Clay Waters was director of Times Watch, a former project of the Media Research Center.
Latest from Clay Waters
New York Times reporter Vivian Yee, who got emotional on a February front page over the plight of “undocumented” immigrants (no surprise, given the paper’s support for amnesty for illegals), penned a surprisingly sympathetic view of distraught Americans who have lost loved ones to illegal immigrants and came to support Donald Trump for that one reason, loyalty that Trump has returned in kind.
It was Father-and-Son Left-Wing Paranoia Day in the New York Times Sunday Review, as James Risen and Tom Risen penned “Donald Trump Does His Best Joe McCarthy.” Under the assuredly ominous date-line of Wheeling, West Virginia, the Risens ranted: "Trump supporters want to make America great again, to go back to what they believe were the halcyon days of the 1950s, which, ironically, was the decade of the fearmongering of Joe McCarthy."
New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, one of now two slightly right-leaning voices on the paper’s resolutely smugly liberal opinion page, penned “Notes on a Politcal Shooting” Sunday on the assassination attempt on House Republican Steve Scalise by a Bernie Sanders supporter. In his own diplomatic way -- his gentle tone a protective necessity to avoid riling the liberal comment section and Twitter mobs with his vile right-wingery -- Douthat got in some jabs at the liberal media. He also, sub rosa, chided the fake facts that appeared on the paper’s own editorial page regarding the shooting of Arizona Democrat Gabby Giffords.
The New York Times will never stop pushing amnesty for illegal immigrants. In last Sunday’s Magazine, contributing writer and Latino activist Marcela Valdes devoted 6,000 words on the evil of Arizona's crackdown on "undocumented" (illegal) immigrants, and how to resist U.S. immigration law: “Is It Possible To Resist Deportations In The Age of Trump?” The text box: “Living under draconian state laws, Arizona activists honed an effective strategy for keeping undocumented immigrants in the country. Can the same tools still work today?”
If you can’t say something nice....by tradition, newspaper obituaries hold back criticism in the name of respect for the deceased and their grieving admirers, with even political figures granted reverence. But often conservatives are the exception, with outlets like the New York Times granting themselves free reign to criticize. Sunday obit of Hall of Fame pitcher and conservative Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning, written by Richard Goldstein, shows the differing standards by which liberal and conservative politicians are held, even in death. It started with the headline: “Jim Bunning, Hall of Fame Pitcher Turned Cantankerous Senator, Dies at 85.”
Muslim “feminist” Linda Sarsour has gotten criticism from conservatives for her vulgar, sexist, intolerant remarks about Muslim apostate Ayaan Hirsi Ali (still the target of death threats), as well as her blandished descriptions of Sharia law and public appearances with convicted terrorists. Eli Rosenberg profiled her before her controversial commencement address at the City University of New York, slated for June 1. The Times went all out to make her a martyr: “A Graduation Speaker Raises Ire Before Taking the Podium -- Threats and Messages of Hatred Flow As Sarsour Plans to Speak at CUNY." The caption under a flattering photo of Sarsour: “Linda Sarsour said she became a target of far-right conservatives after the Women’s March. ‘I’m everything they stand against,’ she said.”
Berlin-beat reporter Alison Smale reported in Friday’s New York Times her version of the media’s latest favorite anti-Trump take: The cold reception of President Trump compared to the embrace of the cool Barack Obama, in “Europeans’ Welcomes for Trump and Obama Are a Study in Contrasts.” While Trump was quoted as being a “danger for the world,” “rock-star” Obama was happily sprinkling “political stardust” over the prospects of left-wing European politicians.
More euphemistic, politically correct terminology about illegal immigrants from the New York Times, as Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Ron Nixon reported in Friday’s paper. The soft-pedaling even made the headline: “Proposed Budget Takes Broad Aim at Undocumented Immigrants -- Money for Jails, Not for Benefits.” The phrase “undocumented immigrants” (which the Times itself has admitted is a euphemism) was used six times in the story, while the accurate phrase “illegal immigrants” was avoided completely. Illegal immigration is an issue where the paper’s bias comes through quite clearly, combined with a deep aversion to any slowdown in federal spending ofwhat it calls the “social safety net.”
New York Times reporter Mike Ives covered the furor over Yang Shuping, a Chinese student who just graduated from the University of Maryland, praising the United States and criticizing her home country in her commencement speech: “Chinese Student, Graduating in Maryland, Sets Off a Furor by Praising the U.S.” Yet Ives, who works in an industry that relies on free speech, comes off as almost apologetic on behalf of the Communist Chinese and the loyal social media thugocracy who harassed Shuping into making a meek apology. Ives’ report managed to totally leave off the “Communist” descriptor of the authoritarian China regime. Meanwhile, the Washington Post's coverage made clear the regime’s intimidation of the student for speaking her mind.
Tuesday’s New York Times reporter Julie Turkewitz, who covers the “Rocky Mountain region” for the paper, is excited about Democratic prospects in a special election for the House in Montana. Her ostensible focus is Republican candidate Greg Gianforte, “Billionaire in Montana, Using Trump’s Playbook.” The online headline added: “What Scandal? In Montana Race, a Republican Is Following the Trump Playbook.” There is no major scandal attached to Gianforte’s campaign, but the headline writer went ahead and conflated them, as well as some silly "Russia ties" to make Gianfort appear more Trumpian.
The horrific terrorist attack against young concert-goers in Manchester, England. Newsweek magazine chose to highlight Conor Gaffey’s report from the city in its daily email. But in all-too-common pattern among the liberal press after an Islamic terrorist attack, Gaffey quickly changed the subject, skipping ahead of concern for the victims of Islamic terrorism straight to left-wing handwringing about hypothetical Islamophobia, even bringing Brexit into the discussion. “Muslims in Manchester Fear Reprisals as ISIS Claims Responsibility for Concert Attack."
The New York Times was single-minded in its attack on President Trump’s first budget proposal. Little emphasis on the potential savings to taxpayers and reductions to the deficit (if the optimistic economic growth goals are met). Instead the Times went on a nationwide person-hunt for potential victims of the hypothetical budget cuts, based on current spending levels that have been inflated over decades of federal overspending. Obama's budget-busting budgets by contrast invariably received optimistic treatment of their most dubious and grandiose promises, from supposedly cynical Times reporters.
In the New York Times Sunday Review, chief Hillary Clinton campaign reporter Amy Chozick (who is writing a book on the campaign) tells tales from the makeup room at sexist, biased Fox News in “Hillary, Roger, and Me.” The story’s text box: “Ailes made female reporters look like models, and Clinton like a criminal.” Chozick’s distaste for conservative-leaning television was apparent. She implied that it was just a shame that “poetic justice” wasn’t served, and that Hillary Clinton didn’t bring down Trump and Ailes herself.
The front page of Friday’s New York Times featured a graceless goodbye to former Fox News chairman and chief executive Roger Ailes (and an insult to Fox News viewers): “A Fighter Who Turned Rage Into a News Empire” by Clyde Haberman. Even upon his passing, the Times maintained its hostility toward a man who found a wide and instantly receptive audience who latched on to a point of view clearly absent from the mainstream media’s liberal universe.
Liberal journalist Ana Marie Cox, senior political correspondent for MTV News, who also has a regular interview feature in the back of the New York Times magazine, dusted off some attacks on that undignified “stooge” and “media welfare queen” House Speaker Paul Ryan, in a piece posted Wednesday: “Don’t Pity Paul Ryan --Ryan has never been a thoughtful conservative.”
An Elle magazine story by Sady Doyle about an emerging character on the already-infamous show, “Has 'The Handmaid's Tale' Given Us the Scariest Anti-Feminist Villain Yet?”, smeared notable women like Christina Hoff Sommers, Camille Paglia, and Kellyanne Conwa,y who fail to adhere to the left-wing brand of feminism, as self-hating women and oppressive Handmaid villains in disguise:
The liberal media will never forgive Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon for momentarily treating Donald Trump like a normal guest when the then-presidential candidate appeared on the show last September. New York Times culture reporter Dave Itzkoff returned to the subject in a long profile of Fallon, with particular focus on the crime of Fallon playfully mussing Trump’s hair as a harmful humanization of the man, and implying that fateful incident caused Fallon’s show to be overtaken in the ratings by more left-wing ideological competition like the vulgar Stephen Colbert. The online headline: “Jimmy Fallon Was on Top of the World. Then Came Trump.”
New York Times Public Editor Liz Spayd conducted a rather cagey and testy talk with Adrienne LaFrance of The Atlantic Monthly. Perhaps Spayd sensed that her interlocutor was armed for bear: The Atlantic journalist comes off almost accusatory when she says Spayd “has developed a reputation for being more interested in ideological balance, for better and for worse” than her predecessor Margaret Sullivan. It’s pretty clear that LaFrance and her media colleagues think it’s for the worst and that they were more comfortable with Sullivan, who focused on bean-counting feminism. The headline was a giveaway: “A Conversation With Liz Spayd, the Controversial Public Editor of The New York Times.”
Monday’s New York Times used a new White House office to go after a conservative who represents two of the things it most loathes: limits on immigration and crackdowns on vote fraud. Both trends are encapsulated in the person of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Reporters Michael Wines and Julie Bosman penned: “A ‘Passionate’ Seeker of Voter Fraud in Kansas Gets a National Soapbox.”
Irony alert: Fear of conservative media bias made the front page of the New York Times. The front-page story in Saturday’s edition. featured media reporter Sydney Ember taking another bite out of Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns local television stations in many markets: “TV Titan’s Tilt On the News Roils Its Staff.” The Times, you see, is worried about political bias – not the obvious liberal tile of CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, etc., but the alleged right-tilt of Sinclair! The text box is particularly rich, coming in a time when all the broadcast networks and all but one cable outlet are weighted heavily against the sitting Republican president: “Sinclair Requires TV Stations to Air Segments That Tilt to the Right.”