The Times actually contradicted itself within its headline, announcing Obama's proposed budget "cutback," yet admitting in the next line that Obama's proposal -- incorporating a revision in how inflation is calculated that's known as "chained C.P.I." (for Consumer Price Index) -- would actually just mean a "smaller increase" in federal spending year to year. It would reduce the growth of annual spending in programs like Social Security, but not actually reduce the amount spent.
The perils and victims of the round of the mandatory federal spending cuts known as sequestration led the New York Times' weekend coverage, with the 2.4% cut in annual federal spending that went into effect starting Friday labeled "austerity" and ushered in with headlines warning that "Poor May Be Hit Particularly Hard." Also: those who still approve of Congress tend to be "Obama haters," according to a news story.
Basking in the campaign-like trappings of Obama's White House press conference, reporter Jackie Calmes repeated in Wednesday's New York Times, the president's horror stories on the purportedly deep impact of mandatory budget cuts, known as the "sequester," that are scheduled to hit March 1: "Obama Tries to Turn Up Pressure on Republicans as Cutbacks Near." The cuts amount to an estimated $85 billion this year out of a $3,600 billion dollar budget, but Calmes pushed the pain of Obama having to deal with recalcitrant Republicans:
"Days away from another fiscal crisis and with Congress on vacation, President Obama began marshaling the powers of the presidency on Tuesday to try to shame Republicans into a compromise that could avoid further self-inflicted job losses and damage to the fragile recovery," she wrote. "But so far, Republicans were declining to engage."
On the front of Sunday's New York Times, reporters Jackie Calmes and Jonathan Weisman suggested President Obama has a "mandate" for tax hikes in the ongoing tactical battle in Congress over the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts in "Soured History Hampers Talks Between Obama and Boehner."
Last year, Mr. Boehner had the edge as Mr. Obama faced a difficult re-election campaign and needed Republicans’ support to increase the nation’s borrowing limit, lest the government default. Now, after a decisive re-election victory and Democratic gains in Congress, Mr. Obama has the stronger hand. He also made higher taxes for the wealthy a central campaign issue, suggesting a mandate borne out in public polls. And he benefits from a hard deadline, Dec. 31, after which all of the Bush-era tax cuts expire if action is not taken to extend them. Polls show that voters would hold Republicans responsible if no deal is reached in time.
In one of the most fascinating media-related pieces I’ve read in a while, Dan Froomkin interviews Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, two longtime Washington observers who wrote a book together and soon after, they say, found themselves near pariahs in a city that didn’t want to hear what they had to say.
New York Times White House reporter Jackie Calmes celebrated President George H.W. Bush's 1990 budget deal "achievement" in her "Debt Reckoning" column Thursday, part of a new feature on the debate over the "fiscal cliff": "Looking for Lessons In the 1990 Budget Deal." The deal was blasted by conservatives as a disaster which failed to close the deficit as promised, because the proposed spending cuts never came, while income tax rates dutifully rose.
Calmes, who almost always takes the Democrats side in budget disputes, even took sides in her descriptions, calling former Democratic House Speaker Tom Foley "genial" while pronouncing former Republican White House chief of staff John Sununu "pugnacious."
The second 2012 presidential debate hosted by Candy Crowley got the full court press from the New York Times, with live fact-checking online and a 40-minute TimesCast wrap-up, that found Times reporters wrongly defending Obama and bashing Mitt Romney on a fiery exchange on Libya. Times journalists were highly supportive of Barack Obama's performance and critical of the "peevish" Mitt Romney, who "was arguably showing disrespect for the president," as Jackie Calmes insisted.
Times journalists also falsely insisted that President Obama had called the Benghazi attacks "an act of terror" in a Rose Garden speech the day after, and that Mitt Romney had made a "serious gaffe" when he suggested Obama had not. Yet in fact, as two other Times journalists softly pointed out later in the videocast, Obama was only speaking generally when he said in his Rose Garden speech that "no acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this nation." Of the Benghazi assault, Managing Editor Richard Berke admitted that Obama "didn't say 'it was a terrorist attack.' It was more of a vague quote."
New York Times White House correspondent Jackie Calmes off lead in Wednesday's edition on Obama's struggle with the federal deficit, "Test for Obama As Deficit Stays Over $1 Trillion." Credit Calmes for the premise and the Times for the prominent placement, but as usual, Calmes waved the blame away from Obama and again clung to the dubious idea that ObamaCare would actually reduce the deficit.
