The New York Times has taken the offensive on all fronts in support of Chuck Hagel, the "maverick" former Republican senator and President Obama's nominee for Secretary of Defense, recounting his Vietnam War heroics in a way that previous Republican presidential candidates John McCain and Bob Dole could only envy, while accusing his GOP opponents of "bullying" him with accusations of anti-Semitism.
International edition columnist Roger Cohen generously took it upon himself Tuesday to decide who a "true friend" of Israel was, and both Chuck Hagel and Barack Obama made the cut (unlike people who, you know, actually support Israel all the time).
“Deep Cuts in Social Services” By Conservatives Led to London Riots
“Frustration in this impoverished neighborhood, as in many others in Britain, has mounted as the government’s austerity budget has forced deep cuts in social services. At the same time, a widely held disdain for law enforcement here, where a large Afro-Caribbean population has felt singled out by the police for abuse, has only intensified through the drumbeat of scandal that has racked Scotland Yard in recent weeks and led to the resignation of the force’s two top commanders....Economic malaise and cuts in spending and services instituted by the Conservative-led government have been recurring flashpoints for months...As the budget cuts take hold, risk of unemployment increases and social measures like youth projects are sacrificed, Mr. Beech said, and ‘all logic says there will be an increase in antisocial behavior.’” – London-based reporter Ravi Somaiya on the riots there, August 8.
Norway Terrorist’s “Fellow Travelers,” Gingrich and Rep. Peter King
“Breivik has many ideological fellow travelers on both sides of the Atlantic. Theirs is the poison in which he refined his murderous resentment....Republicans like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Representative Peter King, who have found it politically opportune to target ‘creeping Shariah in the United States’ at a time when the middle name of the president is Hussein. – International columnist Roger Cohen, posted to nytimes.com July 25.
New York Times international columnist Roger Cohen smeared Sarah Palin and Republicans in general in a politically opportunistic hit piece, ostensibly about the massacre in Norway, posted to nytimes.com on Monday, “Breivik and His Enablers.”
On one level Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian responsible for the biggest massacre by a single gunman in modern times, is just a particularly murderous psychotic loner: the 32-year-old mama’s boy with no contact with his father, obsessed by video games (Dragon Age II) as he preens himself (“There was a relatively hot girl on [sic] the restaurant today checking me out”) and dedicates his time in asexual isolation to the cultivation of hatred and the assembly of a bomb from crushed aspirin and fertilizer.
No doubt, that is how Islamophobic right-wingers in Europe and the United States who share his views but not his methods will seek to portray Breivik.
We’ve seen the movie. When Jared Loughner shot Representative Gabrielle Giffords this year in Tuscon [sic], Arizona -- after Sarah Palin placed rifle sights over Giffords’ constituency and Giffords herself predicted that “there are consequences to that” -- the right went into overdrive to portray Loughner as a schizophrenic loner whose crazed universe owed nothing to those fanning hatred under the slogan of “Take America Back.” (That non-specific taking-back would of course be from Muslims and the likes of the liberal and Jewish Giffords.)
The New York Times posted a surprising column by international columnist Roger Cohen that appeared in its international edition Tuesday, “In Defense of Murdoch.” That would be media mogul Rupert Murdoch (a name loathed by all good liberals)whose vast empire of newspapers and television news is under siege after allegations of phone hacking including missing teens, police officers, even a former prime minister.
Fair warning: This column is a defense of Rupert Murdoch. If you add everything up, he’s been good for newspapers over the past several decades, keeping them alive and vigorous and noisy and relevant. Without him, the British newspaper industry might have disappeared entirely.
Shocker: Times Imagines Racial Stereotyping at CPAC
“How can conservatives win the youth vote that overwhelmingly went for Barack Obama in 2008? At the Conservative Political Action Conference, apparently, some are betting on using racial stereotypes....[Author] Jason Mattera...mocked what he described, with a Chris Rock voice, as “diversity,” including, he said, college classes on 'cyber feminism' and 'what it means to be a feminist new black man.'....Offering up a slogan, he adopted the Chris Rock voice again: 'Get your government off my freedom!' Can we save our generation from Obama zombies, he asked. He answered himself by borrowing the president’s campaign slogan: 'Yes, my brothahs and sistahs. Yes we can!'” -- From a February 18 nytimes.com “Caucus” blog post by reporter Kate Zernike while covering the Conservative Political Action Conference, a post headlined “CPAC Speaker Bashes Obama, in Racial Tones.” Jason Mattera is from Brooklyn and used his own voice, not a “Chris Rock voice,” when making his anti-Obama gibes.
For the last several months, New York Times reporter turned international columnist Roger Cohen has filed naïve apologist columns about Iran, often attacking Israel in the process. Previously mocked for this embarrassing display of Obama-mania in March 2008, Cohen attracted negative attention on the foreign affairs front earlier this year by telling readers how good things really were for Jews in Iran.
After that line of argument failed to convince, he then accused Israel of lying about the Iranian threat while constantly insisting that Iran was actually a functioning and reformist democracy. Cohen minimized the danger posed by Iran's demonized leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, excusing his anti-Israel rantings. And of course, Cohen strongly favored Obama's brand of diplomacy with Iran as opposed to Bush's hostility.
Cohen's Thursday column from Tehran, "Iran Awakens Yet Again," which ran in the Times international edition the day before the vote, featured some poorly timed fawning over Iran's "unpredictable" democracy.
On Sunday, White House correspondent Chip Reid gave a glowing review of President Obama’s overseas trip: "A trip laden with symbolism and elegant words, asking the world to look beyond old hatreds and wounds. In doing so, he hopes to create a world where there never has to be another D-Day." [audio available here]
During CBS Sunday Morning, Reid reported on Obama’s trip to the Middle East and Europe, highlighting the President’s speech in Cairo last week and marking of the 65 th anniversary of D-Day in France on Saturday. On the subject of Obama addressing the Islamic world, Reid cited left-wing New York Times columnist and Obama sycophant, Roger Cohen, who declared: "He went out there, he spoke movingly...He spoke in a way that convinced Muslims that he is sensitive to their view of their suffering, to their culture, to their religion. And that's a new message from an American president."
In March of 2008, Cohen jumped aboard the Obama campaign, using his column to praise then candidate Obama’s speech on race: "It takes bravery, and perhaps an unusual black-white vantage point, to navigate these places where hurt is profound, incomprehension the rule, just as it takes courage to say, as Obama did, that black ‘anger is real; it is powerful’...Can an inquiring mind actually explore the half-shades of truth? Yes. It. Can...The clamoring now in the United States for a presidency that uplifts rather than demeans is a reflection of the intellectual desert of the Bush years."
Roger Cohen's column for the New York Times's international edition, "Beyond America's Original Sin," is the 1# read Times story at nytimes.com as of Friday morning, and it's no wonder -- Cohen basically endorses Barack Obama (not in so many words, as that would be a violation of finicky Times's regulations against columnists endorsing candidates).
The column itself is, frankly, embarrassing -- part Cohen apology for being born in apartheid South Africa, mostly Obama hagiography over his recent race speech that even appropriates the "Yes We Can" call-and-response slogan beloved of his more fervent supporters.
It takes bravery, and perhaps an unusual black-white vantage point, to navigate these places where hurt is profound, incomprehension the rule, just as it takes courage to say, as Obama did, that black "anger is real; it is powerful; and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races."
One set of facts, two diametrically different NYT op-eds addressing it this morning. The fact: that Barack Obama is backpedaling as fast as he can away from the hateful anti-American rhetoric of Jeremiah Wright. The op-eds: Bill Kristol's, offering a dose of sobering realism about Obama's feet that if not of clay, then are certainly those of a garden-variety politician.
And then there's Roger Cohen's, the Obama fan who, in a bit of breathtaking revisionism, would explain away Barack's moonwalk on the theory the candidate has simply "grown beyond" the problematic preacher. And Cohen's just fine with that.
"Good evening, this is Katie Couric. I'll be anchoring our Decision 2008 coverage tonight, as the world elects the next President of the United States. The polls closed just minutes ago in Pakistan but we're already able to declare Barack Obama the runaway winner in the Islamabad Capital Territory, and he seems poised to pull off a clean sweep of all Pakistan's provinces."
OK, not even the New York Times is proposing -- yet -- giving the vote to everyone in the world. But for whatever reason, the Times's Roger Cohen apparently thinks the best thing he can say about Barack Obama is that -- given the chance -- he's the candidate that most people around the world, including Pakistanis, would put in the White House.