The New York Times is trying once again to convince the public that tipping off alleged terrorist front groups about an upcoming government search somehow falls under the umbrella of “the public’s right to information”.
Lawyers for the newspaper tried unsuccessfully to prevent special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald from reviewing telephone records that could be used in helping the government determine who leaked the classified information to the newspaper in the government’s obstruction of justice investigation.
New York Times reporter Robert McFadden covers the much-publicized shooting of three men by undercover cops after a bachelor party at a strip club in Queens for Sunday's edition.
"Hours before he was to be married, a man leaving his bachelor party at a strip club in Queens that was under police surveillance was shot and killed early yesterday in a hail of police bullets, witnesses and the police said. Two of his friends were wounded, one critically, they said.
"Many details of the shooting were not immediately clear, but relatives of the dead man, Sean Bell, 23, and community leaders, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, demanded an investigation into what some called an overreaction by officers that killed a man on his wedding day. "
Reports of burning mosques, like this one from Reuters remain unconfirmed, and may have been fabricated by Sunni militants.
Also, sensationalized accounts of Sunnis being dragged from prayer and burned alive by rampaging Shiites are unconfirmed, and all appear to come from the same source, police Captain Jamil Hussein, whose entire career appears to be issuing statements about Shia violence against Sunnis. Curt at Flopping Aces has researched Hussein and found a remarkable number of atrocity stories for which he is the source.
There is perhaps no better time to speak well of someone than when they pass away. But tributes can be excessive to the point where the truth is utterly lost, and low moments of someone's career are glossed over. When we lose presidents, partisans of one stripe or the other think the celebration risks ignoring or going beyond the facts of history. In today's Washington Post, Marcia Davis's appreciation of departed New York Times managing editor Gerald Boyd, dismissed by the Times in the furor over utterly fraudulent reporting by Jayson Blair, Davis claims no one can challenge Boyd's record as a stickler for accuracy and against racial favoritism. The caption the front page of the Style section didn't mention Blair, but merely: "As he mentored new generations of journalists, Boyd was an unyielding stickler for accuracy." Davis recalled the Blair scandal this way:
Maureen Dowd: law-and-order fan? And here I thought liberals like to pose as champions of human rights . . .
But consider Dowd's idea of an Iraq solution: find brutal dictators to whom we can surrender and who will impose "law and order." Working model: the US capitulation to the Communist dicators of Hanoi.
The title of her subscription-required column of this morning, No One to Lose To, says it all. Dowd's biggest regret is, yes, that there's no obvious thug, or thugocracy, to whom to surrender. Dowd approvingly quotes Neil Sheehan, a former Times reporter in Vietnam who wrote “A Bright Shining Lie” as saying:
“In Vietnam, there were just two sides to the civil war. You had a government in Hanoi with a structure of command and an army and a guerrilla movement that would obey what they were told to do. So you had law and order in Saigon immediately after the war ended. In Iraq, there’s no one like that for us to lose to and then do business with.”
In yet another anti-gun rant, the Times has once again sounded the good liberal mantra: Got a problem? Throw money at it.
Apparently, outgoing Senator George Allen (R, Vir.) has introduced one of his last bills in the waning days of the 109th sitting of the Senate, a bill allowing concealed carry of firearms inside our National Parks.
After informing us that the bill has passed the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, they emotionally proclaim that they "hope it will die the miserable death it deserves". Then they go on an interesting rant on how the gun lobby has:
As Washington prepares for a new balance of power, there has been so much talk of “lame ducks” that you would be forgiven if you thought Vice President Cheney had gone hunting again. But the political phrase of the moment is actually derived not from the hunt for waterfowl, but for riches.
There's an interesting catch to a suit wherein a group of day laborers won a lawsuit alleging discrimination and intimidation because a Long Island town attempted to prevent them from finding day work.
They filed the suit as "John Does" and many of the MSM articles leave that fact out - Forbes has it. Isn't that an unusual, if not telling aspect of the story? You don't even have to identify yourself to get justice in America today? Because you might not be a citizen? I suppose anyone in the world can walk into an American court and allege discrimination, maybe al Qaeda will be next.
