New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani is notorious about letting her personal liberal politics infect her aesthetic judgment. In January 2009 she praised incoming president Barack Obama’s "love of fiction and poetry" that "imbued him with a tragic sense of history and a sense of the ambiguities of the human condition," as opposed to President George W. Bush's "prescriptive" reading that provided him only a black-and-white "Manichean view of the world." It’s near the end of the Obama era, and Kakutani is still keeping up with the current Manhattanite ideological fashions. The latest trend: Glibly, and offensively, comparing the violence and death-dealing of antebellum slavery to black suffering at the hands of police and the judicial system today, with a swipe at Ronald Reagan.
The New York Times covers Israeli politics much the way it does American politics:With bias toward conservatives. A headline over James Glanz’s story portrayed conservative Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a criminal who just hadn’t been caught (yet): “Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, Still a Step Ahead of Scandals, Faces a New Inquiry," smeared the PM with trumped-up scandals as being just a “Teflon-coated” step ahead of the law, a la Ronald Reagan. A day before, Netanyahu was falsely portrayed as “crushing Israel’s free press.”
Offensive BLM melodrama in the NYT: A "superhero” Black Lives Matter protester faced down “storm troopers” in a showdown compared to the Tiananmen Square massacre, according to the latest New York Times Magazine. Magazine photography critic Teju Cole compared a widely-circulated photo of a confrontation between police and BLM protester Ieshia Evans in Baton Rouge to the unknown “Tank Man” of the Tiananmen Square massacre.
The New York Times post-convention political roundup praised Democratic stage-craft, Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech, and forwarded complaints about bias at Fox News (but not CNN). Adam Nagourney’s “Stark Contrasts in Style and Substance” praised Democratic convention stagecraft and says that as a speaker who can “move a crowd, seize a moment...Barack Obama laps the field.”
The ultimate night of the Democratic National Convention saw the coronation of Hillary Clinton as the first female presidential nominee, celebrated on whole top half of the front page of Friday's New York Times. Meanwhile, Patrick Healy and Amy Chozick did their best to both humanize and historicize Hillary, "who sacrificed personal ambition for her husband’s political career and then rose to be a globally influential figure....a prize that generations of American women have dreamed about for one of their own."
New York Times coverage of Night 3 of the Democratic National Convention could be characterized by an hour-long swoon over Barack Obama’s speech -- pardon, his “stirring valedictory address." Also, Democrats were (again!) finding their voice on gun control, Bill celebrated Hillary, TMI-style, and Frank Bruni celebrated the president as "our national poet."
Night 2 of Democratic Convention coverage: A New York Times reporter referred to the Clintons’ “very rich and complicated relationship,” the “historic” card was played nonstop, and the editorial page owes Mitt Romney an apology on Russia. The reporters weren’t particularly thrilled with Bill Clinton’s speech, but one reporter still found a euphemism for Bill Clinton's personal sex scandals, finding the Clintons' marriage a "rich and complicated relationship."
The bias highlight of Night One of the Democratic National Convention from the New York Times was the laudatory coverage of “pop-culture heroine” Michelle Obama’s prime-time anti-Trump speech. The most prominent was Michael Shear and Mark Landler’a “Stirring Speech by a First Lady Backs Another." Nick Confessore found it "a moving political speech.” Meanwhile, Matt Flegenheimer looked back affectionately at how left-wing Hillary rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (aka "Birdie Sanders") became cool with the kids.
Monday’s New York Times highlighted Democratic “discord” on the eve of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, as outrage about the contents of a massive email leak from the Democratic National Committee, showing the DNC colluding to scuttle the insurgent campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders in favor of Hillary Clinton. But a “White House Letter” from Julie Hirschfeld Davis was more congenial to Democratic feelings: “Obama: A Character Witness and a Prominent Clinton Convert.” Meanwhile, the Times can’t decide if Hillary Clinton’s running mate Tim Kaine is a liberal or a centrist (sometimes he’s both within two sentences).
Liberal journalists may be spending the weekend gnashing their teeth over the New York Times Public Editor’s promise to analyze why people think the paper has a liberal bias. Liz Spayd recently became the paper’s sixth Public Editor, and she quickly got provocative in her second column for the Sunday Review: “Why Readers See The Times as Liberal.” The text box provided the flavor: “The danger of bias. Or even just its appearance.”
Ideological double standards on display in the New York Times: While it’s a “dangerous anachronism” for Republicans to appeal to conservatives when picking a vice presidential candidate, it’s apparently absolutely necessary for Democrats to appeal to liberals. The Times noted the distaste for Hillary's pick, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, among the left, but surprisingly also identified Kaine with the left. But it was all good for "the man of deep religious faith" -- and a perfect legislative rating from Planned Parenthood?
No sympathy for the right-wing devil: After months of hostile coverage of Donald Trump, the New York Times saved its most personal hostility toward the only candidate on the Republican side that truly challenged Trump’s rise: Sen. Ted Cruz.
The front of Friday’s New York Times featured a “political memo” by Jennifer Steinhauer and Matt Flegenheimer, “Cruz’s Gamble On Redefining Race for 2020 – Defiance May Backfire as Critics See Betrayal.” The personal insults came fast and furious. Flegenheimer, who last December cast Cruz as an unlikeable, socially awkward “bomb-thrower” ideologue and even held his facial features against him, helped penned more personal attacks on the conservative politician's "self-regard."
The final night of the Republican National Convention that crowned Donald Trump as the party’s nominee was greeted in dark tones on the front of Friday’s paper. Reporters Patrick Healy and Jonathan Martin found a “vehement” and “incendiary” candidate, while Michael Barbaro found himself flabbergasted by Trump’s failure to show “humility, generosity and depth," and Adam Nagourney lamented "one of the darker speeches I’ve heard in American politics."
In Thursday’s New York Times, reporter Alexander Burns brought in Walter Mondale, failed presidential candidate in 1984, to bash Trump as a “hate advocate” in “Trump May Break Mold, but He Fits a Pattern, Too.” (A Nazi one.) Another aggrieved reporter defended Hillary Clinton from GOP “venom” that had a “strikingly sinister tone that makes the days of Swift-boating and Bush-bashing at past conventions seem tame.”
Playing on long-established stereotypes of the melanin-challenged Republican Party, New York Times coverage of the Republican National Convention on Wednesday put racial controversies front and center, accusing speakers (particularly Rudy GIuliani) of lecturing and moralizing to blacks about law and order as an all-white crowd lapped it up. The paper led with Melanie Trump's speech with this wishful thinking headline: “How Speech for a Trump Stumbled Toward Ridicule – As G.O.P. Nominates the Businessman, His Wife’s Oration Shadows Convention.”
On Monday, economist turned partisan hack Paul Krugman recycled his pompous lecture against what he calls “false equivalence," by which he means journalistic fairness toward Republicans. Every one of his examples of “false equivalence” coincidentally involves a Republican allegedly getting a free-ride in the news media -- which would come as quite a shock for NewsBusters readers -- while Hillary Clinton is unfairly slammed at every turn. And media reporter Jim Rutenberg warned the television media off of potential coverage of Benghazi and Bill Clinton’s sex scandals at the Republican convention.
The New York Times' pulverizing of Trump’s vice-presidential choice, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, continued on Sunday. A front-page story by Monica Davey and Michael Barbaro painted Pence as a conservative extremist forcing an unconstitutional abortion regime onto the women of his state in “Abortion Wars Brought Pence Praise of Right." Another piece used the terms "loony lighweight" and "cranky" to characterize Pence.
New York Times former editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal, perhaps the most self-satisfied liberal on a Times staff that’s not exactly running short of them, was in rare form on the eve of the Republican Convention in Cleveland, going after multiple “racist” and bigoted GOP targets and comparing them to various notorious dictators.
The New York Times is notorious for downplaying or ignoring links to radical Islam in the wake of terror attacks, and its response to the truck massacre in Nice, France mostly followed that pattern, with a news columnist shrugging off the idea the war on terror could ever be won and a front-page headline confidently stating the perpetrator was “A Surly Misfit With No Terror Links....” the morning that ISIS claimed responsibility. Max Fisher brought a defeatist attitude toward the war on terror from his Saturday perch as the paper’s “Interpreter” news columnist, while blaming “right-wing” governments in Europe for Muslim discontent:
New York Times reporters Michael Barbaro and Monica Davey portrayed Donald Trump’s socially conservative vice presidential running mate as a potentially “dangerous anachronism” in “Mike Pence: A Conservative Proudly Out of Sync With His Times.” By contrast, The Times wrote a flattering article on potential Hillary Clinton running mate Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, who carries a 90% rating (out of 100) from the liberal Americans for Democratic Action, without once giving him an ideological label (though being a "white man" is seen as a drawback)