Near the top of the New York Times "Most E-Mailed List" for weeks now is Amy Sutherland's article about how she learned to train her husband by studying the training of exotic animals. The illustration is especially insulting (watch hubby jump through a hoop for a pretzel!) But I'm guessing that at least half the e-mailers are husbands. Sutherland recommends that you praise husbands for even the mildest good behavior, and avoid nagging about all the little bad things. That sounds good. I still don't think the New York Times would run a story with a whimsical illustration of a wife jumping through hoops for a pretzel....
The top of the New York Times website was odd on Tuesday morning, as its top story on the architect of butchery in Beslan was "Caucusus Renegade Dies, And His Cause May Die, Too." Renegade? The copy underneath was almost value-neutral: "Shamil Basayev's death was the latest of almost two years of setbacks for his separatist faction in Chechnya." The actual story by C. J. Chivers has everything the home page did not, at least. Wow, this is not a typical New York Times first paragraph:
In a long and notorious career, Shamil Basayev, the elusive terrorist leader of the most vicious separatist faction in Chechnya, was an airplane hijacker, a hostage taker, a guerrilla commander and a war-scarred spokesman for terror who tried to justify mass killings of civilians, even school children, for political ends and revenge.
By 6:00 o’clock on Monday evening, an entertainingly motley crew of a hundred or so protestors had gathered across the street from New York Times headquarters at W. 43rd street in midtown Manhattan to protest the New York Times’ revelations of a secret, and successful, anti-terror program involving international bank transactions.
The stated goal of protest cosponsors Caucus for America/conservative message board Free Republic, according to a flier: "To show the New York Times that America has had enough of their irresponsible reporting of classified information that damages our country and helps our enemies!"
Rabbi Aryeh Spero of the Caucus for America did most of the talking (and chant-leading), stepping aside from time to time for others to speak. At one point he was joined on the cab of the Caucus truck by a Bin Laden impersonator cradling his precious copy of the Times.
Monisha Baisal of CNSNews.com also has a report on Rabbi Aryeh Spero's Caucus for America protesting in front of the New York Times building yesterday to voice the nation’s outrage at the newspaper’s publication of classified details of the government’s bank tracking of suspected al Qaeda members. If only the establishment media had given the event the same level of coverage it gives even the lamest PETA publicity stunt.
Saying the Times is jeopardizing American lives because it “wants us to lose [the war on terror]," the protestors called for the Times to be prosecuted for espionage, as well as for patrons to cancel their subscriptions.
Looking through the windows outside their New York Times headquarters, employees of the paper saw some original signs and a man dressed as the world's most infamous terrorist, clutching his favorite paper.
At a rally outside the New York Times's office last night, protesters called on the government to "prosecute" the newspaper for its recent publication of government security secrets.
Led by a radio talk show host and Caucus for America president, Rabbi Aryeh Spero, almost 100 people gathered on 43rd Street to voice their outrage at the Times's decision to publish "national security secrets relating to our government's financial monitoring programs to track down terrorists."
"Authorities overseas have arrested one man and have taken two others into custody on suspicion of planning suicide bombings in train tunnels beneath the Hudson River between Manhattan and New Jersey, officials said yesterday.
It appears that the post-Yearly Kos month from hell is continuing for Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, the proprietor of the Internet’s premier liberal blog Daily Kos. After receiving some extremely negative press from major publications such as the New York Times, The New Republic, and Newsweek immediately following his seemingly successful bloggers’ convention in Las Vegas, Kos is now faced with an even greater challenge: dissension within his ranks.
New York Times columnist Frank Rich assembled for his Sunday column all the standard cliches of the liberal narrative of Bush vs. Heroic Liberal Press, including the old cartoon that Ari Fleischer was somehow telling the press to shut up when he suggested late in a news briefing in 2001 that Bill Maher might have watched his mouth before praising the courage of al-Qaeda. See here for context.
The Philadelphia Inquirer editorial page is alarmed by those who call New York Times executive editor Bill Keller a "traitor." The editorial page quoted Brent Bozell in his latest column: "Indeed, the track record proves the New York Times and Bill Keller are not 'neutral' but grossly biased against the U.S.-led war against terrorism."
To this the editorial wrote:
So fulminated conservative propagandist Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center last week. His statement was part of an anti-Times frenzy whipped up by Republican strategists, then echoed ad nauseam by Pavlovian talk shows and blogs.
For these folks, bashing the Times (and journalists generally) is a hobby.
The Sunday Times reports that many Western countries have been waging a "secret war" against North Korea. That word alone should perk up New York Times editors, who believe nothing can be kept "secret" without their approval.
