It's enlightening to see what topics New York Times editors find disturbing and newsworthy and which ones they shrug off or ignore.
New York's new senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, is a Democrat who is nonetheless under strong suspicions at the liberal Times for her support of gun rights and her previous representation of a white conservative district. On Friday's front page, she came under fire via a stash of old ammo in a story by Raymond Hernandez and David Kocieniewski. "As New Lawyer, Senator Defended Big Tobacco." Gillibrand is in trouble for defending Big Tobacco as a lawyer representing Philip Morris back in 1996.
The Philip Morris Company did not like to talk about what went on inside its lab in Cologne, Germany, where researchers secretly conducted experiments exploring the effects of cigarette smoking.
So when the Justice Department tried to get its hands on that research in 1996 to prove that tobacco industry executives had lied about the dangers of smoking, the company moved to fend off the effort with the help of a highly regarded young lawyer named Kirsten Rutnik.
Ms. Rutnik, who now goes by her married name, Gillibrand, threw herself into the work. She traveled to Germany at least twice, interviewing the lab's top scientists, whose research showed a connection between smoking and cancer but was kept far from public view.
The Albany Times Union recently showed the breadth of their journalistic abilities by doing a head scratching piece on ‘Baracking' - a supposed new culture-changing form of slang. Ah, so that's what the kids are calling it...
Scott Waldman of the Union apparently suffered from what those in the business would call ‘a slow news day' this past weekend. As such, he ran with a piece on two local high school seniors who have seemingly foregone a desire to excel at English, and instead have developed new phrases that play upon the President's name.
Waldman interviews the pair, and then makes a mind-boggling extrapolation, interpreting the action of these two students as a demonstration that,
Barack Obama's rise to the White House already has changed the way young people talk to one another,' and that this is simply ‘a natural progression of Obama's prominent spot in pop culture.
Exactly what phrases are sweeping the nation these days? How about these allegedly ‘creative' gems...
What up, my Obama?
Barack's in the White House now - which means cool it.
And the appalling response to someone sneezing - Barack you.
There's nothing in Santos's story Wednesday about the fact that the leader of this alleged "grass-roots effort," ACORN, receives funding from the federal government through various federal programs and third-party groups, or that it registered thousands and thousands of ineligible voters during the last presidential campaign. Instead, readers were treated to 1,260 words of "power to the people" sloganeering straight from ACORN without a single dissenting voice.
As resistance to foreclosure evictions grows among homeowners, community leaders and some law enforcement officials, a broad civil disobedience campaign is starting in New York and other cities to support families who refuse orders to vacate their homes.
Update (Feb. 9; 11:15 EST): Apparently the Buffalo News updated the story and the link I gave in my lede goes to a follow-up story. I wasn't able to find the exact article I was writing about, but here is a link to an updated story from Feb. 6 by Armario, entitled: "Botched abortion outrages pro-life, pro-choice factions."
In one of the more insulting comparisons seen in recent memory, Albany Times Union editorial cartoonist John de Rosier does a major disservice to the honorable men who served during the Battle of Iwo Jima, by depicting recent efforts of Democrats to pass a non-stimulating ‘economic stimulus plan' as equally heroic.
The cartoon shows Democrats in the role of the Marines featured in the Iwo Jima Memorial, a sculpture based on the famous photo by Joe Rosenthal entitled Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima. The exception to this replicationlies in the flag being raised - the Dem's are trying to hoist a ‘bailout flag' as opposed to a flag of the United States.
If that weren't insulting enough, the cartoon also shows the Republican Party mascot, the elephant, trying desperately to pull the flag down.
In short, the Democrats are trying to save our nation by heroically raising up the Obama bailout flag, while the villainous Republicans are trying to destroy our nation by stopping their efforts.
There was an interesting post Tuesday morning on the New York Times's "City Room" blog, "Che, or a Statue of an Actor Playing Che," about a statue of an actor playing Che Guevara recently installed in a corner of Central Park. David Gonzalez interviewed passerby delighted at the representation (once-removed) of Guevara, the colorful Communist thug romanticized among the benighted left and the uninformed public for his colorful charisma and sex appeal.
Che Guevara has been put on a pedestal in Manhattan. This is something not lacking in irony, since Manhattan might not exist today had the Argentine-born, Cuban-tested revolutionary had his way and unleashed the Soviet nukes against the United States during the 1962 missile crisis.
Are New Yorkers really allowing such an homage to occupy the southeast corner of Central Park? Technically, no. The statue actually depicts a Barcelona street performer portraying Che, part of three bronze sculptures by Christian Janowski, which were recently installed by the Public Art Fund.
The Times's Gonzalez didn't genuflect to the urban hipster mentality.
Douglas Turner of the Buffalo News wants conservative radio talkers silenced. He calls them "virulent," "violent" and "coarse" and hopes that starting January 1 the "work of flushing" them will begin. Turner fills his little anti-free speech screed with claims and a few examples of how rotten he thinks righty talkers are and how they need to be shut down, yet can't seem to find a single cross word to say about the "coarseness" of lefty talkers. In other words, it is plain that "coarseness" or "one-sided" radio isn't really a concern of his. Only eliminating the free speech of the right is his goal not any leveling of the playing field.
Naturally, his is filled with prosaic generalizations. Turner assumes that all conservative talk show hosts "were fond" of addressing Obama as "Hussein," his middle name. Yet, Turner offers no list of those that did. He says righty talkers are "violent" but does not offer a single example to prove the allegation. It also seems that Turner can't understand why radio hosts that call themselves conservative would be "one-sided." Curiously, he didn't excoriate Alan Colmes, Randi Rhodes, or Al Franken for being "one-sided." (I know... Imagine that, huh?)
Rush Limbaugh killed some church goers in Tennessee last July. That is the message from a Newsday.com columnist for a local New York newspaper chain. Now, I've listened to Rush Limbaugh many times. Because of my schedule, I cannot listen every day, so certainly I have not heard every word the man has ever uttered, but I am sure that you won't be able to find a time when he told people to go out and kill liberals. Neither have I ever heard Sean Hannity advocate murder. Michael Savage.... well, I haven't heard it but I almost wouldn't be surprised, almost. Still, even Savage is smart enough not to do so I am sure. Regardless of a complete lack of such incitement to murder made by these "right-wing Shock jocks," as she puts it, Jenna Kern-Rugile is sure that the killings of the members of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville last July is the fault of Limbaugh, Hannity and Savage.
Her premise is that the "rhetoric of extreme right pundits" such as Limbaugh, Hannity, and Bill O'Reilly "might" have caused shooter Jim D. Adkisson, 58, to gather up his guns and perpetrate a murder spree on July 27 at the Unitarian Church in Knoxville.
Given how much grief charter schools and other creative initiatives get from the government-school establishment if they don't instantly turn at risk kids into Einsteins, along with the hounding of homeschoolers that seems to be on the rise, this story shouldn't be allowed to fall through the cracks, or remain confined to its local area.
Last Sunday's Rochester Democrat and Chronicle story (HT One News Now), which really should be read in full, would be humorous ("Kids Get Answers, Still Can't Pass") if it weren't for the fact that real children are clearly not getting educated. This systemic failure will affect them, and, to at least a slight degree, everyone reading this, for years to come (bolds are mine):
Like any respected newspaper, the Albany Times Union wants to bring information regarding regional drug arrests to its readers. So it's no surprise that they would cover a recent drug arrest stemming from a routine traffic stop. And being on top of their game, the Times Union presented this news as a breaking story.
What is surprising, however, is that the Albany newspaper has opted not to call attention to another, more shocking drug arrest in the state's capital.
Perhaps the subject was a bit sensitive, as the arrest involved a 53 year old illegal immigrant from Cuba. Just a few days prior to the aforementioned story, a man was arrested in Albany after investigators found almost 200 bags of heroin in his home.
A heroin dealing illegal immigrant would seem newsworthy enough. But wait, there's more...
The call to arms is emotional: ‘We need a President who will stand up to Big Oil!’
The impact is nationwide: ‘National Day of Action for an Oil Free President… At gas stations across the country…’
The movement is massive: ‘American people need an Oil-Free President!’
