Reporting on yesterday's demise of New York City's jumbo-soda ban in New York State's Court of Appeals, the New York Times's Michael Grynbaum loaded his June 27 story with weighted language in favor of the vanquished side of the policy and legal arguments and presenting the fight as one between well-intentioned health advocates on one end and evil, greedy soda barons -- Big Fizz? -- on the other.
"The Bloomberg big-soda ban is officially dead," the Times staffer mourned in his lead sentence, adding (emphasis mine), "The state’s highest court on Thursday refused to reinstate New York City’s controversial limits on sales of jumbo sugary drinks, exhausting the city’s final appeal and dashing the hopes of health advocates who have urged state and local governments to curb the consumption of drinks and foods linked to obesity." By contrast, he noted "The ruling was a major victory for the American soft-drink industry, which had fought the plan." It was also a victory for the leave-me-the-hell-alone ethos of many a New Yorker who opposed the soda ban, but it seems Grynbaum failed to consult the proverbial man on the street by say hitting up a local bodega and asking the average customer for his or her thoughts.
Jim Swift at Bomble.com noticed Eliot Spitzer did something amazingly sleazy with the New York Times – something the paper hasn’t noticed yet. In a new TV ad pitching himself as the scourge of Wall Street, he edited a July 9 Times subheadline to exclude that in addition to "Instant Pushback" from high finance to his bid for city comptroller, he’s also opposed by unions and politicians.
Michael M. Grynbaum of the Times did a two-minute video “ad watch” of the 60-second ad that was posted on Tuesday – and obsessed over Spitzer holding glasses in the ad, but somehow missed the blatant edit of the newspaper’s own content:
Friday's New York Times teased on the front page two profiles of prominent figures in the gun control debate (conservative David Keene and liberal New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg). Can you guess which one got more respectful treatment?
Raising not a whisper of criticism about the righteousness of Bloomberg’s big pro-abortion donations, Grynbaum called it the mayor's “biggest political coups in years and gave him, at least for the moment, a rejuvenated voice on the national stage,” and claiming it “reflected the mayor’s longtime support for the causes of reproductive rights and women’s health.” But Grynbaum skipped the less flattering side of Bloomberg's apparent enthusiasm for abortion.
The front page of Monday's New York Times featured a story on how Rick Lazio, the Republican candidate for governor of New York, is gaining voter appeal from his strong opposition to the building of a mosque two blocks from the site of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks: "Lazio Finds an Issue in Furor Over Islamic Center."
Reporter Michael Barbaro, while conceding the popular appeal of Lazio's opposition, managed by tone to suggest Lazio was somehow engaged in inappropriate politicking, confirmed by the story's text box: "Commercials that appeal to some may risk the alienation of moderates."
Mr. Lazio's relentless opposition to the project -- he again attacked the imam behind it during an appearance Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" -- is, above all, aimed at Republican primary voters, analysts say. But it risks alienating moderates who could prove crucial in a general election. And it certainly is infuriating many Muslim leaders, who say he is preying on the worst fears of voters; and provoking a backlash from some influential voices in the community of Sept. 11 emergency workers, who say he is exploiting the tragedy.
Nevertheless, Mr. Lazio is pushing ahead with the strategy, even breaking what has been, until now, something of an unwritten rule of politics in New York: never to use images of Sept. 11 in campaign advertisements.
The Times drug up an incident from 10 years ago to make Lazio into some kind of anti-Muslim campaigner: