Not the smallest bird doesn't fall but liberal pundits blame it on George W. Bush. A refreshing change of pace this morning, then, in the person of Thomas Friedman, who writes that the major responsibility for avoiding future international catastrophe lays not at the feet of the current occupant of the White House, but in Moscow and Beijing.
In the subscription-required The Bus Is Waiting, Friedman propounds the theory that a nuclearized N. North Korea and Iran will inevitably induce a string of countries across Asia and the Middle East developing atomic weapons of their own.
To prevent this, Friedman asserts that it is necessary for:
Writer-editor Kurt Andersen, a card-carrying member of Manhattan's liberal cultural elite, may be coming around to the idea of bias in the Times, judging by his New York magazine story on the paper's slanted coverage of the Duke lacrosse "rape" case, "Rape, Justice, and the ‘Times.’"
Here's the subhead to the provocative story, on what many have come to feel is a perversion of justice on the Durham college campus driven by a politically motivated prosecutor: "'I've never felt so ill,' says one reporter about the paper’s coverage of the Duke lacrosse-team case. Luckily, a blogger’s on the story, too."
Andersen celebrates blogger K.C. Johnson, who'd been on the case:
The New York Times is doing its best to convince Republicans that they should stay home on Election Day, because after all, “With four weeks left before Election Day, the poll indicates that the scandal involving Mr. Foley, a former Republican congressman from Florida, is alienating Americans from Congress, and weakening a Republican Party that was already struggling to keep control of the House and Senate.”.
The New York Times comes to this conclusion based on the recently released NY Times – CBS opinion poll despite the fact that that two-thirds in the poll said the Foley matter will make “no difference” in how they vote (as reported by Brent Baker earlier).
Monday's Business section story by Tom Zeller Jr., "A Slippery Slope of Censorship at YouTube," defends conservative columnist's Michelle Malkin right to free expression at the popular video website -- with palpable reluctance.
"Lastweek, as YouTube continued its recent campaign to spit-shine its image and, perhaps, to look a little less ragtag to potential buyers (including Google, which was said to be eyeing the upstart in the $1.6 billion range), the company took a scrub bucket to some questionable political graffiti on its servers, including a video entry from the doyenne of right-wing blogs, Michelle Malkin."
At the end of Sunday’s Meet the Press, Tim Russert warmly remembered longtime New York Times reporter R. W. Apple, well known not only for his journalism, but for his love of fine food and his tendency to wear bright dress shirts (some looked like picnic table tablecloths). As he displayed an old clip of Apple in a very early 1970s long-hair-and-big-sideburns combo, Russert put it this way: "For 43 years, he wrote for The New York Times with brio and clarity...R.W. ‘Johnny’ Apple, one great writer, one very unique character."
May he rest in peace. It should come as no surprise that a famous Timesman like Apple would display a fair amount of Manhattan ultraliberalism in his public career. Here are a few examples culled from the Notable Quotables archives:
The TV networks have enough trouble noticing a single governor's race across the country. But for some reason, the attorney general's race in New York drew attention when Republican candidate Jeanine Pirro drew a federal investigation for wanting to have her cheating husband wire-tapped. (NBC's Today has aired five segments or mentions of Pirro in the last ten days.) Will NBC and others in national TV news report on her opponent, Andrew Cuomo, and his weird habit of investing campaign money in risky hedge funds run by supporters? The New York Times reported on page A-24 on Friday:
Two years ago, Andrew M. Cuomo put more than half of his campaign treasury into a hedge fund, making him one of the few New York politicians to invest campaign money in anything riskier than a sure bet.
In the case of Mr. Cuomo, the Democratic candidate for attorney general, the hedge fund was directed by one of his largest financial backers, a man who also handled Mr. Cuomo’s personal money. The investment of $750,000 turned out to be all upside, with a return of nearly 20 percent after one year.