Intelligence agencies, navies and air forces from at least 13 nations are quietly co-operating in a “secret war” against Pyongyang and Tehran.
It has so far involved interceptions of North Korean ships at sea, US agents prowling the waterfronts in Taiwan, multinational naval and air surveillance missions out of Singapore, investigators poring over the books of dubious banks in the former Portuguese colony of Macau and a fleet of planes and ships eavesdropping on the “hermit kingdom” in the waters north of Japan.
But this still isn't saying how these operations are carried out. We all need to know the specifics about how these maneuvers are executed. Cue the New York Times.
David Brooks of the New York Times has been on quite an anti-liberal blogosphere roll of late. After eviscerating Markos Moulitsas Zuniga – the proprietor of the Daily Kos – in a June 25 op-ed entitled “Respect Must be Paid For,” Brooks again ripped into Kos on Friday night’s “The News Hour” on PBS (video link courtesy of Crooks and Liars). Brooks followed this up with another op-ed tangentially on this subject Sunday.
On Friday evening, the discussion between host Jim Lehrer, Mark Shields, and Brooks centered around Joe Lieberman’s problems in Connecticut. Lehrer asked Brooks how Lieberman is impacting the 2008 presidential campaign. Brooks responded (emphasis mine):
That didn't take long! Just yesterday I suggested readers keep in mind the MSM's bashing of Pres. Bush on his birthday the next time a liberal accused conservatives of being 'mean-spirited.' Groucho fans will know what I mean when I say: bring down the duck! On last evening's Journal Editorial Report , liberal newsie Marvin Kalb said the magic 'm-s' word in condemning the Wall Street Journal for its criticism of the New York Times.
The Journal had run an editorial, Fit and Unfit to Print [subscription required] that both explained why it had run a story on the anti-terror financial tracking program, and criticized the New York Times for doing so. For the record, the editorial explained that in contrast with the Times article, the Journal only published declassified information that had been provided them by the Treasury Department.
In a piece posted Thursday night, Jack Shafer, media critic for the Washington Post-owned online magazine Slate, ponders the current tension between the Bush administration and the press over the latter's reporting of some of the former's anti-terrorist methods. Shafer posits that Bush and company's angry reaction to said reporting
signal[s] the breakdown of the traditional comity—I wouldn't call it "trust"—that has existed between the White House and the press. Since the end of WWII, the press has sought White House input whenever its reporters bumped up against issues of national security, and if the press has erred it's mostly erred in favor of the government position. For a good summary of recent instances in which the [New York Times and Los Angeles Times] and the Washington Post have held stories or deleted sensitive information at the administration's request, see [NYT editor Bill] Keller and [LAT editor Dean] Baquet's joint op-ed...defending publication of their SWIFT stories.
New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller claimed there were no consequences for leaking information about the bank-monitoring program designed to track terrorists' finances. He claimed that there was no harm done and that no backlash was caused by publicly releasing the information.
In fact, Keller said the program would still be supported in Europe, despite the leak.
The Bush Administration and America itself may be unpopular in Europe these days, but policing the byways of international terror seems to have pretty strong support everywhere. And while it is too early to tell, the initial signs are that our article is not generating a banker backlash against the program.
The European governments knew about the program, but now that the New York Times has made it known to the world, they may have to show outrage to their home citizens.
On "Special Report with Brit Hume," the anchor led his July 7 "Political Grapevine" segment by reporting on the reaction of the European Parliament to the Times story.
Friday's Washington Post put the feisty intra-party Democratic debate on Thursday night between Sen. Joe Lieberman and his ultraliberal opponent, Ned Lamont, on the front page. That's odd, considering the nearby New York Times put the story on A-19. But reporter Shailagh Murray never described Lamont (or his fervent supporters on the hard-left blogs like Daily Kos) as "liberal." In the story's last paragraph, she acknowledged it only as an opponent's questionable charge: "Lieberman has tried to depict him as a pawn of the left."
The Times story accurately pegged the current trend: "anti-war activists and liberal bloggers from across the nation have flocked to Mr. Lamont's aid in hopes of punishing Mr. Lieberman for his centrist politics." Well, accurate at least, until the centrist part: in the latest American Conservative Union voting scores for Congress, Lieberman has compiled scores of eight percent (2005) and zero percent (2004). His lifetime ACU is 17 -- not that "centrist." Murray's story began by merely linking Lamont to the "anti-war movement":
Today's New York Times leads off with a local story with national ramifications, a 4-2 defeat of gay marriage in the Court of Appeals of New York, the state's highest court.
Anemona Hartocollis reports:
"New York's highest court rejected yesterday a broad attempt by gay and lesbian couples across the state to win the right to marry under state law, saying that denying marriage to same-sex couples does not violate the State Constitution.
"By a 4-2 majority, the Court of Appeals found that the State Legislature, in laws dating back nearly 100 years, intended to limit marriage to a union between a man and a woman, and that the Legislature had a rational basis for doing so."
The FBI "scrambling" to pick up suspects stopped a terror plot by jihadists trying to blow up the Holland Tunnel, flooding Manhattan.
Counterterrorism officials are alarmed by the "lone wolf" terror plot because they allegedly got a pledge of financial and tactical support from Jordanian associates of top terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi before he was killed in Iraq, a counterterrorism source told The News.
It's not clear, however, if any cash or assistance was delivered.
No, and it probably will never be clear again. Thanks, New York Times.
New York Times TV writer Alessandra Stanley reviewed George and Laura Bush's Thursday night interview on CNN's "Larry King Live" as a desperately needed chance for a softball interview. "The standoff with North Korea over its missile tests, the war in Iraq and ever-sliding ratings in the polls have given the president little reason to celebrate. Mr. King gave the president a chance to defend his policies without risk of interruption or follow-up."
This adjective, "ever-sliding," may be what Miss Stanley wishes and hopes for, but it could not be described as accurate. Bush fans would look silly to describe Bush's poll ratings as good. But they have been creeping upward since the killing of Iraqi al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The PollingReport.com summary shows that several polls have him up a bit since a low point in early May:
Bill Keller, editor of The New York Times, was on the PBS "NewsHour" last night to discuss the fallout over the fact that on June 23, The New York Times among other papers, revealed classified anti terrorism programs. Mr. Keller attempted to downplay the revelation as not a big deal because:
"We weighed very heavily and looked in excruciating detail at claims that this was not something that terrorists knew, that this would somehow be useful to terrorists. And the fact is, you know, you can find more useful detail about what the Treasury is doing in the Treasury's own public briefings."
If there is more useful detail on the public record, then why didn’t the Times print that instead? How does the Times know that the terrorists were already aware of the SWIFT program they wrote about? Did they talk to any terrorists to find out? The fact is, as Bill Keller goes on to mention:
Editors of the New York Times, along with their allies in journalism, are defending the publication of anti-terrorism programs by declaring their actions to be in the “public interest,” making them a watchdog against what they view as excessive government power and secrecy. But the tables need to be turned. What about excessive media power and secrecy?
There’s something bizarre about the Times rushing out to protest excessive secrecy in the Bush administration – and then touting the testimony of secret sources as its evidence.
TomPaine.com goes to anti-Bush author David Corn for an article called "The Timid Times." In it, he claims the New York Times isn't really anti-Bush, and could be much harder on the President. He is progressively wrong on nearly every point he makes.
The Times and other papers occasionally publish graphic photos of wounded and dead Iraqis, but not enough to represent accurately and fully the daily tragedies occurring in Iraq... Everyday there are bodies—often headless bodies bearing signs of torture and mutilation. The paper generally does not put photographs of such atrocities in front of its readers. But imagine if it did, with regularly placed detailed photos of civilian casualties in Iraq on the front page. White House officials and others, no doubt, would complain about the demoralizing impact on U.S. public opinion regarding the war in Iraq.
I'm sure Mr. Corn isn't suggesting that U.S. soldiers decapitate, torture and mutilate civilians, is he? I actually agree with Mr. Corn on this issue, show Americans what terrorists do to innocent civilians. The reason the New York Times won't do it is two-fold; readers will quit buying the gory paper and it would actually solidify support against the heinous terrorists...
Thanks to Cori Dauber at Ranting Profs , we know that Times intelligence reporter Eric Lichtblau, notorious for co-writing the article revealing the terrorist surveillance program of international banking transactions known as SWIFT, wrote an article last November critical of the administration for -- get this -- lacking a strategy to cut off terrorist funding.From November 29, 2005 (Times Select or $ required): “U.S. Lacks Strategy to Curb Terror Funds, Agency Says.” An excerpt:
You're the boss at the New York Times. The warden at the jail holding celebrity snoop Anthony Pellicano issued an order barring anyone other than family and lawyers from seeing him. Getting a scoop with Pellicano will certainly boost newstainment sales.
Do you: A. Respect the order and write stories without talking to Pellicano. B. Appeal to a judge to lift the order. C. Send in a "reporter" with a 20 year old law degree and California State Bar credential card who may or may not have filled out a form stating "Purpose of the visit: legal" which forces Pellicano out of his cell and into "outrage."
If you answered C, you could be New York Times management.