Six immigrant workers - all identified as John Doe for fear of retaliation by police or immigration authorities - had sought an injunction against what they called harassment, selective law enforcement and ethnic discrimination. They said the village violated their right to equal protection.
While the rest of the press played up liberal-minded comparisons between the Vietnam War and the Iraq War and brought up old and unsubstantiated claims about Bush's Vietnam-era National Guard service, Sanger finds a different anti-Bush angle, one he’s used before – the president’s evidently disturbing lack of curiosity about the world.
At the Get Religion blog, Mollie Hemingway deconstructs a "mash note" the New York Times Magazine published Sunday on gay parenting, a note so favorable that the transient romantic attachments of the lesbian parents in the piece are spun as a positive sign, a puff piece on polymorphous parenting: "But the kids love both their mothers, and though the relationships may seem confusing to outsiders, there is certainly no lack of people in their lives who care about them -- something many 'straight' families can't claim."
Mollie concludes that the story's author, John Bowe, "clearly is a talented writer. But a story devoid of opposing perspectives on a controversial topic does not deserve to be in a major mainstream paper. Even if all mainstream papers are turning into publications with all gay news all the time." I think the error here is in assuming the New York Times is a "mainstream paper." It certainly is mainstream by virtue of its prestige and traditions, but it often reads like a heavier version of the Village Voice, especially on the cultural issues.
An editorial in today’s (Monday's) Investor’s Business Daily points out how the big liberal media have conveniently only begun to focus on the downside of a hasty U.S. withdrawal from Iraq since the November elections. IBD’s editors correctly ask, “Why did they wait? Those ‘experts’ now exposing the Democrats’ exit strategy as a deadly fantasy were available to reporters before the election. A full airing of their views at that time might have helped voters make an informed choice.”
“But such pointed criticism of the winning party came too late. Why does that not surprise us?”
Here's an excerpt of the editorial in the November 20 issue, headlined: “Now They Tell Us.”
In 1992, Bill Clinton campaigned for president by promising tax cuts for the middle class. Fourteen years later, his Party ran on a similar “tell the people exactly what they want to hear” motif, this time the mantra being a speedy withdrawal of American troops from Iraq.
Though separated by almost a decade and a half, these campaign strategies were quite similar to a now illegal marketing scheme called a bait and switch – whereby a company advertises a product for sale at a cheap price to lure in customers. Unfortunately, the organization’s retail outlets don’t actually have the item in stock forcing anxious shoppers to consider more expensive products that are available.
I Dig a Phony
Much like this advertising scam, the 1992 and 2006 political campaigns had three things in common:
One of the big stories of last week was the buying frenzy over the limited number of the new PlayStation 3 consoles that were put on sale. There was a humorous political angle in this as well which was widely covered with the notable exceptions of the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. An unpaid volunteer for John Edwards contacted a Wal-Mart store in Raleigh, NC and invoked the name of his boss in order to get first dibs on a PlayStation 3. Since Edwards has been in the forefront of slamming Wal-Mart recently his hypocrisy was especially glaring and resulted in this press release from that retailer:
During the past week, NewsBusters has made it quite clear that the media have a love affair going with incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and antiwar Congressman Jack Murtha. The big question around the cooler yesterday was which media outlets would be critical of either Democrat given Thursday’s vote to appoint Steny Hoyer as House Majority Leader. Well, separating themselves from the pack on Friday was the New York Times which published a scathing editorial surprisingly lambasting both Pelosi and Murtha (emphasis mine throughout):
Nancy Pelosi has managed to severely scar her leadership even before taking up the gavel as the new speaker of the House. First, she played politics with the leadership of the House Intelligence Committee to settle an old score and a new debt. And then she put herself in a lose-lose position by trying to force a badly tarnished ally, Representative John Murtha, on the incoming Democratic Congress as majority leader. The party caucus put a decisive end to that gambit yesterday, giving the No. 2 job to Steny Hoyer, a longtime Pelosi rival.
Checking that link about now? Don’t, because it’s going to get better:
Now that the Democrats have picked their Majority Leader in the House the outcome gives us (and her) the first hint that Speaker Pelosi is not the powerhouse she thought she was. Her man, Murtha, lost in a landslide: 149 to 86... a thumpin' to say the least.
