Clay Waters was director of Times Watch, a former project of the Media Research Center.
Latest from Clay Waters
New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg’s virulently anti-Israel rant Tuesday, “A Grotesque Spectacle in Jerusalem,” was topped with this text box: “A celebration -- and a massacre.” She got truly vicious in Tuesday’s piece, keyed to the deadly protest in Gaza, as the terrorist group Hamas urged Palestinian civilians to rush the fence guarding Israel from attack, some armed with explosives, with predictably deadly results for the Palestinian attackers. Goldberg didn’t see it that way, blaming the celebratory moving of the American Embassy to Jerusalem, a “grotesque” event attended by Ivanka Trump.
Underlining how the liberal worldview has soaked through every section of the newspaper, reporter Melanie Ryzik has a full-page spread in Sunday’s New York Times, “The Supreme Court’s Ninja Warrior – Ruth Bader Ginsburg uses her popularity for fun and progress.” The paper has carefully nurtured the liberal meme of Justice Ginsburg as superheroine. It already covered this silliness in February, when the paper’s Supreme Court reporter Adam Liptak descended into the pop-culture hagiography.
The New York Times’ attacks on the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes, continued in Sunday’s news section: “Wielding Threats, Nunes Attacks Justice Dept.” The text box featured typical liberal media weasel wording: “Some see an effort to weaponize documents and undermine the Russia inquiry.” When the Times claims “some see,” one can safely substitute the phrase “Liberal Times reporters see.” The Times and the left are furious at Nunes’ muddying the soothing narrative of Russia-Trump “collusion” in Campaign 2016.
The New York Times pathetically tried to turn the shock resignation of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman accused by several women of physical abuse into a political plus for Democrats, even though Schneiderman was one of the legal leaders of “The Resistance” and a #MeToo crusader for women. Thursday’s New York Times front-page story by Alexander Burns read: “Sex Scandals Hit Both Parties, But One Sees Double Standard.”
New York Times reporter Gardiner Harris apparently has no nose for news -- at least not for the kind that may make President Trump look like an effective leader. His Wednesday story, “On Big Day, Top Diplomat Is Halfway Around the World, Raising Questions,” buried the lead in embarrassing fashion while mocking supposedly AWOL Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Incredibly, the news of Mike Pompeo supervising the then-imminent release of three Americans being held in North Korea was relegated to paragraph 11 of a 17 graph story, in an “oh by the way” fashion. Yet it led the paper’s front page the next day!
“Budget Hawk” Mick Mulvaney is the latest conservative in the crosshairs of the New York Times. The front of Wednesday’s edition featured a very long, quite hostile profile by Glenn Thrush and Alan Rappeport of Mulvaney, Trump’s budget director and current head of the Obama-era agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: “Budget Hawk Hones Claws at Consumer Bureau.” When he wasn't a ravenous hawk, he was an excitable dog: "...he sprung to life like a Jack Russell terrier off leash."
Former Democratic secretary of state John Kerry has been doing a little free-lance meddling with Iranian ministers on behalf of the now-kaput Iran deal, and an unhappy Trump accused Kerry on Twitter of “possible illegal Shadow Diplomacy” (i.e. violating the Logan Act). New York Times fact-checker Linda Qiu pounced: “Trump Lobs Legal Threat At Kerry. Scholars Shrug.”
The front of Sunday’s New York Times featured political reporter Jonathan Martin’s tribute to the ailing Sen. John McCain: “At Home, McCain Shares Memories and Regrets.” It has some charming moments, but comes off hypocritical, given the paper’s back and forth feelings for McCain, praising him when he was a threat to more conservative Republicans during the 2008 party primaries, condemning him when he threatened the saintly Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential election campaign. It also used the veteran moderate Republican as a convenient, pointed rebuttal to President Trump.
Former prosecutor and NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani, the newest member of President Trump’s legal team as he battles special counsel Robert Mueller on several fronts, caused a stir with some blunt talk involving payouts to porn actress Stormy Daniels. The New York Times, a long-time enemy of Giuliani, ran two stories in the lead slot Friday under the headline: “On Attack for Trump, Giuliani May Aggravate Legal and Political Peril.” But it was reporter Katie Rogers who brought the paper’s trademark mean-spirited touch, in “Giuliani’s Bark May Come Back to Bite Trump.” The text box: “A bombastic former mayor undermines his client, the president.”
Rolling Stone’s Tessa Stuart interviewed New York Times campaign reporter Amy Chozick about her new book on covering the Hillary Clinton campaign, and revealed Chozick to be amazingly forgiving of Clinton and quite uncaring about female victims of male predation – at least those whose stories could conceivably hurt Hillary’s chances. And she again apologized about her paper actually covering campaign news -- the leaked emails from the Clinton team.
New York Times reporter Emma Fitzsimmons took the paper’s hostility toward the massively popular Uber ride-sharing program down to a personal level, blaming it for suicides of taxi drivers, in Wednesday’s “With Uber on Duty, Cabdrivers Confront A Desperate Future.” The online headline deck: “A Taxi Driver Took His Own Life. His Family Blames Uber’s Influence -- A series of suicides in New York has drawn attention to the economic desperation of drivers competing with ride-hailing apps.”
Most liberal opponents of President Trump have been shamed out of throwing around the word “collusion” willy-nilly, as Robert Mueller’s investigation plods along without throwing up much in the way of evidence thus far. But not columnist Michelle Goldberg of The New York Times, still flying the flag of “collusion,” while embracing domestic surveillance organizations: “Truth vs. Power In the Russia Investigation” in Tuesday’s edition.
Clyde Haberman’s “Retro Report” is advertised by the New York Times as a re-examination “of the leading stories of decades past,” but functions more as a way for Haberman to gather up and repurpose old liberal talking points from previous failed bursts of activism. Haberman’s latest, “Battle Was Always Uphill To Get Gun Laws Passed,” tackled the National Rifle Association, the new epitome of troglodyte conservative fear-mongering.
Former president and quite liberal Jimmy Carter actually managed to come off more moderate and less anti-Trump than the journalist interviewing him for the New York Times Sunday magazine. Carter was interviewed by Dan Amira, a writer for the Daily Show With Trevor Noah on Comedy Central -- an interesting choice -- about his new book Faith: A Journey for All. Among the liberal questions: "You were the president during the Cold War. Who’s the greater threat: the Soviet Union then, or Russia now?"
The New York Times Sunday magazine devoted 5,000 words to a hostile profile of Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who is infuriating liberals by blocking the narrative of Russia-Trump “collusion” during Campaign 2016. The Times is clearly trying to paint Nunes as a conspiratorial figure, as shown by the title to Jason Zengerle’s piece: “The Truth Is Out There.” But The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway defenestrated Zengerle’s misleading and out-and-out false work point by point: “....the case he attempts to make is riddled with errors and full of embarrassing and deliberate material omissions.”
Employing unprofessional speculation, reporters Katie Rogers and Joe Coscarelli hinted in the New York Times that famously flaky rapper Kanye West’s Twitter admiration, if not full support, for President Trump was related to incipient mental illness: "In a string of tweets that seemed to outrage and concern his fans, Mr. West tried to defend his admiration for the president from “the mob” of people who “can’t make me not love him.....But the tweets caused bedlam among Mr. West’s fans. They had begun debating his mental stability earlier Wednesday...."
The New York Times devoted the latest edition of its fashion mag, T Magazine, to marking the early 1980s in New York City, but used prominent pieces to bash President Ronald Reagan as a "terrifying" Christian-right ogre. From the introduction: "...with the inauguration of a conservative president who was no great friend to the arts, or to marginalized groups, including immigrants, the poor and those who fell outside of the conventional all-American family unit."
In Monday’s New York Times, Washington bureau Jeremy Peters tsk-tsked the new tastelessness among GOP candidates in “Forget About Restraint, G.O.P. Candidates Echo Trump’s Sound and Fury" -- as in "signifying nothing." The text box: “Greater ease talking about vanquishing foes than governing.” Peters much preferred "the lofty approach of the Obamas."
Amy Chozick, who covered the Hillary Clinton campaign for the New York Times, sports sackcloth and ashes for the sin of actually reporting on publicly available emails from the Clinton campaign -- while ignoring all the dirty details in the emails themselves: "But it wasn’t a scoop. It was more like a bank heist....I didn’t push to hold off on publishing them until we could have a less harried discussion. I didn’t raise the possibility that we’d become puppets in Vladimir Putin’s master plan."
GQ magazine attracted controversy with a pseudo-irreverent, provocative list in its May issue, "21 Books You Don't Have to Read Before You Die." The overarching tone is an ideology-first assault against the dreaded oeuvre of Dead (Racist/Sexist) White Males, with GQ gleefully ripping the reputation of books unjustly bolstered in the Western canon by white privilege, as a review of the piece in Entertainment Weekly made clear. GQ's introduction set the juvenile, hectoring tone: "Some are racist and some are sexist, but most are just really, really boring..."