? Perhaps. “Centrist”? No way. The American Conservative Union awarded Israel’s lifetime voting record (he's a 10-year veteran of Congress) a mere 11 points out of 100, including 0 out of 100 the last two years. Those numbers situate Rep. Israel well left of center.
The Times's Jamie Lorber also insisted Israel was a "moderate" and a "middle-of-the-road Democrat" in a November 19, 2010 story marking his ascent to head the DCCC.
The New York Times's weekly “Sunday Routine” feature is billed as “Prominent New Yorkers recount their weekend rituals.” This Sunday it featured Al Sharpton being interviewed by David Halbfinger. Halbfinger’s introduction gave no hint of why Sharpton is considered by non-Times readers as a controversial figure.
Unmistakable and formidable, if a physically reduced version of the man he once was, the Rev. Al Sharpton, 56, uses Sundays as his “half-down day.” It’s a workday, for sure -- including two hourlong radio broadcasts -- but it also offers chances for decompression, companionship, exercise, sending texts and posting on Twitter. A Brooklyn native, Mr. Sharpton lives in a two-bedroom apartment in the West 70s in Manhattan.
That bias by omission permeates the paper’s historical coverage of Sharpton, which has consistently labeled him a “civil rights advocate,” while ignoring his (literally) racially incendiary past: the racially charged Tawana Brawley rape hoax; his ranting against “diamond merchants” (Jews) in 1991; the Harlem protest against what he called a “white interloper," during which a fellow protester burst into the store, shot four employees and set the store on fire, where seven died.
Only last week Halbfinger penned a favorable profile of Connecticut’s Democrat Gov. Dannel Malloy, who devoted half the interview to running down, in Halbfinger’s words, the “blustery and bellicose” Christie, whose clips of his back-and-forth engagement with union members have won him a conservative fan club.
Halbfinger’s treatment of Christie was far less friendly than the tone he took toward Gov. Malloy:
Reporter Halbfinger let Malloy hypocritically pat himself on the back for civility while taking pot shots at Christie. Halbfinger played along, portraying Christie as “blustery and bellicose” compared to the “polite” Democrat Malloy, flatteringly portrayed as closing a deficit while spending “much of his energy finding ways to spare the most vulnerable" and considering tax increases.
The New York Times put its full weight behind liberal New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on the front page on Thursday, after she fought for open homosexuality in the military and a measure extending health care to first responders to the 9/11 attacks. In this article, it's clear they're happiest about her gay advocacy. Reporter David Halbfinger hailed a new heroine in explicitly gushy terms:
When that measure, too, won approval on Wednesday, it not only marked a victory of legislative savvy and persistence. It also signaled the serious emergence of Ms. Gillibrand, the 44-year-old successor to Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Once derided as an accidental senator, lampooned for her verbosity and threatened with many challengers who openly doubted her abilities, a succinct, passionate and effective Senator Gillibrand has made her presence felt in the final days of this Congress.