In my last report on how the MSM covered this little inter Dem fight I pointed out that they were ignoring how distant were the two positions on pulling out of Iraq that is held by the erstwhile candidates for Majority Leader.
I noted how they refused to portray Murtha's position as "extreme", even as he supports pulling out of Iraq immediately to Hoyer's, who does not. I noted that the MSM did not waste much breath contrasting Murtha's position with the far less volatile position held by Hoyer.
It seems strangely inconsistent that the MSM ignored the Iraq war issue in their stories since they made the entire recent election all about Iraq and how it is a mess and that our soldiers should come home. Yet, a guy who does not want an immediate pull out defeated Murtha and this fact went uncommented upon.
After comparing Al Jazeera's core audience to that of Fox News, Alessandra Stanley's review of the Arab-language channel's American debut notes: "A promo for an upcoming program described American policy in Iraq as George Bush's 'alleged war on terror.'"
From Wednesday's lead Times editorial: "The nation's image is at stake, as well as the safety of every man and woman who is fighting Mr. Bush's so-called war on terror."
It has been interesting, to say the least, to watch the MSM twist itself into knots trying to report this story of Pelosi backing the extremist Murtha for Party leadership over the objections of the so-called "blue dog" Democrats who were recently elected to Congress.
Pelosi has decided to ardently back the extreme anti-war activist, John Murtha (Dem, PA), for the Democrat's Majority leader position in a move that has 'baffled" many Democrats, especially those incoming Democrats who ran as conservative alternatives to Republicans -- as well as other incumbent moderate Democrats -- who are instead backing Maryland Democrat Steny Hoyer.
Hoyer is well known on the floor not to be quite as extreme as Murtha is on a pull out from Iraq (Hoyer voted to give Bush the OK to go into Iraq in 2002, but he IS for gradual withdraw to be sure), but few Americans will have even heard of Steny Hoyer, he not being much of a "national" figure. On the other hand, anyone who had paid politics much attention knows that Murtha is against the war and is a vocal critic of President Bush. Murtha is well known for his many extreme positions and statements.
Looking for an election-season boost, the Times opened up its exclusive Times Select product to non-paying proles last week, sending editor-columnist Frank Rich's "2006: The Year of the 'Macaca,'" to the #1 most e-mailed story of the week (the free window is now closed, so you have to pay for Rich's deep thoughts on why Bush-style conservatism lost this year).
"This was callous conservatism, if not just plain mean.
"It’s the kind of conservatism that remains silent when Rush Limbaugh does a mocking impersonation of Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's symptoms to score partisan points. It’s the kind of conservatism that talks of humane immigration reform but looks the other way when candidates demonize foreigners as predatory animals. It's the kind of conservatism that pays lip service to 'tolerance' but stalls for days before taking down a campaign ad caricaturing an African-American candidate as a sexual magnet for white women.
Now that the Democrats hold the majority in the Senate, the New York Times is painting the new Senators firmly into the political middle. Reporter Timothy Egan profiled Sen.-Elect Jon Tester, one of the hard-left Daily Kos Democrats, in a story headlined "Fresh Off the Farm in Montana, a Senator-to-Be." Egan began his ode to the liberal man with a crew-cut: "When he joins the United States Senate in January, big Jon Tester — who is just under 300 pounds in his boots — will most likely be the only person in the world’s most exclusive club who knows how to butcher a cow or grease a combine." You have to read quite a way into the article to see that this good old boy is raising "organic lentils, barley, peas, and gluten-free grain" on his farm. No boutique liberal there, eh?
Egan insisted "the senator-elect from Montana truly is your grandfather’s Democrat — a pro-gun, anti-big-business prairie pragmatist whose life is defined by the treeless patch of hard Montana dirt that has been in the family since 1916." That definition would work, if your grandfather opposed wiretapping enemy communications in World War 2 or would have opposed a Patriot Act to help fight the Nazis.
Speaking as an alumnus to students at Brown University over the weekend, liberal New York Times reporter James Risen -- best known for breaking open the government's terrorist-surveillance program -- hailed Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's resignation as "the best thing to happen in a long time" and cheered that it's "sinking in" with President Bush that his foreign policy is "too radical."
Risen also typically complained of how vital the New York Times is to American democracy. The Bushies have "suppressed dissent throughout the administration," and the climate of fear is "palpable" and "frightening to watch." The press is vital because "there's been almost no congressional oversight." And cable news just rips off the newspapers: "CNN, which is probably the best of them, does almost no original reporting" and the cable networks have "24 hours to fill and nothing to say." In the Brown Daily Herald, reporter Abe Lubetkin wrote:
But MacFarquhar, who went to elementary school in Libya and was once the Times' bureau chief in Cairo, disposes of the controversy in two sentences and frames it as Ellison being "attacked on religious grounds."
Well, sports fans, we knew if the Democrats won back Congress, even though history has shown this typically happens during the second year of a president’s second term, liberal media members would be shouting from the rooftops about how extraordinary and unprecedented a victory it was. Of course, such sentiments coming from a shill like the New York Times’ Paul Krugman is certainly no surprise. However, it should make for good laughs on a Saturday (emphasis mine throughout):
But we may be seeing the downfall of movement conservatism -- the potent alliance of wealthy individuals, corporate interests and the religious right that took shape in the 1960s and 1970s. This alliance may once have had something to do with ideas, but it has become mainly a corrupt political machine, and America will be a better place if that machine breaks down.
It is important for the reader to remember what Krugman said here, because, true to form, he is going to contradict it later: “the potent alliance of wealthy individuals, corporate interests and the religious right that took shape in the 1960s and 1970s.” Krugman continued:
Just as television is hypocritical when it comes to diversity (both political and otherwise), many newspapers which are run by liberals are equally hypocritical when it comes to how they structure shares of their stock.
The New York Times is the best example of this--editorially, the paper puts forth an image of empowering the powerless and standing up for the little guy. But when it comes to its own finances, the paper is decidedly in favor of the elites, refusing to let the majority of stockholders in the New York Times company have a voice in who its board of directors are. Instead, these shareholders must defer to a small elite--primarily comprised of members of the Sulzberger family--who own the voting Class B shares.
What this boils down to is that the Sulzberger family, led by the ranting leftist Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger, is trying to take money from investors and remain completely unaccountable about how it runs the Times company into the ground. It's a classic case of having your cake and eating it too, and in this case, it's harming the company severely.
Fortunately, some Times investors have had enough of this offensive situation. The investment firm Morgan Stanley has stepped forward and said that it can't continue:
New York Times political reporter Mark Leibovich certainly doesn't hold back the snark in Thursday's ostensibly playful look at Bush's White House press conference following Republican losses on Election Day.
"It was one of those once-a-decade days in Washington where news, rumor and recrimination crackled in every direction. But the wounded duck at the center of it all, President Bush, offered by far the day’s most mesmerizing spectacle.
During President Bush’s news conference Wednesday afternoon, New York Times writer Jim Rutenberg phrased his question to President Bush in terms utilized on the Times editorial page on Wednesday repudiating President Bush’s leadership. Earlier, David Gregory portrayed President Bush as out of touch with Americans and inquired as to whether now that the voters have spoken, is he "listening to the voters or the vice president."
During the press conference Jim Rutenberg questioned:
"But the results are being interpreted as a repudiation of your leadership style in some quarters. I wonder what your reaction is to that, and should we expect a very different White House? Should we expect a very different leadership style from you in these last two years given that you have a whole new set of partners."
Like Chris Matthews last night, The Times seems to be bitter about not having everything go the Democrats' way last night, putting its usual racism spin on one of the GOP's few bright spots -- Bob Corker's win over Harold Ford Jr. in the race for Senate in Tennessee.
"Tennessee's open Senate seat stayed in Republican hands on Tuesday night after a campaign that drew national attention for its nastiness and for Democratic hopes that it would break a longstanding race barrier."
Nossiter blames racism in Tennessee:
"In addition, Mr. Ford was trying to become the first black senator from the South since Reconstruction.
"For a combination of reasons -- increasingly bullish prognostications by independent handicappers, galloping optimism by Democratic leaders and bloggers, and polls that promise a Democratic blowout -- expectations for the party have soared into the stratosphere. Democrats are widely expected to take the House, and by a significant margin, and perhaps the Senate as well, while capturing a majority of governorships and legislatures.