The Supreme Court on Monday delivered its verdict in the closely watched Hobby Lobby case, ruling 5-4 that the Christian-run craft store doesn't have to obey the Obamacare mandate that requires health care plans to pay for birth-control drugs that may induce abortion. Justice Samuel Alito's majority opinion stated that requiring such closely-held corporations to provide such coverage violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yet New York Times legal reporter Adam Liptak's lead story Tuesday, under the banner headline "Court Limits Birth Control Rule," managed to quote liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's dissent in the second sentence.
Like many analysts in the “mainstream media,” New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters sought to explain how David Brat -- a 49-year-old economics professor and virtually unknown candidate -- won the Republican primary in Virginia on Tuesday, unseating Eric Cantor, a seven-term incumbent who has served as the majority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Peters' explanation? During a lengthy article the following day, he asserted that the upset victory was made possible by the intervention of “potent voices of the conservative media,” including GOP radio talk show hosts Laura Ingraham and Mark Levin.
Sure, Mika Brzezinski is a big Fauxchohantas fan who'd love to see Senator 1/32nd take on Hillary Clinton. But regardless of her motivation, credit Mika for courageously critiquing Hillary.
In a segment on today's Morning Joe about Hillary's "dead broke" blunder, Brzezinski scolded Hillary defenders Jeremy Peters [NYT], the egregious Thomas Roberts, Eugene Robinson and Joe Scarborough. Mika accused them of being "afraid" of the Clintons, of tiptoeing around them, and of holding their fire in hopes of being granted an interview with Hillary. View the startling video after the jump.
The New York Times is desperately trying to reduce Republican complaints of the IRS persecution of Tea Party groups and the White House cover-up of the massacre of Americans in Benghazi to cynical GOP campaign ploys trotted out in an election year.
The paper's strategy is exemplified in Thursday's story by Jeremy Peters, "House Vote on Former I.R.S. Official Signals Element of G.O.P. Election Strategy." The House voted 231-178 to hold former IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt for refusing to testify before Congress, and requested a special prosecutor to investigate the agency’s targeting of Tea Party groups. But you would have a tough time figuring that out from Peters's shallow, partisan, politically obsessed reporting, light on details but heavy on suggestions of unfair GOP politics. Peters couldn't even finish his lead sentence without referring to how Republicans hoped to employ the IRS issue, as well as Benghazi and Obama-care, to their advantage in the mid-term elections.
On Friday, as I noted on Saturday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told public radio's Susan Arbetter that "extreme conservatives" – that is, people who are pro-life, understand the clear meaning of the Second Amendment, or wish to keep marriage as it has traditionally been defined – "have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are." Note well that Cuomo's remarks are still not news at the Associated Press's national site.
On Sunday, Cuomo's people sent and released an "open letter" containing a very inaccurate transcription of the original interview accusing the New York Post's Aaron Short of being "entirely reckless with facts and the truth" in his report ("Gov. Cuomo to conservatives: Leave NY!"). As I demonstrated on Monday, the only reasonable interpretation of what Cuomo said is that Republican Party members who hold any one of the three positions noted in the previous paragraph "have no place in the state of New York." In the past several days, the matter has escalated. The Post has continued to cover the story – that's what newspapers are supposed to do – while, in an extraordinary move, the Counsel to the Governor has entered the fray with what can only be interpreted as threatening language.
On Saturday, reporter Jonathan Martin wrote an interesting piece in the New York Times about Republican efforts to paint Hillary Clinton as “old news” for her potential 2016 run. Martin pondered the “striking” notion that Democrats “could run an older candidate” while Republicans “could nominate a youthful standard-bearer” in the next presidential election.
Of course, to the liberal panel on Monday’s Morning Joe – absent host and former Republican congressman Joe Scarborough – GOP criticism against the former secretary of state is nothing but a sexist, hypocritical attack on the victimized Clinton.
On Morning Joe today, Jonathan Capehart hailed the loud protest in the Texas Capitol gallery by pro-abortion rights advocates—which prevented the state senate from voting on a pro-life bill—as an example of "democracy in action."
Joe Scarborough countered that if pro-life protesters had done the same, people on MSNBC and elsewhere would be calling them an "angry, unruly mob." Interestingly, New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters agreed with Scarborough, saying he was "absolutely right." Capehart had no rebuttal. View the video after the jump.
On Thursday night’s O’Reilly Factor, the Fox News host opened the show by attacking former IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman for visiting the White House 157 times, almost four times as many appearances as Hillary Clinton. O’Reilly hinted this was a “smoking gun” of the White House running the IRS harassment campaign of the Tea Party.
But guess what: this fact of Shulman’s well-worn path to the White House gates has yet to be reported by ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS. O’Reilly can’t believe this number:
Clearly, the New York Times couldn't run with Jonathan Weisman's headline or opening sentence in the report he filed shortly after Friday's portion of Friday's testimony at a hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee in its Saturday print edition. And it didn't.
