New York Times political reporter Ashley Parker dominated the paper this weekend, getting front page stories both Saturday and Sunday, one praising a liberal Democrat as a diligent workhorse (just like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton!), the other criticizing a conservative Republican as controversial and out of the mainstream.
On Saturday's front page she fawned over liberal, former comedian Sen. Al Franken: "Franken’s Campaign Against Comcast Is No Joke." On Sunday she turned around and called out the "strains" in the Republican Party in a U.S. Senate primary race in North Carolina, warning of "far-right Senate candidates" that had won primaries in 2012 only to lose in the general.
The New York Times is allowing anonymous sources in politics to slime a political leader. But this time it’s Barack Obama.
In a Saturday story by Jonathan Martin and Ashley Parker on “new urgency about the need to address” Democratic prospects, an anonymous “Democratic lawmaker” said Obama was becoming “poisonous” to the party’s candidates.
One of the more humorous attempts at furious spin this weekend occurred over at the New York Times. Jonathan Martin and Ashley Parker somehow managed to cover how association with President Barack Obama is becoming “poisonous” to Democratic Party candidates in this fall's elections without identifying or even acknowledging the existence of the primary reason for his toxicity — namely his repeated guarantees, now all proven false, that "If you like your plan, doctor, medical provider, and prescription drug regimen, you can keep them, period."
Martin and Parker claim that the Dems' biggest hurdles are HealthCare.gov's awful rollout and the administration's inept marketing of Obamacare (HT Powerline; bolds are mine):
Tuesday's lead New York Times editorial attack on the paper's favorite conservative bogeyman, the Koch brothers ("The Democrats Stand Up to the Kochs") followed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's political playbook, denouncing Obama-care horror stories as "phony," while approving of Reid's Senate-floor smear of donors Charles and David Koch as "un-American."
And a recent Times report on Reid's push by Ashley Parker (pictured) skipped completely the slur by Reid, who stated in a February 26 speech on the Senate floor denouncing Koch-funded ads publicizing ObamaCare horror stories: "The Koch brothers are about as un-American as anyone I can imagine."
During a report on Wednesday's NBC Today about an upcoming Netflix documentary of Mitt Romney's two presidential runs, New York Times reporter Ashley Parker scratched her head over the footage taken by filmmaker Greg Whiteley: "One of the big questions is, why could this 90-minute documentary by a filmmaker convey a personal, human, warm side of Mitt Romney that his team of very high-paid strategists could not?" [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]
Perhaps the reason lies in the way Parker and her media colleagues constantly portrayed Romney as being out-of-touch with voters. In one article after another during the 2012 campaign, Parker described Romney as being stuck in a "defensive" posture on every political issue he discussed.
The New York Times continued its push for immigration "reform" in Thursday's edition. The front of the National section included a page-width photo of "tens of thousands of immigrants, Latinos, union members, gay rights and other advocates" who rallied at the Capitol Wednesday.
Reporters Julia Preston and Ashley Parker, among the most slanted on the paper's staff, used even higher figures for the march while covering the so-called Group of 8's deal on an immigration amnesty bill, "Bipartisan Senators’ Group Reaches Deal on Immigration Bill." The phrasing was awkward, as vagueness (there are no official crowd estimates) grasped for specificity: "several tens of thousands of immigrants..."
The headline and lead story in Sunday's New York Times warned of "far right" Republicans. Jeff Zeleny (pictured) is more balanced than most Times political reporters, but has a bad habit of "far right" labeling. The headline: "Top G.O.P. Donors Seek Greater Say In Senate Races – Bid To Cull Challenges -- Taking Aim at hopefuls Viewed as Too Far Right to Win."
Zeleny included the unflattering designation in his lead paragraph.
Every January tens of thousands of people participate in the March for Life in Washington at the anniversary of the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion. And for five years in a row the New York Times failed to run a single story on the march in its print edition (it marked the 2011 march with a couple of photos on page 12).
This year, the 40th anniversary of the March, the Times broke its streak with a so-so 815-word story by Ashley Parker that made the bottom of the front of the paper's National section, on page 9.
The New York Times leaned "Forward!" for Barack Obama's reelection in its campaign coverage over the weekend. The front of the paper's Saturday Election 2012 section featured a large photo from an Obama rally of a volunteer handing out flags at a fairground rally in Hilliard, Ohio on Friday. The caption noted "A crowd of 2,800 showed up to see Mr. Obama."
Meanwhile, campaign reporter Ashley Parker estimated on Twitter Friday night that 25,000 people attended a Romney rally in West Chester Township in Ohio. But those strong turnout figures for Romney, which suggested high levels of enthusiasm in a crucial state, were buried in the very back of Parker and Michael Barbaro's Sunday story from the campaign trail.
Inside Mitt Romney’s campaign headquarters over the past few days, the data pouring in was unmistakable. Aides scouring the results of focus groups and national polls found that undecided voters watching the presidential debate in Denver seemed startled when the Republican candidate portrayed all year by Democrats -- the ultraconservative, unfeeling capitalist -- did not materialize.
On Thursday the New York Times's Romney-beat campaign reporter Ashley Parker returned to Romney's tired "47 percent" controversy in "Romney Ad Reaches Out to Working Class." Not content with recycling old anti-Romney issues, Parker also recycled her criticism of Romney – so far she has described Romney as "defensive" in at least 12 news stories, including this one, according to a Nexis search.
The New York Times is certainly not treating Barack Obama's statement on 60 Minutes that the death of four Americans in Libya, including Libyan ambassador Christopher Stevens, as one of a few "bumps in the road," as a callous and politically damaging gaffe. Reporter Ashley Parker reluctantly covered Romney delivering "talking points" to the media on the matter, in "Republican Team Attacks Obama on Foreign Policy," but her story opened by highlighting Romney's "tough" time, including yet another mention of Romney's "47 percent" comment at a private fundraiser.
In an interview that aired Sunday, Obama was asked by CBS's Steve Kroft whether "the recent events in the Middle East given you any pause about your support for the governments that have come to power following the Arab Spring?"
Obama responded in part: "But I was pretty certain and continue to be pretty certain that there are going to be bumps in the road because, you know, in a lot of these places, the one organizing principle has been Islam."
A secretly recorded video of Mitt Romney speaking at a fundraiser about the "47 percent of the country who are dependent on government," put out last night by the liberal magazine Mother Jones, calls into question whether Romney is "at base, an empathetic and caring man." That's according to the New York Times, which rushed the Monday night breaking news onto Tuesday morning's front page in a story by Michael Shear and Michael Barbaro, "In Video Clip, Romney Calls 47% ‘Dependent’ and Feeling Entitled."
The New York Times spelled out its habit of trying to wrong-foot Mitt Romney on Thursday's front page coverage of the violence in Egypt and Libya. The banner headline over Thursday's front page, "Attack On U.S. Site In Libya Kills Envoy; A Flash Point For Obama And Romney," ushered in coverage of the attacks on U.S. embassies in Libya and Egypt, with the assault in Libya resulting in four deaths, including the murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
Times reporters Peter Baker and Ashley Parker made sure to follow the media template in characterizing Mitt Romney's criticism of the Obama administration as "clumsy and badly timed and Romney himself as "on the defensive" (twice!) in "A Challenger's Criticism Is Furiously Returned."
Facing criticism for failing to mention American troops or the Afghan war effort in his convention speech, Mitt Romney spoke before National Guard members on Tuesday and called for robust support of the nation’s armed forces, saying that “the return of our troops cannot and must not be used as an excuse to hollow out our military through devastating defense budget cuts.”
When the New York Times sends reporters to compare and contrast the Romney and Obama campaign styles, little surprise who comes off looking best. The banner headline on the front of Monday's special Campaign 2012 section set the scene: "Two Campaigns With Styles as Similar as Red and Blue."
No matter what campaign tactic Mitt Romney chooses, it's the wrong one. A July 12 New York Times headline reads: "Romney Faces Calls to Deliver Counterpunch." Jeff Zeleny and Ashley Parker began their front-page "campaign memo" relaying concerns from the GOP that he is not counterattacking Obama:
Mitt Romney and his team of advisers built a reputation during the Republican primaries as tough street fighters skilled in the tactics of political warfare. They quietly took pride in tearing apart Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and the rest of their rivals.
Parker emphasized the "cackles and boos" he received for his criticism of Obama-Care, and even used Romney's father, the late Michigan Gov. George Romney, to dismiss his record on "civil rights and diversity."
New York Times reporter Ashley Parker was in Las Vegas and made controversy Wednesday over Mitt Romney's appearance at a fundraiser with media mogul and political controversialist Donald Trump. Parker used Trump's "birther" beliefs as an excuse to dredge up old Romney flubs: "Romney, on His Big Day, Finds Himself Upstaged."
It was supposed to be a day of triumph for Mitt Romney, when he would at last formally claim the Republican presidential nomination with a victory in the Texas primary. And Mr. Romney was to focus attention on an aggressive new attack on President Obama, highlighting the White House’s role in backing failed companies like Solyndra.
Instead, Tuesday was hijacked by Donald J. Trump. Inexplicably to many in his party, Mr. Romney had scheduled an appearance at a fund-raiser in Las Vegas on Tuesday night with Mr. Trump.
As the president traveled to the West Coast on Thursday, where in Seattle he said Americans should have the chance to succeed “no matter who you love,” his presumptive challenger, Mitt Romney, and Republican leaders in Congress, tried, with limited success, to steer the focus of the presidential campaign back to the nation’s sluggish economy.
New York Times campaign reporter Ashley Parker looks back semi-fondly at Mitt Romney's apparently successful run for the Republican nomination in her Sunday "news analysis," "A Romney Rambler Looks Back."
The people who said that this race was boring and that it couldn’t possibly compete with the excitement and stature of 2008 may yet be right. But they, too, will be back out on the trail. After all, a predictable, even-keeled and sometimes awkward nominee is still far more interesting than a predictable, even-keeled and sometimes awkward politician in a field of nearly a dozen.
And, frankly, most of us who have been there since the beginning find the rap on Mr. Romney that he’s dull and vanilla a little unfair. Sure, it can be monotonous to listen to the same measured stump speech again and again, but Mr. Romney’s usual adherence to the script has given us a newfound appreciation for those little quirks and moments when he blips off message.
On Monday the New York Times offered yet another unsubstantiated tale of the GOP scaring away female voters. Reporter Ashley Parker's story, under the headline "Romneys Court Women Alienated by Contraception Issue," not only fails to back up the headline, but contradicts itself.
The paper's own recent poll finding, buried by the paper last week, found most women oppose the Obamacare mandate that religious institutions provide contraception coverage. That tidbit from the poll didn't make it into Parker's story. And Parker didn't seem to realize the implications of a poll result she did cite: Social conservative candidate Rick Santorum is far ahead of the more moderate Mitt Romney among female Republican primary voters. If the paper's headline were true, wouldn't those "alienated women" be flocking to moderate Mitt instead of scary Santorum?
New York Times reporters Trip Gabriel (pictured right) and Ashley Parker, who follow Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, respectively, teamed up for Saturday’s report from Las Vegas, “Republican Candidates Wrangle Over Nevada," rushing to Obama’s aide after a mild attack by Mitt Romney, and accused conservatives of carrying a “caricature” image of lefty donor George Soros.
Mitt Romney can’t win for losing. Wednesday’s New York Times “news analysis” by Michael Barbaro and Ashley Parker posed as concerned over the “heavy new baggage” the Romney campaign had acquired by successfully going negative against Newt Gingrich in his Florida primary victory Tuesday night: “A Nasty Fight Carries Risks for the Winner.” Of course it does.
The Times has put Romney's mannerisms under the microscope on several occasions. Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic candidate in 2004, was another rich Northern politician with a reputation for woodenness and lack of the common touch, but it certainly wasn’t a dominant theme of Times campaign coverage.
New York Times reporter Ashley Parker, on the Mitt Romney beat, again got cynically snide and personal with the “robotic” candidate in the lead to Wednesday’s "Political Memo" from the campaign trail in New Hampshire, “As Rivalry Tightens, Romney Is Reflective.”
Mark McKinnon, a regular contributor to the liberal Daily Beast website, which owns Newsweek magazine, made a morbid gaffe as he commented on Texas Governor Rick Perry's stumble during the November 9 Republican presidential debate on CNBC. The New York Times on Wednesday quoted McKinnon labeling Perry's brain freeze as the "human equivalent of shuttle Challenger."
Times writers Jeff Zeleny and Ashley Parker cited the Democrat, who once served as an aide to former President George W. Bush, as an example of how "Republican operatives almost uniformly declared it [Perry's gaffe] as a sign of great trouble for his candidacy."
Parker took a swipe at Romney August 23 for expanding his house: “Mitt Romney has never claimed to be a middle-class man of the people. But the news that he is planning to quadruple the size of his $12 million oceanfront property in the La Jolla section of San Diego, first reported by The San Diego Union-Tribune on Saturday evening, came at a particularly awkward time.”