One of the interesting evidences of bias in the mainstream press is the way that all political discussions tend to be written from the point-of-view of "what do the Democrats need to do to win?" This New York Times "analysis" is just the latest example. All of the factors that you'd expect to see from a PR firm trying to help Democrats get elected are present.
Introductory paragraph framing the issue from the Democrats' perspective? Check.
After being outmaneuvered in the politics of national security in the last two elections, Democrats say they are determined not to cede the issue this year and are working to cast President Bush as having diminished the nation’s safety.
"Thousands of people rallied near the White House on Saturday to protest what they described as Israeli aggression in Lebanon and the United States' unwavering support for Israel."
It may not be his normal beat, but Pear proves he has what it takes to cover political stories for the Times -- an apparent deep need to portray any group of Muslims, whether terrorist suspects or anti-war activists, as "diverse": "The diverse crowd included many Arab-Americans and Muslims, college students and families, as well as veterans of prior demonstrations against the war in Iraq."
Were New York Times columnists Paul Krugman and Bob Herbert hangin' in the Hamptons this weekend? Exchanging ideas at a chic cocktail party with ocean views? You might think so, judging by their columns this morning in which they sound such similar themes.
Compare Krugman: "The Bush administration and its allies in Congress saw the terrorist threat not as a problem to be solved, but as a political opportunity to be exploited."
With Herbert: "Will [Americans] continue to fall for the political exploitation of their fears of terrorism?"
Other annotated excerpts, first from Herbert's column, Aiding Our Enemies [subscription required. Note to readers: despite my reluctance to patronize the NY Times, I broke down and subscribed over the weekends. I subscribe, read and report back, so you don't have to!]
"The catastrophic war in Iraq, which has caused the deaths of tens of thousands, was a strategic mistake of the highest magnitude. It diverted our focus, energy and resources from the real enemy, Al Qaeda and its offshoots."
Posted this a few days ago at the MRC's BusinessandMedia.org and thought it worth syndicating here simply because it's so outrageous and yet demonstrative of the insufferable sanctimony of The New York Times.:
did a Happy Meal ever do to Melanie Warner? In March the Business &
Media Institute showed you how The New York Times advertising reporter
found nothing funny in humorous beer ads. Now she’s at it again,
pooh-poohing the toys that come with the child-sized meals sold at
McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD)
Registration Volunteers Under Investigation For Vote Fraud
Individuals Investigated For Filling Out False Registration Cards
POSTED: 4:54 pm EDT September 17, 2004
CLEVELAND -- Suspected vote fraud is under investigation in several counties around the state, including Cuyahoga County, concerning voter registration cards for people who don't exist.
NewsChannel5's Debora Lee reported that three individuals are being investigated in Cuyahoga County.
These people, known as paid volunteers, were being paid by voter registration organizations to go out and sign people up to vote.
The paid volunteers would receive $1 to $2 for every registration card that they turned in, but the people under investigation are suspected of filling out the cards themselves with names of people who don't exist, so they could submit them for payment.
Cuyahoga County Board of Elections director Michael Vu stressed that it is individual paid volunteers that are being investigated, not the groups that hired them.
Sorry, I'm not buying the last paragraph based on the final and much more recent item below. And who ARE these organizations registering new voters?
Will the New York Times write stories on how eavesdropping is what alerted U.S. authorities to the terrorist airplane attack? Time magazine reported in an exclusive that the "U.S. picked up the suspects' chatter and shared it with British authorities."
The operation involved cooperation between British and American authorities.
Britain's MI-5 intelligence service and Scotland Yard had been tracking the plot for several months, but only in the past two weeks had the plotters' planning begun to crystallize, senior U.S. officials tell TIME. In the two or three days before the arrests, the cell was going operational, and authorities were pressed into action. MI5 and Scotland Yard agents tracked the plotters from the ground, while a knowledgeable American official says U.S. intelligence provided London authorities with intercepts of the group's communications.
The Wall Street Journal says media and Democratic opposition to the programs now looks foolish after the foiled terror plot.
The plot was foiled because a large number of people were under surveillance concerning their spending, travel and communications.
It comes like a punch to the gut, at times like these, when our leaders blatantly use the nation’s trauma for political gain.
Profound words, from the NY Times. And, of course, we all remember when they said that. They've pointed out how the Democrats have attempted to use the trauma of every dead American soldier for political gain. They've criticized John Kerry and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. They've excoriated John Murtha and Ned Lamont. Attempting to score political points on the flag-draped coffins of American servicemen. It's reprehensible behavior, and the NY Times has rightly called them on it.
Oh, wait - no they haven't. As a matter of fact, if memory serves, they've actually played that same tune themselves. So, what, exactly, are they talking about in this editorial today? Who do they think is "blatantly us[ing] the nation's trauma for political gain" if it's not the Ned Lamonts of the left? Why, it's Ned Lamont's opponent, Joe Lieberman!
I guess we should have predicted this. After all, in the minds of many in the mainstream media, history began on March 20, 2003, when America invaded Iraq; unless absolutely necessary, all prior events relating to terrorism are to be ignored.
As such, we shouldn’t be at all surprised that a New York Times front-page story about the recent thwarted terrorist plot in Great Britain tied the event to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, the reference to Lebanon was extraordinarily specious, as this plan clearly has been in the making for many months, and hatched well before the recent escalation between Hezbollah and Israel.
Alas, consistency and logic aren’t important to America’s press anymore, especially three months prior to a crucial election. With that in mind, the following sentence won’t shock even the least cynical of NewsBusters readers:
TVNewser broke the news that acting CNN political director Molly Levinson has been named the new political director at CBS News. But he did not note that she's newly married to Joshua Wachs, a recent executive of the Democratic National Committee, as The New York Times noted in its Weddings & Celebrations pages on July 9:
The bridegroom, 34, was until February 2005 the chief operating officer of the Democratic National Committee in Washington. This month he is to become the vice president for community relations for the National Basketball Association in New York. He graduated from Oberlin College.
Brenda Goodman follows up on her NY Times story on the loss in the Democratic primary by inflammatory Rep. Cynthia McKinney of Georgia, but lets her allies blame the Republicans in "Democrat Says G.O.P. Voters Led to Her Loss."
As she did yesterday, Goodman ignores McKinney's nutty statements alleging 9-11 conspiracies and her anti-Israel animus, saying today only that many new district voters "were not impressed by her confrontational and occasionally erratic style."
It seems some in the legacy media are entering into that next phase
of narrative manipulation—a redefining of terms in order to 1) provide
revisionary cover for its ideological fellow travelers, and 2) to
fabricate and then facilitate a bandwagon effect. For instance, The New York Times this morning editorializes on the Lamont victory this way:
rebellion against Mr. Lieberman was actually an uprising by that rare
phenomenon, irate moderates. They are the voters who have been unnerved
over the last few years as the country has seemed to be galloping in a
deeply unmoderate direction.
An “uprising” of “moderates”? Come now. Lamonts’ supporters are to
moderates what Jeffrey Dahmer was to gourmands: just because they
believe themselves to be the arbiters of political taste doesn’t make
them anything more than simple partisan cannibals. And I doubt very
much many of his supporters would even identify themselves
as moderates—though if they believe adopting the label will help them
regain power or take control of the Democratic party, they’ll almost
certainly suck it up and wear it in the months and years to come. The
ends justify the means, after all—and the New York Times has
shown itself willing to equate the Kossacks with Bill Clinton
Democrats. That is, they’ve signaled their willingness to help the
netroots take control of the party (see the new Kossack directive for
completing the purge here)—and
the plan is to do so by massaging the narrative and finding labels for
the players that strike just the right chords with Americans who don’t
follow politics all too closely.
In the wake of anti-war candidate Ned Lamont's win over Sen. Joe Lieberman in the Democratic Senate primary in Connecticut, the paper's lead editorial on Wednesday, "Revenge of the Irate Moderates," ludicrously tries to portray vengeful anti-Lieberman bloggers and anti-war activists as moderates.
"Mr. Lieberman’s supporters have tried to depict Mr. Lamont and his backers as wild-eyed radicals who want to punish the senator for working with Republicans and to force the Democratic Party into a disastrous turn toward extremism. It’s hard to imagine Connecticut, which likes to be called the Land of Steady Habits, as an encampment of left-wing isolationists, and it’s hard to imagine Mr. Lamont, who worked happily with the Republicans in Greenwich politics, leading that kind of revolution."
On this weekend's syndicated The Chris Matthews Show, Matthews made one last pitch for Ned Lamont in his bid to unseat Sen. Joseph Lieberman. Matthews is openly "anti-war" so when he urged a "huge turnout," in the Connecticut primary and declared: "If Democrats in Connecticut think this war has not been good for America they should use their precious ballot, fought and died for, for two centuries of patriots to say so," it sounded an awful like a final Get Out The Vote, rally cry for Lamont. Matthews made that pitch in his final commentary but he stoked the anti-war fires early in the program when he compared the Bush administration to the "imperial presidency" of Richard Nixon.
Four states, four regions, four local authors giving folksy, personalized takes on the candidates and the issues. You can't knock the Times' choice of format for giving readers a sense of Senate races across the country. But when it came to substance, it soon became clear that just beneath the authors' fly-over state surface lay Upper West Side attitude.