The original headline at Weisman's story, as seen here (HT Ann Althouse via Instapundit), was "Treasury Knew of I.R.S. Inquiry in 2012, Official Says." His opening sentence: "The Treasury Department’s inspector general told senior Treasury officials in June 2012 he was auditing the Internal Revenue Service’s screening of politically active organizations seeking tax exemptions, disclosing for the first time on Friday that Obama administration officials were aware of the matter during the presidential campaign year." Along came Jeremy Peters, who helped to "properly" frame these matters, turning it into yet another "Republicans attack our poor innocent administration" piece. That is what made it to today's paper -- on Page A12, naturally accompanied by a "better" headline. Meanwhile, except for excerpts captured at places like the indispensable FreeRepublic, Weisman's original has been flushed down the memory hole.
Benghazi hearings open in the House on Wednesday, and the New York Times printed a preview on page 16 of Wednesday's edition that downplayed any possible revelations about the Obama administration's reaction to the terrorist attack, which killed ambassador Chris Stevens and three others. Testimony is expected by three State Department officials, led by U.S. diplomat Gregory Hicks, deputy mission chief in Tripoli, who said his pleas for military assistance were overruled.
Feeling reader pressure after the Washington Post led its Tuesday's edition by setting up the House hearings, Public Editor Margaret Sullivan addressed the issue on her blog Tuesday afternoon, posing a coverage question to Washington bureau chief (and former neoliberal economics reporter) David Leonhardt, who didn't anticipate hearing much new on Wednesday:
The New York Times led Thursday's edition with the Senate defeat of President Obama's gun control proposals in a series of procedural votes, including one on expanding background checks that Democrats had hoped would pass. The front page featured a photo of an angry Obama in the Rose Garden after his quest for more gun control laws in the wake of Sandy Hook came up short: "Gun Control Drive Blocked In Senate; Obama, In Defeat, Sees 'Shameful Day.'"
Reporting on former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel's nomination to serve Obama as secretary of defense, the New York Times' Jeremy Peterstried to imply as he has before that the Republican move to filibuster Hagel, who bombed in hearings, was both uncollegial and unprecedented.
But Peters had to stretch in his Tuesday piece, limiting his examples to the narrow fact that Hagel is the first secretary of defense nominee to be threatened with a filibuster (ignoring the many other Republican nominees filibustered by Democrats, as well as the Democrats' outright rejection of Republican nominee John Tower in 1989).
From the day President Obama nominated him, the New York Times has oozed sympathy for the plight of Chuck Hagel, Obama's nominee for secretary of Defense. Times reporters have warned darkly of the disappearance of congressional "comity" and "courtesy" (as if the clubbiness and glad-handing endemic to the U.S. Senate represents some shining exemplar of good government) among Republicans, who dare suggest Hagel came off grossly uninformed and confused on foreign policy issues in his congressional hearings.
Wednesday's New York Times front page featured Susan Rice's failed attempt to assuage concerns of three Senate Republicans on her false statements about the Benghazi massacre in "Rice Concedes Error on Libya: G.O.P. Digs In." Inside was an unflattering photo of a peeved-looking Sen. John McCain. Posing Republican senator and Rice critic McCain as the bad guy, an on-line text box accompanying the article highlighted a reader comment from "Them or Us": "If you think these three Senators walked in with open minds and no agenda, I'd like to sell you a bridge that crosses the East River into Brooklyn. McCain's little kangaroo court is about as transparent as his anger." Meanwhile, on the back pages, two liberal Times columnists disagreed on Benghazi's significance.
In the front-page story, reporters Mark Landler and Jeremy Peters minimized the import of the policy scandal by focusing on the personal, portraying Rice, who may be nominated by President Obama to the post of UN ambassador, as offering an olive branch that "hostile Senate Republicans" rejected.
In a bit of a surprise, New York Times reporters Jeremy Peters and Jim Rutenberg filed a longish article on a recently unearthed Obama video from 2007 showing the president in a fiery, racially charged mode and praising his anti-American pastor Jeremiah Wright, a video downplayed or ignored by most of the mainstream media: "Race at Issue for Obama As Right Revives '07 Talk."
Less surprising was the snotty text box: "New fodder for a favorite topic in conservative circles." And the reporters took care to trace the tape's provenance down the conservative media food chain.
Independent political groups have long been the guerrilla warriors of presidential elections, tossing explosive advertisements into the middle of a campaign like hand grenades, with little regard for the strategy of the candidate they support.
Ignoring the liberal slant of virtually every other media outlet, New York Times media reporter Jeremy Peters singled out the Fox News morning show Fox and Friends for partisan slant: "Enemies And Allies For ‘Friends.’" Peters never questioned why Republican candidates may shun liberal media outlets like NBC.
When it comes to sitting for interviews Mitt Romney is not usually a willing and eager subject. But there is one invitation he rarely turns down.
“Fox & Friends” has had Mr. Romney as a guest 21 times in the last year. That’s almost twice a month, vastly more than the four times each he has appeared on NBC’s “Today” and ABC’s “Good Morning America,” which draw five times the audience.
