New York Times Atlanta bureau chief Kim Severson showed a little anti-Southern, anti-conservative condescension on the campaign trail in her Friday filing “From South Carolina, a Wary Welcome.” (Previously Jim Rutenberg had declared the state "famous for surfacing the dark undercurrents of American politics.")
The New York Times has been going to town on controversies over Mitt Romney’s money, from his personal tax rate to the work of Bain Capital, the private equity firm he co-founded. Thursday’s front page story goes into excruciating detail on what is known about Romney's wealth, under the self-fulfilling headline “Romney Riches Are Being Seen as New Hurdle,” by Nicholas Confessore, David Kocieniewski, and Michael Luo. The story was touted by Charlie Rose on CBS Thursday morning and captured by the MRC's Matthew Balan. But riches were not nearly such a "hurdle" when liberal John Edwards ran for president in 2008.
Tax-cut hostile New York Times reporters Michael Cooper and David Kocieniewski teamed up Thursday in a “news” article that assumed as fact (using a study from a left-of-center “nonpartisan” group) that plans by Republican presidential candidates for reducing tax rates would by design lead to widening deficits and "benefit the wealthiest the most": “Higher Deficits Seen In Romney’s Tax Plan, And His Rivals’, Too.” Yet the Times's own chart shows 80% of filers earning between $20,000 and $30,000 -- hardly "the rich" -- would get a tax cut as well.
(Kocieniewski’s hostility to tax cuts is well documented, while Cooper attacked Obama from the left on March 2, 2011 for signing into law an obscure tax break not even liberal economists have a problem with.)
New York Times campaign reporter Jim Rutenberg filed from Charleston on Wednesday, amplifying racial accusations against the Republican presidential field, especially Newt Gingrich’s recent comments on Obama as a “food stamp” president, in “Risks for G.O.P. in Attacks With Racial Themes.”
South Carolina has the nation’s first female Indian-American governor (a Republican), the highest-ranking African-American in Congress (on the Democratic side) and a rapidly growing population of Latinos, all evidence, longtime political players here say, that the state is shedding its racially charged past.
New York Times tax reporter David Kocieniewski took advantage of Mitt Romney's admission (blared as Wednesday's lead story, under six bylines) that his personal tax rate is around 15% to fight decades-old tax-cut battles in Wednesday’s "Since 1980s, The Kindest Of Tax Cuts For the Rich." Naturally, he brought up liberals' favorite billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who made waves with an op-ed in the Times calling for higher taxes on "the rich."
It’s not Buffett's first appearance in one of Kocieniewski’s slanted "tax the rich" stories. Kocieniewski also took time to refute the head of the "conservative Tax Foundation" on eliminating the capital gains tax.
The New York Times, pushing gay-rights activism even in death. Reporter Douglas Martin’s obituary on Tuesday for Danny Evins, founder of the Cracker Barrel chain of restaurants that dot highways throughout the South, heavily emphasized his 20-year-old position on openly gay employees. The Times devoted the headline and several paragraphs, including the lead, to the old news. “Danny Evins, Restaurant Founder And Focus of Controversy, Dies at 76.” The text box read: "Imposing, and later dropping, a policy to reject gay employees." (In contrast, the Washington Post kept it out of the headline and devoted just two sentences to the incident.)
Danny Evins, who created Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, a restaurant heavy on grits and nostalgia, expanded it into a $2 billion chain and then fought a losing battle to discriminate against gay employees, died on Saturday in Lebanon, Tenn. He was 76.
A Sunday New York Times column on politicians and wealth from Frank Bruni, who was a White House reporter during the administration of George W. Bush, treated as factual a likely urban legend (well circulated in the liberal media, as shown by Newsbuster Jack Coleman) about the first President Bush: “Running From Millions.” It came after criticizing Mitt Romney as a rich phony:
And Republican or Democrat, they often go to laughable lengths to play that down. A recurring theme from just about every election cycle is the economic altitude of candidates who insist on playacting that they’re less loftily removed from the so-called common man than they really are. Time and again we’re treated to a comedy of manners with predictable pratfalls and a clear take-away: although there has long been a significant economic disparity between the rulers and the ruled, neither group can get entirely comfortable with it.
New York Times sports columnist Harvey Araton issued a snotty broadside (“Curtain Closes on Tebow’s Season, but His Sideshow Goes On") against Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, whose religious displays, unconventional style, and clutch performances have divided fans and popular culture. Araton went beyond admitting discomfort at Tebow’s overt religiosity to begrudge the quarterback for a good deed -- spending time with a brain-damaged visitor after the Broncos’ playoff loss to the New England Patriots.
A look into Araton’s history reveals his anti-Tebow rant as liberal hypocrisy. Araton took the opposite view in an April 2009 column, marking NFL television commentator John Madden’s retirement by excoriating the Hall of Fame coach for failing to speak out on issues beside football. But for Araton, speaking out means speaking out on liberal views, like Bob Costas, who he praised. In a May 2006 column Araton faulted the Duke women's lacrosse team for speaking out in defense of male colleagues being falsely accused of rape, even suggesting college officials should intervene to stop them.
There was a fascinating exchange last week between Melissa Cohlmia, spokesman for Koch Industries, and New York Times public editor (or ombudsman) Arthur Brisbane. Koch Industries, which engages in arts philanthropy and conservative-libertarian causes, is a target of obsession and hostility both by left-wingers and reporters and writers for the New York Times, as Times Watch has shown.
While Brisbane mostly defended the Times’s news coverage and its right to deliver anti-Koch opinions in op-eds and art critics, he admitted the paper’s overwhelming left-ward slant in its opinionizing made for “predictable and sometimes very dull reading,” “and there can be little doubt that the Times ownership and editorial page ascribe to a liberal perspective.”
New York Times’s Public Editor Arthur Brisbane made waves Thursday in a rare post to his nytimes.com blog asking “Should The Times Be a Truth Vigilante?” What he was really asking: Should the Times be more vigilant in fact-checking politicians?
And only Republican politicians, judging by the two examples he selected (claims that were relatively immune to being checked in the first place) and the paper’s history, which is replete with ardent defenses by reporters of liberal policy against “misleading exaggeration” by Republicans, but lacks any such vigilance when it comes to Democratic statements. Brisbane wrote:
New York Times reporter Sabrina Tavernise highlighted a Pew Research Center survey in Thursday's “Survey Finds Rising Strain Between Rich And the Poor,” and quickly suggested it meant “the message of income inequality brandished by the Occupy Wall Street movement and pressed by Democrats may be seeping into the national consciousness.”
Tavernise also used a convenient source to credit the left-wing squatters for putting "the issue of undeserved wealth and fairness in American society at the top of the news." Thanks to sympathetic outlets like the Times, of course.
On Wednesday afternoon, New York Times political reporter Jodi Kantor hosted a live Facebook discussion on her new book on the Obamas and especially First Lady Michelle Obama. If this Facebook session is any indication, the book matches Kantor’s previous promotional coverage of the First Couple. On Facebook Kantor describes the First Lady as someone “with important ideas of her own about opportunity, access, equality, etc,” who “has redefined the role of first lady for successors...she's really raised the bar for ambitious initiatives.”
Revealingly, when asked about her latest scoops being allegedly used by Fox News and the Drudge Report as a “racial attack against the Obamas,” Kantor emphasized to her predominantly liberal audience how she broke the news about Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s ministry (in a bland story), and wrote a follow up “which I labored and labored over to make fair.” And it was “fair,” at least from the perspective of an Obama supporter.
After Mitt Romney’s comfortable win in the New Hampshire Republican primaries Tuesday, media attention shifts to the next primary, in socially conservative South Carolina, which New York Times campaign reporter Jim Rutenberg claims is “a place famous for surfacing the dark undercurrents of American politics” in his Wednesday front-page story, “In South Carolina, Challenges Await on Ideology and Faith.”
Rutenberg is mainly referring to an alleged incident during the 2000 campaign in which presidential candidate Sen. John McCain was victimized by anonymous phone calls (from either the George W. Bush campaign or Bush supporters) claiming McCain’s dark-skinned adopted daughter from Bangladesh was an illegitimate black love child. But is there hard evidence the smear even occurred? As the Media Research Center's Brent Bozell wrote in a column in January 2008: “No matter that McCain campaign manager Rick Davis couldn’t substantiate how many of these scurrilous phone calls were actually made, or by whom.”
Diversity, New York Times style. “Bipolar America,” the cover feature for the Sunday New York Times Book Review, compiles reviews of three new books on Tea Party-related politics, one reviewed by veteran liberal journalist Michael Kinsley, two others judged by Timothy Noah, veteran liberal journalist for The New Republic.
Noah says Geoffrey Kabaservice, author of the strongly titled Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party: From Eisenhower to the Tea Party, "argues persuasively that Republican moderates remained a powerful, even dominant, political force well into the 1970s." But, Noah argued:
The New York Times Sunday Magazine cover features a profile by Charles McGrath of actor-comedian Stephen Colbert, host of the satirical news show The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, in which Colbert plays a caricature of a conservative political personality.
Once you get past the slightly disturbing cover photo of Colbert in a fat suit as some Daddy Warbucks-type, “Stephen Colbert Wants Your Vote" goes deep into what McGrath terms the three Stephen Colberts, at least two of whom agitate for liberalism, including a fake political action committee, Colbert Super PAC. McGrath enjoyed Colbert's imitation of a "right-wing blowhard," referring to FOX News host Bill O'Reilly:
New York Times political profile writer Mark Leibovich, in Manchester, N.H. on Saturday, filed “The Santorum of 2012 Comes From a Long History of Political Brawling.” Times Watch sees a clear preference for Democrats and hostility toward Republican subjects in Leibovich’s writing, and this profile of GOP candidate and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is certainly not a game-changer in that regard, even citing the late Sen. Robert Byrd, a Democrat and former local Klan leader, as some kind of moral authority against Santorum.
On the eve of the New Hampshire primary, New York Times political reporters Jeff Zeleny (pictured) and Jim Rutenberg loaded up on crude anti-business stereotypes that went beyond even what front-runner Mitt Romney's GOP rivals were saying, in Tuesday’s “On Primary Eve, Rivals Try to Put Romney on Defensive.” (This version is lightly updated from the print version in Tuesday’s newspaper.)
“A Dog’s Right To Life?”, Ariel Kaminer’s “Ethicist” column in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, approvingly cited controversial Princeton University bio-ethics philosopher and animal rights “ethicist” Peter Singer, who has been protested by advocates for the disabled for radical statements. In an excerpt of his 1993 book Practical Ethics, Singer concluded: “Killing a disabled infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person. Very often it is not wrong at all.”
Kaminer addressed the dilemma of a veterinarian with an elderly client with an 8-year-old dog. She wanted the dog to be euthanized if she died before the dog did.
The presence of conservative Christians sends New York Times political reporters into labeling overload, and that’s where Erik Eckholm could be found Saturday, “Evangelicals Step Up Efforts to United on an Alternative to Romney.”
Eleven conservative labels were crammed into Eckholm’s 1,100-word story, not including three more in the photo captions and one in quoted material, and a “religious right” reference in the text for good measure. By contrast, in January 2008 the Times was reluctant to call even uber-liberal pols like Jesse Jackson and Ted Kennedy liberal; those two and 2008 Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards were only “populists.” Here’s a sampling from Saturday:
Reporter Elizabeth Jensen paid tribute to hard-left public television host-for-life Bill Moyers in the Sunday Arts & Leisure section, under the fulsome headline “He’s Back, Just as Curious as Ever.”
The MRC’s Brent Bozell paraded a list of Moyers' many hypocrisies and hard-left statements in a 2004 column: