In Shift, NY Times Embraces 'Moral Dimension' Provided by Bishops -- at Least for Expanding Obama-Care
Friday's lead New York Times story celebrated "G.O.P. Governors Providing a Lift For Health Law." The most notable convert: Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who reversed his position this week and announced his support for expanding Medicaid.
The Times' Abby Goodnough and Robert Pear credited Scott for the embrace of Obama-care (via "proponents" who "say that doing so will not only save lives, but also create jobs and stimulate the economy") and also found a convenient "moral dimension" in the call by Catholic bishops to expand the Medicaid program, a dimension the paper never found when the Church was opposing the Obama-care requirement that religion institutions provide contraception coverage.
The New York Times is disturbed that the blue-collar folks of Pennsylvania haven't swallowed Obama-care. Reporter Abby Goodnough blames conservative ad campaigns for convincing gullible citizens while suggesting the facts are on the side of Obama-care supporters, while opponents harbor "resentments and dark predictions." From the front of Thursday's National section, "Opinion of Health Care Law Reflects Ad Spending":
The lead story in Thursday’s National section of the New York Times treated with respect an anti-military temper tantrum from the left-wing town of Burlington, Vermont by Abby Goodnough, "In a Green Town, Activists See Red Over Lockheed Martin."
While Times stories involving conservative complaints are invariably overloaded with "conservative" labels, Goodnough included only one mention of the obvious ideological tilt of the opponents of Lockheed Martin, the military contractor proposing a clean energy project with the town. The leftists were balanced only by wishy-washy local officials and corporate boilerplate from a Lockheed spokesman.
The top half of the page was dominated by a picture of someone strumming a protest song on an acoustic guitar, and the Times also reprinted what looks like a pair of old-style woodcuts ("eye-catching") from a local artist comparing Lockheed Martin to both the Devil and the Trojan Horse.
Goodnough's hook was a Rasmussen Reports poll showing Brown within nine points of Coakley. But she emphasized that "many news organizations dispute its methodology." Yet Rasmussen called the 2008 election with far greater accuracy than did the Times.
(Goodnough also authored an admiring December 10 profile of Coakley after her win in the Democratic primary.)
From her Friday story:
Martha M. Coakley, the Democrat running for Senator Edward M. Kennedy's seat in Massachusetts, had seemed so certain of winning the special election on Jan. 19 that she barely campaigned last month.
But the dynamic has changed in recent days. The news that two senior Democratic senators will retire this year in the face of bleak re-election prospects has created anxiety and, even in this bluest of states, a sense that the balance of power has shifted dramatically from just a year ago.
With the holidays over and public attention refocused on the race, Ms. Coakley's insistence on debating her Republican opponent, Scott P. Brown, only with a third-party candidate present has drawn mounting criticism.
And a new poll that showed a competitive race between Ms. Coakley and Mr. Brown has generated buzz on conservative blogs and energized the Brown campaign -- though many news organizations dispute its methodology.
But there was no mention of another notorious case. As Middlesex district attorney in the summer of 2001, The “perpetually articulate and composed” Coakley took part in keeping Gerard Amirault in jail on fabricated sex abuse charges.
Amirault was one of the victims of the witch-hunt known as the 1986 Fells Acres Day School ritual sex abuse case, now universally recognized as an abuse of power by Massachusetts prosecutors. Children who attended the day care center were prodded by prosecutors to make increasingly bizarre allegations of robots and evil clowns against the Amiraults, the family that ran the day care center. Amirault was convicted in 1986, his wife and sister in 1987. Amirault was finally released after 18 years; it could have been 15 if not for the work of Coakley.
Five years after he successfully lobbied state legislators to change his state's law governing the filling of Senate vacancies, Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy (D) now wants the law changed again.
Kennedy successfully encouraged Democratic state legislators in 2004 to push through a change in the law in order to thwart the possibility of then-Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) appointing a Republican successor to Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) should the latter win the presidential election.
But rather than reporting Sen. Kennedy’s flip-flop as more partisan gamesmanship, the Times’s Abby Goodnough buried Kennedy’s role in the 2004 legislative drama in paragraph nine of her 17-paragraph August 20 story:
The New York Times takes sides in its Friday front-page story on Harvard professor (and Obama friend) Henry Louis Gates's confrontation with Cambridge police sergeant James Crowley, "Case Recalls Tightrope Blacks Walk With Police -- A Professor's Arrest Tests Opinions on Racial Progress."
Gates was arrested outside his home in Cambridge, Mass. for disorderly conduct on July 16 after Sergeant James Crowley arrived to investigate a report of a possible break in by two men. Gates had just gotten home from abroad to find himself locked out of his house, and asked the taxi driver to help him break down his front door.
Times reporters Susan Saulny and Robbie Brown aren't very interested in the factual details of the Gates arrest, or excerpts from the police report that painted Gates in an unflattering light, alleging Gates shouting accusations of racial bias and generally throwing his weight around. Saulny and Brown's story opens misleadingly, not with details of Gates's arrest, but with less ambivalent stories of racial stereotyping, leading readers to believe that the Gates imbroglio ran along similar lines: