The New York Times is always selling its favorite Democrats, like this gooey introduction from Kate Zernike on Thursday’s front page: “Mayor Cory A. Booker of Newark easily won New Jersey’s special Senate election on Wednesday, finally rising to an office that measures up to his national profile.“
Who is it, precisely, who has built this expansive national profile? The politician, surely, but he’s had a lot of help from the national profile-builders of the major media. Zernike’s already measuring him for vice-president in 2016:
Electoral politics is frequently more a contest of biographies than it is of the issues, particularly if there is no incumbent involved. Of course, having an inspiring biography is only worth as much as the media allow it to be.
Not only is Republican Senate candidate Steve Lonegan at a disadvantage in this regard—the press very rarely tells of his inspiring story of overcoming blindness and a modest economic background—he is also harmed by the fact that the Democrat he is running against in the special election that’s being held today, Cory Booker, has a long record of fabricating his own biographical details.
The national media’s love affair with New Jersey’s Cory Booker continued in The Washington Post on Tuesday. On the front of the Style section was the headline “A perfect senator for ‘This Town’? Newark’s Cory Booker isn’t lacking in ideas, energy or self-promotion.””
Who needs self-promotion when you’ve got national media valentine-writers? This Jason Horowitz profile continued on the back page of Style with the headline “Booker seems to be a man made for D.C.” It was illustrated by pictures with captions that called Booker “POPULAR” and “CAGEY.” The Post can’t wait for Booker to thump the Tea Party opponent for the Democrats:
The New York Times’s Raymond Hernandez delivered New Jersey primary election results with a spin Tuesday night, offering a mushy profile of Newark Mayor Cory Booker, the state’s landslide winner in the Democratic primary for United States Senate. The report’s lead lauded Booker as a “charismatic and media-savvy star in the Democratic Party,” noting the mayor’s efforts to “remake a notoriously troubled city.”
Hernandez celebrated Booker as a nonpartisan figure arguing for a “pragmatic brand of politics, favoring practical solutions over ideology.” And what about Booker’s Republican opponent, former Bogota Mayor Steven Lonegan? Well, Lonegan merited a mere paragraph in the Times’s New Jersey election coverage [picture after the jump, courtesy of Chang W. Lee, New York Times]:
Planet earth has been getting cooler, not warmer in the past few years. That’s an objective fact that PolitFact New Jersey omitted in its duplicitous July 22nd “Truth-O-Meter” article giving cover to Rep. Rush Holt’s (D-N.J.) alarmist statements on global warming. Holt is challenging Newark City Mayor Corey Booker in today’s N.J. Democratic primary. In a campaign ad, Holt claimed “millions will die” from rising temperatures.
“Every single month since 1985 has been warmer than the historic average," Holt said. "All 12 of the warmest years on record have come in the last 15 years.”
During the Wednesday edition of his show Hardball, MSNBC host Chris Matthews, who once called former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin “profoundly stupid,” appeared not to know that there are two current U.S. senators who are of African descent.
“We don’t have any African Americans in the United States Senate, which I think is a disgrace,” Matthews said before being corrected by a producer and one of his guests. Before his mistake was fixed, Matthews also disclosed that he, as a resident of Maryland, voted for Republican Michael Steele when he ran for Senate in 2006 because he was black.
How many times have we heard establishment press members, particularly broadcasters, insist that no one on the left side of the gun control discussion wants to take away anyone's guns? Just a few examples include CNN's Piers Morgan, CNN's Carol Costello, and MSNBC's Alex Wagner, even after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was quoted in the New York Times before Christmas saying that "confiscation could be an option." Currently, New York, as Hot Air's Jazz Shaw noted in late April, actually is confiscating guns, based on "the exercise of reasonable professional judgment" of "mental health professionals."
Though I'm sure they'll try, the deniers are going to have a hard time explaining away what the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs has reported with accompanying audio. After the conclusion of a hearing of New Jersey's Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, an open mic captured the following discussion among three Democratic senators (HT PolitiChicks via Instapundit; internal link and bolds are in original):
It's a safe bet that most conservative Republicans would rush to support a political leader with the following record, especially in a traditionally Democratic state:
-- Reversed a $2.2 billion deficit and brought it into balance without raising taxes, largely by reduced spending and eliminating wasteful and unaffordable programs, allowing for a projected fiscal 2014 budget surplus of $300 million.
New Jersey Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg, 89, announced today that he will retire in two years at the end of his term. President Obama predictably praised him as a "steadfast champion of the people of New Jersey."
Well, not all of the people of New Jersey. In March 2011, Lautenberg spoke at a pro-Planned Parenthood rally in Englewood. In a statement the establishment press steadfastly ignored, Lautenberg, responding to vocal pro-life protesters, said the following (video still present at LifeNews.com; bolds are mine throughout this post):
It was almost a month ago that the New York and New Jersey coastlines were mercilessly pummeled by Hurricane Sandy. Immediately following the storm, the liberal media spin went into overdrive commending the leadership and compassion Obama displayed in the aftermath. But reports have been surfacing since the election, revealing how conditions in the afflicted regions are still not much improved and the majority of the broadcast media's acknowledgement of their prolonged trials and tribulations has been minimal at best.
For their part however, Fox & Friends welcomed Donna Vanzant on Tuesday morning's program. She just so happened to be the woman President Obama was photographed consoling during his official visit to survey the damage in New Jersey. To say the least, she has not been pleased with FEMA's fickle response. [ video below the page break ]
Hurricane Sandy has come and gone, leaving nothing but devastation behind in its wake and with just days until the election. So it's not that surprising that MSNBC is spinning New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's gratitude to the president for, well, doing his job as some sort of campaign gold for Team Obama.
Take Tuesday night's edition of The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, as guest contributors Joy-Ann Reid of The Grio and Steve Kornacki of MSNBC's The Cycle were brought on to comment on the compilation footage of a weary Christie, speaking warmly of the president. Without hesitation, they scoffed at the idea Gov. Romney could win the election now; politicizing a tragedy in the process. [video & transcript below]
In an appearance on CBS This Morning on Tuesday, the network's political director John Dickerson stopped by to briefly discuss the impact Hurricane Sandy could have on the upcoming election.
The segment was primarily focused on how the candidates will try to sensitively make up for lost time on the campaign trail, but there was an underlying question. Who stands to gain the advantage as a result?
Yesterday, West New York, New Jersey Mayor Felix Roque and his son were arrested and charged with "gaining unauthorized access to computers, conspiracy and causing damage to protected computers" -- offenses which carry potential sentences of over 10 years.
At NJ.com, home of the Star-Ledger (print circulation now less than 200,000), one finds that the there is an even greater example of hackery than that involving political hacks allegedly perpetrating computer hacks. That would be hackery of the journalistic persuasion. In his coverage of the Roques' arrests, the Star-Ledger's Ted Sherman waited 19 paragraphs to directly tag Roque as a Democrat. Meanwhile, Sherman noted the mayor's support of Republican Governor Chris Christie -- twice (Paragraphs 5 and 20) -- and his short-lived endorsement of Joseph Kyrillos, the Republican challenging incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Robert Menendez. As will be seen, Sherman's shameful show of bias caps several months of disgraceful NJ.com coverage of Roque. First, excerpts from Sherman's coverage of the arrests, completely with shaky grammar (bolds are mine):
Has the New York Times Business section gone soft on former New Jersey Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine, now under the scandal spotlight for his service as chief executive of the failed financial services firm MF Global?
Saturday's Business Day story by Azam Ahmed and Ben Protess buried intriguing details that reflect suspiciously on Corzine under the bland headline, "Congressional Memo Sheds New Light on MF Global." The paper didn't even identify the scandal-plagued former governor as a Democrat.
On Saturday's World News, as he ended a report on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's dustup with a Rutgers University student who heckled him at a town hall forum, ABC correspondent Mark Greenblatt forwarded Rutgers Law student and former Navy SEAL Wiliam Brown's criticisms of Christie without noting Brown's history of activism in the Democratic party, specifically that he ran unsuccessfully for a state assembly seat.
The ABC correspondent instead forwarded Brown's complaints about Christie's temperament as if the Democratic activist were concerned about the health of the Republican party. Greenblatt:
ABC's World News this week failed to mention the development that former New Jersey Democratic Senator and former Governor Jon Corzine is mired in a scandal involving $600 million in missing funds from the financial firm MF Global which he headed until today.
The CBS Evening News and the NBC Nightly News so far have not mentioned Corzine's Democratic Party affiliation as they ran full reports on Tuesday, and on Friday both shows updated viewers after Corzine's resignation.
On Friday, Brian Williams related that a "prominent criminal defense lawyer" had been hired by Corzine as the NBC anchor read a brief item:
Something astonishing happened in New Jersey last week. A majority Democratic legislature and a Republican governor agreed on a measure that will cut benefits for the state's 750,000 employees and retirees.
Like Wisconsin and other states that are being forced to deal with large budget deficits caused mostly by sweetheart deals struck in more prosperous times between politicians who need votes and labor unions who deliver them, New Jersey couldn't afford to go on like this.
On Saturday, New York Times metro reporter Richard Perez-Pena treated as a serious breach of decorum a relatively mild metaphor New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie used in front of reporters in “This Time, Christie’s Tough Talk Draws a Wave of Criticism From Democrats.” The text box: “The governor uses violent imagery while talking to reporters about a state senator.” Yet the Times has almost completely ignored much harsher and explicit “violent imagery” used by Democratic politicians against Republicans.
Using harsh terms to attack his critics has been a regular feature of Gov. Chris Christie’s 15 months in office, and Democratic officials, wary of his and the voters’ wrath, have usually offered only a muted response.
But this week, when Mr. Christie, a Republican, used violent imagery in talking about a Democratic lawmaker -- a widowed grandmother, to boot -- Democrats saw an opening, criticizing him en masse and demanding an apology.
Matt Bai’s upcoming New York Times Sunday Magazine cover profile of Chris Christie, New Jersey's attention-getting Republican governor, has its questionable moments, but the overall tone was far more temperate than a teaser the Times used to promote it, featured on the front page of nytimes.com Thursday evening.
The segment of Bai's long story the Times chose to highlight is one that just happens to feed into the liberal complaint that President Ronald Reagan stigmatized welfare recipients as "welfare queens." (Bai's reference to "welfare queens" in the text is milder in context.)
The teaser reads: "The governor of New Jersey became the most celebrated Republican in America by tagging public-sector workers -- especially teachers -- as 21st-century welfare queens."
Only last week Halbfinger penned a favorable profile of Connecticut’s Democrat Gov. Dannel Malloy, who devoted half the interview to running down, in Halbfinger’s words, the “blustery and bellicose” Christie, whose clips of his back-and-forth engagement with union members have won him a conservative fan club.
Halbfinger’s treatment of Christie was far less friendly than the tone he took toward Gov. Malloy:
Reporter Halbfinger let Malloy hypocritically pat himself on the back for civility while taking pot shots at Christie. Halbfinger played along, portraying Christie as “blustery and bellicose” compared to the “polite” Democrat Malloy, flatteringly portrayed as closing a deficit while spending “much of his energy finding ways to spare the most vulnerable" and considering tax increases.
"Leading hip-hop generation intellectual" and frequent pundit show talking head Marc Lamont Hill -- who's always on the lookout for instances of "intolerance" and "hate," and has never let even non-existent instances of "racism" slip by his view -- says he knows the reason why New Jersey Governor Chris Christie won't run for president: He's too fat.
“He can’t win, let’s be honest ... I’m going to say this and don’t get mad – he’s fat.He’s fat for a politician. He doesn’t have the body type to win. There are other issues – look at that!!" (as he looked at a screen image of Christie.)
To emphasize his (supposed) point about "image over substance," Hill exclaimed, “Look at Sarah Palin!”
This past weekend, intrepid journalists at the New York Post and NorthJersey.com released information they unearthed about proposed Ground Zero Mosque "organizer" Sharif El-Gamal and frontman Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, respectively, that the wire services, the New York Times and the national TV networks would likely have run with by now had the items related to a major church or synagogue.
But since the news has to do with what has turned into the PC crowd's cause celebre and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's personal pet project, you may not see the stories covered anywhere else.
The arguably more important story of the two concerns the tax problems of Mr. El-Gamal (pictured above via the Post) and his company, because they directly related to the GZM's property. The story by Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein went up early Sunday morning:
The paper's political team let Obama fully sell himself as a down-home populist by completely skipping (in the print edition) the fact that Obama would be departing from a town in New Jersey to two glitzy fundraisers in the Times's home town Manhattan. The Washington Post, on the other hand, did notice that Obama later traveled by helicopter to a fundraiser at the Four Seasons in Manhattan, then went on to Vogue editor Anna Wintour's townhouse for another.
Calmes filed a report on the fundraisers Wednesday night for the paper's "Caucus" blog: "After an afternoon of populism, lunching with small-business owners in New Jersey and gabbing with the opinionated ladies of ABC-TV's "The View," President Obama ended his day on Wednesday at separate $30,400-a-person fundraisers here in Manhattan."
But those politics-as-usual details didn't make it into the print story, leaving room for these vital nuggets: Obama "ordered a 'super sub with everything,' to highlight his party's small-business agenda....Mr. Obama ordered a six-inch 'super sub' -- he declared that at nearly 49 he can no longer eat the 12-inch variety -- and sat down at a table with the owner, Dave Thornton, and the owners of three businesses in nearby towns."
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has grown tired of a media double standard on politicians who use "combative tones" and made sure the reporter demonstrating the double standard knew it. Watch as Christie slams the reporter:
Cam Edwards at NRANews.com passed along a New Jersey Star-Ledger story showing how gun dealers are held in low esteem. Matt Carmel of Maplewood, New Jersey was rejected when he applied to sponsor a little-league baseball team:
Carmel, a licensed gun dealer, applied to sponsor a team in the local Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken baseball league, using the name of his business — Constitution Arms.
He was rebuffed.
"Arbitrary, capricious and unfair," Carmel said of the perceived slight. "I don’t like being pigeonholed."
But what really makes the story maddening (and worth wider attention and commentary) are the sponsors that have been allowed:
The New York Times’s November 5 “Political Points” podcast recited a full 30-second excerpt from Gail Collins’s Wednesday column blaming not Obama, but bad Democratic candidates, for the party’s huge losses in governors’ races in Virginia and New Jersey.
The paper’s chief political reporter Adam Nagourney agreed that New Jersey and Virginia weren’t necessarily predictive. Four minutes in, Adam Nagourney emulated Collins by also throwing the two losing Democrats under the bus, while repeatedly warning people not to overstate the results:
Remember that we’re talking about here are two states, not a lot of voters, one congressional district in upstate New York. Micro-wise, one thing we do want to pay attention to here is, and again, don’t overstate this -- independent voters who backed President Obama in Virginia and New Jersey last time went to the Republican gubernatorial candidates this time. Now, does that mean that they didn’t, that they’ll vote for, you know, whoever votes against Obama in 2012, or for Democrats, or Republicans congressional, for Republicans next year? No. I don’t think so.
The G.O.P. had two big victories yesterday in off-year elections, winning the race for governor in New Jersey and Virginia for the first time since 1997. The New York Times's coverage was dominated by three themes used to explain away the success of Republicans:
The Republicans won by appearing moderate.
The congressional race in upstate New York revealed deep divisions within the G.O.P.
These off-year elections don't mean much anyway (except when Democrats win).
1) Republicans Won by Moderating:
Even after wins by two conservative Republicans, the Times spin was that moderation had prevailed, arguing that both New Jersey Governor-elect Chris Christie and Virginia Governor-elect Bob McDonnell won by trimming their social conservative stands.
In a Tuesday web post before returns were in, the paper's chief political reporter Adam Nagourney said that even a win by Virginia conservative McDonnell would be a victory for moderation: