How painfully predictable: The New York Times filled the news gap caused by the cancellation of Monday's events with rumors of party discord. In fact, the Times first tried to gin up controversy at the 2012 Republican National Convention long ago. Here's a May 13, 2010 report from Damien Cave on how toxic beaches in Tampa might ruin the Republican convention, then over two years away:
The wrong mix of poverty juxtaposed with Republicans partying - perhaps against a backdrop of oil-stained beaches – could give Democrats just what they need to portray their opponents as woefully disconnected from the middle class."
“[E]ven with some state control, experts say, property sales could transform Cuba more than any of the economic reforms announced by President Raul Castro’s government,” Cave noted before noting unnamed “experts” who fear that “[t]he opportunities for profits and loans would be far larger than what Cuba’s small businesses offer… potentially creating the disparities of wealth that have accompanied property ownership in places like Eastern Europe and China.”
Steven Greenhouse, the Times's pro-union, anti-Wal-Mart labor reporter, seemed pretty enthused about the A.F.L.-C.I.O.'s attack mailings against John McCain in "A.F.L.-C.I.O. Targets Seniors," the neutrally headlined story he filed to the "Caucus" blog Tuesday morning. In contrast, another Times reporter, Damien Cave, was offended at the sight of two anti-Obama mailers in his Florida mailbox that dared to attack Obama on taxes and crime.
Only two of the 19 paragraphs of Greenhouse's story are devoted to (very mildly) fact-checking the false claims from the union-backed mailing. Here's an excerpt:
The latest mailer is headlined, "John McCain: A Disaster for Retirees." It criticizes his proposal for partially privatizing Social Security, saying, "This risky move will jeopardize the chances of a secure retirement for millions of Americans."
The mailer also seeks to undermine the Republican candidate by saying, "McCain will cut Medicare." It says he "wants to fund his pro-insurance company health care plan by taking more than $1 trillion from Medicare."
The New York Times's liberal readership surely got indigestion over Tuesday's lead story from Baghdad by Damien Cave and Alissa Rubin, "Baghdad Starts to Exhale as Security Improves." It's even accompanied by three photos of normal life in the Iraqi capital.
Yes, this is the same New York Times that declared less than a month ago in the lead sentence to a lead editorial:
"The news out of Iraq just keeps getting worse."
But on Tuesday the Times made a public bow to the improving reality in Iraq, admitting:
"The security improvements in most neighborhoods are real. Days now pass without a car bomb, after a high of 44 in the city in February. The number of bodies appearing on Baghdad’s streets has plummeted to about 5 a day, from as many as 35 eight months ago, and suicide bombings across Iraq fell to 16 in October, half the number of last summer and down sharply from a recent peak of 59 in March, the American military says.
As the new season of HBO's "Real Time" began Friday night, I watched with great trepidation, especially given host Bill Maher's disgraceful special on that network back in July wherein he spent virtually two-thirds of the program bashing President Bush and anyone with an "R" next to his/her name.
With that in mind, my stomach started turning during his opening monologue as he made joke after joke about our president. I was put in further unease as he introduced his first guest, New York Times correspondent Damien Cave, currently in Baghdad, who seemed likely invited on to speak the liberal party line about how the surge is failing, and how things are much worse in Iraq than the Administration wants to admit.
Miraculously, my concerns were all for naught, for Cave, much like the Times' Baghdad bureau chief John Burns, sees good things happening in Iraq, which appeared to catch Maher off guard. For instance, when Maher asked, "What is the morale of our troops, because I know President Bush always says that the troops are steadfastly all behind him - uh, I have my doubts. What is your view?"