In his column on the decline and fall of morality on television this week, Brent Bozell applies scrutiny to the TV critics, a group of people often pushing and shoving the networks to shatter every moral barrier, break through every standard of taste. Showtime has a new series titled "Dexter," featuring actor Michael C. Hall in the title role, slobbered over by the critics for his role as the repressed gay funeral director in HBO's "Six Feet Under." This new show makes a hero out of a sadistic serial killer, because his insatiable desire to kill is channeled into killing other bad guys. During the day, he helps the cops catch other killers by assessing blood spatter patterns. Brent writes "He’s a sociopathic killer-slash-hero, with the emphasis on the slash – he carves his victims up to fit into Hefty bags." Here's more:
As pay-cable pioneers, always pushing the newest disgusting "edge" with an eye on extremely jaded TV critics, Showtime executives feel warm that they have brought more understanding to the world on behalf of the much-maligned serial killer. Said Showtime boss Robert Greenblatt: "This is a complex and fascinating look at serial killers, which, up to this point, have been marginalized and made two-dimensional."
Society has "marginalized" serial killers? Silly me. Here, all along, I thought those folks had done that to themselves.
TVNewser notes "Dan Rather Reports will still be coming soon to Mark Cuban's HDNet. Just not as soon," Ed Bark reports. The program was to launch in October. But in an e-mail, Cuban now says: "We are moving Dan back to after the elections so there won't be as much going on." Perhaps it's because the last weeks of an election season, he looks a little like Captain Ahab, "reckless, arrogant, and ideologically blind in his pursuit of Moby Bush."
At the CBS Public Eye site, Vaughn Ververs reported that a CBS employee (a tape archivist they claim somehow doesn't count as a news gatherer, just a tape gatherer) sent a nasty Foley-related note to the RNC:
In Foley Case Upsets Tough Balance by Capitol Hill’s Gay Republicans, the New York Times describes the plight of gay Republican staffers in DC. According to the Times, things are so tough for them that a group gets together every week to "commiserate." The longish article makes an interesting read, but I was particularly struck by these two items. First, the article's author, Mark Leibovich, writes:
"Even though the G.O.P. fashions itself as 'the party of Lincoln' and a promoter of tolerance, it is perceived as hostile by many gay men and lesbians."
"Many of the videos, showing sniper attacks against Americans and roadside bombs exploding under American military vehicles, have been posted not by insurgents or their official supporters but apparently by Internet users in the United States and other countries, who have passed along videos found elsewhere."
The New York Times has finally taken note of the activities of those who support Islamist Jihad (including many right here in the US) and upload Islamist propaganda to the popular YouTube video hosting site:
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 5 — Videos showing insurgent attacks against American troops in Iraq, long available in Baghdad shops and on Jihadist Web sites, have steadily migrated in recent months to popular Internet video-sharing sites, including YouTube and Google Video.
Many of the videos, showing sniper attacks against Americans and roadside bombs exploding under American military vehicles, have been posted not by insurgents or their official supporters but apparently by Internet users in the United States and other countries, who have passed along videos found elsewhere.
Paul Krugman teaches teaches economics at Princeton, and has done the same at MIT. Enron evidently thought enough of his understanding of the dismal science to hire him as a consultant - though Krugman has at times been reluctant to disclose that fact. But judging by his latest anti-Wal-Mart jeremiad [subscription required] in this morning's New York Times, you really have to wonder how much the good professor of economics . . . understands about capitalism.
Krugman's portrait of Wal-Mart is a caricature of greedy management conducting what he calls a "war on wages." Krugman has apparently gotten hold of a couple leaked internal Wal-Mart memos that discuss ideas for keeping labor costs under control. Among the ideas: increasing the percentage of part-time workers, since they qualify for fewer benefits, and limiting raises for long-term employees.
Interviewed by ABC's Charles Gibson at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia shortly before receiving, along with former President Clinton, the center's “Liberty Award,” former President George H.W. Bush zinged the New York Times and Bob Woodward. In an excerpt aired on Thursday's World News, Bush 41 fretted how “there's a lot of Bush-bashing” of his son with “a lot of people out there that have nothing good to say.” Bush then marveled: “I can't remember the New York Times ever writing anything positive about our son."
When Gibson raised how Bob Woodward, in his new book about the Iraq war, State of Denial, “quotes Mrs. Bush as having said that you were losing sleep over whether that was the right thing to do, and your feeling that perhaps it was not,” the former President rejected the accuracy of the premise: “In that incident, it was a conversation that Barbara allegedly had with David Boren,” the former Democratic Senator from Oklahoma, “who has sent me a letter saying it didn't take place. That's a Kitty Kelley journalism in my view, and he can get away with it,” Bush regretted, because “he's a very famous journalist.”
