Did Maureen really mean to call Hillary "feral"? As in: "a domestic animal that has returned to the wild and lives without human attention"? Is there something about Hillary that brought to Dowd's mind the famed razorback from the senator's erstwhile state of Arkansas? In any case, we'll take Maureen at her word. In Where’s His Right Hook? this morning, Dowd describes Barack Obama as being "bullied" by "the feral Hillary." Yikes.
Dowd reports on a recent interview with Obama, to whom she variously refers as "Obambi" and "Barry," and lets us know she found herself, sitting across from him, feeling like the "nun [in the "Bells of St. Mary"] who teaches a schoolboy who’s being bullied how to box." So Obama brings out the protective nun in Dowd. I don't recall a woman ever mentioning that she felt like a nun in Bill Clinton's presence.
Dowd clearly has her doubts as to whether Obama has the requisite toughness as either candidate or leader:
Perhaps you spotted the pro-universal health care story on today’s New York Times front page, but what you likely didn’t read speaks volumes about the Times.
The article was an example of selective reporting based on a NY Times/CBS News poll which included loaded questions and only provided liberal answers for respondents to pick from.
One of the most loaded questions asked, “How serious a problem is it for the U.S. that many Americans do not have health insurance – very serious, somewhat serious, not too serious, or not at all serious?” Not surprisingly, 70 percent of respondents chose “very serious.”
According to the Times, the most recent four-month period, boxed in red below, represents a manufacturing recession; The Times has already declared it ("For Manufacturing, a Recession Has Arrived"; link may require registration):
But the following periods boxed in orange from 1995-2000 did not:
Two reports from earlier this week, one that warned of a "likely recession," and another that flat-out declared a non-existent "manufacturing recession," have to make you wonder, especially considering a positive report from the real world that came out earlier today.
Second -- On Tuesday evening, the New York Times (may require registration), in an article by David Leonhardt, declared:
For Manufacturing, a Recession Has Arrived
The nation’s manufacturing sector managed to slip into a recession with almost nobody seeming to notice. Well, until yesterday.
Wall Street was caught off guard when the Commerce Department reported yesterday morning that orders for durable goods — big items like home computers and factory machines — plunged almost 8 percent last month. That’s a big number, but it really shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise. In two of the last three months, the manufacturing sector has shrunk, according to surveys by the Institute for Supply Management that have been out for weeks.
It sure looks as if Leonhardt was engaging in wishful thinking:
It was “Miller Time” again on the “O’Reilly Factor” Wednesday night, and though the boys got off to a slow start, they finished quite strong.
This increasingly popular Fox News segment featuring comedian Dennis Miller and host Bill O'Reilly focused on the Oscars, Al Gore, the New York Times, and the recent virtually unreported ACLU controversy.
What is it about the New York Times where they can't stay above their talking points even when trying to interest the people in a higher level of political discussion and debate?
The Times was bemoaning the current sad state of political discourse amongst political candidates today (and rightfully so, I might add) in a story reporting the interesting extended debate between Newt Gingrich and ex-Senator Mario Cuomo sponsored by New York's Cooper Union Hall, the great room in which Abraham Lincoln first came to national prominence prior to his running for president of the United States.
A Democratic senator has just announced his presidential candidacy. On the next morning's "Fox & Friends," a Fox News reporter who recently denied that Fox has any conservative leanings or that Sean Hannity is a conservative narrates a segment on the announcement. To analyze the Democrat's candidacy, she plays clips of two reporters, one from the National Review and the other from the Weekly Standard. Host Brian Kilmeade follows, schmoozing about the senator's prospects with a former senior aide to a conservative Republican governor.
Total lack of balance! Couldn't Fox News have found at least one Democrat to discuss a Democrat's candidacy? Outrageous, isn't it? Well, yes, it would be. Except it didn't happen. But the mirror-image did. Here's how this morning's "Today" covered John McCain's announcement of his candidacy on last night's Letterman:
It's one story that would seem to be of interest to the New York Times political blog "The Caucus" -- the nutty rants of the left-wing Huffington Post community and others, after Tuesday's news that a suicide bomber had blown himself up outside a military base in Afghanistan where Vice President Dick Cheney was staying.
Many Huffpost commenters posted regrets that the bomber had not managed to assassinate Cheney (the offensive comments have since been removed from the site, but Michelle Malkin reprints some and has a link to the full slimy set).
This morning's tragic incident in Afghanistan, when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the gate of the U.S. military base where Vice President Dick Cheney was staying, seems to answer any questions regarding "excessive secrecy" of Cheney's trip to Pakistan and then Afghanistan.
But as of this morning, New York Times reporter David Sanger had his doubts. In his Tuesday morning print story, "Cheney Warns Pakistan To Act Against Terrorists," Sanger devoted a great deal of space to the "unusual secrecy" surrounding Cheney's trip.
After no huge caches of weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq, the New York Times felt burnt by liberal accusations of being water-carriers for Bush in the run-up to the Iraq war -- an accusation based almost entirely on a handful of overly credulous pieces filed by former reporter Judith Miller.
These days, the Times is leaning heavily in the opposite direction, preening about how skeptical it has been about U.S. government evidence demonstrating Iran's role in providing bombs to Shiite militias in Iraq. Monday's headline makes that clear and the front-page story itself by James Glanz and Richard Oppel Jr. is hedged to the hilt: "U.S. Says Raid in Iraq Supports Claim on Iran, but Doubts Persist."
If, as I am, you're stuck in a seemingly endless winter, here's something to bring a sunny smile to your lips, courtesy of that one-man cavalcade of mirth, Paul Krugman. The New York Times columnist this morning blames the election of George Bush in 2000 on -- ready? -- the MSM! Yes, according to Krugman, Bush
"got within chad-and-butterfly range of the White House because the public, enthusiastically encouraged by many in the news media, treated the presidential election like a high school popularity contest. The successful candidate received kid-gloves treatment — and a free pass on the fuzzy math of his policy proposals — because he seemed like a fun guy to hang out with, while the unsuccessful candidate was subjected to sniggering mockery over his clothing and his mannerisms."
Is there any canard against President Bush more tired than the notion that he ignores the Establishment Clause, or as his liberal critics tend to put it, the "separation of church and state"? Maureen Dowd offered a classic exemplar of the criticism on this morning's Meet the Press, telling Tim Russert that: "W has sort of merged church and state while trying to keep them apart in Iraq."
Russert didn't ask Dowd to substantiate her assertion. But when Bush antagonists are pressed for proof, they typically point to the president's Faith-Based Initiative and the manner in which the W incorporates religious themes in his public pronouncements. But as has been documented, Pres. Bush has in fact invoked religion much less explicitly than many of his predecessors, including liberal icon FDR. In his D-Day prayer, for example, Roosevelt stated, among other things, that "with Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy." I defy Dowd or others sharing her view to provide an example of Pres. Bush coming anywhere close to FDR in suggesting that God is on our side. As for the Faith-Based Initiative, it incorporates a variety of safeguards specifically designed to prevent violation of the Establishment clause, including the following:
This is a tale of two editorials. The New York Times this morning applauds a New Jersey court ruling holding public schools liable when they fail to take measures to stop the taunting or bullying of gay students. Coincidentally, a Boston Globe editorial today applauds a Massachusetts court ruling upholding the right of the Lexington school district to expose elementary school students to children's books -- such as 'Who's in a Family?' and 'Molly's Family' -- that feature same-sex parents. This was done pursuant to a state law law that "requires that all public school districts develop curricula advancing respect for diversity, including for gays and lesbians."
In the Bay State case, parents had claimed that their constitutional rights to free exercise of religion were violated, as were their rights as parents to raise their children as they see fit. The court disagreed, ruling that "options remain for the parents, such as private school or home schooling, so their rights were not abridged." Not only did the Globe declare the judge's ruling "reasonable," it opined that "the earlier most students learn [to 'respect difference'], the better."
The New York Times has published a story scolding Rudy Guiliani for arranging only friendly campaign stops, pointedly carping how he is "Seeing Only Softballs".
Stepping to the Plate, Giuliani Is Seeing Only Softballs
SPARTANBURG, S.C., Feb. 21 -- In a swing through South Carolina this week, Rudolph W. Giuliani chose to campaign at a fire house, which is a little like Derek Jeter meeting with Yankees fans -- a most unlikely forum for hostility, or even much skepticism.
It is curious to me why anyone would expect a candidate to open themselves up to any venues that would present "hostility" this many months away from the elections?
Ace makes a good point about the common practice of media folk thinking that receiving hate mail from leftist nutjobs is the equivalent about receiving a fairness complaint from a regular conservative or libertarian:
Although Allah points out the speciousness (and convenience) of that
claim, let's also note that most of the liberal media's criticism on
the right comes from mainstream Republicans representing the
great mass of right-leaning thought, whereas those who think the WaPo
is a part of the Vast Right Wing Noise Machine are unabashed, unhinged
lefties, "undecided" voters only the sense they're undecided between
Ralph Nader and Hugo Chavez.
