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:
As part of a team of New York Times reporters fact-checking the presidential debate that took place Sunday morning in Concord, N.H., White House reporter Jackie Calmes once again baselessly claimed that expensive Obama-care is actually a money-saver, claiming GOP candidate Mitt Romney was false to assert otherwise. But the history of government cost projections (Medicare, anyone?) strongly suggest Calmes is wrong.
(After the GOP took the November 2010 elections, Calmes confidently stated as fact: “Republicans also say they will try to deny money to put Mr. Obama’s new health care law into effect, though they have not made clear what they would do to make up the cost savings that would be lost if they succeeded in repealing the law.”) Calmes posted Sunday:
New York Times Editorial Page Editor Andrew Rosenthal, perhaps prodded by criticism from Bernard Goldberg on The O’Reilly Factor Thursday night, posted an update Friday afternoon to his Tuesday blog post offensively accusing House Speaker John Boehner of racism for asking Obama to delay for one night an address to Congress last September.
Unrepentant, Rosenthal berated some of his critics for being “overtly racist themselves, including bigoted references to my last name.”
Rosenthal's only regret, apparently, was that he did not mention “that racially tinged and outright racist attacks did not begin with the election of Mr. Obama,” and brought up an old favorite he had previously written about, the Willie Horton ad used in the 1988 presidential campaign against Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis. (Never mind that it was Al Gore who brought up the ad in the first place.)
Reporter Shaila Dewan saw a “head of steam,” enough “to cheer President Obama as he enters an election year,” in Labor Department figures released Friday morning showing the U.S. unemployment rate fell from 8.7% to 8.5%: “Economy Gains Steam as 200,000 New Jobs Added.” Does this mean Dewan will no longer ask, as she did in a 2009 story, "Weren't we working too much, anyway?"
Friday’s New York Times front-page “Political Memo” by Helene Cooper gave good marks to the president’s new aggressive campaign to demonize Congressional Republicans in the 2012 election year: “Obama Tactic: Jab Congress To Hurt Rivals – An Aggressive Effort to Steal Into Limelight.”
New York Times reporter Nicholas Kulish filed a light story from Berlin Friday on tributes to Knut, the cute, internationally famous polar bear who died last year: “In Death as in Life, Knut the Polar Bear Demands Attention.” But Kulish also included some of Al Gore’s guff about global warming driving polar bears into extinction that made good picturesbut were evetually shown to be without factual basis.
Talk about the 1% Percent! Even as the New York Times is freezing pensions for foreign citizen employees in overseas bureaus, it granted a $15 million golden parachute to former chief executive Janet Robinson after she abruptly departed the New York Times Co. t the end of 2011.
An online open letter to Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. from the local Newspaper Guild dated December 23 has so far been signed by 579 Times employees, including reporters and editors. Excerpts:
Thursday’s lead story on the aftermath of the Iowa caucuses, “Romney Showing Financial Muscle For Next Round,” found New York Times reporters Jim Rutenberg (pictured) and Jeff Zeleny a little label-happy in Manchester, New Hampshire, using twelve variations on the “conservative” label in a 1,236-word story.
By contrast, back in 2008, the Times’s Michael Powell actually called the liberal Gov. Michael Dukakis a “pragmatist” and ultra-liberal politicians Sen. Ted Kennedy and Jesse Jackson “populists,” while calling Sen. Hillary Clinton a “liberal pragmatist” a grand total of once. In the same story, Sen. John Edwards was described as having wrapped himself in a “populist cloak.”
New York Times poverty beat-writer Jason Deparle, who once described Clinton’s welfare reform proposal as “a bill that begrudges poor infants their Pampers” and predicted it might cause women to “camp out on the streets and beg,” made Thursday’s front page with the claim that America is becoming “less equal...less mobile” with the poor stuck in place, in “Harder for Americans to Rise From Economy’s Lower Rungs.”
A photo caption read: “Occupy protesters, like these in Flint, Mich., have pushed discussions about economic mobility toward center stage.”
New York Times reporter Jan Hoffman celebrated explicit online sex education programs, including one run by abortion provider Planned Parenthood, in Saturday’s edition: “Sex Education Gets Directly to Youths, Via Text.” Hoffman found a video made by teens showing a girl being pelted with condoms to be "funny and blunt," and profiled a "vital" Chicago school program called Sex-Ed Loop that focused on "where to find low-cost lubricants."
Is House Speaker John Boehner an anti-Obama racist? Editorial Page editor Andrew Rosenthal all but accuses him in his Tuesday blog from Des Moines, “Nobody Likes to Talk About It, but It’s There.” (The web headline is blunter: “Republican Attacks Have Racist Undertones.”)
Actually, Rosenthal is all too happy to talk about racist Republicans if it helps Democrats politically, as he did on November 1, in one of his first blog posts: “...it was the Republicans who perfected the art of injecting racial fears into modern-day politics (remember Willie Horton in 1988?) and have conducted an unrelenting personal attack on President Obama that sometimes has not-so-subtle racial overtones.”
Some document leaks are more equal than others in New York Times-land, as demonstrated by reporter Leslie Kaufman’s snooty story Monday on the latest installment of Climate-gate, “Police Inquiry Prompts New Speculation on Who Leaked Climate-Change E-Mails.”
Unlike the paper’s standard eagerness to splash sensitive diplomatic secrets on the front page during the Wikileaks saga, the Times took the side of government when it came to the still-unknown whistleblowers behind Climate-gate, which revealed the underhanded tactics used by “climate change” forces to squelch dissenting scientific views on global warming. Kaufman accused the Climate-gate leakers of trying to “undercut climate scientists.”
The text box put a favorable spin on the Climate-gate scandal: “A push to find out who tried to undercut scientists, who were later vindicated.”
New York Times reporter Mark Landler, with President Obama in Honolulu, filed “Obama Still Lets Surrogates Take the Lead as Gay Rights Momentum Builds” for Sunday’s paper.
Like his colleague Ashley Parker did in her own Sunday Times story, Landler celebrated Obama’s oratory, but right at the beginning of his story, on the president keeping his support for gay marriage at an official arms length. Landler also assumed opposition to gay marriage will be a political loser for whoever the Republican candidate may be.
New York Times campaign reporter Ashley Parker, following GOP candidate Mitt Romney around Iowa, nonetheless managed to celebrate Barack Obama’s "eloquent and inspiring rhetoric in the state four years ago" in Sunday’s “Romney Quotes His Favorite Patriotic Songs and Offers Voters an Interpretation.”
Times Watch’s end-of-year awards issue celebrates the best of the worst quotes that appeared in the paper or were uttered by Times reporters and columnists during 2011.
The New York Times spent much of the year in pro-Obama defense mode, excoriating the Tea Party and conservative opposition to Obama's agenda. Yet the paper found one movement it could embrace wholeheartedly – the leftist campouts known as Occupy Wall Street. And sometimes - as when China-loving columnist Tom Friedman spouted, "If this were China they would have walked to the game in the snow, and doing calculus along the way," Times journalism was just too ridiculous to take seriously. Paul Krugman made his usual sterling showing as well, using the tragedies of 9-11 and the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords to attack conservatives.
This year there were three categories of bias:
The New York Times disguised a left-wing political appeal under its Christmas Day editorial, “The Miracle and the Means.”
"Some years it would be nice if there really were a Santa Claus," they wrote. "Imagine it. No lists, no shopping, no gift-wrapping, no bills, no shipping costs, an extremely low carbon footprint -- and on Christmas morning the miraculous appearance of presents that find just the right balance between desire and a sort of disciplinary justice."