Perhaps the Times should rethink its policy on commencement speeches, given that every time a Times staffer gets up in front of a college audience he or she seems to spout left-wing rhetoric that contradicts the paper's increasingly disbelieved claims of objective reporting.
The most recent controversy involved Times Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse , who returned to her alma mater Harvard in June and delivered these pearls of wisdom: "Our government had turned its energy and attention away from upholding the rule of law and toward creating law-free zones at Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, Haditha, and other places around the world. And let’s not forget the sustained assault on women’s reproductive freedom and the hijacking of public policy by religious fundamentalism."(Greenhouse also marched in an abortion-rights rally in 1989.)
David Brooks' New York Times column of this morning on the Foley matter, "A Tear in Our Fabric," is so important that I'd normally be inclined to simply reproduce it in its entirety and let it speak for itself. But as a subscription-required item, I cannot. I do offer an extended-but-redacted excerpt for our readers' consideration:
This is a tale of two predators. The first is a congressman who befriended teenage pages. He sent them cajoling instant messages asking them to describe their sexual habits, so he could get his jollies.
The second is a secretary, who invited a 13-year-old girl from her neighborhood into her car and kissed her. Then she invited the girl up to her apartment, gave her some vodka, took off her underwear and gave her a satin teddy to wear.
CNN has been hyping the Mark Foley scandal by emphasizing the damage that it will have on Republicans in the upcoming November elections. In doing so CNN is repeatedly using Minnesota Democrat Patty Wetterling’s campaign commercial that attacks Congressional leaders head on with the following opening statement.
"Congressional leaders have admitted covering up the predatory behavior of a Congressman who used the Internet to molest children". - Patty Wetterling Campaign Commercial
We can put aside the record speed in which the network picked up this campaign ad to concentrate on the actual statement by Wetterling that is being used in these reports. Note how quickly a scandal about e-mails and instant messages is now being presented as a case of child molestation that was covered-up by Congressional leaders.
The same bias against Rep. Helen Chenoweth that Amy Ridenour recognized in the late Congresswoman's obituary in the Washington Post and by Michael Bates in the Chicago Tribune was also evident in New York Times reporter Randal Archibold's notice.
"Former Representative Helen P. Chenoweth-Hage of Idaho, an archconservative who ridiculed the Endangered Species Act and the protection of salmon in her own state and called for disbanding large parts of the federal government, died on Monday in a car accident in Nevada. She was 68....She said she did not condone violence against the federal government, which militias and racial separatists in her largely rural district called for, but she had a reputation as a sagebrush rebel who sometimes sympathized with their causes....As much as liberals and environmentalists loathed her -- 'Can Helen, Not Salmon' went one bumper sticker -- supporters admired what they considered a principled, call-it-as-I-see-it manner."
It’s not often that a conservative has problems with the Washington Times and the New York Times on the same day concerning the same issue. But, there it was on Tuesday’s “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News, as Ann Coulter took issue with statements made by both publications concerning embattled former Congressman Mark Foley of Florida.
When host Bill O’Reilly asked his guest what she thought of the Washington Times calling for House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s resignation, Coulter wasn’t shy about her disgust (video link and full transcript follow):
National Public Radio is so liberal that even the weekend game shows ooze liberalism. On Saturday, the show "Whad'Ya Know" from Wisconsin Public Radio (heard on 260 stations) interviewed New York Times columnist Frank Rich on his new Bush-bashing book "The Greatest Story Ever Sold on Earth" for almost half an hour. Near the end (about 27 minutes into the first half-hour), host Michael Feldman went on a tear against the use of the term Islamo-fascism" to define the terrorists:
Feldman: "Also, that 'Islamofascism' thing they keep saying, which is so annoying, first of all because none of these governments are fascist, really. But the government is acting in a way which is quite fascistic, really, because it’s corporate, it’s authoritarian, it’s you know, it’s anti-liberal. That’s the definition of fascism, but they’re using this, this is a phrase they’ve decided to use."
It's a shame Audie Murphy isn't around. Maureen Dowd might finally have met her soul mate.
You've surely noticed the phenomenon. When it comes to candidates, the Democrats love the military. From Mr. 'Reporting for Duty,' to a crop of Iraq and Afghanistan campaign veterans running in recent election cycles, the party of McGovern likes to combat its weak-on-national-security reputation by running the roughest, toughest GIs and jarheads it can find.
