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."
David Reinhard writes in the Oregonian that the New York Times' leak of the National Intelligence Estimate report on terrorism is suspicious for several reasons. All the sources are anonymous, the leak was timed right before the election, and the Times only released a "paraphrased" version of what was in the report, not any actual words.
One was the fact that all sources in the story were anonymous. Maybe it's too much to expect named sources in such a story, because anyone leaking classified material is committing a big no-no. But the fact that the sources were all anonymous raised questions that they may be leaking -- and giving a slanted view of the report -- for political reasons. So did the fact that the leaks are coming a half-year after the report's completion -- and a half-year closer to November's election.
Another red flag was the lack of any actual quotations from the NIE. The paper just used characterizations by people who had either seen the final draft or helped produce earlier drafts.
David Folkenflik's NPR story on the crying-at-Simon-and-Garfunkel speech at Harvard in June by New York Times Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse displayed a stunned Daniel Okrent, the first Times "public editor"; a troubled editor of the Oregonian newspaper; a supportive Jack Nelson, her former "Washington Week" colleague on PBS, who admits he wouldn't be as supportive if Greenhouse were spouting pro-Bush sentiments; and a set of Times editors who will not comment on the record. Chickens.
Folkenflik's story on NPR.org (not an exact match with the story aired on NPR Tuesday) claimed that "charged commentary" wasn't common in our mainstream media:
Anytime Maureen Dowd writes about Hillary, I figure it's good for an NB item. But reading and re-reading the pay-per-view Another Clinton Seduction at cock's crow, I just couldn't get a handle on what Dowd was getting at. Coming back to it in the light of a beautiful Ithaca morning, it suddenly dawned on me: Mo is mad at Hillary, and there are two reasons:
Hillary hasn't been tough enough on George Bush; and
Incredible as it might sound, Hillary - in contrast with certain NY Times columnists - has figured out a way to make men like her.
Dowd's ire is unmistakeable when it comes to Hillary's insufficient Bush bashing: "She has been like a silent-film star,lacking a voice in this chilling time when the Bush administration has Photoshopped the Constitution, portrayed critics as traitors, and spurred terrorism with a misconceived and mismanaged war in Iraq."
The declassification of parts of the National Intelligence Estimate spells out the ramifications of a major triumph in the War on Terror: the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (the report was finalized in April, before Zarqawi's death). The NIE states:
Al-Qa’ida, now merged with Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi’s network, is exploiting the situation in Iraq to attract new recruits and donors and to maintain its leadership role. • The loss of key leaders, particularly Usama Bin Ladin, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and al-Zarqawi, in rapid succession, probably would cause the group to fracture into smaller groups. Although like-minded individuals would endeavor to carry on the mission, the loss of these key leaders would exacerbate strains and disagreements.
Linda Greenhouse is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who covers the United States Supreme Court for the New York Times. As we all know, the New York Times, along with the rest of the mainstream press, is adamant about their commitment to unbiased journalism. Reporters don't have opinions, at least not opinions that impact their journalism. It's nonsense, of course, but nonsense that's maintained by the likes of the Times.
Well, Linda Greenhouse, in a recent speech at her alma mater, Radcliffe, expressed some opinions. And if she really feels this way, there's absolutely no way that it could possibly not color her reporting. What she chooses to highlight, the way she expresses things, what she covers or doesn't cover, what she thinks is news and what isn't - that's all determined by her worldview.
The New York Times was routinely slow on any allegation of past adultery or even sexual assault by Bill Clinton, dismissing them as lacking convincing evidence, as "toxic waste" designed to damage his campaign. But when Democratic opponents of Sen. George Allen charged that Sen. George Allen used the word "nigger" in the past -- a very politically toxic matter -- the Times was quick to honor it as fit to print. On Tuesday, reporter David Kirkpatrick wrote a story for the top of page A-20 with two photos, headlined "2 Ex-Acquaintances of Senator Allen Say He Used Slurs."
The Times never did more than two paragraphs on the Allen campaign's distribution of an article in which Webb opposed women in combat. In a September 18 article touting Webb's "rising" campaign, Robin Toner put this in paragraphs 23 and 24: "In the past week, the Allen campaign has taken aim at Mr. Webb on two counts: highlighting his opposition, in an article he wrote 27 years ago, to women in combat and at the Naval Academy, and asserting that Mr. Webb has no right to use videotape of President Ronald Reagan praising him in a new television advertisement. On women in combat, Mr. Webb said that he was sorry for any pain his writing had caused, that times had changed, and that he should be judged by what he did in the intervening years to expand opportunities for women."
Many Americans may have been outraged or just perplexed by Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez’s attack on President Bush as "the devil," but the New York Times saw Chavez’s plug for a Noam Chomsky book as a light front-page feature on Saturday – he’s apparently a Latino male Oprah.
The actual Amazon.com review of the Chomsky book "Hegemony or Survival" is blunt: "Chomsky indicates that America is just as much a terrorist state as any other government or rogue organization." But the Times headline is mild: "U.S. Best Seller, Thanks to a Rave By a Latin Leftist." Reporter Mokoto Rich began: "All the authors currently clamoring for a seat on Oprah Winfrey’s couch might do well to send copies of their books to the latest publishing tastemaker: Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chavez."
Liberal press critics are quite the paradox. Most such writers like Eric Alterman, Michael Wolffe, and Michael Massing, are pretty sophisticated about the media in non-political matters, but when it comes to politics, they can't help repeating a slightly toned down version of rhetoric you'll find over at the Daily Kos. They deny the press is tilted toward the left (ignoring scores of content studies and surveys of reporters) and yet they cheer when the media chooses to favor the left, as if that's the media's natural role. Which it is, of course--if you're a liberal
This line of thought is far too common among left-wing media critics. In an interview with the Huffington Post, writer Michael Massing provided a textbook example of it, arguing that the press has properly began pushing back against the Bush Administration while also saying that conservative critics are fundamentally wrong in their opinion of the media:
My working hypothesis on all this, which I have mentioned in some of
those articles, is that the more powerful the President, the more timid
the press. There's an inverse relationship between the popularity of
the President and the willingness of the press to challenge him. And
right now, Bush's popularity is very low. I think we're seeing the
press pushing back in a very strong way. If I were writing an article
today about what's been happening, I would say more about how the press
has been pushing back. And I think there's a big appetite for this
among readers. The Bush administration is so beleaguered and has done
so many things that have upset the public that the press sees an
opening and has been moving to take advantage of it.
The latest CBS/New York Times poll is reported out in Thursday's lead story by reporters Adam Nagourney and Janet Elder: "Only 25% In Poll Voice Approval of the Congress -- An Echo of 1994 Findings -- Links to Special Interests Are Cited -- Standing of Bush Also Lags."
Nagourney and his headline writer see parallels to the 1994 Republican sweep of Congress -- an event, incidentally, that the Times never saw coming, and certainly didn't anticipate as eagerly as it now does a Democratic reclamation.
The New York Times and Washington Post are now attacking provisions of a defense appropriations bill that would ensure that military chaplains can pray in accordance with their own personal beliefs (i.e., pray in the name of Jesus). A Times editorial calls the bill “an attempt to license zealot chaplains to violate policies of religious tolerance.”
A Washington Post article goes a step farther – calling for calling for a “no prayer” policy at public events, according to an article in CNSNews.com, saying the “best resolution” (to its perceived problem) is to “discourage prayer…as inherently and unnecessarily divisive.”
The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) has released its list of media and elected “elitists” who are doing the most to prevent passage of meaningful immigration reform. This “motley crew” of media organizations that promote “unfettered immigration” and are completely out of touch with public opinion include (who else?) the New York Times and the Washington Post…and, even the Wall Street Journal.
There is “no other domestic issue where there is this gap between the elite and public opinion,” CIS Director of Communications John Keeley told CNSNews.com in an interview discussing CIS’s list of open border elitists.