Powell, a well-known opponent of former New York City Republican Mayor Rudy Giuliani as a Metro reporter, portrayed methods that have an honored place in investigative journalism as "dirty tricks" when done by young conservative activists. While admitting ACORN did wrong, he chalked it up to stupidity, as if there was nothing sinister about giving a pimp advice on how to falsify taxes to conceal a prostitution ring.
Thursday’s lead story on the aftermath of the Iowa caucuses, “Romney Showing Financial Muscle For Next Round,” found New York Times reporters Jim Rutenberg (pictured) and Jeff Zeleny a little label-happy in Manchester, New Hampshire, using twelve variations on the “conservative” label in a 1,236-word story.
By contrast, back in 2008, the Times’s Michael Powell actually called the liberal Gov. Michael Dukakis a “pragmatist” and ultra-liberal politicians Sen. Ted Kennedy and Jesse Jackson “populists,” while calling Sen. Hillary Clinton a “liberal pragmatist” a grand total of once. In the same story, Sen. John Edwards was described as having wrapped himself in a “populist cloak.”
It’s a major story, packed with statistics and charts and interviews, clocking in at 2,500 words, which suggests the idea to bring Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels down a peg was being bandied about back when the governor seemed about to enter the Republican presidential race (he declined on May 22, citing family concerns).
Gov. Mitch Daniels sits in his grand cave of a Renaissance Revival office and reviews Indiana’s economic fortunes, his self-effacing manner not entirely disguising satisfaction. The state’s pension funds are relatively healthy, the unemployment rate is dropping slowly and per capita income is ticking up, slowly.
The New York Times provided big play to Tuesday’s special congressional election to fill New York's 26th congressional district near Buffalo, a race in which Democrat Kathy Hochul upset Republican Jane Corwin. Reporter Raymond Hernandez was quick to assume this one special race spells bad news for Republican plans to reform Medicare, and their prospects in the national elections 18 months away. But how does the Times typically react when Republicans win special and off-year elections?
Democrats scored an upset in one of New York’s most conservative Congressional districts on Tuesday, dealing a blow to the national Republican Party in a race that largely turned on the party’s plan to overhaul Medicare.
The results set off elation among Democrats and soul-searching among Republicans, who questioned whether they should rethink their party’s commitment to the Medicare plan, which appears to have become a liability heading into the 2012 elections.
One might not think an 8.8% unemployment rate would be cause for swagger and celebration, but you couldn't tell that from the Times's headline and lead.
The United States economy showed signs of kicking into gear in March, adding 216,000 jobs and prompting President Obama to proclaim a corner finally turned.
The president and his fellow Democrats pointed to the latest jobs report on Friday, and to an unemployment rate that fell a touch to 8.8 percent, as evidence that their policies, like stimulus spending and the payroll tax cut, were working. All of this, they made clear, could become ammunition in their showdown with House Republicans, who have spoken of cutting deeply into the federal budget and have threatened a government shutdown.
An emboldened Mr. Obama spoke of the political implications before several hundred workers at a United Parcel Service shipping center in Landover, Md.
The New York Times's veteran New York-based reporter Michael Powell, who suggested Rudy Giuliani played the race card as mayor in a Sunday front-page story in July 2007, abruptly admitted that many of the attacks on the former New York mayor and 2008 Republican presidential candidate were “caricatures.”
Powell’s admission and other bits of backhanded praise came, conveniently enough, in a December 23 story on Giuliani’s evident retirement from seeking office:
If this was goodbye, an air of the desultory clung to it, as a man once seen as destined for high office stood in the basement of a Midtown hotel and endorsed another politician for another office -- governor -- once in his sight.
From president to governor to senator, the list of powerful offices that the man, former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, once dreamed of capturing is long, and his longing now seems likely to go unrequited. In the past month he has forsworn interest in running for governor and for United States senator. After he endorsed Rick Lazio for governor, even the honorific shouted by reporters at the press conference on Tuesday -- Mr. Mayor! Mr. Mayor! -- had an antiquated sound to it.
As a federal prosecutor in Manhattan, he broke up cartels and took on the Mob, smashed corrupt politicians and threw a shudder into the insider-trading precincts of Wall Street (even if federal judges questioned his judgments and overturned some verdicts). If he was caricatured as a Savonarola for the 1980s, one could argue that the times required a harsh taskmaster.
George W. Bush has taken up a quiet post-presidential life. Like his father, he has sworn off any public denunciation of his Democratic successor. The Washington Post has an odd way of showing appreciation for Bush’s humble exit: mocking him on Saturday’s front page about his return to Texas: "In Insular World, the Negative Is Left Behind."
Sound like corporate synergy with Newsweek from a few years ago? The reporter is none other than serial Obama-flatterer Eli Saslow. No one at the Post seemed to debate this story idea: did Bill Clinton start having Bob Barr and the other impeachment managers over for hot dogs and Ruffles after he left office, or was he surrounded by friends and supporters? As Saslow recounts Bush talking to neighbors about his presidential memories, there are hints of delusion:
The presidency that is remembered on Daria Place bears little resemblance to the one that most of the country continues to blame for its problems. Bush left Washington on Jan. 20 with two-thirds of Americans disapproving of his job performance -- one of the worst ratings ever for an outgoing U.S. president. In his return to private life, he has maintained tranquility by adhering to a basic philosophy:
Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand is the new senator from New York, replacing Hillary Clinton, who resigned her Senate seat to become Secretary of State in the Obama administration. But the New York Times hasn't exactly rolled out the welcome mat. So far the paper has done little but nag Gillibrand for being insufficiently liberal, pushing her to back away from her stands against amnesty for illegal immigrants and her support of gun rights.
During her one term in the House of Representatives, from a largely rural, traditionally Republican district, Kirsten E. Gillibrand was on safe political ground adopting a tough stance against illegal immigration.
Ms. Gillibrand, a Democrat, opposed any sort of amnesty for illegal immigrants, supported deputizing local law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration laws, spoke out against Gov. Eliot Spitzer's proposal to allow illegal immigrants to have driver's licenses and sought to make English the official language of the United States.
But since her appointment by Gov. David A. Paterson last week to fill the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton, Ms. Gillibrand has found herself besieged by immigrant advocates and Democratic colleagues who have cast her as out of step with a majority of the state, with its big cities and sprawling immigrant enclaves.
The back and forth of racial accusations between the Obama and McCain camps made the front of Friday's New York Times in "McCain Camp Says Obama Plays 'Race Card,'" by Michael Cooper and Michael Powell. The reporters bizarrely suggested that it was the GOP, not Obama, that has injected race into the campaign, and relayed some dubious anecdotes to suggest Obama has been a victim of racist Republican attacks.
To continue the fun, a McCain spokesman on Friday compared the Times's editors to your "average Daily Kos diarist sitting at home in his mother's basement" playing Dungeons & Dragons.
The Obama campaign is trying to re-create Michelle Obama after her stumbles on the campaign trail, and the mainstream media are more than willing to pitch in.
Earlier today, NewsBusters contributor Clay Waters, director of the MRC’s Times Watch project, critiqued a New York Times story, written by Michael Powell and Jodi Kantor, which helped Obama soften her image and suggested that her "proud of my country" remarks were unfairly covered.
Powell reprised his work spinning Michelle Obama on MSNBC today.
The Times staffer sat down with MSNBC's Tamron Hall during the 9 AM hour of the June 18 "MSNBC News Live." During this time, Powell claimed that the potential first lady’s harsh image has "certainly been imposed on her," as though Mrs. Obama’s statements do not reflect who she really is and that those who criticize her public pronouncements are somehow putting words in her mouth.
Who needs Fightthesmears.com when you have the New York Times?
Times reporters Michael Powell and Jodi Kantor helped Michelle Obama soften her image in Wednesday's big front-page interview, "After Attacks, Michelle Obama Looks for a New Introduction." The long, laudatory piece was anchored with a large photo, taking up half the upper fold of the front page, of Michelle Obama listening thoughtfully to her husband's famous race speech back in March.
The Times portrayed criticism of Michelle Obama as either hurtful or out of line. Her controversial comment in Wisconsin, "For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country,"which suggested for many both a lack of pride in America and an unpleasant self-absorption, was dismissed by the Times as a mere "rhetorical stumble," with the implication that the media overplayed it (the Times certainly didn't).
At least the Times did a rowback on its previous false assertion that conservative bloggers had been behind the rumor about Michelle Obama's "whitey" speech, when in fact, as the Times now writes, it was a "blogger who supported Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton" (Larry Johnson) who circulated the claim.
Two campaign stories faced down each other from opposite pages in today's New York Times, one devoted to Obama, the other to Hillary, as they trolled for votes before today's primaries in North Carolina and Indiana. To those tracking the Times closely, it's no surprise who came out with the more sympathetic profile: Obama.
Mr. Obama's struggle to capture working-class votes also raises some unanswered questions, not least the role played by racial perceptions. Many millions of whites have voted for Mr. Obama over the course of the primaries, but his percentage of that vote has dropped noticeably in recent contests.
And conservative blogs and television commentators accuse Mr. Obama of all manner of unpatriotic derelictions....Mr. McCain, for his part, lobbed a few shots over the weekend into the Democratic Party ranks.
If either Democrat withdrew troops from Iraq as proposed, he said in a speech Saturday night before the Republican Governors Association in Washington, Al Qaeda would "celebrate to the world that they have defeated the United States of America."
"Mitt Romney, whose 1950s manner and celebratory drink of choice call to mind a milkshake man more than a rap singer, gave a shout out Monday that left no doubt that he had spent little time listening to hip-hop.
"Mr. Romney, the Republican candidate from Massachusetts by way of Michigan and Utah who enjoys a milkshake at the end of a long day, stopped by a staging area for a Martin Luther King Birthday parade here. In his dress shirt and tie, and with his unwavering smile, he walked over and posed for photographs with a group of black youngsters. Putting his arm around a teenage girl, he waved to the cameras and offered, 'Who let the dogs out?' He added a tepid 'woof woof.'
After his surprisingly easy victory in the Iowa Caucuses, the New York Times is joining the rest of the media in promoting the historic candidacy of Sen. Barack Obama. Check how the Times flooded the country to get favorable Obama soundbites for Saturday's front-page story by Diane Cardwell, "Daring to Believe, Blacks Savor Obama Victory."The full byline:
"Reporting was contributed by James Barron, Timothy Williams and John Eligon from New York; Lakiesha R. Carr and Holli Chmela from Washington; Rebecca Cathcart from Los Angeles; Brenda Goodman from Birmingham, Ala.; Rachel Mosteller from Houston; Susan Saulny from Chicago; Kirk Semple from Miami; and Katie Zezima from Boston."
"For Sadou Brown in a Los Angeles suburb, the decisive victory of Senator Barack Obama in Iowa was a moment to show his 14-year-old son what is possible.