Only some social issues are divisive in the Plains states, or so implies the New York Times. A sour tone permeated Wednesday's front-page story by John Eligon and Erik Eckholm from Fargo on North Dakota's strict new abortion laws, which ban abortions based on sex or disability and forbid abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detectable: "New Laws Ban Most Abortions in North Dakota." Yet Colorado's passage of civil unions legislation for gay couples was celebrated with no dissenting voices.
And alhough the quotes from sources pro and con were balanced, with two people quoted in favor, two against, and one classified as neutral, the two pro-life sources were the last two quoted, in paragraphs 26 and 29-30 of the 31-paragraph story.
Kansas conservatism, red in tooth and claw.? New York Times reporter John Eligon reported from Topeka on the latest disturbing sign of heartland conservatism: "Kansas' Governor and G.O.P. Seek to Eliminate Income Tax." Text box: "Skeptics see a path to economic devastation in a conservative bid."
Eligon actually led off with an accurate description of President Obama's "expansive liberal agenda," but then went overwrought, taking the "starkest view of the crimson ideology" of Republicans.
A label-crazy New York Timesreport from John Eligon in Kansas City, Mo., on a kerfuffle over Obama's birth certificate featured loaded language about "far-right Republicans" pushing "stringent social policies."
"Citing a wave of angry backlash, a Kansas man on Friday withdrew a petition in which he argued that President Obama should be removed from the state’s election ballot because he did not meet citizenship requirements," he wrote.
Eligon's story could be the paper's all-time winner as far as labeling density, with a staggering 33 uses of the word "conservative" in non-quoted material within the 1,367-word article, plus two labels in photo captions, plus the one in the headline. By contrast, the common conjunction "and" appeared a mere 27 times under the same parameters. (Yet the Times find it very hard to locate liberals.)
Turns out there’s one union the New York Times is not totally enamored with: The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, New York City’s largest police union. Saturday’s front page featured a hostile anti-police story by N.R. Kleinfield and John Eligon related to charges of wide-spread ticket-fixing, “Officers Unleash Vitriol as Peers Are Charged in Ticket-Fixing.”
The reporters didn't seem all that concerned about presumption of innocence, either: