Nordlinger, Taranto Whap Media on Conservative Cynicism, Liberal Idealism

July 1st, 2006 9:40 PM

For the long weekend, a few media-bias nuggets I've enjoyed from some of my favorite fellow media observers. In his Thursday "Impromptus" column at National Review Online, there's Jay Nordlinger choking on the cynical tone emerging from the AP in Washington:

Talk about tiresomeness — I’m back on my girl Laurie Kellman, and the Associated Press. Here is how an article of hers began yesterday (and bear in mind that this is a news story, from a wire service): “The narrow defeat of a proposal to ban flag desecration marks the second time in a month Senate Republicans have lost bids to amend the Constitution in ways designed to inspire social conservatives to vote in the midterm elections.”

That may or may not be true: but it is pure analysis/opinion, friends, not the way to lead a news story (in my opinion — speaking of those).

The article continues in that vein. If Ms. Kellman, and the others, want to work at Mother Jones — or the New York Times! — they should apply there.

Speaking of the Times, James Taranto was struck Friday by the impassioned valentine the Times wrote for John Paul Stevens as he swashbuckled forth for liberal idealism:

Linda Greenhouse, who covers the Supreme Court for the New York Times, is in a state of bliss over yesterday's decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, which struck down the Pentagon's system for trying terrorists at Guantanamo Bay:

The decision was such a sweeping and categorical defeat for the administration that it left human rights lawyers who have pressed this and other cases on behalf of Guantánamo detainees almost speechless with surprise and delight, using words like "fantastic," "amazing" and "remarkable." . . .

The courtroom was, surprisingly, not full, but among those in attendance there was no doubt they were witnessing a historic event, a defining moment in the ever-shifting balance of power among branches of government that ranked with the court's order to President Richard M. Nixon in 1974 to turn over the Watergate tapes. . . .

In the courtroom on Thursday, the chief justice sat silently in his center chair as Justice Stevens, sitting to his immediate right as the senior associate justice, read from the majority opinion. It made for a striking tableau on the final day of the first term of the Roberts court: the young chief justice, observing his work of just a year earlier taken apart point by point by the tenacious 86-year-old Justice Stevens, winner of a Bronze Star for his service as a Navy officer in World War II.

This is so over the top that it defies even our satirical ability.