The New York Times went full Hollywood on the front of Sunday Styles. Jeremy Peters, a political-media reporter for the paper, profiled the imperious fashionista Anna Wintour as "an engaged politico and valuable asset to President Obama and his re-election effort." Wintour, the inspiration for the book and movie The Devil Wears Prada, raised her profile when she released a much-mocked fund-raising video invitation on behalf of Barack Obama: "Power Is Always in Vogue." (Because Wintour edits Vogue magazine, get it?)
For years, conservative media critics have asserted that many mainstream journalists favor gay marriage and tilt their coverage of the topic accordingly. On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Thursday, Mark Halperin of Time magazine seemed to agree. “The media is as divided on this issue as the Obama family -- which is to say not at all,” he said. “And so he’s never going to get negative coverage for this.”
New York Times media reporter Jeremy Peters on Tuesday defended Republican Gov Nikki Haley of South Carolina from a phony scandal story that made the rounds of the media via Twitter last week, in "A Lie Races On Twitter Before Truth Can Boot Up." Peters reminded readers that Haley had previously been hit with an "unfounded blog report of marital infidelity." So why did the Times eagerly make that "unfounded" report a news story in 2010?
New York Times media editor Bruce Headlam was less than gracious after the sudden death of conservative media activist Andrew Breitbart, citing in a Times webcast “his willingness to push the limits of what he saw as journalism, what a lot of other people saw as just stunts and demagoguery.”
Media reporter Jeremy Peters wrote the official Times obituary Friday for Breitbart, who died suddenly at age 43 after collapsing while walking outside his home in Los Angeles: “Andrew Breitbart, Conservative Blogger, Dies at 43.” As a news story it was balanced, but compared to the usual Times obituary it was certainly critical, starting in the third paragraph:
“Dog-whistle politics” is a derogatory term, often employed to describe what liberals consider to be coded, subliminal racist messages “pitched” too high for the general public to recognize. Peters, who seems suspicious of the idea of appealing to evangelical Christians, gets in a dig at Catholics to boot.
New York Times media reporter Jeremy Peters issued a warning to young journalists on Wednesday’s front page, “Covering 2012, Youths on the Bus”: There are partisan bloggers out there who are out to embarrass mainstream journalists. Ironic, given that mainstream journalists have been doing just that to conservative politicians for decades.
A group of five fresh-faced reporters from National Journal and CBS News clicked away on their MacBooks one recent afternoon, dutifully taking notes as seasoned journalists from the campaign trail shared their rules of the road.
Preparing journalists to cover the presidential campaign these days is also an exercise in indiscretion management. In the new dynamic of campaigns, reporters themselves are targets both of political strategists as well as other journalists and bloggers.
Michael Shear, chief writer for the New York Times’s “Caucus” blog, sounded sarcastic and bitter, almost angry, at the opening of the paper’s last “Caucus” podcast on Thursday about having to talk about the Anthony Weiner sex scandal.
Host Sam Roberts: “But you pointed out that this is a particularly inopportune time for this latest sex scandal to break in Washington. Why is that?”
Michael Shear: “Lots of policy and we’re going to start with the sex scandal! That’s fine. Yeah, it’s not a good time for Democrats.”
So what vital hard-core political news did Shear spend the entire following day covering to compensate for having to discuss Weinergate? The three-year-old trove of Sarah Palin emails from her time as Alaska governor.
New York Times media reporters Jeremy Peters and Jennifer Preston recognized conservative journalist Andrew Breitbart (pictured below) for breaking the Weiner-gate scandal that resulted in a dramatic press conference Monday afternoon where both Brietbart and Rep. Weiner spoke. "Conservative Blogger, a Go-To Source for Political Scandal, Looks for Legitimacy" was printed in Tuesday's Metro section (Rep. Weiner represents parts of Brooklyn and Queens).
When Meagan Broussard asked one of her friends what she should do about an intimate online relationship she had been having with Representative Anthony D. Weiner, the friend, a Republican, told her to go to Andrew Breitbart.
Mr. Breitbart, a conservative blogger, has established his Web site, BigGovernment.com, as the place to go with tidbits of a scandal in the making. On Monday, he claimed a moral victory after Mr. Weiner admitted that he had indeed sent the suggestive photos posted earlier on his site. "I’m here for some vindication," Mr. Breitbart said as he took to the lectern at Mr. Weiner’s own news conference.
In a surprise announcement, Bill Keller is resigning as New York Times executive editor as of September 6. He will be replaced by Jill Abramson, the paper’s managing editor, Jeremy Peters reported on nytimes.com Thursday morning.
Keller will still write for the paper: "As for Mr. Keller’s plans, he said he was still working out the details of a column he will write for the paper’s new Sunday opinion section, which will be introduced later this month."
Abramson will be the first woman to run the Times newsroom in the paper’s 160-year history. For Abramson, the Times is holy writ: