There's another Republican backing gay marriage, and it's...Ronald Reagan? (Headline hat tip to New York magazine.)
The New York Times was the first news outlet to find newsworthy remarks made by Patti Davis, the liberal activist daughter of the late president, who said her father would have surely approved of gay marriage: "Daughter Speculates on Reagan's Gay-Rights Views." Somehow this speculation merited a full "news" story in Thursday's edition.
After two days of same-sex marriage arguments at the Supreme Court, New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg bestowed a blessing on the "serious and unassuming" Mary Bonauto, a lawyer for Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD). Even the headline equated gay marriage with the civil rights fight, citing the legendary civil rights lawyer who became a Supreme Court Justice: "In Fight for Marriage Rights, 'She's Our Thurgood Marshall.'"
The Marshall reference comes from left-wing former Rep. Barney Frank, who is openly gay and married. We also learn "Ms. Bonauto is too busy juggling legal briefs, homework and piano lessons to see herself as a woman making history." But not too busy to be feted in the news pages of the Times.
A front-page New York Times profile of Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, which fights gay marriage legislation, was actually fair until reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg's laudatory reference to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which raises money by smearing social conservative organizations as "hate groups."
A tale of three presidential inaugurations during wartime and strife. The New York Times found it bad form for Republicans to spend $40 million on President Bush's second inauguration in January 2005, during a time of war. A January 11, 2005 editorial on Bush's second inauguration, "Victor's Spoils," sniffed:
At the rate President Bush's supporters are giving money, his second inauguration threatens to stand out in the history books like the common folks' muddy boot prints on the White House furniture at Andrew Jackson's gala. The $40 million record for inaugural partying set four years ago for Mr. Bush is expected to be shattered this month....Ordinary citizens might have hoped that the overriding issue in Washington- the perilous Iraq war, with its drain on the nation's blood and treasure- would dictate restraint. But plans for the four-day extravaganza roll forward with nine celebratory balls being underwritten by the usual corporate and fat-cat supplicants in the political power mill. There's nothing new in Washington's triumphalist celebrations, festooned with price tags for access, but war usually mutes the singing and dancing. Not this year.
New York Times's Sheryl Gay Stolberg profiled White House chief of staff and "fiscal cliff" negotiator Jacob Lew (who may be the next Treasury secretary) on Sunday's front page, calling liberal Lew "a policy nerd" who "morphs into a warrior" when it comes to helping the poor. Yet he's also a "pragmatist," just like his boss Barack Obama, and also makes "a mean potato kugel."
Specter served as a liberal Republican for most of his career before switching to the Democratic Party in 2009 in an unsuccessful attempt to preserve his seat. But while Specter battled conservative icon Judge Robert Bork and helped deny Bork a seat on the Supreme Court, it's a later Supreme Court dust-up the Times and liberals refuse to forgive him for: His tough questioning of Anita Hill after she accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during Thomas's 1991 Supreme Court hearings.