It might seem a little jarring in the wake of the religion-bashing bloggers ruining the John Edwards campaign, but the February 18 New York Times Magazine actually contained an article claiming "In the piety primary, the Democrats win hands down." Writer Gary Rosen claimed Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are not hard to envision in church among the faithful, but John McCain and Rudy Giuliani would probably be "fidgeting during the hymns and checking their watches." This is not surprising New York Times content. But here's the surprising part: Rosen is the managing editor of the neoconservative journal Commentary. Here's how Rosen began:
Try a quick political thought experiment. First, form a mental picture of the Democratic front-runners for president — Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Now do the same for the leading Republican contenders — John McCain and Rudy Giuliani. Next (and this is the key step), imagine each of them in church, sitting in a pew, head bowed, or better still, at the pulpit, delivering a homily or leading the congregation in worship.
As I discussed here, yesterday's clash between Hillary and Barack Obama was perhaps the most bitter and open infighting between Dem presidential candidates in many an election cycle. Particularly given that it was comments by David Geffen quoted in a column by the New York Times' own Maureen Dowd that touched off the fracas, you would have thought the Times would have gone out of it way to highlight the intra-Dem battle. So . . . how did the New York Times portray the matter in its headline this morning? In Both Parties,2008 Politeness Falls to Infighting.
That's right, this isn't a problem unique to Dems. "Both parties" have suffered a failure of "politeness." Now it's true that over the last couple days, John McCain has taken verbal shots at Vice-President Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, and also criticized the Bush administration on the environment. But those were substantive critiques of policy. In contrast, Geffen's comments, with which Obama pointedly chose not to disassociate himself, could not have been more personal, calling the Clinton couple liars and Bill "reckless."
The Times furthered the moral equivalency with this helpful chart, documenting the barbs aimed by the respective Dems and Republicans.
NewsBusters' mission is that of exposing and combating liberal media bias, and that's what I spend the great majority of my time here doing. But I hope our readers -- and my editors -- will indulge me when I offer a bit of personal analysis here.
The outbreak of nastiness between the Obama and Hillary camps -- initiated by comments made by Obama supporter David Geffen and quoted by Maureen Dowd in her column today -- is stunning. For the Obama camp to come out this early -- and this hard -- against Hillary has riveted the attention of the political world.
For those who didn't catch it, David Geffen -- certified member of the liberal Hollywood elite, billionaire producer and co-founder of DreamWorks, and former avid and generous Clinton supporter and donor turned major Barack backer -- told Dowd:
"I don’t think that another incredibly polarizing figure, no matter how smart she is and no matter how ambitious she is — and God knows, is there anybody more ambitious than Hillary Clinton? — can bring the country together."
“I don’t think anybody believes that in the last six years, all of a sudden Bill Clinton has become a different person, [in terms of his personal proclivities] . . . I think [Republicans] believe she’s the easiest to defeat.”
Most damning was this: "Everybody in politics lies, but they [Bill and Hillary] do it with such ease, it’s troubling.”
The New York Times surprised on Wednesday with a front-page article by James McKinley Jr. suggesting that tougher border security in the form of new barriers and more guards was actually reducing illegal immigration along the Mexican border ("Tougher Tactics Deter Migrants At U.S. Border").
"All along the border, there are signs that the measures the Border Patrol and other federal agencies have taken over the last year, from erecting new barriers to posting 6,000 National Guardsmen as armed sentinels, are beginning to slow the flow of illegal immigrants.
I must admit that I never thought I’d see this kind of a book review at the New York Times. This is especially true given the recent zealotry surrounding global warming, and how much of the media-driven hysteria is based on computer models created to predict future climate events.
Much to my elated surprise, the Times amazingly published an article Tuesday entitled “The Problems in Modeling Nature, With Its Unruly Natural Tendencies.”
I imagine many readers are checking that link about now as they question my veracity. Go ahead. I can take it.
Let’s cut to the chase, shall we (emphasis mine throughout):
It might actually be worth the price of admission to Paul Krugman's column this morning to observe the amusing manner in which the New York Times columnist wriggles around in a trap of his own making regarding Hillary's vote to authorize the Iraq war. On the one hand, he wants her to apologize for it, and so must criticize her for not doing so. On the other, he hastens to make the limits of his criticism perfectly clear. He's not lumping her in with those awful, intransigent Republicans. Certainly not. Krugman wouldn't want to damage the presumptive Dem candidate . . . nor bring down The Wrath of the Clinton upon his hoary head.
