Something very good happened in Iraq yesterday, and, for a change, The New York Times noticed. In fact, the editors not only put this news on the front page, but also published an editorial about it – color me shocked.
As you all likely know, Iraq Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari has been under immense pressure from the Bush administration to resign due to his failures to form a unified government after the successful December elections. As the Times reported in its lead paragraph: “Under intense domestic and American pressure, Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari dropped his bid to retain his job on Thursday, removing a major obstacle to forming a new government during a time of rising sectarian violence.” Paragraph two was just as optimistic: “Leaders from each of Iraq's main factions — Sunni Arab, Shiite and Kurd — called the decision a breakthrough.” So was paragraph three: “‘I believe that we will succeed in forming the national unity government the people are waiting for,’ Adnan Pachachi, the acting speaker of Parliament, said at a news conference at the Convention Center inside the fortified Green Zone.”
Amazing. Three opening paragraphs of positive news about Iraq – on the front page no less. When’s the last time that happened at The Times?
Of course, it wasn’t all positive, as paragraph four demonstrated:
Many of you are likely aware of a book by Peter Schweizer entitled “Do As I Say (Not As I Do).” In it, Schweizer demonstrated the hypocrisy of many popular liberals who espouse one position in public that they clearly don’t follow in their private lives.
Well, it seems that The New York Times is guilty of such hypocrisy. In an article Wednesday concerning a looming shareholder revolt at the Times Company over declining share values, it was revealed that one of the complaints coming from Times’ largest investors is how much upper-managers have been paid during a tough period for the company. In fact, a representative from Morgan Stanley – one of the largest Times shareholders – stated: “‘Despite significant underperformance, management's total compensation is substantial and has increased considerably over this period.’"
Yet, just three days earlier, the Times published a 1024-word, front-page business section article entitled “Fund Managers May Have Pay Secrets, Too”: “Amid all the talk about executive compensation and pay for performance, one group of managers has been pretty much untouched: those who run mutual funds.”
On April 13, The Times published an editorial -- yes, an editorial -- entitled “A Cozy Arrangement” concerning -- you guessed it -- executive pay:
When Sen. John Kerry lost to George W. Bush in the presidential election of 2004, the press turned its attention to 2008 and Sen. Hillary Clinton as a potential Democratic savior.
As Mrs. Clinton’s home state broadsheet, the Times has a front-row seat for the run-up to Election 2008. Yet a Times Watch study has discovered that ever since the Hillary-for-president talk heated up in earnest, the newspaper has used its seat more as a cheering section for Clinton than as a dispassionate perch for objective observation.
A reader wishing for a full, balanced picture of Sen. Hillary Clinton won’t get it from the New York Times, which has followed a pattern of mainstreaming Clinton’s liberal policies while throwing roadblocks in front of her potential Republican Senate opponents and playing down Clinton’s controversial remarks.
On this morning's Today show, NY Times foreign affairs columnist Thomas Friedman repeated his astonishing wish that the price of crude oil . . . go to $100/barrel ASAP. This is apparently a favorite Friedman mantra, as NewsBusters/MRC's Tim Graham and Brian Boyd have noted.
Friedman's theory is that extremely high oil prices are desirable because they would induce behavioral changes that would ultimately decrease demand and force oil prices way down. Here's how the exchange with host Matt Lauer unfolded:
Friedman: "I hope the Iranians get as crazy as they want. My attitude toward the president of Iran is 'you go, girl', because the faster we get to $100 a barrel, pal, the quicker we're going to get back to $20. Because when we go to $100/barrel, then you're going to see all these people change their behavior and their oil-buying habits and their car-buying habits in a fundamental way."
Frustrated with nearly five years of declining stock values and increased executive compensation, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, one of the top institutional shareholders of the New York Times is crying foul and demanding major corporate and management changes.
"Over the past several years, the New York Times Co.
has consistently underperformed its peers. Its market value has
declined 52% since its peak in June 2002," the company said in a statement put out by its managing director, Hassan Elmasry.
"Despite significant underperformance, management's total compensation
is substantial and has increased considerably over this period."
Christian Science Monitor reveals what most economists have known for years. Free Market Project
For years, the media have been telling Americans the economy, though growing, is not producing good jobs. From Lou Dobbs’ continuous rant at CNN about “The War on the Middle Class” to the Washington Post’s E. J. Dionne claiming in a February 21 op-ed that “The decline of manufacturing employment means the economy is producing fewer well-paying jobs,” the media mantra has been that wage gains during this recovery have been very disappointing.
