Clay Waters was director of Times Watch, a former project of the Media Research Center.
Latest from Clay Waters
New York Times media reporters Michael Grynbaum and John Koblin doubled down on hypocritical double standards on disclosure, criticizing Fox News host and commentator Sean Hannity for his undisclosed client relationship with Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, while letting NBC News host Chuck Todd throw stones at Hannity from his crystal perch, in “No Disclosure, but No Punishment, as Hannity Gets ‘Full Support’ From Fox.” The online headline was snarkier: “No Disclosure? No Problem. Sean Hannity Gets a Pass at Fox News.”
The front of the National section of Tuesday’s New York Times featured Mitch Smith in Wichita at the trial of three militia members, accused of planning to bomb an apartment complex occupied by Somali immigrants in, “Terror Plot or Idle Talk? Kansas Trial Hinges on the Answer -- 3 Militia Members Talked of Killing Somali Refugees.” The Times takes at face value a dubious "study" from a hard-left ethnic identity group, while skipping the group’s virulent stance on Trump.
For the second week in a row, The New York Times Sunday Review featured Frank Bruni, former White House reporter, once again using the slot to cheerlead for Democrats to take over Texas in the November elections: “Will Democrats Win the House? Ask Texas.” The text box: “The victory-starved party smells ‘blood in the water.’” The Times has long been obsessed with turning Texas blue for years, at any level of politics, state or national. Bruni picked up that torch and ran with it, giddily hopeful that this year it will finally happen.
The New York Times found yet another angle from which to attack the Republicans as the 2018 elections loom. Friday’s lead National story concerned various teachers strikes in “red states,” “Teacher Walkouts Threaten Republicans’ Grip on Red States – Years of Budget Cuts Push Education Into Political Fray.”
The release of former FBI director James Comey’s book coaxed Michiko Kakutani, the New York Times’s former, famously influential chief book critic out of retirement and, unusually, into the news pages of Friday’s edition: “James Comey Has a Story to Tell. It’s Very Persuasive.” Kakutani was given over 2,000 words and a full news page to offer praise for A Higher Loyalty -- Truth, Lies, And Leadership, though the book evidently has no bombshell news to offer. While other outlets questioned Comey's personal insults of Trump, the only criticism Kakutani managed was about the damage Comey purportedly did to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
In Friday’s New York Times, Gardiner Harris and Eileen Sullivan went on the attack against Mike Pompeo, the current CIA Director and President Trump’s nominee to become Secretary of State with the title “Trading Snarl for Smile, Pompeo Makes Case to Lead State Department.”
More unseemly eagerness in Thursday’s New York Times to use the tragic murders in Parkland to help Democrats gain Congress, while weakening constitutional rights. Reporter Alan Blinder went to Helena, Montana searching out “red state” voters willing to reject the “iron rule” of supporting the National Rifle Association, which is "hard line," shows "belligerence," and demands "lock-step loyalty."
The New York Times' Erica Goode latched on to a scientific smear job involving global warming and polar bears, under the online headline, “Climate Change Denialists Say Polar Bears Are Fine. Scientists Are Pushing Back.” The text box was bluntly biased even for the Times: “Researchers chastised a Canadian zoologist’s blog for its falsehoods.”
Stirring the political controversy in the Vatican, New York Times Rome bureau chief Jason Horowitz once again gleefully pitted Pope Francis against “ultraconservative” Catholics in Tuesday’s “Pope Puts Caring for Migrants and Opposing Abortion on Equal Footing.” Horowitz used the Pope's newest apostolic exhortation to sharpen the conflict, crediting Francis with "citing vicious examples of defamation in some Catholic outlets" by Church conservatives.
The New York Times takes cartoons very seriously, criticizing the long-running Fox comedy The Simpsons for its humorous stereotyping of Indian convenience-store owner Apu. Sopan Deb has the latest on the gripping saga of a humorless comedian who made a documentary, “The Problem With Apu,” attacking The Simpsons for its purportedly racist stereotyping. Never mind that the Simpsons is full of stereotypes of all kinds -- and is a cartoon.