And so Krugman spends most of his column, the ostensible purpose of which is to lament Hillary's inflexibility, lambasting Republicans for their unbending nature, all the while being careful to observe that Hillary is, well, perhaps a teeny bit like them -- but not too much, mind you!
President Bush and VP Cheney are "pathologically incapable of owning up to mistakes."
"Karl Rove turned refusal to admit error into a political principle."
"George Bush . . . suffer[s] from an infallibility complex."
"Dick Cheney is a 'megalomaniac.'"
"Senator John McCain . . . appears to share the Bush administration’s habit of rewriting history to preserve an appearance of infallibility."
"As for Rudy Giuliani, there are so many examples of his inability to accept criticism that it’s hard to choose."
In a statement obtained by this NewsBuster, a senior Bush
administration official has disputed a New York Times article, Jailed 2 Years, Iraqi Tells of Abuse by Americans that suggests
that the review process for detainees held by the U.S.
military in Iraq
is inadequate. The Times story is anecdotal, telling the story of Laith al-Ani,
an Iraqi Sunni who was released by U.S.
authorities last month. According to the Times story, "people like
Mr. Ani . . . are being held without charge and without access to tribunals
where their cases are reviewed."
Without responding to the specifics of Mr. Ani's case, the senior Bush
administration official told me that "the facts of our detention system
belie the themes of this article. We follow well-established standards of
review that go well above and beyond what the law requires. And we do so
in the face of a ruthless and determined enemy."
He offered the following overview of the review process:
Would you be proud of yourself if your works were commemorated for helping put in power a murderous Communist who has killed thousands upon thousands of his own people over a 40 some year reign of terror?
When the fights against the Cuban government of Fulgencio Batista began in the late 1950s, Fidel Castro was just one of several guerrilla fighters trying to vie for followers and publicity. Castro was just a nut in the wilderness with few followers, though, until Herbert Matthews and the New York Times came along.
The New York Times generally keeps conservative blogs at arms length, treating them with either how-dare-you criticism, pat-on-the-head condescension or, most notoriously, accusations of CIA stoogery. But
when it comes to liberal bloggers like the ones covering the Lewis
Libby trial, The Times embraces them as they struggle side by side with
the MSM, as shown in Scott Shane's front page story today, "For Liberal Bloggers, Libby Trial Is Fun and Fodder." (By contrast, Shane has written two condescendingpieces on conservative bloggers.)
is one group blog covering the trial of Libby, the former top aide to
Vice President Dick Cheney accused of lying to prosecutors during the
investigation of who leaked CIA worker Valerie Plame's name to the
a convoluted trial in which everyone, government officials and
journalists alike, seems to have a faulty memory -- no surprise, since
it involves who may or may not have said what to whom in the summer of
2003. Tom Maguire, a must-read on all matters Plame-related who knows
the ins and outs better than virtually any journalist, wonders if the
Times is watching the same trial he is.
I have been watching the "reportage" on the regrettable incident of a teenaged killer's rampage in a Utah shopping mall with mounting interest. In nearly every story of this crime the fact that this youngster is from a Muslim background is either muted or ignored altogether.
The AP, for instance, avoids identifying the boy as a Muslim in all their stories that I saw. In one, they merely identify the region in Bosnia in which he lived as the "northeastern enclave where up to 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered in 1995" but do not even speculate as to the boy or his family being Muslims. It is all rather dutifully avoided. In another story, the AP doesn't even use the word Muslim at all.
The New York Times political blog "The Caucus" and editor Kate Phillips seemed to sympathize with two bloggers, Andrea Marcotte and Melissa McEwan, who recently quit the John Edwards campaign after coming under fire for bigoted, irresponsible, and vulgar statements they'd written on their own blogs in the past.
Chris Hedges, who served at the Times as a reporter and Middle East bureau chief for a total of 15 years, appeared last Thursday on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report," hosted by Stephen Colbert, to discuss his new book, "American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America."
You may remember Hedges for being booed off a college commencement stage in the middle of an anti-war rant in May 2003.
Here's a selection of the transcript from the second half of the interview with host Stephen Colbert, who kept up his act as conservative Christian straightman, setting up the dour Hedges to make cracks at Christianity:
"The Dixie Chicks’ big win at the Grammy Awards on Sunday exposed ideological tensions between the music industry’s Nashville establishment and the broader, more diverse membership of the Recording Academy, which chooses the Grammy winners, according to voters and music executives interviewed afterward.