Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires is now Pope Francis, and Thursday's New York Times front-page "Man In the News" profile by Emily Schmall and Larry Rohter, "A Conservative With a Common Touch," opened respectfully. But after a dash of local color and historical context, the Times quickly mounted its old hobby horse: the Church's positions on liberal issues like abortion and gay marriage:
But Cardinal Bergoglio is also a conventional choice, a theological conservative of Italian ancestry who vigorously backs Vatican positions on abortion, gay marriage, the ordination of women and other major issues -- leading to heated clashes with Argentina’s left-leaning president.
Larry Rohter, who was perhaps the New York Times' most biased reporter during the 2008 campaign (beating some stiff competition) now works the foreign arts beat. In a Sunday Arts & Leisure profile of Pablo Larrain, director of the movie "No," about the 1988 vote that ended the long dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, Rohter actually compared Pinochet indirectly to the Tea Party and the libertarian industrialists, the Koch brothers.
It was all Occupy Wall Street all the time in Sunday's New York Times, with no less than four favorable references to the left-wing sit-in scattered throughout the paper. The Tea Party movement certainly hasn't permeated the pages of the Times in such friendly fashion.
Meanwhile, the paper continues to downplay or ignore violence committed by the Occupy movement. The Times did not cover the riot by Occupy LA the night of July 12, where four officers were injured and 17 protesters arrested after protesters tried to transform a monthly "Artwalk" event into a "Chalk Walk" protest and begin hurling rocks and bottles at police officers in riot gear.
A long lead editorial in Friday's New York Times, "Once and Future Taxes," called on Barack Obama to accept the inevitable and raise taxes to fight the $9 trillion budget deficit. Does this mean Times editors and reporters will now apologize to John McCain for claiming that Obama would only raise taxes on "the rich"?
The Times made a full-throated call for a broad tax hike:
So far, the Obama administration's plan for dealing with the budget deficit -- an estimated $9 trillion over a decade -- is to not dig the hole any deeper. That's an important first step. President Obama deserves credit for proposing ways to pay for his two big initiatives to date: health care reform and energy legislation. Reducing the growth in health care costs, in particular, is vital to curbing future deficits....But, sooner than he may prefer, Mr. Obama will have to face up to what he has so far avoided: the need to raise taxes broadly to rein in deficits....Neither economic growth nor spending cuts will be enough to fix the projected shortfalls. Nor is there enough to be gained by confining tax increases only to families making more than $250,000 a year, a campaign promise that Mr. Obama still says he will keep.
During the campaign the Times consistently guarded Obama's vulnerable left flank on taxes, insisting Obama would not raise taxes on the middle-class, only "the wealthy," -- the wealthy as determined by the liberal New York Times, anyway.
History will tell that the New York Times actually endorsed John McCain as its preferred Republican nominee, albeit in a hold-your-nose fashion. History will also tell that the paper began souring on its former favorite "maverick" and moderate Republican almost immediately after he clinched the nomination and becoming the only thing standing between the White House and a historic Democratic victory for either the first woman or first black president.
Even before the presidential race narrowed down to an Obama-McCain matchup, the Times did its best to kneecap GOP candidates, reserving special hostility to its hometown Republican, New York Gov. Rudy Giuliani, portraying him as a racist mayor who exaggerated his post 9-11 herosim.
Times Watch has put together the 10 absolute worst stories that appeared in the Times during Campaign 2008, pitting that historic beacon of hope, Democrat Barack Obama, versus the temperamental, inarticulate appeaser of right-wing racists, Republican John McCain.
Embarrass Obama, and expect the liberal media to go after you, no matter who you are: That's what National Review journalist Byron York warned early Thursday afternoon.
He was quickly proven right by a story from reporter Larry Rohter in Friday's New York Times, "Real Deal On Plumber Reveals New Slant," in which Rohter took a wrench to Joe Wurzelbacher (aka "Joe the Plumber"), the citizen who dared to question Obama on his tax plan as the Democrat campaigned in his neighborhood in Toledo, Ohio. Obama responded with a classic paleo-liberal cliche: "I think that when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."
That insight into Obama's mindset was politically fascinating, but Rohter buried it in the 11th paragraph of his story, focusing his investigation on such vital matters as "Joe's" actual first name (Samuel) and whether or not he has a plumber's license.
New York Times reporter Larry Rohter once again rode to Barack Obama's defense in Tuesday's "Ad Campaign" watch, a review of John McCain's latest TV ad accusing Obama of letting gas prices rise. In "McCain Links Obama and High Gas Prices," Rohter eviscerated McCain's ad for daring to blame Obama for rising gas prices.
From the script of the ad, quoted by Rohter:
Gas prices. $4, $5, no end in sight. Because some in Washington are still saying no to drilling in America. No to independence from foreign oil. Who can you thank for rising prices at the pump? (chant) Obama, Obama.
A clearly displeased Rohter rushed to Obama's aid:
ACCURACY Mr. Obama is not against all drilling for oil and gas, only drilling offshore, a crucial word in the debate on energy policy but one never mentioned here....even before the recent spike, oil prices had been rising for a decade, the result of a variety of political and economic factors in places as far afield as China, India, Venezuela and Nigeria. So it is difficult to understand how Mr. Obama, a first-term senator, can be held responsible for that phenomenon.
New York Times's Larry Rohter today asked the question "Will the Real Tax and Spender Please 'Fess Up?" Fortunately, he tells us what the answer is, even though he has no facts to support it. He has this wonderful little nugget, in which he tries to refute John McCain's statement with two points:
Some question whether Mr. Obama’s tax plan can even be characterized as an increase. Some also argue that contrary to Mr. McCain’s assertions, the Democrat’s proposals, if enacted, would actually reduce taxes for the middle class — the voters both candidates see as the key to victory.
The first, bolded above, statement is completely unsourced. No one in the article makes this claim. The second point he actually defends. For example:
In Wednesday's off-lead story by Michael Cooper and Larry Rohter, the New York Times found both McCain and Obama retreating to home base when it comes to economic solutions. But the Times' unconscious embrace of liberal conventional wisdom was evident in how it treated much-argued political terms like "windfall profits", "the death tax," and even "victory" in Iraq.
Bush's mild tax cuts were seen as only benefiting "the wealthy" (by whose definition?), an assertion the Times underlined by repeating it three times.
And look how the Times used quotation marks as warning flares or to suggest a conservative position was dubious. While "victory" and "death tax" were seen as partisan Republican terms and secured in protective quotes, Democrat-loaded terms like "windfall profits of oil companies" weren't put in quotes but stood unencumbered and presented as fact, even though the phrase "windfall" is calculated to make it appear oil company profits are somehow unjust or unearned.