Not content with casting doubt on charges made by New York City Councilman Daniel Halloran, Republican of Queens, of a union-authorized work slowdown during the infamous blizzard that hit Manhattan the day after Christmas, New York Times reporters Russ Buettner and William Rashbaum dove into his personal finances to discredit him in Wednesday’s “Evidence Is Elusive on Charge Of a Blizzard Work Slowdown.”
Given the importance the Times evidently places on the financial situation of the wives of its subjects, one wonders about the paper's casual attitude when one of its own economics reporters, Edmund Andrews, wrote “Busted,” a May 2009 book about his own personal mortgage crisis that denounced greedy banks, yet left out his wife's previous two bankruptcies.
The story rocketed around New York City when streets went uncleared after the Dec. 26 blizzard: Sanitation workers, angry about job reductions, had deliberately staged a work slowdown.
It resulted in wisecracks on “Saturday Night Live,” fiery denunciations of unions on cable news and four criminal investigations.
And it occurred because one man, Councilman Daniel J. Halloran, Republican of Queens, said five city workers had come to his office during the storm and told him they had been explicitly ordered to take part in a slowdown to embarrass Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.
A union protection racket? After being beaten to the punch by the local CBS affiliate, the New York Post, and lots of bloggers, the New York Times Wednesday finally tackled charges that the sanitation workers union sabotaged the cleanup after last week’s blizzard that left Manhattan snowbound and snarled transit for days – but only after federal prosecutors announced an investigation. (NB'er Tom Blumer posted previously on the paper's soft-snow coverage of the union's work ethic.)
The investigation is focusing on whether there was a work slowdown and, if so, whether it was an effort to pad overtime. If the actions took place, two of those people said, they could constitute wire fraud or wire fraud conspiracy, both federal crimes. Both people spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was continuing.
Reporters William Rashbaum and Russ Buettner downplayed the “rumors” of a slowdown:
Will the fear and loathing among the liberal press for all things Fox never cease?
In the latest installment of the media's Fox Derangement Syndrome, the New York Times, the self-styled paper of record, has spent hundreds of hours researching and trying to dig up dirt on the friendship between Rudy Giuliani and Fox News Channel head Roger Ailes. This article was all they could come up with, a semi-conspiratorial bit that is more sizzle than steak and more hype than substance.
Yes, as reporter Russ Buettner discovered, the former New York mayor and Ailes are friends and have done a few activities together. Yes, Giuliani tried to get his city to carry FNC shortly after its launch when local cable monopoly TimeWarner, then in the process of buying CNN, refused to carry the channel (something it would do throughout the country, incidentally but never mind). That, however, is it as far as "dirt" goes.
Sure there's more stuff in the article but it's all innuendo coming from a paper with an agenda of its own. Did you know, for instance, that even though the Times does mention that during Bill Clinton's presidency, CNN was headed up by a friend of his named Rick Kaplan, that the Grey Lady never bothered to mention this fact at the time? The contrast is stark.
In a sympathetic story, reporter Russ Buettner relayed the plight of local property owners fighting abuse of eminent domain -- the taking of private property for public use -- by local governments. Such "takings" were made infamous by Kelo vs. New London, the controversial 2005 Supreme Court decision which found that the city of New London, Conn., was within its rights to condemn private property and hand it to a development corporation under the control of the city government, a decision that enraged left and right alike.