Their sympathetic peers in the entertainment industry awarded The Dixie Chicks five Grammys at Sunday night's awards ceremony, including Song of the Year for "Not Ready to Make Nice," the group's petulant response to critics who disapproved of singer Natalie Maines' remark onstage in London in 2003: "Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas." (Maines is from Texas.)
The Monday story showed the Times once again portraying the Dixie Chicks as free-speech martyrs, while managing to avoid mentioning the scads of free, flattering publicity in the wake of the incident and subsequent fiery comments by Maines that alienated much of her previous fanbase.
Amid unfounded and frivolous charges that the Bush administration and the American Enterprise Institute are involved in pay for play science on Global Warming, it seems Theresa Heinz Kerry previously directed an unrestricted cash gift of up to a quarter million dollars to a nuclear scientist become climatologist, now leading the charge of doom-sayers on Global Warming. Additionally, one scientist recently quoted by the New York Times now appears to be disagreeing with his own extensive research and an exclusive preview of a soon to be published research paper from another Harvard scientist raises serious questions about a key item Global Warming proponents have recently enlisted in their cause.
Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards' inflammatory new campaign bloggers Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan will be retained by the campaign after making public apologies for past postings that were controversial, to put it mildly. In a surprise, the New York Times played the story on Friday's front page, albeit under the mild headline "Edwards Learns Campaign Blogs Can Cut 2 Ways").
Marcotte is notorious for a January 7 post on the Duke lacrosse "rape" case, one she later eliminated after it became an issue after her hiring: "Can't a few white boys sexually assault a black woman anymore without people getting all wound up about it? So unfair."
New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny again spun in a Democrat direction in his coverage of the fierce arguments over non-binding resolutions regarding Bush's troop increase in Iraq. On Thursday, Zeleny claimed: "Senator John W. Warner, a Virginia Republican who led the bipartisan resolution against the president’s troop buildup plan, went to the Senate floor on Wednesday to read the letter only two days after siding with Republican leaders on a vote that blocked the debate."
As the Internet becomes the driving force of the print media, it’s not surprising to hear newspaper moguls talk about their online strategies. However, when the chairman of the New York Times Company says, “I really don't know whether we'll be printing the Times in five years,” one should sit up and take notice.
With that in mind, Haaretz’s Eytan Avriel had a chat with Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., while he was in Davos, Switzerland, during the recent World Economic Forum (h/t Drudge, emphasis mine throughout):
Given the constant erosion of the printed press, do you see the New York Times still being printed in five years?
"I really don't know whether we'll be printing the Times in five years, and you know what? I don't care either," he says.
In a huge blow to America’s ability to defend itself from future terrorist attacks both home and abroad, the European Central Bank has told SWIFT, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, that it must halt the transfer of personal banking information to American authorities by April.
As reported by Agence France-Presse on February 1 (h/t to Dan at Riehl World View): “The agency, the European Data Protection Supervisor, told the bank to come up with measures ‘to make its payment operations fully compliant with data-protection legislation,’ urging it to ‘take appropriate measures as soon as possible.’”
Hadn’t heard about this? Well, how could you? After all, according to Google and LexisNexis searches, the only major American media outlet to bother reporting this was, coincidentally and quite ironically, the New York Times.
Isn’t that a delicious twist of fate? Yet, the hypocrisy in this goes much deeper.
Reminded by Tim Russert on Russert's Saturday night CNBC show, about how Vice President Cheney predicted U.S. troops would be welcomed as “liberators” by the Iraqi people, New York Times Iraq reporter John Burns corrected Russert's presumption that Cheney was misguided: “The American troops were greeted as liberators. We saw it. It lasted very briefly, it was exhausted quickly by the looting.” Burns added: “I think that the instincts that led to much that went wrong were good American instincts: the desire not to have too heavy of a footprint, the desire to empower Iraqis.”
