Clay Waters was director of Times Watch, a former project of the Media Research Center.
Latest from Clay Waters
"Charges Against a Star Linebacker Raises Questions About Justice" appears at first to be a run-of-the-mill example of politically correct crime coverage in the New York Times. Sports reporter Thayer Evans hinted at racism in a criminal investigation of a black college football player, Oklahoma State Cowboys linebacker Chris Collins, arrested on sexual assault for raping a 12 year-old.
Kennedy family folklore?
The Kennedy political dynasty has certainly been blessed with blue-collar friends awaiting them at the start of their political careers. There never seems to be a shortage of horny-handed sons of toil to assure fledgling Kennedys that being rich is no impediment to being a friend of the working man.
In the course of Times reporter Robin Toner's web-only column absolving rich Democrats from feeling guilty for preaching about poverty while making millions, Toner delivered the better-documented version of the Kennedy family folk tale.
As the story goes, Ted Kennedy was campaigning for his first Senate seat in 1962 when he was confronted by a blue-collar worker who provided the future senator his absolution.
New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Steven Erlanger has long been known for his pro-Palestinian reporting, and his Sunday magazine profile of Gaza's Khaled Abu Hilal, who went from the "mainstream" Palestinian group Fatah to the overtly anti-Israeli terrorist group Hamas, certainly fit the pattern.
Erlanger began with this cloying, sorrowful harangue:
With Bush giving a press conference about the war in Iraq, Thursday wasn't exactly a slow news day. Yet the New York Times found room on Friday's front page for Winnie Hu's story about American Indian lacrosse players, "American Indians Widen Old Outlet In Youth Lacrosse." Meanwhile, readers got to watch political correctness trump the paper's corporate-line feminism.
In the New York Times' version of the gossip pages (the Sunday Styles section), reporter Susan Saulny injects a novel Democratic talking point into the potential candidacy of Republican Fred Thompson -- one involving his wife, in "Will Her Face Determine His Fortune?"
Are White House reporters taking cue from liberal bloggers? A bit near the end of the New York Times "White House Memo" by reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg, "An Ebbing of Coverage With '08 on the Horizon," certainly puts the idea out there.
White House correspondent Stolberg again indulged herself in portraying Bush as a fallen and failed president.
Over the weekend, the New York Times covered the fallout from Bush's failed amnesty-for-illegal immigration bill, finding that the GOP has doomed itself among Hispanics by its harsh talk radio rhetoric, while devoting space to the disappointment of illegal immigrants and Mexicans who want to be, and interviewing two of the few conservative activists that actually supported the bill, apparently without interviewing the myriad conservative activists aligned against it.
Joseph Berger's New York Times column on education today doubled as a film review. "Film Portrays Stifling of Speech, but One College's Struggle Reflects a Nuanced Reality" criticized an anti-PC documentary, "Indoctrinate U," by bringing in an incident that occurred at Vassar college that was not even featured in the movie. Berger actually defended Vassar punishing a conservative campus publication by defunding it and shutting it down for a year.
Western-based New York Times correspondent Kirk Johnson wondered why Colorado residents are getting so worked up over illegal immigration, given they don't even know any illegals, in Sunday's "Anxiety in the Land of the Anti-Immigration Crusader." Even the photo caption was slanted: "The skyline of Highlands Ranch, a booming suburb of Denver that is largely white."
New York Times movie critic A.O. Scott again defended (in a markedly defensive manner) dubious left-wing documentarian Michael Moore in his glowing review on Friday of "Sicko," Moore's new documentary on the U.S. health care system. Scott thinks it's Moore's "least controversial and most broadly appealing" movie, and "the funniest."
Since joining the New York Times' Baghdad bureau (after having covering Iraq for the L.A. Times), reporter Alissa Rubin has consistently provided coverage even more pessimistic than even the early "civil war" declarer, reporter Edward Wong. In April, Rubin lamented how "Iraqis feel about the violence and disruption of daily life that have brought so much misery to the country since the American invasion in 2003."
Mark Leibovich's front-page profile in Saturday's New York Times of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney painted the former Massachusetts governor as all style and little substance -- "Polished and Upbeat, Romney Struggles to Connect on Stump."