Clay Waters was director of Times Watch, a former project of the Media Research Center.
Latest from Clay Waters
They blew it again: After the New York Times’s pathetic response to the violent left-wing protestors of Antifa assaulted conservative journalist, the paper has apparently learned nothing. it accomplished more lousy reporting about Antifa on the latest clash in Portland, Oregon, for Sunday’s paper. The clear labeling bias served the radical, violent left-wing protest group: “Tensions Rise as Far-Right and Anti-Fascist Groups Face Off in Portland.” The conservative protesters were given various appellations of “right” and “far right,” while the violent left-wingers, their identities hidden under masks, were given their preferred flattering description, “anti-fascist.”
Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib were barred from visiting Israel, and the New York Times was not pleased. An editorial on Friday had an anti-Israel slant and a whitewash of the anti-Semitic nonprofit co-sponsoring the trip, along with a helpful link to their website. Two lead stories Saturday painted Israel's move as a win for the left-wing anti-Israel movement in both countries: "Israelis concerned about the health of the relationship with the United States worried aloud on Friday that by barring members of Congress at all, let alone because of their political views, the Netanyahu government had gravely jeopardized Israel’s bipartisan support in Washington."
The New York Times’s Cara Buckley (“a culture reporter who covers bias and equity in Hollywood”), complained Hollywood wasn’t embedding enough climate change messaging in their blockbuster movies in Saturday’s “Hollywood Sells Doom, Not Hope On Climate -- Critics say villains and dystopias obscure crisis-alleviating actions.” One suspects that the complaint that in some films “environmentalist are criminals” is the true concern: Perhaps Buckley and company are just annoyed that left-wing environmentalists sometimes feature as movie villains, as opposed to the usual villain of corporate raider or military madman?
Reporter Michael Wines hyperventilated again over “dangerous to democracy” gerrymandering by Republicans in Wisconsin, in Thursday’s New York Times: “Push to End Partisan Maps Is Held Up by the Map Makers.” He led off with strong language: When the Supreme Court concluded this summer that it had no authority to strike down partisan political maps, no matter how outrageous, Chief Justice John G. Roberts offered solace to those who call the maps dangerous to democracy."
In her obituary for retired congressman Paul Findley, Republican from Illinois, New York Times’s Katharine Seelye ignored Findley’s anti-Semitic conspiracies, while bashing Republicans for being overly conservative and in the pocket of the Israel lobby: "Who else had a strong reason to want President Kennedy out? It is interesting-but not surprising-to note that in all the words written and uttered about the Kennedy assassination, Israel's intelligence agency, the Mossad, has never been mentioned.And yet a Mossad motive is obvious."
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has twice in one week put his brand of classless leftist vulgarity on display after a national tragedy, this time by using the El Paso massacre to accuse Republicans of being terrorists and white supremacists. “Useful Idiots And Trumpist Billionaires" used a Trump fundraiser by the owner of Equinox and SoulCycle to claim Trump is trying to raise a "white nationalist regime." Last week Krugman said "the G.O.P. has become a systematic enabler of terrorism."
The liberal media will shamelessly blame its more conservative competitors for tragedies, and the front-page of Monday’s New York Times climbed on board with a long investigative report : “How the El Paso Gunman Echoed The Words of Right-Wing Pundits.” The Times story included graphic blocks of transcript excerpts from conservative personalities like Tucker Carlson, Ann Coulter, and Rush Limbaugh, plus Fox News guests, taking every opportunity to link the figures to white supremacist massacres.
Reporter Jo Becker got huge front-page play on the front of Sunday’s New York Times for the investigation, “How Nationalism Found a Home in Sweden -- A Global Machine Fuels the Far Right’s Rise.” But while battling two of the paper’s favorite villains, Russia and “Islamophobia,” along with the Swedish political party Sweden Democrats, Becker left out the context of quite a lot of recent Swedish history. It turns out that the concern over assimilating Muslim immigrants in Sweden is neither a recently hatched Vladimir Putin plot or the figment of racist imagination.
New York Times London-based reporter Ceylan Yeginsu reported on the abortion debate in Belfast under a flawlessly biased headline: “Can Northern Ireland Cling To Its Draconian Abortion Laws?” The online headline was bad in a different way: "Climate of Fear: When Part of a Country Bans Abortion.” (“Bans abortion” is an odd way to describe a law that has been in place in Northern Ireland since 1861.)
The New York Times article posed as a "fun" interactive quiz but hid some nasty Republican sliming in the text, accusing the GOP of conspiring to hold on to office via “voter suppression or attempts to skew the census” : “Quiz: Let Us Predict Whether You’re a Democrat or a Republican.” It’s a creation of Sahil Chinoy, similar to his previous “graphics” story, in which one of his graphics showed a major swerve to the left by the Democrats since 2008 but was downplayed in favor of the story’s intended takeaway of Republicans careening toward the “far right.”
The New York Times has learned its lesson on front-page headlines, making sure it injected plenty of anti-Trump context to lead its Thursday edition, after being vilified by the left for insufficient hostility toward Trump (and quickly changing a banner headline) on Tuesday. The headline over Thursday’s lead story posed no such danger to liberal groupthink, as it dutifully countered everything Trump did with a liberal rebuttal: “President Uses A Day Of Healing To Stoke Discord – Trip To Ohio And Texas – Trump’s Anger at Critics Eclipses His Gestures Toward Victims.”
The Columbia Journalism Review interviewed New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet over the Times changing its Tuesday morning lead headline after a left-wing social media mob complained it wasn’t sufficiently hostile to President Trump, in the wake of the mass murders in El Paso and Dayton. The paper’s own “Reader Center” also issued a mea culpa in “A Times Headline About Trump Stoked Anger. A Top Editor Explains."
Boston Globe staffer Teresa Hanafin’s daily e-mail newsletter downplayed the "news" angle to spew virulent anger toward both Trump and the Republican Party. Some of the fiery excerpts, delivered with a patina of ultra-cynicism, from Monday's offering: "Republicans don’t value people; they worship the blood money the NRA pours into their campaign coffers. If the slaughter of 20 first-graders couldn’t change that, nothing will. Get used to it....Let's be honest: As long as Republicans hold any power, the slaughter will continue."
The New York Times went to press for Tuesday’s print edition with the banner headline “Trump Urges Unity Vs. Racism.” But that accurate summation of what President Trump said about the mass murders in El Paso and Dayton did not please the left on Twitter, which demanded “context” about Trump actually being a racist demagogue. And the Times, which relies on the left for its readership, swiftly obeyed, showing repentance by admitting “The headline was bad” and changing it for the second morning edition to a more Trump-skeptical headline “Assailing Hate, But Not Guns.”
Two New York Times writers tried to use the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton to condemn not just Donald Trump and his rhetoric, but the policies of the Republican Party in general. The online headline deck to Charles Blow’s Monday column said it all: “Terror and Policy: 2 Sides of White Nationalism: The white supremacist terrorists and the white supremacist policymakers share the same mission.” David Leonhardt’s newsletter similarly used the shooting in El Paso to accuse conservatives of having a violence problem in general: “Conservatism has a violence problem.” It’s an easier argument to make when you ignore most actual left-wing violence.
The New York Times’s lead story Monday morning was of course the mass murder of 29 people in two mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso. The second paragraph cast some blame at “angry words directed at immigrants...by right-wing pundits and President Trump.” The theme of Monday’s paper was to tie President Trump to the El Paso mass murderer. Peter Baker and Michael Shear’s “news analysis,” “In Texas Gunman’s Manifesto, An Echo of Trump’s Language,” handed flailing Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke (and several other Democratic opportunists) a microphone to blame Trump.
Reporters Reid Epstein and Jonathan Martin devoted 1,800 words on the New York Times Sunday front page to getting out the black vote against Donald Trump in 2020, in “Trump’s Words Fuel Racial Strife. How Will Black Voters Respond?” Along the way, they issued a conspiracy-agent theory about how Trump is trying to stifle blacks from voting Democrat by...mentioning his criminal justice reform legislation? "No modern president has ever vilified black Americans or sought to divide people along racial lines like Mr. Trump, while also claiming to be a champion of their economic interests."
The New York Times is still trying to make concern over “climate change” happen within the GOP, this time hyping the threat climate denial poses to the party’s prospects. Lisa Friedman, New York Times “climate change” reporter and former editor of ClimateWire, made the front page Saturday with “Climate, Taboo In G.O.P., Eats At Party Youth.” Friedman wrote: "While Donald Trump has led the Republican Party far down the road of denying the scientific consensus of human-caused climate change..."
Congressional reporter Carl Hulse enjoyed piling on Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell just a bit too much in Wednesday’s lead New York Times slot: “Pressure Mounts On Senate Leader To Secure Ballot – Some in G.O.P. Softening – McConnell Impedes Bills, and Seethes Over Tag of ‘Moscow Mitch.’” It’s Hulse’s favorite kind of story: Democrats gleefully putting Republicans under pressure, with Hulse cheering them on. Hulse tends to condone whatever political tactics the Democrats use against Republicans, however disreputable they might be: "Democrats pressed their advantage. And why not? The hashtag #MoscowMitchMcTraitor was trending on Twitter, and Senate Republicans of all stripes were being asked about the blockade."
Over the last few days, President Donald Trump has used his Twitter account to go after Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings and “civil rights leader” Al Sharpton. The New York Times could not resist, featuring not one but two front-page stories Tuesday, while egregiously calling the racially inflammatory Sharpton a “civil rights leader” and blotting out his past offenses against decency. The Times lead story led with the race card: "President Trump widened his war on critics of color on Monday with new attacks on the Rev. Al Sharpton and other political opponents."