Setting the tone, author Deirdre McNamer might have found the only farm equipment store manager in Montana who makes "taking care of the homeless" his first priority. The Dem candidate's barber was also brought in to accuse the Republican in the race of "lies [and] cheap shots," complaining for good measure about money spent on the Iraq war.
The New York Times has done it again. In their latest soft selling of the terror organization, Hezbullah, The Times is revealing the kinder, gentler side of the outlaw group to help us all better understand how wonderful they really are. Even the title almost seems nice...
But wait! Apparently The New York Times thought even that title was too harsh. They later changed the name of the piece to "Charity Wins Deep Loyalty for Hezbollah". Best to get that nasty "gun" word out of there, I suppose. Why, we can't expect people in America to come to love Hezbullah like the TImes does if people think they are somehow connected to guns after all!
It seems safe to say that many Republicans are fed up with the propagandist ways of America’s “newspaper of record,” the New York Times. On Friday, majority members of the Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works issued a statement regarding an August 3 op-ed by the Times’ Bob Herbert.
Herbert’s column began, “It may be time to get serious about trying to slow the catastrophic trend of global warming.” As you will see, Republicans on the EPW committee believe it may be time to get serious about trying to slow the catastrophic trend of globalwarmingism:
The August 3 New York Times op-ed by Bob Herbert titled “Hot Enough Yet,” makes several dubious global warming claims. See: http://select.nytimes.com/2006/08/03/opinion/03herbert.html?hp Herbert promotes the idea that the recent heat wave that has swept across the United States is another example of human caused catastrophic global warming. But the facts do not support this latest example of climate hysteria.
The statement then went point for point with Herbert, basically tearing apart all of his insipid falsehoods. Put your drinking vessels at a safe distance, for this is really delicious stuff:
As the world watches events unfold in the Middle East from the comfort of their living rooms, evidence is mounting that Hezbollah is using the media in a fashion that would make Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels extremely proud. Such an assertion has far reaching implications to be sure, as it points an accusatory finger at the behavior of the American press as well.
Supporting this contention is a paper written in 1948 by Yale psychology professor Leonard W. Doob entitled “Goebbels’ Principles of Propaganda.” In it, Doob enunciated the famed Nazi’s nineteen-point plan for the effective use of the media to advance Germany’s goals.
Fifty-eight years later, a Haaretz article published Thursday outlined the power of the Hezbollah propaganda machine. So coordinated are these efforts that it is easy to imagine the terrorist organization using Goebbels’ principles as a virtual playbook while it molds events and news reports to impact international opinion. The article began:
“Careers that last as long and have been as distinguished as Mr. Bennett’s have something to tell us about collective cultural experience over decades. It has been said that Sinatra’s journey from skinny, starry-eyed ‘Frankie,’ strewing hearts and flowers, to the imperious, volatile Chairman of the Board roughly parallels an American loss of innocence. As Sinatra entered his noir period in the mid-1950’s, his romantic faith gave way to a soul-searching existentialism that yielded the most psychologically complex popular music ever recorded. Following a similar arc, the country grew from a nation of hungry dreamers fleeing the Depression and fighting ‘the good war’ into an arrogant empire drunk on power and angry at the failure of the American dream to bring utopia.”
As Fidel Castro, dictator of Cuba since 1959, malingers in a shadowy state of sickness, the Times for some reason points us to the embarrassing reports filed by Times reporter (and Castro dupe) Herbert Matthews between 1957 and 1959.
As the totalitarian communist dictator of Cuba for 47 years, Fidel Castro repressed those who worked for democracy, human rights and a free press. Yet through the decades, many in the American media have maintained their romanticized mythology of Castro as a progressive revolutionary icon, provider of “free” health care, a Latin American David vs. the Goliath of the United States.
In contrast to their coverage of right-wing dictators, like Chile’s Augusto Pinochet, journalists do not often mention those killed, imprisoned or exiled by Castro’s ruthless “revolution,” but treat him as a celebrity head of state. Just a few years ago, ABC’s Barbara Walters trekked to Havana to produce yet another soft feature on the dictator.
“For Castro, freedom starts with education,” Walters oozed on the October 11, 2002 "20/20." “And if literacy alone is any yardstick, Cuba would rank as one of the freest nations on Earth.”
Now that Fidel’s reign may have ended, it was interesting to see that the New York Times Web site included a sidebar "From the Archives," with links to PDF versions of their own coverage of Castro’s rise to power in the late 1950s. I didn’t read them all, but one that I clicked on showed an incredible pro-Castro bias, with the Times justifying Castro’s executions of political opponents, touting his genius and insisting that his new government wasn’t communist but “conservative.”
