A New York Times editorial Saturday, “Occupying the National Debate,” continued the paper’s promotion of the left-wing sit-in now stretching into its second month. Apparently the movement, such as it is, is spreading to Europe (as if the European left need inspiration to take to the streets), while dismissing protester violence in Oakland as not representative of the entire movement (a benefit of the doubt the Times never extended to the Tea Party).
Apparently it is politically significant, if not scandalous, that GOP candidate Mitt Romney wanted a little in-flight downtime without his attention being taken hostage by a seatmate haranguing him on health care. A Sunday evening post on the New York Times's “Caucus” blog by Emmarie Huetteman found out-of-touch Romney's behavior troubling: " An Aloof Romney in a Plane Encounter.”
The Times has made a minor speciality of snippy, pointless little stories picking at Romney’s regular-guy image, mostly from reporter Ashley Parker, including the great jalapeno controversy of September.
In “Missed Jobs Forecast in 2009 Resonates in Campaign,” Richard Stevenson’s “Political Memo” buried in the New York Times's Saturday Business section, the paper’s political editor mounted a defense of Obama’s prediction of 6.5% unemployment and "stimulus," while regretting the administration’s “nuanced” argument would be buried by misleading Republicans: "Despite repeated Republican claims to the contrary, the stimulus bill created at least hundreds of thousands of jobs, according to nearly all nonpartisan analysts, including the Congressional Budget Office. But it’s impossible to compress the nuance onto a bumper sticker."
The New York Times continues to treat toublemakers at Occupy Wall Street as a fringe minority, but the Tea Party was "responsible for the behavior of people" at their rallies.
Sunday’s Metro section led with an above-the-fold look at the state of Occupy Wall Street as winter approaches from reporters Cara Buckley and Colin Moynihan, “A Protest Reaches a Crossroads.” They briefly noted the violence and criminal behavior at Zuccotti Park while providing plenty of room for excuse-making on the part of OWS, something reporter Kate Zernike most assuredly did not do for the Tea Party in her 2010 book on the movement, “Boiling Mad." Instead, Zernike suggested the entire movement should hold itself responsible for unsubstantiated allegations of racial slurs at a rally.
Eric Lichtblau is the latest New York Times reporter who can find no “liberals,” just well-meaning “advocates for the poor,” in a misleading left-wing publicity stunt to keep the welfare budget from being trimmed, in Friday's: “Interest Groups Seek to Catch Debt Committee’s Ear.”
In fact, only the first three and last three paragraphs of his budget cut-story deal with the “food stamp challenge,” but a large accompanying photo shows Rep. Jackie Speier taking part, sitting at her desk dolefully picking at a tuna and lettuce salad.
Yesterday Times Watch asked how prominently the New York Times would play the undeniable violence, property damage, and arrests that took place during the Occupy Oakland protests on Wednesday night. The answer: On the front of the National section, page A15. Reporter Maria Wollan got in some of the destructive details from the protests, but still tried to emphasize the “peaceful march” that proceeded the violent part and to separate the ordinary Occupy Oakland protesters from the "fringe group" responsible for violence.
In “Oakland Police Clash With Fringe Protesters" (itself a forgiving headline), reporter Maria Wollan treated the left-wing and anarchist rioters much more respectfully than she did a clever, peaceful conservative protest against affirmative action on the left-wing University of California at Berkeley, in a hostile September 27 article.
The New York Times’s coverage of the left-anarchist Occupy movement has been very favorable, pushing the group’s vague aims of “fighting economic inequality” while downplaying the anti-Semitism, violence, vandalism, and general squalor of the leftist campouts. Now that undeniable violence has broken out at an Occupy Oakland protest that blocked the city port and halted commerce, how will the Times respond?
A report on Occupy Oakland by Maria Wollan in Thursday’s paper, “Oakland’s Port Shuts Down as Protesters March on Waterfront,” only hinted at the simmering violence.
Well, Maureen Dowd’s Wednesday New York Times column on anonymous accusations of sexual harassment against Herman Cain, “Cain Not Able,” certainly shows she has no fear of causing racial offense, at least when writing about conservative political figures: “Even Barack Obama couldn’t be lucky enough to waltz past two wacky black conservatives, first Alan Keyes and then Cain.”
New York Times reporter Mireya Navarro in Tuesday’s edition wrote sympathetically about the struggle of an environmental group “breaking the taboo” of discussing overpopulation in “Breaking a Long Silence On Population Control.” Such groups had it easier in the 1970s, Navarro wrote, before the rise of “social conservatism” and America’s “aversion to anything perceived as restricting individual freedoms, be it the right to bear arms or children.” Unfortunately, "the notion that curbing births is an effective way to control emissions is not an easy sell."