"Four years ago, Barack Obama campaigned for president on a promise to cut annual federal budget deficits in half by the end of his term. Then came financial calamity, $1.4 trillion in stimulus measures and a maddeningly slow economic recovery," she wrote:
The New York Times is milking its latest poll, showing some good news for Obama, to maximum effect. Sunday's front-page featured a poll story from one of the paper's top Obama boosters, White House correspondent Jackie Calmes (pictured): "Challenged on Medicare, G.O.P. Loses Ground." Text box: "Polls Show Favor for Obama on Issue of Party Trust." Calmes writes from Orlando:
Surprisingly, Obama loyalist Calmes discerned political problems in the president's anti-business rhetoric. More predictably, she defended Obama's anti-entrepreneurship remark "you didn't build that," accusing the GOP of taking it out of context, even though the context does not save Obama from the charge of showing hostility to enterprise and individual initiative.
White House reporter Jackie Calmes talked to Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod for a strong hit of Republican Convention bashing in her Friday New York Times story "Obama Team Sharpens Attacks on Rivals' Character." Calmes cited liberal media analysis to bolster her contention that even "independent fact-checkers" think the Republicans are lying.
As the Obama campaign heads into its convention next week, Democrats see openings both to fill in unpopular details of Mitt Romney’s agenda left unsaid by Republicans in Tampa this week and to raise new questions about Mr. Romney’s character after widespread criticism of misstatements by him and his running mate, Paul D. Ryan.
New York Times White House reporter Jackie Calmes trailed the Obama campaign to the University of Virginia, "In College Town, Obama Jokes at G.O.P.’s Expense," where the president tried to convince adoring college students to vote by portraying Mitt Romney as a threat to their college loans.
Typically, Calmes praised Obama's "thoughtful" answer to a question he received during a website Q&A session, and became the latest Times reporter to defend Obama from Romney's charge that he gutted work requirements for welfare recipients.(Short answer: Obama did. Here's a longer answer, courtesy of journalist Mickey Kaus.)
On Thursday Jackie Calmes (pictured) and Trip Gabriel, two of the New York Times's more slanted campaign reporters, teamed up to cover Obama's campaign trip to Colorado and Romney's trip to Iowa: "Obama Assails Romney on Women’s Health Care." Covering Obama in Denver, the Times credited the president's popularity among women, while the Romney coverage from Iowa emphasized a controversy in that state, underlined by an accompanying photo caption: "Mitt Romney, visiting Iowa, kept quiet about his opposition to tax credits for wind power."
Late in the 2008 campaign, Republican presidential candidate John McCain was whacked in a front-page story in the New York Times for saying the "fundamentals of our economy are strong." But after President Obama said on Friday that "the private sector is doing fine" (he walked the statement back hours later) Times reporter Jackie Calmes conjured up some spin on Obama's behalf.
Pity President Obama, it's not his fault; after over three years in office, he is still helpless as a newborn when it comes to changing the economy for the better. Sympathetic New York Times White House reporter Jackie Calmes teamed with Nicholas Kulish for Sunday's "Weak Economy Points To Obama’s Constraints."
The bleak jobs report on Friday predictably had heads snapping toward the White House, looking to President Obama to do something. Yet his proposed remedies only underscore how much the president, just five months before he faces voters, is at the mercy of actors in Europe, China and Congress whose political interests often conflict with his own.
In a convenient bit of public relations, the would-be "indelible" image (the initial online headline was "Indelible Image of Boy's Pat on Obama's Head") used by the Times was captured by White House photographer Pete Souza. Calmes, who is a notorious defender of the administration's economic policy, wrote on Thursday:
For decades, Republicans have railed every four years against the Supreme Court and its perceived liberal activism to spur conservatives to elect presidents who will appoint like-minded justices. Now strategists in both parties are suggesting this could be the Democrats’ year to make the court a foil to mobilize voters.
Jackie Calmes, White House reporter for the New York Times, made a surprise appearance in the Friday Weekend Arts pages to talk about cherry blossom season in Washington, D.C.: "A Fleeting Beauty, Shared With the Multitudes." What was unsurprising was Calmes shoehorning in yet another defense of Obama's economic "stimulus" and a chiding of conservative Republican Rep. Eric Cantor. (The article hasn't yet made it to nytimes.com.)
The New York Times focused on the "treacherous political ground" occupied by President Obama as the election draws closer, while proving wrong pro-Obama assumptions made in recent stories by Times reporters Susan Saulny and Jackie Calmes, in Tuesday's front-page poll analysis "Obama's Rating Falls as Poll Reflects Volatility," by Jim Rutenberg and Marjorie Connelly. But it also buried some interesting findings that defied the liberal conventional wisdom about social conservatism and women voters.
No political motivations here! Devoting a full story to President Obama calling birth-control activist Sandra Fluke for the sake of his daughters, New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes (and her headline writer) on Wednesday gave the president the benefit of the doubt by not questioning the propriety of dragging his young daughters into the debate over Fluke, who was called a "slut" by Rush Limbaugh on his radio show: "Obama Call Was a Lesson For His Girls."
Barack Obama, secret deficit hawk? New York Times White House reporter Jackie Calmes showed her usual pro-Obama sympathies in Monday’s enormous front page tick-tock story on the Obama team’s debate over a big deficit reduction plan the president has long promised but failed to deliver: “Obama’s Deficit Dilemma – Adopting a Panel’s Ideas, While Seeming Not To.”
Calmes once again defended the president’s lack of budgetary leadership, though less aggressively than usual. Last February she hailed Obama’s brilliant budgetary maneuvers, and has consistently boosted Obama's stimulus package, while insisting against all history that Obama-care will actually save money.
New York Times White House reporter Jackie Calmes habitually makes excuses for President Obama while praising his big-spending budgets as serious proposals, defending his "stimulus" as successful, and insisting against all history that Obama-care will actually save federal money. She gave out some more in the latest edition of the PBS talk show Washington Week, which aired last week on PBS, talking of Obama's "investments" (i.e., spending) and agreeing with the administration that its broken promise on reducing the deficit really isn't its fault.
Calmes invariably sees Obama’s big-spending budgets through rose-colored glasses. This time last year, she was covering Obama's fiscal year 2012 proposal under helpful headlines like this one: "Obama's Budget Focuses On Path To Rein In Deficit." Calmes portrayed it as just right in its balance of spending cuts and tax increases and gave him a pass for putting off tough choices. But now that Obama has forsaken deficit reduction for 2013, Calmes puts the issue on the back-burner and instead emphasizes how the new budget plan may work for Obama politically. Obama’s broken promise on deficit reduction wasn’t broached until paragraph 20 of 22.
As part of a team of New York Times reporters fact-checking the presidential debate that took place Sunday morning in Concord, N.H., White House reporter Jackie Calmes once again baselessly claimed that expensive Obama-care is actually a money-saver, claiming GOP candidate Mitt Romney was false to assert otherwise. But the history of government cost projections (Medicare, anyone?) strongly suggest Calmes is wrong.
(After the GOP took the November 2010 elections, Calmes confidently stated as fact: “Republicans also say they will try to deny money to put Mr. Obama’s new health care law into effect, though they have not made clear what they would do to make up the cost savings that would be lost if they succeeded in repealing the law.”) Calmes posted Sunday:
The Obama administration blocked over-the-counter sales of Plan B One-Step, the “morning-after” pill, to girls under 17, and New York Times reporters Jackie Calmes (pictured) and Gardiner Harris sniffed out a political move to assuage “conservatives" in Friday’s “Obama Backs Aide’s Stance on Morning-After Pill.”
While the Times mentioned “conservatives” four times in discussing the surprise decision by Kathleen Sebelius, secretary for Health and Human Services, there were zero “liberals” labeled in opposition, merely “women’s rights” groups -- as if all women would favor the sale. And while "anti-abortion groups" were identified, there were no "pro-abortion" or even "pro-choice" groups on the other side, merely harmless "reproductive rights groups."
In Friday’s lead New York Times story, White House correspondent Jackie Calmes again finds the Democrats with political momentum on the policy front, as she has, wrongly, on several occasions in the past, shown by the headline over her optimistic April 2 story, “Jobs Growth Could Stump Obama’s Critics.” (Nope.) This time, it’s Democrats allegedly putting the GOP in a “political bind” over cutting the payroll tax, due to the stubborn refusal by Republicans to raise taxes on "the rich."
Double standards on story placement in the New York Times? A “Political Victory” for the White House over trade deals that promise only “small” economic benefits was trumpeted in the headline to Thursday’s lead story, while a “major setback” for Obama and his jobs bill was buried on Wednesday’s inside pages.
New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes asked President Obama a softball at Thursday’s press conference about what he would like to say to win over the “Occupy Wall Street” protesters, and then followed up: Jackie Calmes follow up question was: "Do you think Occupy Wall Street has the potential to be a tea party movement in 2012?"
Oddly enough, Calmes didn’t use Obama’s answers in her front-page story, headlined “Obama Describes Economy as Dire: Citing Europe, He Urges Passage of Jobs Bill.” Calmes did line up economists to support Obama’s push for passage.Obama said Republican proposals “would not help the economy in the short term. Economists at private-sector forecasting firms agreed,” wrote Calmes.