Middle East-based reporter Neil MacFarquhar appeared on the Charlie Rose show Monday night and made anti-Bush comments regarding Israel’s war against the terrorist group Hezbollah. (All quotes courtesy of Nexis).
When Rose asks MacFarquhar if the Israel-Hezbollah war had increased hatred of the United States among Arabs, MacFarquhar became disconsolate, regretting the U.S. was expediting its supplying of weaponry to Israel and longing for the innocent milkmen of the Kennedy years:
You’d hardly know that all of Israel is under siege. The networks would rather you stay tuned to their pictures from Lebanon. According to ABC-TV, CNN and other “Friends of Hezbollah”, never mind who started this, and forget the million and a half Israelis who’ve been made homeless.
As usual, NPR Radio is serving as propaganda minister for terror and, also as usual, Israel is at war with the press.
Or rather, the press is at war with Israel.
Any mention of the 200 bombs falling on Israel from day to night? Hardly. What about the thousands of Israelis wounded in flesh and in spirit – meaning shell-shocked today and perhaps for the rest of their lives? No, there’s no time for this. Forget Haifa’s Rambam Hospital. The pictures from Lebanon are better, much better than pictures from Meron, Israel, where seven-year-old Omer Pesachov was murdered along with his grandmother as the result of Hezbollah missiles.
Fresh from his most recent trip to the Middle East, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman returned to offer his latest rationale for Bush hatred. Appearing on yesterday's Meet the Press Friedman theorized: "What this administration has done, is actually stolen something from people. Whether it's an African or a European or an Arab or Israeli, it's that idea of an optimistic America out there. People really need that idea, and the, the sort of dark nature of the Cheneys and the Bushes and the Rices, this, this sort of relentless pessimism about the world, this exporting of fear, not hope, has really left people feeling that the idea of America has been stolen from them."
Just a week ago Friedman, right before his departure to the Mideast, sat down with NBC's Russert to espouse the miraculous benefits of a gas tax. Friedman returned just in time, to the still warm seat across from Russert, to the following welcome from the Meet the Press host:
U.S. Senate candidate Ned Lamont got a boost ahead of next week's Democratic primary in Connecticut against Sen. Joseph Lieberman with an endorsement in Sunday’s New York Times.
Some reasons the Times (and left-wing bloggers) dislike Sen. Lieberman:
“He has shown no interest in prodding his Republican friends into investigating how the administration misled the nation about Iraq’s weapons….If Mr. Lieberman had once stood up and taken the lead in saying that there were some places a president had no right to take his country even during a time of war, neither he nor this page would be where we are today. But by suggesting that there is no principled space for that kind of opposition, he has forfeited his role as a conscience of his party, and has forfeited our support.”
Normally, people expect that a media outlet with an unadmitted agenda will keep its political views to its news and opinion pages. This usually isn't the case, though, as today's New York Times demonstrates.
Inside the arts section is a 1400-word article about how the cultural scene of Beirut has been damaged by Israel in the course of the war between Lebanon and the Jewish state.
There's no denying that such destruction is unfortunate, but the fact that the Times doesn't even bother to mention similar problems created by the war for Israelis doesn't even rise to the low standard of moral equivalence.
Sunday's Book World section in the Washington Post features a review by Brookings Institution fellow Daniel Byman of the new book by Post reporter Thomas Ricks, titled Fiasco: The American Military Adventure In Iraq. The review is headlined "The March of Folly: A damning new book by a Post Pentagon reporter shows how Iraq fell into chaos." Byman seemed to be writing to get himself into the dust-cover hoorah blurbs:
In his compelling and well-researched book, Thomas E. Ricks, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The Washington Post, painfully but clearly reveals an important truth about the Iraq debacle: It has a thousand fathers.
Along the way, Cooper states as fact the usual misleading clichés about Bush’s “go-it-alone approach” to diplomacy and war.
“For the past year, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has worked assiduously to resurrect the importance of traditional diplomacy and building consensus among world leaders after America’s go-it-alone approach to Iraq.”
Can you imagine the Today show or other MSM program airing a segment offering advice to men on how to train their wives to display better behavior . . . by treating them like zoo animals? A segment illustrated with footage of hyenas, baboons and other members of the wild kingdom undergoing training? Don't bother to answer.
Yet, incredibly, that's just what the Today show did this morning. Oh, with one small difference. It was a how-to . . . for wives who want to train their husbands.
'Today' introduced the segment this way: "One woman discovered she could train her husband the way they train animals at the zoo.Does your husband act like a sea lion, or a baboon, or a hyena?"