“Now Democrats have argued, though, that under the Bush administration, Americans have seen wages remain flat, also high health care costs and high heating oil and gas prices,” CNN’s Elaine Quijano reiterated on an April 15 “CNN Live” report.
After a longtime “Chicken Little” media view of the labor markets, The Christian Science Monitor finally broke from the pack in an April 11 article by Mark Trumbull stating the “Newest job numbers show that businesses are expanding opportunities in high-wage fields.”
Just two days earlier, however, The New York Times asserted that “New technology and low-cost labor in places like China and India have put downward pressure on the wages and benefits of the average American worker.”
Who’s right? Well, the Monitor used some highly-regarded economists to support its assertions:
The annual Pulitzer Prize awards announced Monday night, by Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, rewarded Washington Post and New York Times reporters who exposed -- and thus undermined -- secret anti-terrorism efforts, as well as a Washington Post critic who mocked Vice President Cheney's outdoor apparel and ridiculed the supposed 1950s-era clothing worn by then-Supreme Court nominee John Roberts' kids. The Pulitzer board gave the “Beat Reporting” award to Dana Priest of the Washington Post “for her persistent, painstaking reports on secret 'black site' prisons and other controversial features of the government’s counterterrorism campaign.” The “National Reporting” award was won by James Risen and Eric Lichtblau of the New York Times “for their carefully sourced stories on secret domestic eavesdropping that stirred a national debate on the boundary line between fighting terrorism and protecting civil liberty.” The duo infamously penned the damaging December 16 article, “Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts.”
Washington Post fashion writer Robin Givhan grabbed the “Criticism” award “for her witty, closely observed essays that transform fashion criticism into cultural criticism.” In a January 2005 piece featured by the Post in a new page created to showcase her Pulitzer-winning work, Givhan complained that at a gathering of world leaders to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, Dick Cheney “was dressed in the kind of attire one typically wears to operate a snow blower.”
Sunday's off-lead story is by Japanese-based reporter Norimitsu Onishi ("Revival in Japan Brings Widening Of Economic Gap -- Reckoning for Premier -- Egalitarianism Is at Stake as Rich-Poor Division Threatens Mobility").
Of course, Japan's striated class system and government-controlled economy was for decades the main threat to mobility. But Onishi has another culprit in mind: Reaganism.
"Japan's economy, after more than a decade of fitful starts, is once again growing smartly. Instead of rejoicing, however, Japan is engaged in a nationwide bout of hand-wringing over increasing signs that the new economy is destroying one of the nation's most cherished accomplishments: egalitarianism."
The Washington Post's Sunday "Book World" section published two book reviews today offering some notice and praise for new books by New York Times reporters/authors.
One was a review of recently departed New York Times foreign correspondent Stephen Kinzer and his new America-bashing book "Overthrow." Julia Sweig oozed: "Kinzer's narrative abounds with unusual anecdotes, vivid description and fine detail, demonstrating why he ranks among the best in popular foreign policy storytelling, especially for those on the left." She loved his book "Bitter Fruit" on American intervention in Guatemala. (Short summary: Kinzer was against it.) He's a raving leftist, but Times top editor Bill Keller still insists they don't run a liberal newsroom over there.
Thursday’s New York Times carries a largely hagiographic obituary by Marc Charney of the Rev. William Sloane Coffin, worshipped in left-wing circles for his anti-war protests of the 60s from his position of influence as chaplain of Yale University.
“The Rev. William Sloane Coffin Jr., a civil rights and antiwar campaigner who sought to inspire and encourage an idealistic and rebellious generation of college students in the 1960's from his position as chaplain of Yale University, then reveled in the role of lightning rod thrust upon him by officials and conservatives who thought him and his style of dissent dangerous, died yesterday at his home in Strafford, Vt.”
in the NYT this morning concerning the run-off election of disgraced former
Congressman Duke Cunningham’s congressional seat has a curious number of
liberal activists quoted, when compared to the number of those from the other side of Cunningham's corner.
Before we get to the bias, here is the line-up of “experts:”
Polisci. prof. Stephen Erie, Dem. Congressional Caucus leader Rahm Emanuel,
MoveOn.org executive director Eli Pariser, leftwing blogger Markos “Screw them”
Moulitas (aka Kos), and some unnamed “analysts” that have high hopes for
Democrats in the district. There was one Republican quoted.
Yesterday, Times Watch wondered when the New York Times would correct its front-page story from last Friday suggesting the White House and Lewis Libby had willfully misled reporters on an intelligence finding on Saddam Hussein’s quest for uranium, a story based on bad information released by prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald’s office had to correct its court filing on Tuesday.
On Thursday morning, the Times files an Editors’ Note on the matter, and runs an article that refutes the thrust of its front-page story -- but on Page A17.
Here’s the correction in full, including the paper’s lame explanation for why it took the Times until today to correct, when the Washington Post, for instance, had the correction story on Wednesday.
New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller submitted to an "Ask the Editors" Q&A session online, and the denials of a liberal bias were insistent. When one questioner decried the opinions of liberal columnists Paul Krugman and Maureen Dowd, and then suggested it's ludicrous that the Times was equally comfortable with Democrats or Republicans, Keller replied:
It would, indeed, be preposterous to argue that The Times does not have a liberal editorial page, or that a majority of the columnists (with a couple of outstanding exceptions) do not tend liberal. But it's just plain wrong to say that the newsroom is "liberal" -- in the sense that it toes a certain political or ideological line. This segregation of opinion is the practice at most American newspapers. The Wall Street Journal has one of the most conservative opinion pages of any American newspaper, but I would not describe the paper's news coverage as "conservative."
Here we go again. Anne Kornblut’s Wednesday story on Sen. Hillary Clinton’s speech in Chicago (“A Speech on the Economy, for 2006 or 2008?”) helps the senator and potential presidential candidate by ludicrously awarding her “conservative credentials.”
Kornblut, like Times’ reporters before her, sets Clinton on a mainstream path that bears little resemblance to the liberal senator’s actual voting record (she sports a lifetime record of 9 out of a possible 100 from the American Conservative Union rankings of senators' voting records).
“Mrs. Clinton did not, in her 57-minute speech to the Economic Club of Chicago, assail President Bush by name. Indeed, Mrs. Clinton repeatedly emphasized her conservative credentials and alliances, and she blamed the sharp partisan fighting in Washington for dissuading business leaders from working with government.”
On Tuesday's Lou Dobbs Tonight on CNN, Dobbs scolded “this country's major daily newspapers” for how they “misled” readers in their coverage of immigration rallies since “their headlines failed to tell the truth about what the rallies are all about: Rallies in favor of illegal immigration, and amnesty for illegal aliens.” Dobbs showed the front pages of four newspapers, starting with the New York Times' headline of “Immigrants Rally in Scores of Cities for Legal Status,” followed by the Washington Post's description of “Immigration Rights Rallies,” USA Today's “Historic rallies voice a 'dream'” and the Wall Street Journal's “Immigration-Policy Protests Draw Huge Crowds of Workers.”
Dobbs, however, offered praise for one newspaper's “astute” take, quoting approvingly from a Tuesday Las Vegas Review-Journal editorial which contended: “Organizers wanted the marches to be more about people and less about policy. Most television stations swallowed the bait and delivered news reports soft enough to follow Sesame Street on PBS.” (Transcript, of the comments from Dobbs, follows.)
New York Times National reporter Jodi Rudoren (formerly Jodi Wilgoren, and therein lies a self-absorbed tale) has a Saturday front-page story on yet another investigation of a congressman, Rep. Alan Mollohan of West Virginia.
“As lawmakers have increasingly slipped pet projects into federal spending bills over the past decade, one lawmaker has used his powerful perch on the House Appropriations Committee to funnel $250 million into five nonprofit organizations that he set up. Those actions have prompted a complaint to federal prosecutors that questions whether any of that taxpayer money helped fuel a parallel growth in his personal fortune.
On the media beat Monday, New York Times reporter Lorne Manly (is that his real name?) wrote a story headlined "Before You Hit Send, Pause, Reflect," on the sad case of ABC weekend "Good Morning America" executive producer John Green, who was suspended for a month after the New York Post reported that he said former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had "Jew shame." He was not suspended immediately when the Drudge Report displayed an e-mail from the 2004 presidential debates where he declared "Bush makes me sick" for his attacks on Kerry.
Manly lamented that the Green mini-scandal has put a "chilling effect" on wild and woolly newsrooms. He began by noting that although newsrooms may be more sanitary and smoke-free than the kind portrayed in the old Cary Grant-Rosalind Russell movie "His Girl Friday," "their freewheeling nature has not been completely extinguished, with the banter and off-color humor about the day's events and personalities ricocheting among today's cubicle dwellers, at times through news organizations' e-mail systems." Manly's story completely exaggerates how the media supposedly bend over backwards to appear fair and balanced:
A New York Times reporter who called recent corporate layoffs “worse than the Great Depression” was the paper’s choice to write about the positive job growth in the economy.
