Wednesday's front-page report by New York Times reporter Monica Davey, "Strict Chicago Gun Laws Can’t Stem Fatal Shots," at first seemed to demonstrate the uselessness of the strict gun control measures in place in high-crime cities like Chicago. Yet Davey missed that obvious conclusion, instead quoting anti-gun activists who claim that gun control will only work if the entire nation becomes a gun-free zone, both high-crime and low-crime areas alike.
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:
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.
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.
New York Times reporter Monica Davey was in Wisconsin on Thursday, playing up the Democratic candidate's Rep. Tammy Baldwin chances in her race for an open Senate seat against former Wisconsin governor, Republican Tommy Thompson. The headline was a puzzler: "A Republican Haven Is Finding Itself Split."
Though Gov. Scott Walker pushed through his public sector union reforms and survived a recall vote, Wisconsin hasn't been a "Republican Haven" for decades. The state has voted Democratic in the last six presidential elections, last voting for Republican Ronald Reagan in 1984 along with all but one other state. Between 1993 and 2011 Wisconsin was represented in the U.S. Senate by two Democrats, Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold (Feingold lost to Republican Ron Johnson in the November 2010 election, and Kohl is retiring, leaving the open seat Baldwin and Thompson are fighting over).
While confessing Democrats and unions were dealt a "painful blow" Tuesday night as Republican Gov. Scott Walker handily beat Democratic challenger Tom Barrett in the Wisconsin recall election, Wednesday's lead story by Monica Davey and Jeff Zeleny opened with the liberal argument that Walker was to blame for undermining the "civility" of the state's progressive politics by engaging in his successful reform of public sector unions. (The online headline, "Walker Survives Wisconsin Recall Effort," is a slightly churlish acknowledgement of Walker's convincing win of 53%-46%.)
Gov. Scott Walker, whose decision to cut collective bargaining rights for most public workers set off a firestorm in a state usually known for its political civility, easily held on to his job on Tuesday, becoming the first governor in the country to survive a recall election and dealing a painful blow to Democrats and labor unions.