Sunday brought an overload of New York Times columnists, including former reporters, calling the previous week's Republican National Convention a celebration of lies and extremism on abortion and gay marriage.
Times columnist and former White House correspondent Maureen Dowd was given more room than usual to rant about Paul Ryan and the Republicans in her Sunday column, "Cruel Conservatives Throw a Masquerade Ball." After calling the Republican Convention "a colossal hoax," she said of Paul Ryan's speech, "the altar boy altered reality, conjuring up a world so compassionate, so full of love-thy-neighbor kindness and small-town goodness, that you had to pinch yourself to remember it was a shimmering mirage, a beckoning pool of big, juicy lies...." Dowd concluded that "....Ryan’s lies and Romney’s shape-shifting are so easy to refute that they must have decided a Hail Mary pass of artifice was better than their authentic ruthless worldview."
During the 1960 presidential campaign, Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy was attacked for his Catholic faith, then viewed by many as subversive and un-American. Anti-Mormon bigots are now targeting Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for his Mormon beliefs, which are now viewed by many “progressives” as a “transparent and recent fraud.” But in those 50 years, the role of the media has changed significantly.
"This man does not have a soul. If you opened up, you know, his chest, there's probably a gold ticking watch in there and not even a heart. This is not a person. This is just a robot who will do whatever it takes, whatever he's told to do, to make it to the White House."
So said New York Times columnist Charles Blow about presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on MSNBC's The Last Word Tuesday (video follows with transcript and commentary):
On Thursday's edition of the New York Times's daily TimesCast, liberal columnists Charles Blow and Bill Keller discussed Mitt Romney's appearance at the NAACP convention (which Keller, the paper's former executive editor, found condescending).
They took on the issue of voter ID laws in various states. Over a montage of still photos of blacks in line to vote, Keller called voter fraud "kind of a tiny problem comapred to voter participation." Blow one-upped Keller, saying "not just a tiny problem I mean, it's minuscule."
Cathy Areu, a contributing editor for the Washington Post Magazine, said Monday, "It’s a tough time to be a white man in America where the minorities are really taking over."
This oddly surfaced on Fox News's O'Reilly Factor during a discussion about New York Times columnist Charles Blow comparing Rush Limbaugh and Newt Gingrich to the kids that bullied a grandmother on a school bus last week (video follows with transcript and commentary):
According to liberal New York Times columnist Charles Blow, "Rick Santorum scares the bejesus out of people" and could never be elected President. The journalist appeared on MSNBC, Tuesday, to dismiss the idea that the Republican could appeal to independents, should he get the nomination.
Blow, who just last week made an ugly, anti-Mormon remark about Mitt Romney, did his best to portray Santorum as unable to broaden his appeal: "You cannot pivot from 'college is where Satan is having his biggest impact' and pivot that into an economic issue. That's just a fallacy. That's not going to happen." [See video below. See MP3 audio here.]
In an apparent fit of rage against Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, liberal New York Times columnist Charles Blow took to Twitter to tell him to "stick that in your magic underwear" for supporting the idea that society ought to concern itself with the large numbers of children born outside of wedlock.
That sentiment apparently set off Blow who tweeted the following at 8:56pm ET on the 22nd: "Let me just tell you this Mitt 'Muddle Mouth': I'm a single parent and my kids are *amazing*! Stick that in your magic underwear." [Be sure to read updates below including Blow's apology for tweet]
“Stop Compromising,” pleaded New York Times Editorial Page editor Andrew Rosenthal on his “Loyal Opposition” blog Wednesday morning.
Rosenthal was aggrieved to hear Obama campaign adviser David Axelrod suggest the president was open to “compromise”on the administration’s plan requiring religious institutions to violate their beliefs and cover birth control in their employees’ health insurance plans. (Apparently compromise is no longer a good thing in Washington.)
Rosenthal (pictured) urged Obama to make a more full-throated defense of the rule, pointing out that “this isn’t a theocracy.”
Charles Blow Conflates Concern Over Liberal Bias With Newt's (Alleged) Racism
“Romney dares not go there. Not Newt. He’s the street fighter with a history of poisonous politics who not only goes there but dwells there. He makes his nest among the thorns of open animus and coded language. Take the issue of media bias for instance: according to a September Pew Research Center poll, more than three-quarters of Republicans said that news organizations are politically biased. That was appreciably higher than both independents and Democrats. And that same month a Gallup poll found that three-quarters of Republicans believe that the news media are too liberal. This, too, was appreciably higher than independents and Democrats.” – From Charles Blow’s January 21 column, “Newt’s Southern Strategy.”
