Fresh from his performance on ABC’s This Week this past Sunday, the New York Times economic writer, Paul Krugman, has a new op-ed today filled with more delicious economic distortions:
But although many people say "four million jobs in the last two years" reverently, as if it were an amazing achievement, it's actually a rise of about 3 percent, not much faster than the growth of the working-age population over the same period.
Nice factoid, but not altogether relevant. After all, not everybody that is of working age is actually looking for a job, correct? Some of these folks may have retired early, or are housewives/househusbands or students. As such, the more appropriate measure of employment is how many jobs are being created compared to the growth in the labor force.
Jack Kelly has a great story at Jewish World Review about how good news in the real world becomes bad news in the New York Times. The basics of the story go something like this:
The Army has greatly improved the body armor soldiers are wearing over the past 15 years. It's lighter and tougher.
There are some types of ammunition that can penetrate it, but no evidence that the "insurgents" are using that ammunition.
"...though the specifications weren't set until early in January, new plates were being manufactured — and delivery begun to U.S. troops — in March. Those familiar with the Pentagon's procurement process recognize this as lightning speed. "
In an August 24, 2005, article (reg. req'd), "Study Finds 29-Week Fetuses Probably Feel No Pain and Need No Abortion Anesthesia," the New York Times failed to inform its readers that the lead author of the reported study, Susan J. Lee, once worked for NARAL Pro-Choice America.
The Times article also failed to mention that the study's authors neglected to inform the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the publisher of the study, of this blatant conflict of interest.
Were the authors hiding the former NARAL relationship from JAMA? In an informative article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, JAMA editor-in-chief Catherine D. DeAngelis was quoted as saying, "This is the first I've heard about it," she said. "We ask them to reveal any conflict of interest. I would have published [the disclosure if it had been made]."
Brent Bozell decries the Saturday night fireworks celebration of the pathetic suicidal end of gonzo writer Hunter Thompson's life, which was a big story in the Sunday papers. (As L.B.B. notes, Hunter was on A-3, Pope Benedict on A-20 of the WashPost). But so-called "objective" journalists were at the front of the line of his admirers, as he spewed hate at Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and two President Bushes through his crazed, glassy, drug-hazy eyes.
The New York Times story notes that CBS reporter Ed Bradley, a close Thompson buddy, spoke at the ceremony. He "described first learning of Mr. Thompson through his writings in 1972 and thinking of him as an 'off-the-wall madman'; eventually Mr. Thompson became one of his closest friends. Like others, he spoke of his grief at losing Mr. Thompson, saying he thought he had finished his crying until he started writing his tribute..."
New York Times reporter Elisabeth Bumiller today tried her best to write an article without mentioning anti-war heroine Cindy Sheehan, as well as without impugning the president. Unfortunately, she failed.
In an article about the president’s speech to thousands of National Guard members and their families in Nampa, Idaho, it only took two paragraphs before the story turned from Mr. Bush’s vision of Iraq and his appreciation for the sacrifice these families and their relatives are making into another in a long litany of Cindyfests:
Defending his administration's military stance for the third day in a row, he presented another tough, if implicit, rebuttal to war critics like Cindy Sheehan, the mother of an American soldier killed in Iraq who has generated a monthlong protest outside his Texas ranch. Mr. Bush said, "As long as I'm the president, we will stay, we will fight and we will win the war on terror."
The president said withdrawing troops now - as Ms. Sheehan advocates - would "only embolden the terrorists and create a staging ground to launch more attacks against America and free nations."
As Ms. Sheehan advocates? Has Ms. Sheehan now been promoted to the title of "advocate"?
If any more proof was needed that former NBC reporter and now NYT columnist Bob Herbert was a reliable liberal, Herbert's Thursday's column shows he firmly believes in recycling.
In "Truth-Telling on Race? Not in Bush's Fantasyland," Herbert recycles a column he wrote back on May 20, 1999. Of the 16 paragraphs of Herbert's "new" column, the middle part (nine graphs) are lifted almost verbatim from 1999.
Using a front-page story from Wednesday as a hook, Herbert opens today's piece: "The Bush administration has punished a Justice Department official who dared to tell even a mild truth about racial profiling by law enforcement officers in this country. In 2001 President Bush selected Lawrence Greenfeld to head the Bureau of Justice Statistics, which tracks crime patterns and police tactics, among other things. But as Eric Lichtblau of The Times reported in a front-page article yesterday, Mr. Greenfeld is being demoted because he complained that senior political officials were seeking to play down newly compiled data about the aggressive treatment of black and Hispanic drivers by police officers. My first thought when I read the story was that burying the messenger who tells uncomfortable truths has always been a favorite tactic of this administration, which seems to exist largely in a world of fantasy. (Grown-ups don't do well in the Bush playtime environment. Remember Gen. Eric Shinseki? And former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill?)"
Pat Robertson is predictably lambasted in the New York Times for suggesting the U.S. "go ahead" and assassinate Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez
Reporter Laurie Goodstein opens with a loaded rundown of Robertson's greatest hits before getting to the newest controversy: "Pat Robertson, the conservative Christian broadcaster, has attracted attention over the ears for lambasting feminists, 'activist' judges, the United Nations and Disneyland."
She helpfully reminds us: "Mr. Robertson, who is 75, ran for president as a Republican in 1988. He has often used his show and the political advocacy group he founded, the Christian Coalition, to support President Bush."
Goodstein is trying to tie Robertson to Bush. But how close are they? A Google search of "Pat Robertson" and "Bush" finds that the story involving the two men that last interested the media was pre-election controversy between them over casualties in Iraq.
New York Times reporter Anthony DePalma today perfectly demonstrates the mantra of much of the modern press: Never pass up an opportunity to bash Bush.
In his front-page story entitled “9 States in Plan to Cut Emissions by Power Plants,” Mr. DePalma adroitly accomplishes this credo in paragraph two:
The cooperative action, the first of its kind in the nation, came after the Bush administration decided not to regulate the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.
The beauty of this sentence is its derision without specificity. For instance, Mr. DePalma doesn’t elaborate on how Bush blocked such environmental regulations until the second page of the story buried inside the main section in paragraph 23:
The Bush administration's rejection of the Kyoto Protocols has caused deep divisions nationwide, with many local governments attempting to force the administration to taking action by passing their own carbon dioxide rules.
In her Monday column, Elisabeth Bumiller of the New York Times gave another update on the Sheehan vs. Bush saga saying, "There is no sign that Mr. Bush will meet with Ms. Sheehan (he met with her once in a group in June 2004, two months after her son's death, when she said that he was disrespectful for calling her "Mom"), but he did say shortly after she began her vigil on Aug. 6 that he sympathized with her."
Note Bumiller keeps in step with the rest of the MSM in not mentioning Sheehan's original positive statements of her meeting with the President in 2004, as reported in her Vacaville hometown newspaper, The Reporter. She only reports what Sheehan is currently saying about that meeting.
Even more telling, we're still hard-pressed to find any mention of Cindy Sheehan's anti-American statements by any of the alphabet or major print news agencies, such as this one, "America has been killing people on this continent since it was started. This country is not worth dying for..." See more Sheehan statements. It's one thing to be anti-war. Even our soldiers say they will fight for Americans' freedom to protest the very war they are fighting in, including Sheehan's statements like, "And you tell me, what the noble cause is that my son died for... And if he (Bush) even starts to say 'freedom and democracy' I'm gonna say, bullsh*t."But, anti-American statements? That's a different story and one the MSM does not want to bring out because it would open too many eyes...to the whole truth. Which, by the way for those who care, would cause Sheehan's poll numbers to fall.
Sharon Hughes is a radio talk show host on KDIA in San Francisco and on RIGHTALK.com. Her weekly column appears in many recognized news sites. Sharon's blog: Veritas!
In an eyebrow-raiser, New York Times head editor Bill Keller writes a letter to his own paper, lambasting a recent Sunday Book Review by U.S. Court of Appeals judge and law professor Richard Posner, a catch-all review of several books positing media bias on both left and right (including a favorable nod to ''Weapons of Mass Distortion" by MRC President Brent Bozell).
Keller claims Posner's "market determinism" ignores the dynamics that make papers like his great, such as "the competitive gratification of being first to discover a buried story," which no doubt explains the Times' wall-to-wall-coverage of the Air America scandal (where it's been beaten locally by the New York Post, the New York Sun, and the New York Daily News).
First it was nonexistent weapons of mass destruction. Then he was AWOL. After that came Plamegate. So, what pray tell will be the next left-wing attack on our president?
Potentially, the manner in which the Vioxx story was covered this weekend by the New York Times gives us some clues.
To begin with, a front-page article Saturday by Alex Berenson reported the surprise verdict that gave the widow of a man who died after taking Merck’s painkiller an astounding $253.5 million award including $229 million in punitive damages.
