The New York Times editorial board goes back to lecturing Pope Benedict today in an editorial titled "The Pope's Act of Contrition." They suggest that both Catholics and Muslims should move "forward in a conciliatory spirit" beyond the Pope's "ill-considered comments." It concluded huffily:
As his unfortunate comments show, the pope needs high-level experts on Islam to help guide him. In offering his regrets, the pope said that in its totality, his speech was intended as “an invitation to frank and sincere dialogue, with great mutual respect.” In living up to that, he and other top Vatican officials will have to accept that genuine communication cannot occur on their terms only.
Anyone who doubts the Times has a predominantly liberal audience should check out the paper's new political blog, The Caucus. The posts themselves( by Times staffers) aren't terribly slanted, although liberal assumptions and conventional wisdoms aren't hard to sniff out. But when it comes to liberal hostility the commenters give the left-wing mobs at the Daily Kos a run for their money.
Check out this comments thread on a post about Sen. George Allen of Virginia's response to a weird, hostile question about his Jewish ancestry during a televised debate with Democrat opponent James Webb. In a charming turn, the left net-roots and the Webb campaign have taken to spelling out the senator's full name "George Felix Allen," and "Felix" crops up in the Times' comments section as well.
Chief political reporter Adam Nagourney today writes the first edition of "Political Action," a new political column in the Times that will run in the paper every Tuesday until the November elections. The first entry is (rather predictably) "The Republican Divide."
"With fewer than 50 days left until Election Day, as many as 40 House and 10 Senate seats are in play, fueling Democratic hopes of capturing power in November. Washington is awaiting polling data that will show how much success the White House has had in trying to put Democrats on the defensive on national security -- and whether that effort has been undercut by the battle among Republicans over what is permissible in interrogating terrorism suspects.
The Fitzpatrick Plame investigation has spurred the New York Times into examining how their reporters conduct themselves. Apparently, the Gray Lady wants her staff to act more like terrorists and drug dealers. Reporters are being told to delete emails, destroy notes, and use disposable cell phones in order to stymie future investigations.
In a surreal clash of the sacred and the profane, the New York Times - that citadel of secularism - has declared in its editorial of this morning that Pope Benedict "needs to offer a deep and persuasive apology," for having quoted a 14th century Christian emperor who said:
“Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”
The Times is only being fair and balanced, I suppose. After all, hardly a week goes by that you can't pick up the paper and read an editorial condemning this or that mullah, imam or ayatollah for the latest fatwa ordering the death of such-and-such infidel or the destruction of entire countries found to be an annoyance. Or not.
There are moments when you wonder why, when some legislative initiatives are absolutely doomed to defeat, that liberal newspapers publicize liberal lobbying that’s totally in vain – except for the publicity. Thursday’s New York Times promised on its front page an article on how "gay groups" are once again pushing for a repeal of the military’s "don’t ask, don’t tell" policy, instituted in the Clinton administration. One "centrist" group told the Times said the proposal has "zero chance" of passing, but Lizette Alvarez wrote a story completely promoting the pro-gay point of view. Shocking.
The gay group in question here is not the usual one, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, but rather the group called "Soulforce," led by Mel White, the gay former aide to Jerry Falwell. Alvarez set the stage right where the gay left wanted it, at a Wisconsin recruiting office:
Imagine the scenario where Ken Mehlman, Republican National Committee Chair, was not able to raise but about half the amount of money that the DNC was raising. Imagine then, a situation where multiple, outside GOP supporting organizations were hastily created in an urgent effort to raise the money that Mehlman was failing to raise just to compete in the advertising wars of the upcoming 2006 midterms.
...then imagine the MSM not taking the time to gleefully point out the Republican Chairman's dismal record. Imagine finding them silent that it is even happening.
"Enlightenment absolutists like Ms. Hirsi Ali and Mr. van Gogh turned apoplectic at any efforts to appease or accommodate Muslims on, say, gay rights or women’s rights, and they were not alone in their fears."
For a media that likes to complain about the incivility and personal attacks that Republicans have supposedly injected into our politics over the past generation, the networks' reactions to former Texas Governor Ann Richards underscore journalists' partisan approach to what is fair and what is foul.
In 1988, then-Texas state treasurer Richards laced her keynote address at the Democratic National Convention with a series of nasty, mocking attacks on then-Vice President George H. W. Bush. Instead of deploring her descent into the “politics of personal destruction” — as they might have if the speechmaker were a conservative Republican and the target was a liberal Democrat — the media elite swooned, with then-CBS anchor Dan Rather admiring her “scalpel-style attack” on the Republican presidential candidate.
Remembering Ann Richards this morning, all three broadcast network shows re-visited her ridicule of Bush, admiring it as “biting wit” and “fun-loving spirit,” with ABC’s Diane Sawyer touting Richards as the “sassy, funny homemaker who became Texas governor.” ABC, CBS and NBC all played the same sarcastic soundbite of Richards from 18 years ago. “Poor George. He can’t help it. He was born with a silver-foot in his mouth.”
If you look hard, you can see the Democratic optimism about the fall elections fading, off the front pages of the newspapers. On the bottom of the front page of a separate "Campaign 2006" section of The Washington Post today (they call it page A23), you can read the account by Jim VandeHei and Chris Cillizza about Democrats getting worried about superior GOP turnout programs. (I can't guarantee you won't be sickened by the GOP establishment siding aggressively against the conservative in this race.)
Raymond Hernandez reported in the New York Times that giddy Democratic optimism about wresting four or five House seats from the GOP in New York state is fading fast...
Great media bias busters think alike. TimesWatch.org's Clay Waters and I separately wrote articles on The New York Times's Melanie Warner and her latest foray into bashing the American food industry. In the September 13 Times, she takes on salt.
Was Maureen Dowd kidding about having called Tim Russert to ask if VP Cheney washed his hands after his Meet the Press appearance this Sunday? By all indications she was not, making one fear the Times columnist is slipping ever deeper into Bush Derangement Syndrome.
Dowd writes in her pay-to-read column of today, Vice Must Wash Hands Before Returning to Work, "I called Tim Russert to ask if Dick Cheney had washed his hands after their interview on Sunday. Any sort of scrubbing, I wondered? Antiseptic wipe, Purell, quick shower on the way out?"
Russert reportedly replied in the negative.
Dowd was prompted to ask after reading a recent Times' health section article about a new study on the “Macbeth effect," which concluded that people who washed their hands after contemplating an unethical act were less troubled by their thoughts than those who didn’t.
From the start, Wyatt adopts the POV of the Clintonians that tried to stop ABC from airing the miniseries:
"The first half of ABC’s dramatic mini-series 'The Path to 9/11,' which drew fierce advance partisan reaction last week over its portrayal of Clinton administration officials, drew an estimated 13 million viewers Sunday night, several million more than a rebroadcast of a CBS documentary about Sept. 11 but far fewer than NBC’s opening-week National Football League game.
In 2003, the New York Times editorialized against the CBS decision to yank its personal-attack film "The Reagans" and said conservatives "helped create the Soviet-style chill embedded in the idea that we, as a nation, will not allow critical portrayals of one of our own recent leaders."
But Tuesday's Times carries an editorial that never mentioned a "Soviet-style chill" in the attempts of Clinton and his staffers to kill ABC's "The Path to 9/11." Instead of decrying "fierce" ideological assault on the media, the Times again finds its villains on the right, attacking Rush Limbaugh and moderate Republican Thomas Kean. It makes "One suggestion: when attempting to recreate real events on screen, you do not show real people doing things they never did." (Like Jayson Blair claiming to report for the Times from West Virginia when he was in New York City?)
The New York Times' reliably liberal television-beat reporter Alessandra Stanley offered up a surprising assessment in her mostly favorable review of “The Path to 9-11," a review which ran on Friday when there was still some doubt as to whether or not ABC would cave in to the Clintonistas and various left-wing bloggers furious at the network. The first part of the miniseries ran last night with some selective edits but with the essence of the story intact, further infuriating the left with its picture of a Clinton administration unwilling to take terrorism seriously.
Did the editorialists of the New York Times and its Beantown subsidiary the Boston Globe have a little side bet as to who could fashion the viler 9/11 editorial? If so, for all the Times's earnest editorial effort to heap bile on Pres. Bush, I'm going to give the nod to the Globe. For in its editorial of this morning, the Globe made explicit what the Times only suggested: George Bush is a bigger threat to America than radical Islamic murderers.
Said the Globe of 9/11:
"In the long run, the reaction of the Bush administration may prove more harmful to the national interest than even these horrific attacks."
The New York Times's 9/11 editorial is no less despicable for being thoroughly predictable.
On a day when we should be coming together, the Times does its best to tear us apart. On a day when the focus should be on the terrorists who threaten us and the brave people who have defended us against them, the Times trains all its bile on the Bush administration.
"Without ever having asked to be exempt from the demands of this new post-9/11 war, we were cut out. Everything would be paid for with the blood of other people’s children."
Other people's children? Perhaps the children of the people who run and largely read the New York Times don't tend to enter the military and fight and die for their country. But why would that be the fault of George Bush?
The New York Times’ Wal-Mart beat reporter Michael Barbaro teams up with Stephanie Strom for a story on the front page of Friday’s business section, “Conservatives Help Wal-Mart, and Vice Versa.”
“As Wal-Mart Stores struggles to rebut criticism from unions and Democratic leaders, the company has discovered a reliable ally: prominent conservative research groups like the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation and the Manhattan Institute.
Thursday’s off-lead story in the New York Times on a new CBS/NYT poll, “9/11 Polls Find Lingering Fears in New York City,” dwells on the fears that remain five years after the terrorist attacks in Manhattan and at the Pentagon.
But the national poll itself (the consortium also conducted a separate poll of just New Yorkers) found some interesting responses to three questions not mentioned in the story, perhaps because they conflicted with one of the Times’ irresponsible security scoops -- its revelation of the National Security Agency’s program to monitor communications between terror suspects without warrants
Taking its cue from left-wing bloggers (as noted by NB's Noel Sheppard), California-based New York Times reporter Jesse McKinley files a respectful story today on left-wing complaints about the ABC miniseries "The Path to 9/11," "9/11 Miniseries Is Criticized As Inaccurate And Biased." "Criticized" by left-wingers and former Clintonites, though the Times tries its best to hide that fact.
"Days before its scheduled debut, the first major television miniseries about the Sept. 11 attacks was being criticized on Tuesday as biased and inaccurate by bloggers, terrorism experts and a member of the Sept. 11 commission, whose report makes up much of the film’s source material.
There is only one conclusion that can be drawn from her column of this morning: Maureen Dowd does not take seriously the threat to our security and civilization that radical Islam poses.
The putative focus of New Themes for the Same Old Songs [subscription required] was a two-for-one snipe at W and Katie Couric. Straining to find some kind of parallel between the two on the occasion of Couric's CBS Evening News debut, Dowd managed: "W. and Katie were both on TV at 6:30 last night, trying to prove they were a man. Katie won, by a whisker."
Pretty catty stuff. But of more significance as a barometer of the contemporary liberal mindset were Dowd's remarks on the Islamist threat or - in her mind - the lack thereof.
Wrote Dowd: 'W., Dick Cheney and Rummy are on a campaign to scare Americans into believing that limp-wristed Democrats will curtsy to Islamic radicals and Iranian tyrants, just as Chamberlain bowed to Hitler, and that
only the über-manly Republicans can keep totalitarianism, fascism and the Al Qaeda 'threat to civilization' at bay."
Last July a prankster in Maine rolled a severed, frozen pig's head through the doors of a storefront turned Muslim Mosque in the town of Lewiston. on Sept. 5th, The New York Times decided that this incident is an example of "simmering tensions in this overwhelmingly white, working-class city"-- they helpfully let us know that the census claims that "Maine is 96 percent white" -- over the changing ethnic flavor of the city.
Apparently, Lewiston is a hotbed of racism as far as the Times is concerned.
Naturally, there is not a single mention of just WHY people might be suspicious of Muslims in this day and age. The Times, though, feels it solely a racism without cause that forced Men to flee in fear and a child to feint. There was lots of fleeing and fainting. It was so bad that...
Ever since the "controversy" was ignited by Bush enemies like Joseph Wilson three years ago, The New York Times has run almost 40 front-page stories on the leak of the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame (Wilson's wife) to Robert Novak. But now that the prime anti-Bush angle has fizzled out, the Times has been notably reluctant to return to the scene of the non-crime.
There's a certain irony to my column today. The author whose op-ed piece I'm about to criticize grew up hunting and shooting in Iowa, and still owns several guns. I grew up in Jewish neighborhoods in the Bronx and Queens where about the only concealed items were tzitzis - undergarments men wear to remind them of Biblical commandments. I've never owned a gun and my forays into shooting have been limited to Boy Scout camp and one adult session at a trap range - or was it skeet?
It wasn't easy, but I battled my way this morning to the end of Frank Rich's pay-per-view column, Donald Rumsfeld’s Dance With the Nazis. Tempting as it was, I didn't turn the cyber-page despite prose that you might find in the dictionary next to the definition of 'turgid'. Take Rich's description of Donald Rumsfeld's recent remarks: "[a] toxic effort to impugn the patriotism of administration critics by conflating dissent on Iraq with cut-and-run surrender and incipient treason."
My persistence was rewarded with two nuggets from the column's concluding paragraphs. First, as a certified spokesman for MSM sentiment, Rich made clear that in liberal media-land, Iraq is not part of the war on terror. Rich dismissed Pres. Bush's assertion that Al-Qaeda and our foes in Iraq are part of the same “ideological struggle of the 21st century.” Sniffed Rich:"One more drop in the polls, and he may yet rebrand this mess War of the Worlds."Movie titles aside, and messy as it might be, we are indeed engaged in a new kind of world war. And if more proof were needed that the MSM doesn't understand that, here it was.
On Friday night, MSNBC hosts Keith Olbermann and Joe Scarborough featured opposite takes on a Friday Washington Posteditorial proclaiming that the recent revelation that former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage was the original leaker of Valerie Plame's identity discredits Joe Wilson's accusations about a White House conspiracy to punish him by ruining his wife's career. On his Countdown show, Olbermann slammed the Washington Post for its "startling conclusions" and attacked the logic of the Post's reasoning. On Scarborough Country, Scarborough hit the New York Times and other media, including "left-leaning TV hosts," for not following the Post's lead and correcting its "character assassination" of the Bush team. Scarborough also delved into the inaccuracy of some of Wilson's claims about his trip to Niger and whether it really contradicted Bush's State of the Union claims about Iraq's efforts to acquire uranium. And while Scarborough presented some balance on his show by allowing one of his two guests to defend Wilson (Rachel Sklar after Wilson critic Christopher Hitchens), Olbermann followed his normal routine of choosing guests who will bolster his anti-Bush views, this time in the form of Wilson/Plame attorney Melanie Sloan. (Transcripts follow)
Saturday's edition of the Times has a pretty misleading article filled with Karl Rove's woe and informing all of us beyond the beltway lifeforms that Rove is now useless to the Party where once he was a kingmaker. At least they are hoping this to be the case.
Where it is misleading is that, as they fill the piece with how Rove is losing influence, they don't balance that claim with the simple fact that nearly every 2nd term president and his team struggles to keep hold of the Party reins as that president's last years in office roll on. It happened to Clinton, too, if the Times will remember?
One would think that Rove has lost his midas touch and that he is now routinely ignored by Party hopefuls and candidates all up and down the line by this piece.
Valerie who? The New York Times seems to need a reminder.
Judging by its sparse coverage, the Times is apparently trying to pretend the Valerie Plame "outing," (which for three years was a matter of national import on its editorial page, news pages, and among its stable of liberal columnists), is no longer even newsworthy, now that the inconvenient truth (Armitage?) is out.