Charles Blow’s Saturday column for the New York Times, “Newt’s Southern Strategy,” tastelessly conflated GOP candidate Newt Gingrich’s (imagined) racism with conservatives who believe the media have a liberal bias, while Blow called the former House Speaker a "vile, reptilian, hatemonger" on his Twitter feed.
In his Friday column ("Failing Forward"), published in Saturday's print edition, the New York Times's Charles Blow really blew it in attempting to relay an abortion-related statistic from the abortion-supportive Alan Guttmacher Institute. Blow wrote (shown here) that "the unintended pregnancy rate has jumped 50 percent since 1994."
The Times has since corrected the column to reflect what the Guttmacher Institute reported, which is that (italics are mine) "the unintended pregnancy rate among poor women has jumped 50 percent since 1994." LiveAction.org's Lisa Graas and Jennie Stone both noted Blow's blunder earlier today. Each also strongly and eloquently criticized Blow for his profoundly antilife attitudes. Additionally, the Times columnist used a "from 2000 to 2009" statistic about child poverty to mask the fact that most of the rise in that statistic occurred during the final year of that time period, i.e., the first year of the presidency of you-know-who.
President Obama's vacation in Martha's Vineyard also became an occasion for a panel of liberal journalists, politicians, and academics to mourn his alleged mistreatment in the media at a race-and-the-media panel discussion organized by Harvard professor Charles Ogletree. PBS Washington Week anchor Gwen Ifill lamented the overwhelming media bias against Obama in the Henry Louis Gates controversy, when Obama said he didn't have all the facts, but the local police "acted stupidly" for their actions in arresting Gates on his own porch.
Ifill somehow ignored that the Obama-supporting news networks pouted over how this comment was a "distraction" from passing ObamaCare, and overpublicized the "beer summit" Obama held at the White House with Gates and his arresting police officer to fix any public-relations damage he might have incurred. (She even ignored the newscast she sometimes anchors, the PBS NewsHour.) On August 18, the Vineyard Gazette reported Ifill complained:
"I must confess that every time Representative Michele Bachmann uttered the phrase 'as president of the United States' during Thursday's Republican presidential debate I blacked out a little bit, so I'm sure that I missed some things."
So actually began a piece by New York Times columnist Charles Blow Saturday:
Joe Scarborough took Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski to task Thursday over the ongoing debt negotiations. "[Republicans] already have given specifics on the Paul Ryan Medicare plan which was political suicide for a lot of Republicans. They took that hard vote. What hard vote have Democrats made on the debt over the past year? Name one. Name one vote" said Scarborough.
New York Times columnist Charles Blow has gotten more ill-humored about politics since the summer of 2009, when he happily opined that the GOP was doomed in the Northeast (this was less than six months before a Republican won the "Ted Kennedy" Senate seat in Massachusetts, after which Blow was considerably less happy with that geographical quadrant).
His Saturday column, "A Summer to Simmer," was full of ranting about the "callousness of conservatives" and their "unshakeable immunity to empathy."
This summer has the potential to be another turning point for the electorate, and it’s not necessarily pegged to the performance of the president. It may hinge largely on the callousness of conservatives and their seemingly inexorable desire to overplay their hand.
Real estate mogul Donald Trump, acting like a presidential candidate, is garnering attention by latching on to the “birther” issue -- the discredited notion that President Obama was not born in Hawaii but in another country, thus making him ineligible for the presidency. The New York Times ran a poll April 22 that asked: “Do you think Barack Obama was born in the United States, or was he born in another country?” The Times then broke down the results out for Republicans (but not for independents or Democrats): 45% of Republicans answered Obama was born elsewhere, 33% said he was born in the United States.
Meanwhile, the Times has yet to bring up a 2006 poll showing more than half of Democrats believed Bush was complicit in the 9-11 attacks.
Times liberal columnist Charles Blow pounced on Saturday: “It further exacerbates a corrosive culture on the right that now celebrates the Cult of Idiocy -- from Glenn Beck to Michele Bachmann -- where riling liberals is more valuable than reason and logic, and where intellectualism and even basic learnedness are viewed with suspicion and contempt.”
Here's something you wouldn't expect to read in the New York Times: Republicans are better informed about political issues than blacks, Hispanics, and young people.
"Big-city liberals and their blogging buddies love to paint Tea Partiers as yokels with incoherent candidates and language-mauling signs," began Charles Blow's column Saturday.
"The unpleasant fact that these liberals rarely mention, and may not know, is that large swaths of the Democratic base, groups they need to vote in droves next month - blacks, Hispanics and young people - are far less civically literate than their conservative counterparts."
New York Times columnist Charles Blow wrote a short piece on the ninth anniversary of 9/11 that should be must-reading for all Americans on both sides of the aisle.