Just in case people missed it, the Times ran another article by Mr. Berenson on Sunday -- again on the front-page -- that appears to move this story in a suspiciously political direction:
To begin, the "Times" mistates the full scope of the jurisdiction of the Court, making it seem far smaller than it actually is, "Three years ago the Bush administration began prodding countries to shield Americans from the fledgling International Criminal Court in The Hague, which was intended to be the first permanent tribunal for prosecuting crimes like genocide." The reality of the matter is that any issue can be brought before the Court by against anyone, even if their country is not a part of the ICC, by anyone for any reason so long as the accuser claims the act is "a crime against humanity." What "crime against humanity" means is never defined by the ICC and has been claimed by many groups to include Camp Gitmo, and over fishing of the world's oceans, none of which are reported by "The Times."
Surprise: Barney Calame wakes up and smells the scandal at the left-wing radio network.
Yes, the Times ombudsman and loyal company man (who to date has made his predecessor Daniel Okrent look like a profile in courage) finally finds something to criticize his paper about in his latest web journal entry: The paper's almost nonexistent Air America coverage.
Calame admits: "Readers of The Times were poorly served by the paper's slowness to cover official investigations into questionable financial transactions involving Air America, the liberal radio network. The Times's first article on the investigations finally appeared last Friday after weeks of articles by other newspapers in New York and elsewhere. The Times's recent slowness stands in contrast to its flurry of articles about Air America in the spring of 2004, when the network was launched."
Calame makes the same points on double-standards in coverage that conservatives have made: "Yet The Times was silent as other publications reported that city and state investigators were looking into whether the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club in the Bronx had made improper loans of as much as $875,000 to Air America."
In a stunning example of how the mainstream press manipulates public opinion, as well as a clear explanation as to why the majority of the American people believes that the economy is doing poorly despite mountains of statistical evidence to the contrary, the press today decided to largely ignore one of the biggest one-day declines in energy prices in many months.
As I reported here yesterday, oil prices at the NYMEX dropped by almost three dollars per barrel, with gas prices declining by almost ten cents. Yet, after scaring the American public with regular predictions of economic gloom and doom concerning inflationary fears tied to escalating energy prices the past few weeks, America's two most prominent newspapers -- the New York Times and the Washington Post -- must have decided that good news on the energy front wasn’t deserving of the public’s attention. (cont'd...)
As Clay Waters points out in his previous posting, a New York Timesarticle by Eric Lichtblau sheds some interesting light on warnings issued by the State Department to the Clinton administration back in 1996 concerning Osama bin Laden's move from the Sudan to Afghanistan:
In what would prove a prescient warning, the State Department intelligence analysts said in a top-secret assessment on Mr. bin Laden that summer that "his prolonged stay in Afghanistan - where hundreds of 'Arab mujahedeen' receive terrorist training and key extremist leaders often congregate - could prove more dangerous to U.S. interests in the long run than his three-year liaison with Khartoum," in Sudan.
On the one hand, it is quite shocking that the Times would publish a story so critical of President Clinton.
Yet, maybe most surprising is the continuous reference to America's Public Enemy Number One as "Mr. bin Laden". In fact, thirteen times in this article, Osama is so respectfully referred to.
Are the Times editors compensating for their tremendous discomfort with publishing an article critical of their favorite modern president by raising Osama to a level deserving of the title "Mister"?
Two generally anti-Bush intelligence reporters, Eric Lichtblau and Philip Shenon, have important scoops in Wednesday's paper about anti-terrorist inaction on Clinton's watch. But will network news notice?
First up is Lichtblau's "State Dept. Says It Warned About bin Laden in 1996," buried on A12: "State Department analysts warned the Clinton administration in July 1996 that Osama bin Laden's move to Afghanistan would give him an even more dangerous haven as he sought to expand radical Islam 'well beyond the Middle East,' but the government chose not to deter the move, newly declassified documents show."
Lichtblau explains: "The declassified documents, obtained by the conservative legal advocacy group Judicial Watch as part of a Freedom of Information Act request and provided to The New York Times, shed light on a murky and controversial chapter in Mr. bin Laden's history: his relocation from Sudan to Afghanistan as the Clinton administration was striving to understand the threat he posed and explore ways of confronting him. Before 1996, Mr. bin Laden was regarded more as a financier of terrorism than a mastermind. But the State Department assessment, which came a year before he publicly urged Muslims to attack the United States, indicated that officials suspected he was taking a more active role, including in the bombings in June 1996 that killed 19 members American soldiers at the Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia."
Times Watch reports on the latest Civility Update from the newspaper that put the anti-Gore "RATS" ad non-controversy on the top of the front page. They're loving a blogger whose site slogan is "Proudly Lowering the Level of Political Discourse." Lefty blogger Lee Papa's one-man show at the New York International Fringe Festival is all the rage to Times critic Margo Jefferson: How do we liberals show we're strong, he asks, and answers firmly: 'We have to rape Republicans. We have to show them this is what liberals are.'…Mr. Papa's ruling metaphor is always some form of aggressive to abusive sex."
TimesWatch notes Jefferson isn't fazed, she's a fan: "I still enjoyed the show. It's just that I enjoy his blog more. As a new fan, I also liked the fact that several members of the Listserv I belong to sent me links to their favorite Rude Pundit columns and discussions of his work that read like short, smart reviews. Those are the kinds of shrewd, passionate fans mainstream theaters would kill to attract."
The New York Times relates a touching story in an editorial about a lady (Victoria Ruvolo) who not only forgave, but powerfully comforted a man who had nearly killed her (Ryan Cushing) when the two met face to face outside the courtroom where Cushing had just entered his guilty plea.
Cushing tossed a turkey through Ruvolo's car windshield last fall. She "needed many hours of surgery to rebuild her shattered facial bones."
According to the Times, Ruvolo cradled Cushing's head as he sobbed and begged for her forgiveness. She told him, "It's O.K.; it's O.K. I just want you to make your life the best it can be."
Curiously couched in the middle of this otherwise fine editorial was this gratuitous paragraph:
Would you think of the group Judicial Watch, do you think of it targeting any specific administration?
The New York Times certainly does. In an article today, the paper would lead us to believe that the group particularly vexed the Clinton Administration, and only criticized the current administration a little, and only on 9/11 matters. Interestingly enough, this characterization is made in the midst of an article that reflects very poorly on the last administration. Here's what the Times said:
"The declassified documents, obtained by the conservative legal advocacy group Judicial Watch as part of a Freedom of Information Act request and provided to The New York Times..." [emphasis mine]
Credit the New York Times for getting the biggest Able Danger interview to date.
The August 16th edition of the paper reveals allegations from one of Congressman Weldon's primary sources, a man now identified as Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer. Shaffer stepped forward to add weight to the story he had already told Weldon and staffers from the 9/11 Commission.
As interesting a story as it is, it's incomplete. The Times omits a very important details in the timeline.
In a statement issued last week, the leaders of the Sept. 11 commission said the panel had concluded that the intelligence program "did not turn out to be historically significant." The statement said that while the commission did learn about Able Danger in 2003 and immediately requested Pentagon files about the program, none of the documents turned over by the Defense Department referred to Mr. Atta or any of the other hijackers.
The bloggers at Get Religion (a nicely done conservative blog about religion and the news media) have posted an article for the Notre Dame Journal by Ken Woodward, the longtime religion reporter for Newsweek, exploring how averse the New York Times is in particular to the terminology of partial-birth abortion:
From the outset, the Times determined to avoid using “partial-birth” in its news headlines. A computer search of the newspaper’s database since June of 1995 shows how persistently this prohibition has been enforced. Only once, on a news story published in April 2004, has “partial-birth” appeared in a headline. Instead, the Times has employed whenever possible a selection of opaque substitutes. The most frequently used terms were “type of” abortion and “form of” abortion, abortion “method” or “procedure” or “technique,” or simply a generic abortion “ban” or “curb.” Here is a sample of Times headlines, chosen for their variety of usages and published between 1995 and 2004:
Frank Rich of the New York Times wrote a scathing criticism of President Bush regarding the war in his op-ed on Sunday, "Someone Tell the President the War is Over."I know it's an opinion piece, but his comments are so blatantly biased they shouldn't get a pass. Here's just a sample of what Rice wrote, but the whole article is telling:"Like the Japanese soldier marooned on an island for years after V-J Day, President Bush may be the last person in the country to learn that for Americans, if not Iraqis, the war in Iraq is over.
Safely tucked away on Page 2 of Monday's Business section is Katharine Seelye's "Editors Ponder How to Present a Broad Picture of Iraq," in which some newspaper editors admit they are hamstrung from covering good news in Iraq:
"Some editors expressed concern that a kind of bunker mentality was preventing reporters in Iraq from getting out and explaining the bigger picture beyond the daily death tolls." Associated Press Managing Editor Mike Silverman confesses something the Times and other media organizations have been reluctant to make: Their readership isn't getting the whole story about Iraq.
According to the AP's Silverman, "The main obstacle we face is the severe limitation on our movement and our ability to get out and report. It's very confining for our staff to go into Baghdad and have to spend most of their time on the fifth floor of the Palestine Hotel."
An article yesterday about state and city investigations of a loan made by a Bronx social service agency to the liberal radio network Air America quoted incorrectly from comments made on the air by Al Franken, the host of an Air America program. Referring to Evan M. Cohen, a former official of the network whom Mr. Franken accused of having engineered the loan, from the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club, Mr. Franken said: "I don't know why they did it, and I don't know where the money went. I don't know if it was used for operations, which I imagine it was. I think he was robbing Peter to pay Paul." (He did not say: "I don't know why he did it. I don't know where the money went. I don't know if it was used for operations. I think he was borrowing from Peter to pay Paul.")
Above the fold of today's New York Times was a story by Times reporter Philip Shenon that one would have thought was a news report on Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff's recent troubles. Abramoff was indicted on fraud charges in relation to his involvement in purchasing a fleet of gambling boats in 2000.
It took Mr. Shenon a mere 5 words before Jack Abramoff became of secondary nature to the story: "Jack Abramoff, the once-powerful Republican lobbyist involved in ethics allegations facing Representative Tom DeLay, was indicted in Florida on Thursday on unrelated fraud charges involving his purchase of a fleet of gambling boats from a businessman who was slain amid bitter wrangling over the sale."
Buried on page 3 of today's Metro section (and apparently absent from the national edition entirely) is the NYT's first whisper of the financial scandal at left-wing radio network Air America. The crack NYT staff got to the story less than three weeks after the New York Daily News first picked up on it July 26.
Not that the headline or subhead of the Times' story actually mention "Air America." Instead it reads: "Bronx Boys Club's Finances Investigated -- Officials Look Into Loans Made to a Liberal Radio Network." The two words "Air America" presumably couldn't fit into that 15-word space.
A couple of years ago, there was a bit of a media firestorm, at least on the web, when New York Times' columnist Maureen Dowd was caught removing a portion of a comment that the President made. The omission rendered a clear and straightforward statement as a delusional and misleading one. Eventually the Times was forced to "correct" the quote.
Well, the New York times is "Dowdifying" quotes again, leaving out crucial information with no indication that they're doing so. Only now, instead of merely doing it in a Maureen Dowd opinion piece, which is bad enough, they're doing it in an actual news story. (Big tip of the hat to Michelle Malkin, who's been all over this story.)
As anyone who's been paying attention on the internet knows, the liberal Air America radio network has been operating, in part, on a "loan" of $875,000 from a Bronx Boys and Girls Club. Anyone reading the New York Times did not know it until today, and still doesn't know much. In any event, Franken spoke about the story on the air yesterday, and the Times quoted him. Sort of.
With a little nudge from the White House, Sheryl Gay Stolberg partially corrects her faulty story from yesterday on the John Roberts' nomination.
Congressional reporter Stolberg took quite a bit heat from Rush Limbaugh and others for letting liberal Sen. Rob Wyden of Oregon put words in Robert's mouth regarding the Terri Schiavo case. Stolberg's story on Wednesday let Wyden characterize a private discussion between he and Roberts about the congressional intervention to save the brain-damaged Florida woman, but didn't bother getting the other side's perspective.
Today Stolberg provides the other half of the conversation: "On Wednesday, Ed Gillespie, the chief White House lobbyist for Judge Roberts's Senate confirmation, sent a letter to The New York Times, saying that notes taken by a White House aide during the session reflected a different response: 'I am aware of court precedents which say Congress can overstep when it prescribes particular outcomes in particular cases.'"
Newsbusters's own Vinny Fiore yesterday relayed how the New York Times took some hits at New York Republican Senate hopeful Jeannine Pirro, conveniently failing to remind readers of incumbent Senator Hillary Clinton's ethically-tainted, disbarred husband, while raising Albert Pirro's 11-month prison term for tax fraud. Today the Washington Post followed suit in a piece by staff writer Michael Powell.
But Pirro, 54, comes with her own issues, not least her
husband -- Albert Pirro -- who is a convicted felon, having served 11
months in prison for hiding $1 million in taxable income. He was
accused of claiming dozens of luxury items, from his Ferrari and her
Mercedes-Benz to the salaries of employees who care for their pet pigs,
as business expenses.