And the Albany Times Union took a photo-op to demonstrate the fury of the numerous protestors – all 7 of them.
Making the photo even more priceless is the second gentleman from the left, who had to hold up two signs at once, because an 8th protestor was not available.
Now, I had a good 10-12 people at a cookout last weekend, and a majority of them were protesting my overcooking of their burgers. Worse, I was probably wasting untold amounts of gas by serving well-done burgers to the guests - a costly mistake. Yet the Times Union was nowhere to be found.
At what point did it become newsworthy when 7 people gathered for a nationwide protest? You know the answer… When it promotes a liberal cause.
Freshly posted to Robert Cox's Olbermann Watch blog: news of a FIFTH tax warrant surfaces for MSNBC's bombastic uber-liberal Keith Olbermann.:
Olbermann Watch has confirmed that the New York State Department of Labor filed an Industrial Commission Warrant against Olbermann Broadcasting Empire on April 1, 2008 for $1,039.15 with the New York County Clerk's office.
An Industrial Commission warrant is a remedy available to the Labor Department after all administrative procedures have been exhausted - the employer had been given notice of the claim, had an opportunity to contest it, and the time for all appeals has lapsed. It creates a lien on all property of the corporation within the county and gives the county sheriff the right to execute the warrant by, among other things, attaching and selling the employer's property within the county. There are various procedures that the sheriff has to go through before selling the property.
Ah, Memorial Day in Ithaca, NY, a town that looks upon Berkeley, CA as suspiciously conservative. OK, perhaps not quite, but Ithaca is so liberal than in her 2006 Senate primary [bet you didn't know there even was one], Hillary lost the City of Ithaca to a [very] little-known far-lefty named Jonathan Tasini. So liberal that a certain NewsBuster lost a 1990s mayoral bid to the then incumbent, a proud member of the Democratic Socialists of America.
So how does our hometown newspaper celebrate Memorial Day? What does it choose as its biggest headline on the front page? "Military Faces Growing Need for Therapists: Private pyschiatrists offer free services for returning troops." You get the idea, but here are the opening paragraphs to the AP story [emphasis added]:
Families USA is at it again and as usual the liberal media are dutifully parroting their rhetoric.
The liberal, pro-universal healthcare advocacy group recently released a report attacking President Bush’s budget proposal for Medicaid. In the report, Families USA Director Ron Pollack asserted that Bush’s proposed budget decreases funding for Medicaid. Like last time, Families USA has released state-specific studies showing that Bush’s supposed Medicaid cuts would cause the individual state to lose so many jobs and so much money. Local newspapers took the bait.
There’s just one problem: President Bush’s 2009 budget proposal does not cut funding for Medicaid. In fact it calls for an increase in Medicaid spending by $12 to $13 million as compared to the expected spending for 2008. The decrease in the president’s budget proposal is not really a decrease at all. What the president is proposing amounts to a slightly smaller annual average growth rate for Medicaid spending (7.1 percent) than the projected annual average growth rate of 7.4 percent over the next five years. (More information here).
The revelation that New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, the Social Justice League's caped crusader, has been involved in a prostitution ring will no doubt come as a shock to all those progressives who have faithfully –often fanatically– boosted him over the years. For years the boy wonder has prattled on about market abuses, both real and imagined, especially during his media-saturated tenure as New York’s attorney general from 1999 to 2006. For years journalists and pundits have hailed Spitzer as the protector of all things good. In a 2005 Time “Heroes & Icons” profile subtitled, “The Tireless Crusader,” John Bogle said Spitzer served with “energy, savvy and distinction” as state attorney general. In 2002 Time hailed him as “Crusader of the Year,” an event Spitzer notes in the bio of his gubernatorial website.
In the lede, the Times described McLaughlin as the “former head of the nation’s biggest municipal labor council,” without noting his political office.
Continuing the whitewash, the NYT buried and downplayed the story's juicy details. While in office, McLaughlin stole a total of $2.2 million from little leaguers, labor unions, his political club and the state of New York. He used the funds to buy cars for his wife and mistress and, bizarrely, forced union members to kill rats in his basement, dog sit and hang Christmas lights without pay. The only mention of the Dem's political career was an unclear second paragraph (all bold mine):
The worm has certainly turned when Bill Clinton's former press secretary goes on a local TV show, calls Hillary a b---- in so many words . . . and a national news show then chooses to air the footage. It happened on today's Good Morning America in the course of a conversation that co-anchor Robin Roberts conducted with Cokie Roberts and Matt Dowd.
ROBIN ROBERTS: Many are wondering how far she can go in attacking Barack Obama. Even President Clinton's former press secretary Dee Dee Myers made a comment about it being harder for a woman to walk that fine line. This is what she said.
Cut to clip of Myers in a recent appearance on NY1, the NYC cable news channel.
DEE DEE MYERS: I think so many women in positions of authority -- and she's certainly one of them -- have to walk that fine line between being authoratative and being a bitch [worded bleeped during GMA airing]. And she you know, she hasn't always succeeded. I think it's hard for a woman to succeed.
February 8, AP national writer Jocelyn Noveck announced that kids are fired up over the 2008 campaign-- but only mentioned those who like Democrats. The article was full of kids excited about Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and even John Edwards, but there was only one mention of children from GOP homes. Of course, they're out campaigning for Obama (h/t NBer Miamian).
Sure, Noveck covered children in New York City, but she couldn't find one child who supported a Republican? Well, she did mention some kids from GOP homes, you know, the kind who campaign for Obama (bold mine throughout):
An article in Wednesday’s Albany Times-Union carried the deceptive title "35 years pass, but not debate: Demonstrations mark 1973 high court ruling affirming right to abortion." Instead of covering any of the various pro-life or pro-choice demonstrations over the past few days, the Times-Union spent the bulk of article discussing a ceremony at a new Planned Parenthood facility in Albany where local clergy "blessed" the clinic. Only two sentences mentioned that "Capital Region activists joined voices with their counterparts nationwide to mark the day" and that the annual March for Life was being held in Washington, DC.
The article, written by Times-Union staff writer Carol DeMare, quoted several "pro-choice" clergy who took part in the "blessing" ceremony. Rev. Larry Phillips of Schenectady, New York's Emmanuel-Friedens Church described the new Planned Parenthood center as "sacred and holy ... where women's voices and stories are welcomed, valued and affirmed; sacred ground where women are treated with dignity, supported in their role as moral decision-makers ... sacred ground where the violent voices of hatred and oppression are quelled."
Gary Anthony Ramsay, an anchorman for NY1 News, has resigned this week over his efforts to damage Rudy Giuliani's bid for the White House by commenting on the Bernard Kerik situation under a false name on the air. It appears that Ramsay called into an episode of the station's call-in show "The Call" and claimed his name was "Dalton from the Upper East Side" before going off on his rant against Giuliani associate Kerik. Looks like Mr. Ramsay couldn't keep his journalistic integrity in force long enough to give his own name and stand by his own opinion and it has cost him his TV job.
“Jim Zappala says the federal crackdown is killing his business right in the middle of harvest,” CBS correspondent Seth Doane said on the October 10 broadcast. “His onion farm in western New York has been targeted by immigration officials twice in just six months. Workers have been deported. Others are too scared to return.”
Zappala is the owner of Zappala Farms and has openly admitted to hiring illegal immigrants. One solution Doane proposed to Zappala: pay more money and he could get American workers to do the jobs. “I don't think there's any amount of money that we could pay to get workers to come in and hand-clip these onions or help with the field work,” Zappala replied.
The Washington Post 2008 campaign blog "The Trail" has an update on Cleavage-gate, a minor row that seems to have caught the paper's fashion critic Robin Givhan with a dear-in-the-headlights look while giving New York's junior senator a change to perk up her campaign's finances. [Update: Tim Graham has an excellent take on the matter, coming at it from a different angle than I did here. It's a good read. Check it out.]
As the Post's Howard Kurtz and Anne E. Kornblut note, Givhan protests that she:
...would never say the column was about a body part... It was about a style of dress. People have gone down the road of saying, 'I can't believe you're writing about her breasts.' I wasn't writing about her breasts. I was writing about her neckline.
No matter. Kurtz and Kornblut note that Hillary's acolytes are using Givhan's July 20 article to push-up fundraising:
Without a lot of breaking news out there this morning, why not pass some of today's 23 hours with an exhilirating session of one of our favorite games, WIARHSI, which as regular readers know stands for "What if a Republican Had Said It?"
Check out this paragraph from a Newsday article that reports on a Hillary campaign event in Nashua, New Hampsire:
"The former first lady, referring to New Hampshire's roster of female Democratic officials, quipped, 'I don't know about you, but I like seeing women in charge.'"
For purposes of WIARHSI, let's imagine that a Republican had made the mirror-image comment: "I don't know about you, but I like seeing men in charge." Fair to say that the feminist howls of outrage would soon be echoing from sea to shining sea? But what are the odds that Hillary's blatant appeal to sexist solidarity will cause even the smallest ripple in the MSM?
Note how Newsday tries to cover for Hillary, casting her comment as a mere "quip." Real side-splitter!
Is it just coincidence that a story has appeared touting the fact that Al Sharpton is the descendant of slaves, ones owned by relatives of Strom Thurmond to boot? Or could this be the unofficial kick-off of the Sharpton presidential campaign, with a major boost from the reverend's hometown newspaper?
Let's put these three stories together:
On January 17, a story appears reporting: "civil rights activist Al Sharpton said Monday he is seriously considering a run for president. " And why is Sharpton running? "If we're talking about the urban agenda, can you tell me anybody else in the field who's representing that right now?" Translation: Obama might be preparing to announce, but he's not addressing African-American issues.
Three weeks later, on the day Barack Obama announces his candidacy, a story appears in which Al Sharpton declares “just because you’re our color doesn’t make you our kind.” Translation: Barack Obama is not an authentic African-American.
And now, just two weeks after Obama's announcement, a story bursts out of the Daily News declaring that Sharpton's ancestors were slaves owned by relatives of Strom Thurmond.
...memories of 1980s media bias when it comes to U.S. coverage of Nicaragua.
Fans [of Daniel Ortega] waved a sea of Sandista [sic] flags -- some in the traditional red-and-black stripes of Ortega's 1979 revolution that toppled the corrupt Somoza dynasty...
Somoza was toppled by a broad coalition the goals of which were subsequently hijacked by the Marxist-Leninist Ortega brothers.
During his first presidency, Ortega became a symbol of U.S. fears that a communist wildfire could sweep the Americas in the 1980s.
Ortega is more than a symbol. He's a real guy, and USSR and Cuba-funded civil wars were not a "fear" in the 1980s, but a reality. The civil war in El Salvador, for instance, really happened.
As the seventh leftist leader to win office in recent years in a Latin America increasingly at odd [sic] with U.S. dictates, Ortega's victory represents both a symbolic and a strategic blow to President George W. Bush.
Many political analysts called it a self-inflicted wound, saying United States made the Cold War dinosaur who will lead this desperately poor, banana-exporting, New York-sized nation of 5.5 million into a far more important figure that he is.
Via the Sixers blog on NRO, we learn that the George Stephanopoulos pledge that the Mark Foley scandal would resonate in every congressional race sometimes comes true. Consider that in upstate New York, the shoe is on other foot, the Democratic foot, embarrassing the challenger to first-term Congressman Randy Kuhl. The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports:
(November 2, 2006) — CORNING — Democratic congressional candidate Eric Massa fired his campaign manager in June and has accused him of providing alcohol to underage boys and inviting a teenage boy to spend the night with him.
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 political and cultural coverage in "alternative" weeklies such as the Village Voice tends to be even more left-leaning than that of the MSM, but the Voice, probably America's best known alt-weekly, is likely to become less tendentious under its incoming editor, Erik Wemple.
Wemple, who takes the helm at the Voice in late July, has been the editor of Washington City Paper since early 2002. (The politically eclectic City Paper long has been one of the exceptions to the left-wing alt-weekly rule.) He recently told the New York Times, "My ideology...preaches loyalty to the great story. I really don't care if a story begins with leftist sympathies, and I really don't care if a story begins from a more conservative set of sympathies. If it's a great story, we're going to report it out."