A couple of loaded ideological labels made it into Wednesday’s New York Times. On the first page of the National section, Sabrina Tavernise and A.G. Sulzberger (son of Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr.) collaborated on the latest news from Wisconsin: “Thousands March on Capitols as Union Turmoil Spreads.”
But Republicans could also gain, said Gene Beaupre, a political science professor at Xavier University in Cincinnati. Taking a cost-cutting position against unions is part of the mantra for far-right groups like the Tea Party, and not necessarily unpopular.
Four pages deeper was a hostile profile of Virginia’s crusading conservative attorney general Ken Cuccinelli, by contributing reporter John Collins Rudolf, “A Climate Skeptic With a Bully Pulpit in Virginia Finds an Ear in Congress.”
Mr. Cuccinelli’s conservative views make him no stranger to controversy. Before his election as attorney general in November 2009, he served nearly eight years in the State Senate, where he was known for his hard-right stances on illegal immigration, same-sex marriage, gun control and abortion and for clashing with moderates within his party.
A Nexis search indicates Times reporters have used “hard-right” five times in the last two years to describe an American political figure or movement. Columnist Paul Krugman and Frank Rich have also used the term several times, and it has cropped up on the editorial page. By contrast, no Times reporter, columnist, or editorial writer has used the term “hard-left” to describe an American political figure or movement a single time in the last two years.