Navarro is disturbed by the lack of population control in movies as well; she actually criticized the comedy “Knocked Up” in June 2007 for failing to hail abortion as an option in the plot and included this telling sentence: "Many conservative bloggers have claimed 'Knocked Up' as an anti-choice movie, in part because the movie never presents abortion as a serious option." Pro-life conservatives generally don’t go around using liberal lingo like “anti-choice.”
The New York Times is once again trying very hard to make the GOP candidates’s tough stands against illegal immigration a damaging campaign issue. Saturday's entry was reported by Jennifer Steinhauer, “Some Republicans in Congress Are Pushing Steps to Ease Immigration.” She gave congressional Republicans backhanded praise for being "more nuanced and measured" on immigration than their presidential candidates, whose trail rhetoric "bristles with talk of moats, militarization and electrified fences when it comes to illegal immigration."
It helps that Steinhauer conflates proposals to increase legal immigration (which many Republicans support) with stopping illegal immigration.
New York Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal, better known as James Taranto’s punching bag at Opinion Journal, has a new blog at nytimes.com, “The Loyal Opposition.” On Tuesday Rosenthal posted the provocatively titled “Herman Cain and the ‘Liberal Media,’” where he broadcasts his alarm at how “quickly the right wing jumps on an issue almost in unison,” blames Republicans for injecting racial fears into modern-day politics with Willie Horton, and even claiming the phrase "community organizer" is racist when applied to Obama.
There’s a clear double standard on sex allegations for presidential candidates in the New York Times.
The Times put 15-year-old anonymous accusations of sexual harassment against GOP candidate Herman Cain on the front page Tuesday morning, in an off-lead story by Jim Rutenberg and Michael Shear written with help from five other reporters: “Cain Confronts Claim From 90s Of Harassment – He Denies Wrongdoing – Account of Settlement Changes – Reports Rock Campaign.”
Former New York Times economics reporter turned editorial board member Eduardo Porter is the latest Times staffer to declare that the leftists of Occupy Wall Street have it figured out: “Wall Street Protesters Hit the Bull’s-Eye.” Porter wrote: "Their complaint that the privileged few in the top 1 percent are getting a disproportionate share of the nation's prosperity, however, is spot on."
Turns out there’s one union the New York Times is not totally enamored with: The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, New York City’s largest police union. Saturday’s front page featured a hostile anti-police story by N.R. Kleinfield and John Eligon related to charges of wide-spread ticket-fixing, “Officers Unleash Vitriol as Peers Are Charged in Ticket-Fixing.”
The reporters didn't seem all that concerned about presumption of innocence, either:
Robert Worth, staff writer for the New York Times Magazine, wrote a “news analysis” for the paper's Sunday Review, “The Arab Intellectuals Who Didn’t Roar,” suggesting the Arab spring needs a Communist tyrant like Lenin or Mao to become a symbol of “people’s aspirations.”
A Sunday New York Times editorial on crime, “Falling Crime, Teeming Prisons,” indirectly acknowledged (at last) the paper’s blinkered liberal failure to connect the seemingly obvious idea that crime falls when more criminals are behind bars, as captured by a notorious headline on a September 28, 1997 "Week in Review" story by Fox Butterfield, "Crime Keeps on Falling, But Prisons Keep on Filling." As if the two trends were unrelated.
The idea is a recidivist in Times crime coverage, often under Butterfield’s byline.
Attempting to humanize the Occupy Wall Street protesters, New York Times Metro reporter Corey Kilgannon laughed off comedic threats of violence in Friday’s Metro section story on a show hosted by comedian/activist Randy Credico for Occupy Wall Street protesters in Greenwich Village this week, “Protesters’ Night Out: Jokes, Laughs, and an Anthem on Autoharp.”
Read the excerpt, especially in the wake of the anti-cop violence at Occupy Oakland, then think of how the Times conjured up imaginary Republican threats of violence from much less, like a graphic from Sarah Palin’s political action committee in 2010 showing cross hairs over the districts of some Democrats after the shooting of Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona.
The thrust of the New York Times’s coverage of the violence in Oakland begs the question: When even the left-wing magazine Mother Jones reports of police in Oakland being assaulted with eggs, glass, and vinegar, what is the “objective” Times excuse for virtually ignoring the protester violence?
Yet Jesse McKinley and Malia Wollan’s report from the “Occupy Oakland” protests Friday focused not on the anti-cop violence, but on a military veteran hit in the head by a projectile and the outpouring of sympathy from all the suddenly staunch pro-military people at the Oakland encampment: “Outrage Over Veteran Injured at ‘Occupy’ Protest.”
In the New York Times's Thursday Styles section, contributor Helaine Olen talked to some liberal Manhattanites who took their children to Zuccotti Park to enrich them with “teachable moments” (i.e. using them as political props) and "to enlighten them on matters ranging from income inequality to the right to protest":“For Children’s Sake, Taking to the Streets.”