Clay Waters

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Contributing Writer


Clay Waters was director of Times Watch, a former project of the Media Research Center. His self-published whodunnit? is titled Death In The Eye.

Latest from Clay Waters

In the aftermath of the guilty verdict for former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh (D) for sham book sales, New York Times editor Emily Eakin ran a slanted history of politicians who previously got into supposedly similar “book trouble.” (Meanwhile, Clintons and Obamas make multi-million dollar book deals with virtually no press scrutiny.)



New York Times Australian bureau chief Damien Cave somehow keeps making it into the paper “news” pages with the same old shameless left-wing crusading against coal and mockery of conservatives: “As Australia Burns, Its Leaders Trade Insults.” The text box: “Classic pragmatism seems to stop at climate change.” The online subhead: “The country has long been a model for common-sense public policy. But this week’s fires have revealed once again that its pragmatism stops at climate change.” So what does Cave’s “common-sense” “pragmatism” entail in Australian reality? Nationalized health care and gun bans.



New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof attacked the one network not pushing all-out for a Trump impeachment in the Sunday Review: “Is Fox ‘News’ Or Trump’s Bodyguard?” For the veteran liberal commentator, things were better when the three networks spouted the same brand of anti-Nixon corporate liberalism to an audience with few other news choices. Kristof got wacky: "Some 18,000 people died in that flu epidemic, so it seems logical that some died because they believed Fox News.....In the meantime, Fox News is aggressively defending Trump, joining in smears of public servants and playing a role in history that embarrasses many of us in journalism."



The New York Times offered up a silly time-waster of a “news analysis” from Charlie Savage and Michael Shear in Saturday’s paper, one that elevated Trump’s mean tweets about former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch to “witness tampering" They huffed: “President Trump on Friday attacked Marie L. Yovanovitch, the former United States ambassador to Ukraine he summarily removed this year, even as she testified in the impeachment inquiry about how she felt threatened by Mr. Trump. Did his behavior amount to witness tampering?"



New York Times impeachment coverage continued with the paper casting as heroic the testimony of Maria Yovanovitch under a predictably treacly banner headline over Saturday’s front page: “Ex-Envoy ‘Devastated’ As Trump Vilified Her.”  Sheera Frenkel was strangely unconcerned that powerful social media companies were squelching speech online by trying to memory-hole a name being bandied about online as the possible identity of the White House “whistleblower”  -- Eric Ciaramella.



The New York Times doesn’t just inject anti-capitalist and anti-conservative positions into its “news” coverage, but uses every section to make its arguments, concealed under the rubrics of Arts or Style. The Times is gleeful over the inevitable demise of capitalism, as demonstrated by an enraptured take by culture reporter Jennifer Schuessler of a hard-left satirical exhibit, “Museum of Capitalism."



The New York Times has no compunction against going after fellow journalists who fail to sufficiently parrot Democratic-friendly stories. Times reporters Jeremy Peters and Kenneth Vogel investigated the work of fellow journalist John Solomon with their piece, “The Man Trump Trusts for News on Ukraine,” posted on Tuesday. The Biden campaign has fingered journalist Solomon as an enemy for reporting on his son Hunter’s employment by Burisma Holdings, the Ukrainian gas company. The Times is doing its best to squash that scandal.



New York Times Australian bureau chief Damien Cave defended the disruptive activists who make up the Extinction Rebellion climate cult, who disrupt people going about their way in an attempt to get arrested, to help save the earth, or something: “Why Is Australia Trying to Shut Down Climate Activism? -- An increasingly outraged public is demanding action in a nation intimately linked to coal mining. The government has responded by threatening a new law to punish protesters." 



The New York Times burnished its reputation for hostility toward religion with a crass tweet that denigrated the American family of Mormons, massacred by a drug cartel in Mexico, as they were traveling in an SUV caravan on Monday. Six children and three women were killed. The Times tweeted the story out on Tuesday afternoon with negative connotations of the women and children victims: 



The New York Times sounded perturbed that the blue state of Washington was resisting a return to the old divisive days of “affirmative action.” An editor insisted on calling it “Unlikely resistance to a ballot measure in Washington State” in a text box, although it makes sense that Asian-Americans would resist affirmative action, having been successful as a group without such assistance. Reporter Mike Baker’s story was loaded in favor of the ballot measure to “allow concerted efforts to increase diversity,” which sounds distressingly vague.



As the curtain rises on impeachment proceedings, New York Times’ congressional reporters Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Nicholas Fandos introduced readers to the lead Democratic player in a long, flattering profile that portrayed him as more a nerdy Elliot Ness figure than the partisan leaker and liar he proved to be during Russia-gate and the opening moves toward impeachment: “Schiff, a Trump Punching Bag, Takes His Fight to a Bigger Ring.” That would be Rep. Adam Schiff of California, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, "calm, measured, reserved and brainy."