The American Spectator published an article Wednesday thoroughly refuting claims by the New York Times that counterterrorism information revealed in its June 23 exposé was common knowledge. Moreover, to discourage it and the Los Angeles Times from publishing these reports, both were informed of three ongoing investigations using information from SWIFT:
According to Treasury and Justice Department officials familiar with the briefings their senior leadership undertook with editors and reporters from the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, the media outlets were told that their reports on the SWIFT financial tracking system presented risks for three ongoing terrorism financing investigations. Despite this information, both papers chose to move forward with their stories.
"We didn't give them specifics, just general information about regions where the investigations were ongoing, terrorist organizations that we believed were being assisted. These were off the record meetings set up to dissuade them from reporting on SWIFT, and we thought the pressing nature of the investigations might sway them, but they didn't," says a Treasury official.
Without giving away vital secrets, these briefings were detailed enough to convince both news organizations of the effectiveness of this program:
On July 3, the D.C. Chapter of FreeRepublic.com and Accuracy in Media held a protest outside the Washington bureau of the New York Times. Michelle Malkin has pictures from the event.
The protest was reported on Fox News' "Special Report with Brit Hume."
BRIT HUME: The "New York Times" continues to take heat for its revelation, as we mentioned earlier in the "Grapevine," of a secret government program to track terrorist financing. As chief Washington correspondent, Jim Angle, reports attempts by the paper's editor to explain its action have not calmed the controversy.
PROTESTOR: Round them up for treason. Send them all to Gitmo.
"Fredo, you're my older brother, and I love you. But don't ever take sides with anyone against the Family again. Ever." - Michael Corleone, The Godfather
Mark Hohmeister writes for the Tallahassee Democrat about picking editorial cartoons. While he admits to being liberal, he also notes that one shouldn't pick editorial cartoons based on your personal ideology. Last week he made the mistake of picking one where Uncle Sam was reading the New York Times with the masthead saying "All the Treason Fit to Print."
He heard back from unhappy readers, which didn't surprise me, but he also heard from his former publisher of the Democrat, who said:
"In more than 50 years of various responsibilities for newspapers and editorial pages, I've defended a lot of editorial cartoons. But this one is indefensible."
Q: Where is approximately 380,000 votes "the narrowest of leads" in an election?
A: In the New York Times, but only when the leftist candidate is trailing.
From James C. McKinley Jr. and Ginger Thompson's dispatch on the Mexican presidential race (emphasis added):
MEXICO CITY, July 4 — The Mexican electoral crisis deepened Tuesday, as the leftist candidate demanded a vote-by-vote recount and election officials acknowledged that up to three million votes had not been tallied in the preliminary results.
The ballots counted so far showed the conservative, Felipe Calderón, with the narrowest of leads, fewer than 400,000 votes, over his leftist opponent, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
The Times backpedals a bit from its irresponsible story revealing a successful terrorist surveillance program involving international bank transactions. After playing it up as a lead story June 23, nine days later it's shrugged off as common knowledge by the very reported who trumpeted it on the front page.
Based on CNN's rush transcript, here's reporter Eric Lichtblau on CNN’s Reliable Sources from Sunday defending his bank spy scoop (emphasis added):
"I'm not claiming I know the mind of every terrorist, but I am claiming to know exactly what President Bush and his senior aides have said. And when you have senior Treasury Department officials going before Congress, publicly talking about how they are tracing and cutting off money to terrorists, weeks and weeks before our story ran. 'USA Today,' the biggest circulation in the country, the lead story on their front page four days before our story ran was the terrorists know their money is being traced, and they are moving it into -- outside of the banking system into unconventional means. It is by no means a secret."
The top of Tuesday's Washington Post carries the headline "Mexico Girds for Legal Battle As Election Yields a Near Tie." But the caption nearby under pictures of the candidates reports: "Felipe Calderon, left, has 36.38 percent of the vote following a preliminary, uncertified tally, and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has 35.34 percent." That's a one percent lead, which is tight, but not a "near tie" -- it's a margin of 384,000 votes, says the New York Times with a more accurate headline: "Conservative Has Slight Edge in Mexico Vote." The Post story never employed a numerical vote margin in its story, hiding the margin of hundreds of thousands of votes.
After appearing on CNN last week and granting an interview with Washington Post reporter Howard Kurtz (who naively pondered the ferocity of what he considered the unwarranted conservative assault on the New York Times), Times Executive Editor Bill Keller again goes to a sympathetic outlet, CBS’s Face the Nation hosted by liberal host Bob Schieffer. Keller again defended his paper by throwing dark hints of a conservative anti-Times conspiracy.