Reporter Louis Uchitelle authored somewhat critical view of the latest unemployment report by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That report showed a 211,000-job gain in March 2006 and a low jobless rate of 4.7 percent. By comparison, nearly one in four Americans was without work in the early 1930s.
Despite low unemployment and 31 straight months of job gains, economics writer and author Louis Uchitelle calls for federal laws to restrict corporate layoffs, a policy even a liberal Berkeley economist questions.
In anticipation of mass rallies in support of illegal immigrants, pro-immigrant reporter Nina Bernstein made Sunday’s front page with “Making It Ashore, but Still Chasing U.S. Dream,” following up on the stories of the 286 Chinese immigrants on Golden Venture freighter that ran aground off Queens in 1993.
Inside Sunday’s paper is Abby Goodnough and Jennifer Steinhauer’s “Senate’s Failure to Agree on Immigration Plan Angers Workers and Employers Alike,” which looks at the impasse solely from those who would benefit from an amnesty program, and gives new respect to business owners in favor of illegal immigration, not previously a favored interest group in the Times.
While most in the media insist on bombarding audiences with constant pessimism when it comes to Iraq and the war on terror (today’s New York Times headline, for example, asserts “Arab Democracy, a U.S. Goal, Falters”), it is worth recalling that three years ago this morning, newspapers such as the New York Times were trumpeting good news from Iraq — the “joyous” and “cheering, often tearful welcome” that the people of Baghdad had for American forces when they were finally liberated from Saddam Hussein’s tyranny.
The Times’ John Burns — who was himself, a target of Saddam’s secret police during the final days of the dictatorship — was eyewitness to the celebrations. His story appeared on the front page of the April 10, 2003 Times. While including the fact that some Iraqis were both anti-Saddam and anti-American, and noting the doubts many Iraqis had about the future, Burns makes it pretty clear that, to use Vice President Cheney’s phrase, Americans were mostly “greeted as liberators.” Excerpts:
Smart people know what's going on. I don't. Those experts on those TV shouting matches know exactly what's happening in regards to illegal immigration and aid to Hamas. I read the same reports that come out of Washington and instead of being enlightened I grow woozy from confusion.
Call me clueless. Be my guest.
As I've got it figured - well, wait a minute! Even the New York Times is confounded. One day the headline exults that Congress has paved the way for full citizenship for those 11 million illegals. Next day, it's just the opposite. Congress is bogged down. Here's the exact headline - IMMIGRATION DEAL FAILS IN SENATE VOTE.
If the paper of record can't figure it out, what do you want from me? Likewise, the people who run our country can't seem to figure anything out, either. Aren't they supposed to be of the people, for the people? The people, according to the stats, want a tight border, and don't want illegals hanging round. Legal, yes. Illegal, no.
On Wednesday, NPR's "Fresh Air With Terry Gross," which airs on hundreds of NPR stations across America, interviewed long-time New York Times foreign correspondent Stephen Kinzer on his new book, "Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change From Hawaii To Iraq." To Kinzer, every American intervention is a nightmare, one he compared to child abuse:
These interventions abroad, these overthrows of foreign governments, not only plunge whole regions of the world into instability and turn them into places from which undreamed threats emerge years later, but they undermine American security. They are not just bad for the countries where we intervene. You cannot violently overthrow a foreign regime and then expect that that won't have any long-term effect. It's like beating your child every day. You cannot expect that that child is going to grow up normal.
Today the New York Times finally corrects a left-wing myth perpetrated in its pages as fact.
“An article on Feb. 9 about the military's recruitment of Hispanics referred incompletely to the belief of some critics that Hispanics in the Iraq war and blacks in the Vietnam War accounted for a disproportionate number of casualties. Statistics do not support the belief. Hispanics, who are about 14 percent of the population, accounted for about 11 percent of the military deaths in Iraq through Dec. 3, 2005. About 12.5 percent of the military dead in Vietnam were African-Americans, who made up about 13.5 percent of the general population during the war years.”
But that milquetoast correction doesn’t hint at the charged nature of what reporter Lizette Alvarez wrote in the Feb. 9 edition, which simply restated left-wing paranoia as fact:
A Democratic member of Congress assaults a police officer, whips up racial animosity, and then is forced to retract the allegations. The newspaper article on that would surely be a painful read for the politician.
Unless the pol is Cynthia McKinney and the paper is The New York Times. The article – which the representative’s staff is surely framing right now – sets up the left-wing congresswoman as “a brilliant and gutsy crusader for the disenfranchised.”
On April 3, the New York Times reported (Man Hit by Car; Witnesses Say He Was Chased) on a young man who was seriously hurt (and later died) after darting into a busy Harlem intersection. Witnesses to the incident, according to the Times' account, said it appeared the victim was being chased by several young men. No reference to the race of the victim or the young men pursuing him was mentioned.
Today's New York Post Online Edition reports on the same incident: "The NYPD hate-crimes unit is probing a report that a
white NYU student killed by a car in Harlem was fleeing a gang of black
teenagers screaming 'Get whitey!' sources said yesterday."
As Katie Couric announces she is jumping from NBC’s “Today” show, which she’s co-hosted for 15 years, to the anchor slot of the “CBS Evening News,” Edward Wyatt gamely argues in Thursday’s Business Day how Couric actually has roots as a hard news reporter (“Coming Back to Hard News”) and carried those over to her Today show segments, which Wyatt repackages as “tough assignments.”
“But she has showed that she can handle tough assignments with aplomb and has been unafraid to take certain risks.”
Those admirable “risks,” in Wyatt’s view, are composed of Couric putting a condom on a model of a penis, bringing a camera to her own colonoscopy, and criticizing a former Klansman.
Ken Shepherd of the Free Market Project points out that business reporter Michael Barbaro’s initial filing for the paper’s “continuous news desk” used some pretty loaded language in a story on Wal-Mart:
“Wal-Mart Stores, whose voracious, all-in-one retailing model has crippled thousands of competitors over the last 40 years, is turning to an unusual business plan: helping its rivals.”
The print version of Barbaro’s lead leaves out that melodrama: “Wal-Mart Stores, whose all-in-one retailing model has forced scores of competitors to close their doors over the last 40 years, is turning to an unusual business plan: helping its rivals.”
Gabriel Schoenfeld has an essay in Commentary where he says the New York Times broke the law when it reported on the NSA eavesdropping program.
Disclosing classified information, like that given to the New York Times about monitoring Al Qaeda phone calls, is illegal. But there is an avenue for whistleblowers to expose wrongdoing that involves classified info, although it has nothing to do with flashy headlines and self aggrandizing journalists.
As for whistleblowers unhappy with one or another government program, they have other avenues at their disposal than splashing secrets across the front page of the New York Times. The Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act of 1998 shields employees from retribution if they wish to set out evidence of wrongdoing. When classified information is at stake, the complaints must be leveled in camera, to authorized officials, like the inspectors general of the agencies in question, or to members of congressional intelligence committees, or both. Neither the New York Times nor any other newspaper or television station is listed as an authorized channel for airing such complaints.
The New York Times damaged American surveillance efforts.
On the front of Monday’s Arts page stands Felicia Lee’s “Gay Moms And Dads Can Bring The Family,” based on Rosie O’Donnell’s new HBO special on “the first-ever cruise for gay families.”
The piece reads more as pro-gay mainstreaming than a news item, leading off with unusual criticism by a reporter of a question from another reporter.
“Rosie O'Donnell, the former talk show host, actress, lesbian mom and a candid blogger, can certainly duck, weave and bob her way through a conversation. But she was caught off-guard by a reporter at a press event for ‘All Aboard! Rosie's Family Cruise,’ a new documentary about the first-ever cruise for gay families. Did she intend to raise her children to be gay?, the reporter asked.
Immigration has been the hot topic as of late and it was no different on Sunday’s edition of "Face the Nation" with Bob Schieffer. In the second segment of the program, Schieffer interviewed "New York Times" David Brooks. Schieffer introduced Brooks as a "proud conservative," and while Brooks may be conservative for "The New York Times"staff, to many conservatives he is reminiscent of John McCain in that he will be critical of conservatives to open doors to liberal media outlets.
Brooks railed against conservative Republicans who want a tough immigration bill accusing them of an unwillingness to "talk reasonably." To back up his point, Brooks points to comments apparently made by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA):
David Brooks: "I was up at a press conference this week where a House Republican said, `You know, we've got to have some people to pick lettuce in this country, so we're not going to have immigrants. Let's make the prisoners do it.’ You want to hit the guy on the head with a baseball bat. We're going to take a largely minority population, forced labor, picking lettuce and cotton. Is this ringing any bells here?"