The New York Times has been mostly steady and factual in its coverage of the bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. But the paper is taking criticism Friday for its benign headline over its online story on two terrorist suspects from Chechnya, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, killed in a shootout early Friday morning, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, still on the loose Friday afternoon.
A headline writer went the extra mile to make the pair sound sympathetic: "Far From War-Torn Homeland, Trying to Fit In." After criticism, the headline evolved into...."Brothers Seen as Good Students and Avid Athletes." Much better?
Reporter Erica Goode made the two terrorist suspects sound rather normal:
Reporter Mark Landler, a big fan of President Obama, tried mightily to spin Obama's defeat on gun control into a victory in his "White House Memo" "A Setback Met by Anger, Another by Resolve," in Friday's New York Times.
For President Obama, this week delivered a painful double blow, with the Senate defeating his emotional campaign to pass tougher gun legislation and a pair of crude bombs at the Boston Marathon bringing terrorism back to American soil.
It was more painful to the victims of the blast in Boston, but Landler focused solely on how it made the president feel for the Senate to refuse to "break from the past on gun laws."
Brian Stelter, media reporter for the New York Times, foisted his peculiar news judgment on Fox News, weighing President Obama's petulant remarks after the defeat of his gun control plans as more newsworthy than a fire at a Texas fertilizer plant that has killed at least 12 people and injured up to 200.
Stelter also sounded offended that Fox cut off Obama's live Rose Garden remarks, in his piece on the front of Friday's Business section: "At Fox News, Less Attention Paid to Gun Debate Than Elsewhere."
The New York Times' claims of racially motivated "stop and frisk" procedures by the NYPD are disintegrating, but casual Times readers would never know it.
Thursday's paper brought a followup by reporter Joseph Goldstein's to his accusatory front-page story of March 21 suggesting that racial profiling plays a major part of the police's "stop and frisk" crime-fighting tactics in unsafe neighborhoods. The story was criticized as overstated by the paper's liberal-leaning Public Editor.
The New York Times led Thursday's edition with the Senate defeat of President Obama's gun control proposals in a series of procedural votes, including one on expanding background checks that Democrats had hoped would pass. The front page featured a photo of an angry Obama in the Rose Garden after his quest for more gun control laws in the wake of Sandy Hook came up short: "Gun Control Drive Blocked In Senate; Obama, In Defeat, Sees 'Shameful Day.'"
The Times, which has avidly pushed "gun safety" measures since the massacre, portrayed it as a "search for solutions to the violence" tragically cut short. Jonathan Weisman:
The New York Times marked the day of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher's funeral with disrespect, with London bureau chief John Burns reporting from one of the last places on earth likely to offer sympathetic tribute to the prime minister who broke the left-wing coal miners' union: A mining town in the middle of England.
And the paper's post-funeral story today offered left-wing "complaints about its cost and appropriateness" of the funeral sandwiched around accounts of ghoulish lefty celebrations of Thatcher's passing.
On the day after terrorism struck the Boston Marathon, the New York Times chose a different kind of terror-related story to join it on the front page, from intelligence reporter Scott Shane: "U.S. Practiced Torture After 9/11, Nonpartisan Review Concludes."
Shane and his headline writer harped on the "nonpartisan" nature of the Constitution Project, despite the fact that it clearly leans left, as a scan of the group's priorities (not to mention the personal remarks of its very own president in the Times itself) reveals.
A mere month after the trial began, the New York Times has, under pressure, sent a reporter to Philadelphia to cover the trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell on charges of mass infanticide.
Trip Gabriel did indeed file from Philadelphia on Tuesday, "Online Furor Draws Press to Abortion Doctor's Trial." But his location was mostly irrelevant, as he only pinned two and a half paragraphs from what happened in court on Monday to the end of his report. Most of the story was a recap of the trial's "grisly details," accusations from "conservatives" that the media was ignoring the story, and defenses from unlabeled liberal media "experts" denying a coverup.
At least one major paper is taking seriously the illicit taping of Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell's strategy session by a left-wing Democratic PAC, which then found its way into the left-wing magazine Mother Jones.
The magazine's first foray into hidden video struck left-wing gold -- capturing candidate Mitt Romney's claim at a fundraiser about the "47 percent" who would vote for Obama because they were dependent on government. But this new clip, in which McConnell's staff discusses a potential Democratic opponent, actress Ashley Judd, seems to have backfired on the magazine and the liberal PAC Progress Kentucky, who provided the clip, both of which are in legal hot water.
But New York Times reporter Trip Gabriel saw only embarrassment on Sen. McConnell's side in his Friday account, buried under an innocuous headline on page 14, "McConnell Recording Is Linked To a PAC."
Kermit Gosnell is the late-term abortion doctor in Philadelphia, on trial for infanticide in the gruesome killing of seven babies. The day after his trial began March 18 (as Tom Blumer noted at Newsbusters) Jon Hurdle at the New York Times opened by telling readers that "In opening statements in court on Monday, prosecutors charged that a doctor who operated a women’s health clinic here killed seven viable fetuses..."
Fetuses? The Times more accurately described it in a January 2011 brief, when Gosnell was first charged with murder:
The cover story of the upcoming New York Times Sunday magazine is independent journalist Jonathan Van Meter's 8,000-word sympathetic profile-slash-therapy session for disgraced New York City former congressman Anthony Weiner, he of explicit Twitter photo infamy. Weiner's extended interview is having its intended effect, as the networks promote his political rehabilitation.
But even some liberal journalists think Van Meter left a lot out of his cover story. And conservative blogger Ace of Spades' timeline of the summer 2011 scandal suggests Van Meter is shielding Weiner by tossing details of the scandal down the media memory hole while ignoring the indispensable role played by the late Andrew Breitbart:
The New York Times continued its push for immigration "reform" in Thursday's edition. The front of the National section included a page-width photo of "tens of thousands of immigrants, Latinos, union members, gay rights and other advocates" who rallied at the Capitol Wednesday.
Reporters Julia Preston and Ashley Parker, among the most slanted on the paper's staff, used even higher figures for the march while covering the so-called Group of 8's deal on an immigration amnesty bill, "Bipartisan Senators’ Group Reaches Deal on Immigration Bill." The phrasing was awkward, as vagueness (there are no official crowd estimates) grasped for specificity: "several tens of thousands of immigrants..."