And woe to the Republican who hasn't served. Dems will deride him as a chicken hawk or worse. Maureen Dowd's pay-per-view column of this morning offers a good example of the syndrome. In the course of her broadside against Henry Kissinger, Dowd writes:
"Thirty-five years later, Mr. Kissinger, the consummate fawner, was once more able to sway a president with faux deference. Dr. K encouraged W. to play the tough guy on the war, even though he’d never gone to war himself."
When it comes to the Foley scandal, the MSM is definitely keeping its eyes on the prize: the Democratic takeover of Congress. In this NB item, I described how the New York Times editorialized this morning that it doesn't care what else flows from the scandal. So long as the Dems re-take power, the Foley flameout "will have done its job."
Over at 'Today' this morning, Matt Lauer fretted that the fallout might not come fast enough to swing the election to the Dems. Interviewing Tim Russert, Lauer said "the most cynical scenario, the worst-case scenario for Republicans is that they kept this under wraps because Foley's seat was important to holding control of the House at a time when the entire control issue is up for grabs in the mid-term elections." Matt didn't bother painting a more innocent scenario.
Give the New York Times an 'A' for honesty. In this morning's editorial, the Gray Lady openly admits the only thing it cares about resulting from the Foley scandal is the takeover of congressional power by the Democrats.
Oh, to be sure, the Times huffs and puffs about the Republican majority reaching the "point of decayed purpose so thoroughly, so fast." It also makes this startling claim: "a long, depressing pattern: When there is a choice between the right thing to do and the easiest route to perpetuation of power, top Republicans always pick wrong."
But when it gets to the editorial's bottom line, the Times makes no bones as to what this is all about for them:
No, this isn't a joke. Of all the possible photos available of Joe Negron, the Florida state representative who has replaced Mark Foley as the GOP congressional candidate in the 16th CD, the top one here is the one the Associated Press chose to accompany its article: FL GOP picks Foley replacement.
Congressmen come and congressmen go. But the Associated Press's liberal bias goes on forever.
UPDATE: Reuters has pulled a similar stunt. Here's the photo it chose to accompany its article on Negron's nomination.
Hat tips to Free Republic members Behind Liberal Lines re AP and bitt re Reuters.
Note: The AP can of course always change the photo accompanying an online article. It's always possible that by the time an NB reader clicks on the link provided above to the AP article, a responsible editor will have done so, perhaps even embarrassed by this NB item exposing AP's bias. But the photo displayed here was the one accompanying the AP article as originally posted. I saved it to our NB server.
One of the most e-mailed articles on the New York Times website this weekend is an op-ed by novelist Robert Harris titled “Pirates of the Mediterranean”. In this essay Mr. Harris claims that history is mutable.
But there are some troubling aspects that arise when one treats history as a mutable entity. It allows people to rewrite history through a new lens; picking and choosing certain events to draw conclusions from within the vacuum of new or limited contexts. Thus, what was once considered immutable may take on new meaning depending on your point of view.
The New York Times allows Mr. Harris to use this mutability of context as a device to draw parallels between the fall of the Roman Empire and that of the United States under the dictatorial rule of President Bush.
For instance, the comparison of al-Qaeda to a loosely unorganized group of disaffected pirates from 68 BC is a prime example of mutating modern day history for the purpose of editorial validity. While al-Qaeda may not have a traditional hierarchical chain of command we know for certain that the al-Qaeda leadership operates within the framework of coordinated planning, funding, training and material support. The fact that these operations are carried out by clandestine sleeper cells in no way should be read as being unorganized.
Likewise, comparing last Thursday’s Senate vote that clarified the President’s powers over terrorism detainees with the passage of the Lex Gabinia in 67 BC is not only an invalid comparison but it is applied in the wrong context altogether. For the comparison to be valid President Bush would have to yield absolute powers and declare all citizens of the United States as enemy combatants to become the left’s version of an American dictator.
I must caution readers that the hypocrisy in the following is so delicious nothing on your desk or couch is safe from sudden hysterical outbursts: the New York Times published an article Monday (hat tip to TVNewser) analyzing a new Democrat strategy to appear on and attack the Fox News Channel. Deliciously, the writer, Lorne Manly, consistently suggested that FNC was a biased, propaganda arm of the Republican Party without recognizing that the overwhelming majority of Americans see the Times as a biased, propaganda arm of the Democrat Party.
The fun began early: “Though Fox News maintains that its reporting is down the middle, Democrats have long complained that the news channel operates like a public relations outpost of the Bush White House.” And, the fun came often:
Howard Kurtz has two notable stories on political bias in today's "Media Notes" column -- first, a spicy review of how all the liberal journalists loathe Fox News and its chieftain, Roger Ailes. Second, New York Times reporter Linda Greenhouse spouted that her splenetic speech at Harvard in June saying Team Bush has created a "law-free zone" and decrying religious "fundamentalists" taking over our government were a "statement of facts," not opinion! The Ailes interview is entertaining:
Vanity Fair recently pegged Ailes as No. 44 on its New Establishment list, calling him "the most powerful news executive in America." But it also called him "the man who gives the Bush administration a major media outlet" and described Dick Cheney -- who demands that his hotel TVs be preset to Fox -- as his "big loyal friend."
This one’s really good, folks. Writing in Friday’s FrontPage Magazine, Professor Emeritus at Brooklyn Law School Henry Mark Holzer made the case for why the New York Times should be indicted for violating the Espionage Act (hat tip to American Thinker):
It is an article of faith on the Left and among its fellow travelers that the Bush administration stole two elections, made war on Iraq for venal reasons, tortured hapless foreigners, and conducted illegal surveillance of innocent Americans. A corollary of this mindset is that the press, primarily the Washington Post and The New York Times, has a right, indeed a duty, to print whatever they want about the administration—even if the information compromises national security.
Holzer marvelously responded to this absurd notion:
Rejection is painful. Spurned suitors often-if-contradictorily condemn the very object of their affection, while reserving a good measure of bile for their successful rivals. Democrats have suffered lots of unrequited political desire in recent years, and the strain is really starting to show. We all know about Bush Derangement Syndrome. Yesterday I described a new strain, Gas Price Derangement Syndrome, and mentioned an even more insidious disease afflicting many on the left - Controlled Demolition Dementia.
Today comes more evidence of the left's painful struggle to deal with its diminished standing and repeated rejection at the polls. In the subscription-required Why Voters Like Values, Times columnist Judith Warner claims that "the Christian right's ability to stir voter passions is based not on values, but on psychology." Warner describes having bravely gone inside the belly of the conservative beast, recently attending a Values Voters Summit in DC, and declaring it "imbued with so much intolerance and hate." This is presumably in contrast with liberal love-ins at Daily Kos, Moveon, etc., where Bush & Co. are regularly depicted as liars, murderers, Hitlers, etc. For that matter, Warner herself doesn't adumbrate many shades of gray in painting those on the right as filled with hatred.
In Thursday’s Washington Post, deep inside a story on page B-2, the George Allen campaign provided a man named Dan Cragg, a former acquaintance of Allen’s Democratic challenger, Jim Webb. Cragg said Webb used the N-word "while describing his own behavior during his freshman year at the University of Southern California in the early 1960s...[Cragg said] Webb described taking drives through the black neighborhood of Watts, where he and members of his ROTC unit used racial epithets and pointed fake guns at blacks to scare them."
The Post puts this in the eighth paragraph of a Michael Shear story on the front of Metro headlined "Webb Denies Ever Using Word As Epithet." The subhead was "Racial Slur Overshadowing All Else in Contest."
New York Times columnist (and former Times reporter) Maureen Dowd appeared on the "Tavis Smiley" show on PBS on Wednesday night with her typical take on the news: Bush and Cheney are suffering from testosterone poisoning, and she urged the media to keep pushing because "checks and balances is what Dick Cheney is trying to destroy." But Hillary Clinton is too cautious, "fetches coffee for older male Senators," and needs to be more outspoken: "I would love to see Barack Obama and Hillary speaking out more."
Smiley asked Dowd about if it was tough to write her column: "The first couple of years I had the column, I was curled up in a ball on the floor of my house, crying a lot." (Like Linda Greenhouse? Is this a standard practice for New York Times reporters?) She continued: "But as a student of literature and Shakespeare, you know that power can be poisonous. And in the case of Bush and Cheney, testosterone can be poisonous. And it’s just my job to tweak them and say before the Iraq war, we should not be ginning this case up to go to a war unless we’re sure that we understand the culture, and we didn’t. So I feel that journalism has a really important place in checks and balances, without being corny about it. And checks and balances is what Dick Cheney is trying to destroy. So I feel that it’s important that we keep pushing."