As for what led to the inaccurate assumption that Iraqi would “stand up” for democracy, Burns contended that journalists made the same error: “I think that the policy makers in Washington, and to be on honest with you the journalists also, to speak for myself, completely miscalculated the impact of 30 years of violent, brutal repression on the Iraqi people and their willingness, in President Bush's phrase, ' to stand up' for themselves, to take authority, to take risks.” Burns also rejected the notion that different U.S. strategies would have prevented the current chaos: “My guess is that history will say that the forces that we liberated by invading Iraq were so powerful and so uncontrollable that virtually nothing the United States might have done, except to impose its own repressive state with half a million troops, which might have had to last ten years or more, nothing we could have done would have effectively prevented this disintegration that is now occurring.”
There's no denying that the recently-released National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq is anything but rosy. But the key question is 'where do we go from here?' The answer, for every one of the Dem presidential contenders, is 'home,' at varying rates of speed. In editorializing on the NIE report, don't you think, then, that it would have been appropriate for the New York Times to mention what the report foresaw as the result of a hasty withdrawal?
But the Times had better things to do with its ink, spending most of its editorial spinning the recent military success in Najaf in the most negative possible terms. In doing so, the Gray Lady ignored this key aspect of the report, as described here by CNN:
"The estimate also makes it clear, however, that simply walking away from Iraq may even be worse. If the U.S. makes a 'rapid withdrawal' from Iraq, a move many Democratic lawmakers have called for, the estimate said it could lead to the collapse of the Iraqi Security Forces, potentially plunging the country into a chaotic situation marked by "extreme ethno-sectarian violence with debilitating intra-group clashes."
To ignore this key conclusion, which goes to the heart of the debate raging in Washington today, is no mere negligence on the Times' part. It is nothing short of a journalistic fraud perpetrated on its readers. Mark was in Iraq in November. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
If it's possible for the New York Times to jump the proverbial shark, they went one better. Given this, it would appear they jumped right out of an ever rising sea due to global warming and landed in a rest home by a beach in Iraq:
No commercial that appeared last night during Super Bowl XLI directly addressed Iraq, unlike a patriotic spot for Budweiser beer that ran during the game two years ago. But the ongoing war seemed to linger just below the surface of many of this year’s commercials.
More than a dozen spots celebrated violence in an exaggerated, cartoonlike vein that was intended to be humorous, but often came across as cruel or callous.
You see, those commercials weren't slick messages often containing bottles launched from Madison Avenue and designed to sell products like beer at millions of dollars a pop. They were all metaphors for a nation deflated, if not defeated, and dangerously obsessed with Bush's misguided war.
"We have met the enemy and he is us." - Pogo comic strip, 1971
Nicholas Kristof has apparently embraced the Walt Kelly view of America. When it comes to the war in Iraq, the only evildoers the New York Times columnist seems to see are Americans.
At the foot of his pay-to-play of column of January 23rd, Kristof invited readers to submit their literary analogies for President Bush and Iraq. In today's columnn, Kristof mentions having received over 400 reader responses.
And which entry does Kristof choose to feature at the column's beginning and that might fairly be taken as his unofficial winner? One that analogizes the various actors in the play to characters from Harry Potter. I set forth below the reader's analogies, followed by a description of the character as culled from their Wikipedia entries.
Yesterday's Employment Situation Summary from the Bureaus of Labor Statistics told us that reports 111,000 net new jobs were added in January. Additionally, significant upward revisions were made to the previously reported job-increase figures from November (up 42,000 to 196,000 from last month’s revised 154,000) and December (up 39,000 to 206,000 from last month’s originally reported 167,000). So with revisions, there were 192,000 more people working (111+42+39) at the end of January than were thought to be working as of the end of December, and 513,000 more (111+196+206) than three months ago.
It gets better.
In that same Employment Situation Summary released yesterday, the BLS reported on its "Annual Revisions to Establishment Survey Data." Doesn't sound like much, but read the fine print:
In accordance with annual practice, the establishment survey data have been revised to reflect comprehensive universe counts of payroll jobs, or benchmarks. These counts are derived principally from unemployment insurance tax records for March 2006. As a result of the benchmark process, all not seasonally adjusted data series were subject to revision from April 2005 forward, the time period since the last benchmark was established.
The total nonfarm employment level for March 2006 was revised upward by 752,000 (754,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis). The previously published level for December 2006 was revised upward by 981,000 (933,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis).
In other words, BLS "found" well over 900,000 more jobs, most of which (averaging about 63,000 per month) were added between April 2005 and March 2006. This was a time during which the "weak job growth" meme still had life in it. BLS's Annual Revision shows that the meme had no validity during that time.
So how does job growth during the Bush years look after incorporating the Annual Revision? Well, even more "Clintonian" than when I last looked at it a month ago:
The amazing liberal vapors over President Bush’s use of the word "Democrat" to describe, er, Democrats, continues. In an NPR interview with Juan Williams, President Bush claimed it was a simple mistake in his State of the Union speech, but liberals quickly found more of these grievous offenses in searching speech texts at the White House website. Certain left-wing media critics who lay face down in worship at the feet of Hillary Clinton are now insisting that the word "Democrat" is a "smear" and an "oft-used Republican slur." The Washington Post and The New York Times each produced stories on Bush's denial of this microscopic scandal. (Clay Waters handled it at Times Watch here.)
But my favorite fuss comes from former Newsweek reporter and Carter speechwriter Hendrik Hertzberg at The New Yorker, who says the plain D-word is "jarring verging on ugly. It fairly screams ‘rat.’" He then imagined Republicans want to destroy the Democrats like Israel’s enemies want to wipe out Israel, and compared them to a street gang:
Brent Bozell, President of the Media Research Center which operates NewsBusters, appeared Thursday night, with Rachel Sklar of the Huffington Post, on FNC’s Hannity & Colmes. Topic: The publication by the New York Times on Monday of a picture of a dying U.S. soldier in Iraq, suffering from a head wound, being carried on a stretcher. Sklar and Bozell had very different answers for how they’d react to a picture/video of a killed love one being posted by the Times, but before where the clip below begins Sklar did state that the Times was in the wrong if their actions contravened an agreement with the military about what embedded journalists could include in their stories.
The Times has agreed to apologize to the family of Staff Sgt. Hector Leija and the photo has been removed from the online posting of the January 29 article, but an accompanying video, which unlike the printed picture does not show the wounded soldier’s face and head -- but does show the events around the shooting and the wounded Leija’s legs -- remains online. The MRC’s TimesWatch posted an excerpt from Thursday’s Houston Chronicle article, "N.Y. Times to apologize for photo, video of soldier: Paper to send family a letter of explanation, regret over using images of the dying Texan."
Video clip (4:00): Windows Media (7.8 MB at higher quality 256 kbps) or Real (3 MB at lower quality 100 kbps), plus MP3 audio (1.4 MB)
Blogs such as NewsBusters play a key role in helping the truth bypass the filter of the mainstream media. That was the view that Rear Admiral Mark Fox expressed to this blogger today.
I had the opportunity to participate in a conference call for bloggers with RADM Fox, a Silver Star recipient who scored the first Navy MiG kill in Operation Desert Storm, and who now serves as the Communications Director for MNF-I in Baghdad. Given NB's mission, when I had the to ask a question I naturally focused on MSM coverage of the war. I cited to Admiral Fox the headline and opening paragraph of the New York Times story on the recent battle in Najaf in which Iraqi-US forces killed over 200 enemy fighters and captured more than 400. Predictably, the Times sought to cast the success in the most negative possible light.
Brooklyn College professor Robert KC Johnson has done more than anyone except defense attorneys to expose the investigative and legal travesties of what’s really the DA Nifong Hoax case but is usually called the Duke lacrosse case.
Johnson hasn’t just taken on Nifong and certain Durham police officers who conspired to frame the players. He’s also called attention to those such as Duke’s administration, much of it’s faculty, and some media and “rights groups,” who by silence or active encouragement, have enabled the ten month long series of injustices that grew from the false witness made at Duke Hospital the morning of March 14, 2006.
The New York Times has been one of Nifong’s most consistent enablers.
Democratic presidential candidate (for now, anyway) Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware got headlines for all the wrong reasons yesterday when he referred to Sen. Barack Obama, who's also running for president, as “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy" in an interview with the New York Observer.
"Biden Unwraps His Bid for '08 With an Oops!" read the headline over Adam Nagourney's Thursday story in the New York Times. Credit the Times for putting it on the front page, and to Nagourney for bringing up Biden's equally strange comment last summer that aired on C-Span: “You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking.”
In our continuing calvalcade of coverage of the Biden "clean and articulate" comments, we thought it would be interesting to see how three of the leading liberal newspapers treated the story on their respective front pages this morning.
At the New York Times, the headline on the smallish front-page article brought a dash of downplaying humor to the story: "Biden Unwraps His Bid for ’08 With an Oops!"
But that was better than nothing - which was exactly how much coverage the Boston Globe and Los Angeles Times devoted to the story on their front pages.
Now, you might cut the Globe some slack since Beantown was focused on the Turner Broadcasting System marketing stunt for a Cartoon Network television show that littered the city with small battery-powered light screens, igniting fears of terrorism and shutting down much of the city for the day. Even so, the Globe editors found room on the front page for a variety of other stories including one on a pol caught in a sick leave scandal.
Fox News "Special Report" anchor Brit Hume led off his "Political Grapevine" segment Monday night by citing a piece that appeared that day on Times Watch, on the paper's double standard regarding the expressing of personal opinions on television. Here's Hume:
"A New York Times reporter has been rebuked by his superiors after voicing the hope that the U.S. can accomplish its goals in Iraq. Here's what Times chief military correspondent Michael Gordon said on the Charlie Rose show earlier this month, quote:
'As a purely personal view, I think it's worth it, one last effort for sure to try to get this right, because my personal view is we've never really tried to win. We've simply been managing our way to defeat. And I think that if it's done right, I think that there is the chance to accomplish something,' end quote. Times Public Editor Byron Calame writes that Washington Bureau Chief Philip Taubman said Gordon quote, 'stepped over the line' and quote, 'went too far.'
"Timeswatch.com points out that last summer Times reporter Neil MacFarquhar appeared on the Rose show, and criticized Bush administration practice of sending bombs to the Middle East, saying the policy, quote, 'erodes and erodes and erodes America's reputation.' MacFarquhar received no reprimand for his comments."
The New York Times thinks you are a criminal if you own a gun. The editorial writers at the Times simply don't believe that you could possibly be a law abiding citizen if you are interested in self defense, their most recent anti-gun piece reveals.
Their January 30th piece, incongruously titled "A Day Without Guns ..." -- incongruous because the piece itself does not address any such subject as a day without guns -- cannot be interpreted too many other ways than contempt for both the citizenry as well as the Constitution.
Twenty years ago, the Florida Legislature cravenly decided to allow "law abiding" citizens to carry concealed weapons merely by declaring their preference for self-defense. Then last July, at the prodding of the gun lobby, the current crop of state lawmakers proved they could be even more corrupt and cowardly than their predecessors by deciding to make the list of gun-toting Floridians a secret.
The quotes around "law abiding" says it all. In such a case, the usage of quotes marks obviously denotes sarcasm as opposed to a mere quote and their position that no gun owner could be a law abiding citizen rings through loud and clear.
Skip the boring bulk of Public Editor Byron Calame's latest innocuous, inside-baseball column and skip straight to the brief shirt-tail, "Drawing a Line."
Apparently some liberal Times readers complained that Times military reporter Michael Gordon had the bad taste to go on the PBS talk show"Charlie Rose" January 8 and say he wanted the United States to win the war in Iraq.
The New York Times ran a story this morning that details how liberally minded school administrators are seeking ways to circumvent affirmative action bans that have been put on the books by voters in three states.
This is modern day liberalism at its naked best. They are not content to accept the fact that voters of all races have rejected attempts by these educators to apply a racial preference as a means test for admission to public schools. The following lead appeared in this morning’s liberal death star.
With Michigan’s new ban on affirmative action going into effect, and similar ballot initiatives looming in other states, many public universities are scrambling to find race-blind ways to attract more blacks and Hispanics.
First of all the above statement is a lie. Any effort to attract one race over another is not race-blind. The activists at the New York Times may want to characterize it that way but in reality it is just another cute attempt to create the perception of racial neutrality.
For the second time in less than three months, the New York Times is forced to correct basic facts in a story regarding Sen. John Kerry's "botched joke" about U.S. troops being "stuck in Iraq." (TimesWatch pointed out the repeat flub yesterday.)
The Times has appended a thorough correction to political reporter Adam Nagourney's Thursday article.
Why is it so hard for the New York Times to obtain the basic facts of Sen. John Kerry's "botched joke"?
Political reporter Adam Nagourney, like Kate Zernike before him, spins Kerry's November gaffe about U.S. troops "stuck in Iraq" at a political rally in California to make them seem less harmful, in Thursday's "Kerry Will Not Enter Presidential Race."
"But Mr. Kerry’s hopes were probably most damaged by what he said was a botched joke he told while campaigning on behalf of Congressional candidates in the final week of the 2006 election campaigns.
Based on what Times Watch has read, “Friends of God: A Road Trip With Alexandra Pelosi,” the documentary on Christian evangelicals airing on HBO tonight (Pelosi being the daughter of you-know-who) seems more respectful than the contemptuous anti-Christian commentary it's generated, including a paragraph Thursday from television critic Alessandra Stanley.
The National Center for Public Policy Research's health policy analyst, David Hogberg, is impressed by Paul Krugman -- by Krugman's mastery of spin, that is.
Here's David's look at the way Krugman is covering some of President Bush's recent statements on health care reform:
I have to admire Paul Krugman's ability to deceive with spin. He is a master at it. This passage from his last column is a quintessential example:
Mr. Bush is also proposing a tax increase ... on workers who, he thinks, have too much health insurance. The tax code, he said, "unwisely encourages workers to choose overly expensive, gold-plated plans. The result is that insurance premiums rise, and many Americans cannot afford the coverage they need."
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its monthly report on "mass layoffs" yesterday. It also included annual totals and an eleven-year chart of mass layoff history.
A "mass layoff action" involves "at least 50 persons from a single establishment." Since 1988, employers have been required to give 60 days notice of "covered plant closings and covered mass layoffs." The BLS Mass Layoffs report compiles those notices.
Now that 2006 is in the record books, here is that eleven-year chart:
As you can see, the total number of "layoff events" in 2006 came in at the lowest on record (BLS began compiling these statistics during the second quarter of 1995), while the number of people who filed unemployment claims as a result of those layoffs was the lowest in 10 years. On a percentage-of-workforce basis, the number of unemployment claims filers in 2006 was also, along with the layoff events, the lowest in the 11 full years BLS has reported on this information.
Philip Taubman, Washington bureau chief of the New York Times, is responding to reader questions in the paper's editions this week.
Among those he addressed this morning is the one below:
Q. Please tell us your voting record for the past ten years. I want to confirm your liberal bias.
A. I'm always amazed at the certitude with which people make assumptions about journalists and their political views. I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I have voted for Republicans and Democrats over the years. And I published a book in 2003, Secret Empire: Eisenhower, The CIA, and The Hidden Story of America's Space Espionage (Simon & Schuster), that recounts President Eisenhower's critical leadership role in the development of spy satellites and other breakthroughs in military and intelligence technology during his presidency.
Let's analyze Taubman's response. "I'm sorry to disappoint you" implies a denial, but Taubman never does quite deny being a liberal. Instead, he first offers up the claim that "over the years" he has voted for Republicans and Democrats.
Kate Zernike's front-page profile of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (featuring a large picture of Pelosi shaking Bush's hand at last night's State of the Union address) opened with a celebration of Pelosi's femaleness and ends with "poignant commentary" by the left's new favorite Bush fighter, Democrat Sen. James Webb of Virginia.
"The first two words of the evening on Tuesday were evidence of how much has changed here: 'Madam Speaker,” boomed Congressional escorts, 'the president of the United States.'"
Here’s something you don’t see every day: a columnist at a liberal newspaper saying bad things about Democrats. In this case, it’s especially odd given that the targets of the disaffection were primarily media darlings Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.