In fact, I'm sure liberal Times devotees will be just as shocked by "A Lesson From 9/11" as conservatives that take the three minutes necessary to get through it.
After sharing his experience as a New Yorker who was in Manhattan that awful day, Blow marvelously tied it all together with what Americans have fought and died for since our forefathers were colonists:
Howard Dean pulled off the rare twin-trashing this morning, dumping on both Glenn Beck and the people who respond to his message. He began by calling Beck crazy, saying he has "a few things the matter with him up here, up in the head there." Later, he compounded the calumny, calling Beck a "racist" and a "hate-monger." So who were the hundreds of thousands of people who attended the rally and the millions more who watch and listen to Beck? Why, according to Dean, they're "lost souls."
New York Times columnist Charles Blow had set the vitriolic tone during the show's first hour, accusing Beck of "hiding behind a cross" and participating in a "rhetorical assassination" of Pres. Obama.
"Is President Obama good for the Jews?" asked New York Times columnist Charles Blow Saturday.
His answer was quite surprising: "For more and more Jewish-Americans, the answer is no."
In his piece marvelously titled "Oy Vey, Obama," Blow referred to Thursday's Pew Research Center report finding "33% of Jewish voters identify with or lean toward the Republican Party, up from 20% in 2008."
From there, Blow went where a liberal columnist for the New York Times typically dares not:
New York Times columnist Charles Blow on Saturday actually defended former governor Sarah Palin from death wish attacks by two Democrat officials in New Hampshire.
In case you missed it, on Tuesday Keith Halloran, a Democrat candidate for the New Hampshire House, posted in a Facebook thread about the plane crash that killed former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, "Just wish Sarah and Levy [sic] were on board."
New Hampshire State Representative Timothy Horrigan replied Wednesday, "Well a dead Palin wd [sic] be even more dangerous than a live one ... she is all about her myth & if she was dead she cldn' t [sic] commit any more gaffes."
While MSNBC has spent a week or so playing the allegation of Tea Party racism in heavy rotation, on Monday’s Morning Joe on MSNBC, anchor Mika Brzezinski devoted a segment to the controversy over the New Black Panther Party’s voter intimidation. New York Times editorial writer Charles Blow denounced the group and agreed that the Justice Department needs to answer questions, but he predictably tried to argue conservatives are outrageous in suggesting the "strange logic" that Team Obama’s actions say something about Team Obama and racial justice:
The political part of it is, I think, the most inflammatory part of this. It's strange logic. The idea that the Obama administration – which is what's happening here – people are trying to tie the Obama administration to black radicalism. And that has been happening since the campaign and it continues to happen. Not everybody, but it's an electoral goal if you can tie him somehow to black radicalism. It's strange logic to think that this tiny group, he somehow benefits politically from protecting them. They have a summit the year before this voter intimidation thing came up. There were a hundred people there. There's nobody there. There's nothing to gain. In fact, there's everything to gain in prosecuting.
After confessing that "President Obama's relationship with America, like many a young marriage, is growing sour" in his Saturday column "The Thrill Is Gone," New York Times columnist Charles Blow defended the president by citing a promises-kept tally at PolitiFact.com:
Of the 168 promises where action has been completed, they judge Obama to have broken only 19. That's not bad, and it must be acknowledged. We have to stop waiting for him to be great and allow him to be good.
The black Tea Party member who was curiously lambasted by New York Times columnist Charles "Minstrel Show" Blow last week struck back at his offender on Monday.
In his now infamous Friday column, Blow wrote of the Dallas Tea Party gathering he attended the previous day:
They saved the best for last, however: Alfonzo "Zo" Rachel. According to his Web site, Zo, who is black and performs skits as "Zo-bama," allowed drugs to cost him "his graduation." Before ripping into the president for unconstitutional behavior, he cautioned, "I don't have the education that our president has, so if I misinterpret some things in the founding documents I kind of have an excuse." That was the understatement of the evening.
On Monday, Rachel posted a marvelous, truly must-see video countering Blow's attack:
Laura Ingraham on Monday took New York Times columnist Charles Blow to task for calling last Thursday's Dallas Tea Party a minstrel show.
In his column published Saturday, Blow said of the tax day gathering he witnessed in the Lone Star State:
Thursday night I saw a political minstrel show devised for the entertainment of those on the rim of obliviousness and for those engaged in the subterfuge of intolerance. I was not amused.
With this in mind, Ingraham invited Blow on her radio program Monday to explain how he came to this conclusion.
The conservative talk radio host quickly got the Times columnist to admit that he hadn't seen any overt acts of racism at the Party, but he refused to explain what made it a minstrel show (audio available here, interview starts at 3:30, partial transcript and commentary follows, file photo):