President Trump’s dangerous Twitter. That was the paper’s overriding obsession in Sunday’s edition. The enormous story launched on the top half of the front page and jumped to a special 10-page section, “The Twitter Presidency.” The timing is apt, considering the paper is pressuring Twitter to be better than Facebook and actually squelch political messaging as the 2020 campaign nears. One reason why Trump’s tweets are under attack was this line, which appeared in print over a graphic of 5889 little rectangle shapes representing Trump tweets (an undeniable wise use of time, energy, and ink): “Since he became president, the most frequent targets of his ire have been Democrats, investigations and the news media.”



The New York Times demonstrated an obvious double standard in how it treats sex scandals involving representatives in the U.S. Congress in its coverage of the explicit photographs involving California liberal Democratic Rep. Katie Hill, who officially resigned her seat Friday. The Saturday edition of the paper’s “In Her Words” newsletter from “gender editor” Jessica Bennett, “The Complicated Case of Katie Hill,” opened with a quote from Hill, whom Bennett clearly regards as a martyr to anti-female double standards and right-wing shamelessness:



The New York Times, which dispenses unlabeled liberal reporting as slant every day, is keeping a wary eye on any conservative competition in the news business, eager to drop the “fake” label on their heads. Friday’s Business pages included the warning, “Americans Trust Local News. That Belief Is Being Exploited,” by Dartmouth College professor of government Brendan Nyhan. The URL includes the words “fake local news,” perhaps an artifact of a harsher previous headline. After noting misinformation distributed by the infamous Russian Internet Research Agency, Nyhan found “dubious outlets” on only one side of the political divide.



The New York Times war against online political speech it disapproves of continues apace. Technology reporter Mike Isaac made the front of Tuesday’s Business section with “Dissent Erupts At Facebook.” The Times cleverly featured excerpts from a letter posted by “dissenting” Facebook employee, broadcasting their opposition to free political speech on the platform, in a large typeface within a graphic that took up the entire top of the front Business page in print. The message resonated even louder by being packaged within an ostensibly objective news story.



New York Times political writer Lisa Lerer made Tuesday’s edition with news of the resignation of the formerly rising Democratic Rep. Katie Hill of California after a bizarre sex scandal involving campaign and congressional staffers, fueled by explicit photos reported by a conservative website. The headline was loaded to show how disturbed the Times felt about the spectacle of a Democratic congresswoman forced out of office in such fashion: “Revenge Porn Reaches Washington.”



The New York Times petulantly refused to grant President Trump any credit for the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS, who died in a U.S. raid in Northwest Syria. David Sanger’s Monday “news analysis,” “Strategies Spurned by Trump Led to Triumph in Operation.” The online subhead read: “The president cast the death of the ISIS leader as validation of his disengagement strategy. But it required intelligence agencies and allies he has spurned.”



The New York Times has abruptly changed its tune on the “Deep State,” a name given to the entrenched bureaucracy supposedly determined to work via secret machinations and selective media leaks to bring down the Trump administration from within. As Trump and his Republican allies railed against the “Deep State,” the Times typically mocked the very idea as a phony conspiracy theory. The headline under a March 2017 analysis: "What Happens When You Fight a ‘Deep State’ That Doesn’t Exist.” But the Times has changed its tune in startling fashion. Now the Deep State is real, and it’s just wonderful.



New Yorker staff writer Andrew Marantz’s book “Antisocial – Online Extremists, Techno-Utopians, and the Hijacking of the American Conversation” is a nearly 400-page episode of moral panic about right-wing, anti-Semitic extremists on the Internet, who he blames for ushering in the Age of Trump. The book itself actually doesn’t go as far as his October New York Times essay, “Free Speech Is Killing Us.” Yes, he means it literally, calling for regulation of hateful social media, which evidently directly caused recent ethnically motivated massacres. But it’s crammed with extraneous and dishonest attacks on conservative figures past and present.



Argentine-born Communist revolutionary and guerilla leader Che Guevara murdered and imprisoned thousands, supervised firing squads during revolutionary tribunals, founded forced labor camps, and dissolved free press in Cuba. Bizarrely, none of that made it into Tony Perrottet’s shallow, symbolic travelogue of Revolutionary Cuba that appears in the Smithsonian, the official journal of the federal-funded Smithsonian Institution. The writer palled around with Che’s son, bopping around the island to various shrines to the mass killer (and lousy father to boot).