The mainstream media’s contempt for “Trump’s favorite network” Fox News, and especially the morning show Fox & Friends, continues apace. A particularly virulent and condescending example is Charles Blow’s Monday column for the New York Times, “Horror of Being Governed by ‘Fox & Friends.’” Blow spewed: "America is being governed by the dimmest of wits on the most unscrupulous of networks. The very thought of it is horror-inducing."
In Sunday’s New York Times, Jerusalem bureau chief David Halbfinger managed both to minimize the existential threat Israel faces in the region, and the death cult of the anti-Israel terror group Hamas (while repeating Hamas talking points as fact) in “Though Deadly, a Protest Is Hailed as a Big Step for Gazans.”
New York Times columnist Frank Bruni went to Houston to personally deliver an embarrassing fanboy letter to the latest Democratic hope against the loathed conservative Sen. Ted Cruz, in “Watch Out, Ted Cruz. Beto Is Coming” in the Sunday Review. The text box: “The Senate race in Texas just might be the happiest political fable ever.”
New York Times religion reporter Laurie Goodstein forwarded “alarming” complaints from former Obama administration staffers and Islamic groups about Mike Pompeo, the current CIA director who is President Trump’s choice to become the new secretary of state, and John Bolton, Trump’s pick for national security advisor: “Alarms Raised On Nominee’s Views on Islam.” Goodstein even dredged up accusations of "modern-day McCarthyism."
Liberal media hope springs eternal that House Speaker Paul Ryan will lose his southeastern Wisconsin congressional seat, judging by the headline over Sheryl Gay Stolberg’s story in Thursday’s New York Times, “Can Ryan Be Defeated? Maybe Not, but His Race Is ‘a Circus.’” It’s part of a drumbeat of Times stories and analytics deployed to fire up Democrats and/or discourage Republicans as the November congressional elections approach. In this case, the savior is Randy Bryce, labor activist and newly mined Democratic man of the people.
The New York Times shamelessly shoehorned gun control into Martin Luther King’s civil rights legacy by way of Richard Oppel Jr.’s tilted history lesson of the 1960s on Wednesday, “Killing Led, at Last, To Gun Restrictions,” part of the series “King’s Legacy: A Fight for Social Change.” Oppel lamented, in the paper’s alleged news section, that if only America had only been wise enough to pass severe gun restrictions generations ago we wouldn’t have a violence problem today.
Supreme Court reporter Adam Liptak was quite aggrieved in his "Sidebar" column about a decision involving allegations of excessive force against an Arizona cop. Liptak couldn’t have made it more clear whose side he was on, and focused almost solely on the two liberal dissents, in “Supreme Court Sides With Police Officer Accused of Using Excessive Force.” Liptak devoted 10 paragraphs of the 20-paragraph story to Sotomayor’s dissent, heavy on impassioned quotes, compared to a single paragraph, without quotations, summing up the majority.
The New York Times visited the district of a purportedly vulnerable Republican congresswoman to report “Gun Control and Fall Elections: Moment or Movement?” Reporting from Northern Virginia, Matt Flegenheimer and Jess Bidgood piled another log on the Democratic heat wave toward November, chiding gun rights advocates as sometimes offering "unsavory" tactics, while letting anti-gun teen activists be as classlass as they want to be: ""We’ll outlive them,' said Sean Monteith, 17, a junior at Lewiston High School, adding that he hoped his peers would be able to outvote them, too...."
Christians who opened the New York Times on Easter Sunday were rewarded with a poke in the eye from the front page of the Sunday Review. Most offensive, the smearing subhead to leftist writer Amy Sullivan’s “Trump’s Christian Soldiers": "Most white evangelicals would vote against Jesus himself if he ran as a Democrat.”
Boston Globe columnist and movie critic Ty Burr summoned the ghost of Frank Capra once more to project his liberal cinematic fantasies onto the American populace, and to save us all from the dark reality of President Trump. Burr thinks a gun-grabbing star was born in the form of a teenage Parkland activist, and pushes the conceit past ridiculousness, in “Can Emma Gonzalez give us a Hollywood ending?”