NY Times Reporter Carl Hulse Lards His 'News' Report with 'Ultraright' Labels

March 27th, 2024 9:49 AM

There was some impressively dense anti-Republican labeling in the lead of veteran congressional reporter Carl Hulse’s Sunday New York Times story.

The online headline certainly delivered the flavor – not just “right,” but “far right,” not just “conservative,” but “ultraconservative”! "Revenge” isn’t exactly neutral either.

The Far Right Lost Badly and Wants Its Revenge

Bipartisan spending legislation approved by Congress represented a major defeat for ultraconservatives, who immediately turned on Speaker Mike Johnson.”

The labeling and tone got no less biased as it went. The story fits Hulse’s pattern of painting Republicans as extremists -- a tactic he eagerly employed long before Donald Trump descended the Trump Tower escalator in 2015. In other words, one can’t blame it on Trump.

As 2023 opened with Republicans newly in control of the House, the far-right members of the party considered themselves empowered when it came to federal spending, with increased muscle to achieve the budget cuts of their dreams.

Today’s GOP rarely proposes actual “budget cuts,” making that a red herring.

But it turned out that many of their Republican colleagues did not share their vision of stark fiscal restraint. Or at least not fervently enough to go up against a Democratic Senate and White House to try to bring it into fruition.

Instead, Speaker Mike Johnson on Friday pushed through a $1.2 trillion bipartisan package to fund the government for the rest of the year, with none of the deep cuts or policy changes that ultraconservatives had demanded. Those on the right fringe have been left boiling mad and threatening to make him the second Republican speaker to be deposed this term.

“The speaker failed us today,” declared Representative Thomas Massie, Republican of Kentucky, after one of his ultraright colleagues, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, Republican of Georgia, filed a measure to potentially force a vote to remove Mr. Johnson, over a spending plan she called “atrocious” and “a betrayal.”

In all, Hulse made five repetitions of the “far right” insult, including the online headline, three “ultraconservatives” and one “ultraright” to spice things up.

Hulse nodded approval at the final, Democrat-pleasing spending bill, saying it “represented fairly traditional compromise measures. They gave each party some wins, some losses and some election-year talking points….”

But the legislation was assailed by members of the House Freedom Caucus, the far-right bloc that has bedeviled its own party’s speakers for years, as a betrayal by Mr. Johnson, for both its content and the way it was handled.

One “far-right” wasn’t enough. The very next paragraph began:

Not only did members of the far right not get the steep cuts and severe border restrictions they had envisioned, they were also unable to secure the conservative policy riders they had sought to stop the “weaponization” of the Justice Department, with most of the truly contentious proposals stripped out because Democrats would not accept them.

Hulse pulled the same thing in a March 8 "news analysis," with six uses of "far right" and an "ultraconservative" to boot. Nobody in Hulse's House is on the "far left."