Don't the press in general and the New York Times in particular take pride in portraying themselves as ever-the vigilant defenders of the First Amendment? But judging by an editorial in the paper this morning, the Times experiences a power loss worse than the one currently gripping Queens when it comes to defending the First Amendment rights of groups it disfavors, in this case the tobacco industry.
Entitled Take the Tobacco Pledge, the editorial urges ratification of The World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, known colloquially as 'the tobacco treaty.' Here's how the Times describes its provisions:
Well, sports fans, The Terrorist…er, I mean The New York Times is at it again. One of America’s allies purchased a variety of weapons last year, and now that it is being attacked by a shared enemy, has asked that the shipment of these arms be sped up to allow it to better defend itself.
Sadly, The Times felt it was important to report this shipment Saturday – on the front page no less – so everyone – including the sworn enemy that is currently attacking our ally – would be fully aware (hat tip to Michelle Malkin):
The New York Times op-ed page has a feature today called 'A First Step Back From the Brink.' As the Times describes it:
"With chaos threatening to engulf Lebanon, the need to resolve the conflict in the Middle East has rarely seemed so urgent. The Op-Ed editors went to seven experts with experience in the region, asking each of them what should be the first step toward defusing the crisis."
The Times did accord Richard Perle the opportunity to make the case that 'Israel must see the current fighting through to a conclusion that is unambiguously a defeat for Hezbollah and Hamas.' But most if not all of the other contributors call for an immediate cessation of hostilities, including Judith Kipper of the Council on Foreign Relations who wants to negotiate with Hezbollah and Hamas and describes them as 'political parties and social welfare organizations', albeit with 'military wings.'
Howell Raines is the former executive editor of the New York Times who left in disgrace after he oversaw his paper's handling of the Jayson Blair plagiarism scandal. Now that he's no longer in the media, he can preach about journalism, give speeches, and write a book. The book he is promoting is called "The One that Got Away: A Memoir," an allegory about his life using fish metaphors.
At the Aspen Institute, Raines said newspapers should no longer write at the "sixth-grade level," but instead try to write in a more sophisticated style. He also discussed how Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch perpetuates the myth of a "liberal conspiracy in the news business."
As President Bush speaks today at the NAACP convention for the first time, political reporter Adam Nagourney found the G.O.P.'s black outreach failing in Tuesday's "Republicans Coming Up Short in Effort to Reach Out to African-American Voters."
"There has been no end to speculation about what the party was up to. Was it simply a ploy to improve the party’s image with moderate white voters? Did the White House see an opportunity to make small though significant changes in the American political system by pulling even a relative few black voters into its corner in important states like Ohio? (Yes, and yes.)
"But as Mr. Bush is tentatively scheduled to speak at the N.A.A.C.P. convention in Washington this week -- after five years of declining to appear before an organization with which he has had tense relations -- it seems fair to say that whatever the motivation, the effort has faltered.
"The asymmetry in the reported death tolls is marked and growing: some 230 Lebanese dead, most of them civilians, to 25 Israeli dead, 13 of them civilians. In Gaza, one Israel soldier has died from his own army’s fire, and 103 Palestinians have been killed, 70 percent of them militants.
There are likely many conservatives around the country that have felt the New York Times has been shrinking for decades…in relevance, that is. However, now the “paper of record” is literally shrinking. As reported by Reuters (with a hat tip to Drudge): “The newspaper will be narrower by 1 1/2 inches.” “The narrower format, offset by some additional pages, will reduce the space the paper has for news by 5 percent, Executive Editor Bill Keller said in the article.”
Of course, Keller didn’t comment on whether this five percent reduction in “news” will result in a much-needed decline in liberally-biased viewpoints, bashing of Republicans, or the release of top secret intelligence information to America’s enemies here and abroad.
Regardless, this appears to be a growing trend in the print media:
The Shiite anti-Israeli terror group Hezbollah crossed from Lebanon into Israel on July 12, killing eight Israeli soldiers and kidnapping two others. Israel is responding with force, unleashing targeted air strikes against Hezbollah positions in Lebanon in an effort to get the kidnapped soldiers back.
The New York Times' coverage of Israel's counterattack has been generally fair, or at least more balanced than usual -- the prospect of wide-scale war appears to have clarified somewhat the paper's often-wishful thinking about the true aims of Israel’s foes.
One major annoying tic that remains is the paper's use of the term "captured" to describe kidnapped Israeli soldiers, when it comes to covering the June kidnapping by Hamas of Gilad Shalit at an Israeli Defense Forces outpost, and the two kidnapped soldiers resulting from the incursion by Hezbollah. "Captured" is a phrase used by anti-Israeli leftists like ANSWER and implies these soldiers were prisoners of war captured on the field of battle, not abducted over a border by a terrorist group.
Most NewsBusters readers have likely not heard of Women’s Wear Daily, but the Raw Story tipped me off to a truly delicious piece written by Jacob Bernstein that will definitely require all coffee cups and drinking vessels down: “If you falsely yell ‘Fire!’ in a crowded theater and everyone tramples each other to death, you get sent to jail. So what should be done with Ann Coulter, who has argued that The New York Times should have been blown up by Timothy McVeigh and that Times executive editor Bill Keller should be executed by firing squad?”
The article continued:
This was the question one Times source asked on Friday after an employee at the paper of record received an envelope with an X scrawled through it and a suspicious powder inside. "This thing makes all of Ann Coulter's comments a little less funny," said the source. "I wonder if she considers herself at all responsible when lunatics read her columns and she says that we should be killed."
So, a representative of WWD sent an e-mail message to Coulter’s AOL account asking such quesions, and, according to the article, actually received this hilarious response:
The Senate prepares to take up a bill to allow federal financing of research on stem cell lines that are derived from embryos now in cold storage at fertility clinics and slated for destruction. And New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg lies in wait, ready to pounce on the vote as yet another imminent Republican crackup, in Sunday’s “Senate Appears Poised for a Showdown With the President Over Stem Cell Research.”
“The president’s mind has not changed; his chief political adviser, Karl Rove, reiterated the veto threat this week. That keeps Mr. Bush in good stead with the religious conservatives who make up an important part of his base, but at odds with other leading Republicans, including Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader, who is a heart-lung surgeon and has pushed to bring the measure to a vote.”
A piece in today’s NYT lets slip a canard that has been increasingly accepted as an article of faith among many talking heads and television news cycles, and reveals that the United States forces are actually helping Iraqis by being there.
And dang it all if it isn’t the Sunnis pleading for the Americans to remain steadfast and strong this time. While this is not necessarily an encouraging development, it does dampen previous notions that the US forces are viewed strictly as occupiers, bloodthirsty killers or as incompetent and unnecessary, and are instead looked upon by the oppressed and victimized as a protecting force (along with the Iraqi police and army).
"It is a liberal editorial page and a liberal editorial board that reflects core values the paper has had for a long time. But I would challenge anyone, if you look at our news reports on those big issues of the day -- tax policy, foreign affairs -- to say it is a liberal newspaper. It is objectivity they strive hard to do." -- New York Times Editorial Page Editor Gail Collins, in an interview with Joe Strupp of Editor & Publisher, July 14.
A Friday editorial, "Chained to the Ballot," applauds a U.S. District judge for keeping former House majority leader Tom DeLay on the ballot for the upcoming congressional election, calling DeLay’s failed attempt (he will appeal the ruling) a "gambit" and "final power play," as well as "bait-and-switch politicking."
"The former House majority leader Tom DeLay, master practitioner of tooth-and-claw politics, finds himself in a predicament. He’s been cast adrift somewhere between Texas and Virginia after a court struck down his parting Congressional gambit.
You may wonder whom exactly the New York Times defines as "heroes," but in this instance they say it is U.S. military veterans. It is a salute to all those soldiers who manage to stay alive despite the actions of the New York Times to give tips to terrorists on how best to fund roadside bombs.
Since you've survived our onslaught, we'll give you a job fair.
Presented by The New York Times Job Market in partnership with leading veterans organizations and government agencies, Salute Our Heroes™ will again provide former servicemen and women and spouses of active-duty military personnel with unprecedented job opportunities and career seminars.
On Tuesday night’s “O’Reilly Factor,” host Bill O’Reilly and guest Laura Ingraham had a marvelous time tearing apart The New York Times (video link to follow). During the discussion, Ingraham pointed out something that many Americans now feel about the Old Grey Lady:
Well, I think that they truly believe that America is the single biggest danger to the modern world.
I don't think, Bill, that they believe that they have a dog in this terrorism fight. I think they think it's a fight between two groups of fundamentalist, the fundamentalists who are the Islamists. They don't much care for them.
But then the fundamentalists in the Bush administration, who have this messianic view of the world that they can make the world in their own image. And I think they're more petrified of the Bush fundamentalism, as they refer to it, than they are the Islamists.
Yikes. That about says it. O’Reilly then asked a pivotal question:
Man, does Rep. James Sensenbrenner rub the Times the wrong way. While the conservative Congressman does(lifetime ACU rating 88 out of a possible 100) have a prickly reputation, but so do liberal Democrats like Rep. Pete Stark. Yet Stark and others don’t have their personality traits analyzed on the front page.
Mark Leibovich, who specializes in politician profiles, did a number Tuesday on Sensenbrenner ("'Pit Bull' of the House Latches On to Immigration,") for Tuesday's front page. Sensenbrenner is an easy target of liberal journalists for leading the fight against Bush’s amnesty plan for illegal immigrants. One can hardly imagine the Times being so disrespectful to a Democratic politician embracing a liberal cause.
There was the expected wailing and gnashing of teeth from the left when New York’s state Court of Appeals ruled against installing so-called "gay marriage" by judicial fiat, as they had in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts. The New York Times, as expected, was stunned that the judges could find a "rational basis" for traditional marriage, and that judges would defer to elected legislators.
This outrage was plastered at the top of the Times with two "news" stories. One was a front-page editorial (they call it a "news analysis") by Patrick Healy, who focused on the "gay rights advocates"and their disappointment. "Nowhere did gay marriage seem more like a natural fit than New York,"he complained, where "a history of spirited progressivism" should have made the victory of the marriage-manglers inevitable.
Near the top of the New York Times "Most E-Mailed List" for weeks now is Amy Sutherland's article about how she learned to train her husband by studying the training of exotic animals. The illustration is especially insulting (watch hubby jump through a hoop for a pretzel!) But I'm guessing that at least half the e-mailers are husbands. Sutherland recommends that you praise husbands for even the mildest good behavior, and avoid nagging about all the little bad things. That sounds good. I still don't think the New York Times would run a story with a whimsical illustration of a wife jumping through hoops for a pretzel....
The top of the New York Times website was odd on Tuesday morning, as its top story on the architect of butchery in Beslan was "Caucusus Renegade Dies, And His Cause May Die, Too." Renegade? The copy underneath was almost value-neutral: "Shamil Basayev's death was the latest of almost two years of setbacks for his separatist faction in Chechnya." The actual story by C. J. Chivers has everything the home page did not, at least. Wow, this is not a typical New York Times first paragraph:
In a long and notorious career, Shamil Basayev, the elusive terrorist leader of the most vicious separatist faction in Chechnya, was an airplane hijacker, a hostage taker, a guerrilla commander and a war-scarred spokesman for terror who tried to justify mass killings of civilians, even school children, for political ends and revenge.
By 6:00 o’clock on Monday evening, an entertainingly motley crew of a hundred or so protestors had gathered across the street from New York Times headquarters at W. 43rd street in midtown Manhattan to protest the New York Times’ revelations of a secret, and successful, anti-terror program involving international bank transactions.
The stated goal of protest cosponsors Caucus for America/conservative message board Free Republic, according to a flier: "To show the New York Times that America has had enough of their irresponsible reporting of classified information that damages our country and helps our enemies!"
Rabbi Aryeh Spero of the Caucus for America did most of the talking (and chant-leading), stepping aside from time to time for others to speak. At one point he was joined on the cab of the Caucus truck by a Bin Laden impersonator cradling his precious copy of the Times.
Monisha Baisal of CNSNews.com also has a report on Rabbi Aryeh Spero's Caucus for America protesting in front of the New York Times building yesterday to voice the nation’s outrage at the newspaper’s publication of classified details of the government’s bank tracking of suspected al Qaeda members. If only the establishment media had given the event the same level of coverage it gives even the lamest PETA publicity stunt.
Saying the Times is jeopardizing American lives because it “wants us to lose [the war on terror]," the protestors called for the Times to be prosecuted for espionage, as well as for patrons to cancel their subscriptions.
Looking through the windows outside their New York Times headquarters, employees of the paper saw some original signs and a man dressed as the world's most infamous terrorist, clutching his favorite paper.
At a rally outside the New York Times's office last night, protesters called on the government to "prosecute" the newspaper for its recent publication of government security secrets.
Led by a radio talk show host and Caucus for America president, Rabbi Aryeh Spero, almost 100 people gathered on 43rd Street to voice their outrage at the Times's decision to publish "national security secrets relating to our government's financial monitoring programs to track down terrorists."
"Authorities overseas have arrested one man and have taken two others into custody on suspicion of planning suicide bombings in train tunnels beneath the Hudson River between Manhattan and New Jersey, officials said yesterday.
It appears that the post-Yearly Kos month from hell is continuing for Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, the proprietor of the Internet’s premier liberal blog Daily Kos. After receiving some extremely negative press from major publications such as the New York Times, The New Republic, and Newsweek immediately following his seemingly successful bloggers’ convention in Las Vegas, Kos is now faced with an even greater challenge: dissension within his ranks.
New York Times columnist Frank Rich assembled for his Sunday column all the standard cliches of the liberal narrative of Bush vs. Heroic Liberal Press, including the old cartoon that Ari Fleischer was somehow telling the press to shut up when he suggested late in a news briefing in 2001 that Bill Maher might have watched his mouth before praising the courage of al-Qaeda. See here for context.
The Philadelphia Inquirer editorial page is alarmed by those who call New York Times executive editor Bill Keller a "traitor." The editorial page quoted Brent Bozell in his latest column: "Indeed, the track record proves the New York Times and Bill Keller are not 'neutral' but grossly biased against the U.S.-led war against terrorism."
To this the editorial wrote:
So fulminated conservative propagandist Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center last week. His statement was part of an anti-Times frenzy whipped up by Republican strategists, then echoed ad nauseam by Pavlovian talk shows and blogs.
For these folks, bashing the Times (and journalists generally) is a hobby.
The Sunday Times reports that many Western countries have been waging a "secret war" against North Korea. That word alone should perk up New York Times editors, who believe nothing can be kept "secret" without their approval.
Intelligence agencies, navies and air forces from at least 13 nations are quietly co-operating in a “secret war” against Pyongyang and Tehran.
It has so far involved interceptions of North Korean ships at sea, US agents prowling the waterfronts in Taiwan, multinational naval and air surveillance missions out of Singapore, investigators poring over the books of dubious banks in the former Portuguese colony of Macau and a fleet of planes and ships eavesdropping on the “hermit kingdom” in the waters north of Japan.
But this still isn't saying how these operations are carried out. We all need to know the specifics about how these maneuvers are executed. Cue the New York Times.
David Brooks of the New York Times has been on quite an anti-liberal blogosphere roll of late. After eviscerating Markos Moulitsas Zuniga – the proprietor of the Daily Kos – in a June 25 op-ed entitled “Respect Must be Paid For,” Brooks again ripped into Kos on Friday night’s “The News Hour” on PBS (video link courtesy of Crooks and Liars). Brooks followed this up with another op-ed tangentially on this subject Sunday.
On Friday evening, the discussion between host Jim Lehrer, Mark Shields, and Brooks centered around Joe Lieberman’s problems in Connecticut. Lehrer asked Brooks how Lieberman is impacting the 2008 presidential campaign. Brooks responded (emphasis mine):