Clay Waters

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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.

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As Tim Graham noted this weekend, the Times "messed up in its attempt at yet another juicy Abu Ghraib story."

Reporter Hassan Fattah’s interview with Ali Shalal Qaissi, who claimed to be the subject of an infamous Abu Ghraib photo, made the front page of the March 11 Times, complete with a picture of Qaissi holding a photograph of “himself” -- that archetypal image of a hooded man standing on a box attached to wires.

The headline trumpeted: "Symbol of Abu Ghraib Seeks to Spare Others His Nightmare."

Fattah stated:



A new book by veteran New York Times economics reporter Louis Uchitelle calls for a doubling of the minimum wage. “The Disposable American: Layoffs and Their Consequences" goes on sale next week, but judging by the early reviews and official description, it will be faithful to Uchitelle’s liberal reporting on economics and business:



....unless it involves feminists protesting Augusta National Golf Club, of course.

New York Times sportswriter Jack Curry is covering the World Baseball Classic in San Juan, and the highlight of the day didn’t happen on the field between Cuba and the Dominican Republic, he explains in Tuesday’s “Politics Intrude, Again, and Cubans Falter, Again.”



The New York Times Sunday magazine examines Democratic aspirations to take back the House and Senate this year in liberal contributing writer James Traub’s “Party Like It’s 1994.” But 12 years after the fact, the Times and Traub still see the 1994 watershed through the conventional liberal wisdom of the time, as an anti-incumbent blast of anger that didn’t augur a nationwide shift to conservatism.



A new law in South Dakota outlawing most abortions is the apparent trigger for Friday’s laudatory New York Times “Public Lives” profile by Robin Finn of new Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards (“Anti-Abortion Advocates? Bring ‘Em On, Texan Says”).



“Wal-Mart Enlists Bloggers in Its Public Relations Campaign," by Michael Barbaro in Tuesday's New York Times, concerns the discount giant feeding newsbits to bloggers to help its public relations. It tops Tuesday’s business pages, complete with the banner of a pro-Wal-Mart blog that's Barbaro’s main target. Yet Barbaro himself cowrote a story last month based on tips from an anti-Wal-Mart website.

Barbaro writes:



The editor of the liberal American Prospect magazine used an AP story on Bush allegedly being warned about levees being breached in New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina touched down as a jumping off point to seethe with wrath against Bush, calling him stupid and a liar and his conservative supporters “sociopaths.”

The next day, the AP story was “clarified” in a way that completely undermined both its and editor Michael Tomasky’s point.



Have a great weekend, Democrats: Sen. Hillary Clinton has a “widely respected record,” Republican “attacks” are backfiring, and she’s still no liberal.

Friday’s front page is dominated by Patrick Healy’s “Clinton Challenger Pulled From Reagan-Era Hat,” on the newest Republican candidate challenging Sen. Hillary Clinton for the Senate this year.



What issue will doom Congressional Republicans in 2006? In February, it was Abramoff, while the month of March is shaping up as the UAE ports controversy.

This morning, the Times once again insists that the Republicans will face trouble in the 2006 elections. Last month it was ethics scandals and Jack Abramoff. This month’s Times-selected Republican killer is shaping up to be the ports deal with United Arab Emirates.



Pro-Palestinian reporter Steven Erlanger’s West Bank filing on a Hamas member’s release from Israeli custody is titled “Head High, Hamas Member Returns From Israeli Jail.”

Here’s part of the photo caption, at the bottom of a heartwarming column of photos running through the middle of the article:



Or, to be accurate, the “right-wing bias” that the Los Angeles Times apparently held before the “provincial” paper moved to the left and garnered “respect.”

NY Times Obituary writer Jonathan Kandell remembers Los Angeles Times Publisher Otis Chandler in Tuesday's edition.



Last Wednesday, sports columnist Harvey Araton wrote about the Olympian feud between U.S. speedskaters Chad Hedrick and Shani Davis, with Hedrick starring as Bush and Davis as John Kerry:



Sports columnist Harvey Araton ventured onto thin ice with an anti-Bush metaphor on Wednesday while relaying the simmering feud between Olympic speedskaters Chad Hedrick and Shani Davis:



The Times finds the burgeoning property rights movement (set in motion by the Supreme Court’s controversial decision in Kelo vs. New London upholding a broad interpretation of eminent domain) worthy of a Tuesday front-page story by John Broder, “States Curbing Right to Seize Private Homes.”

That negative headline reads as if the paper takes for granted that overturning property rights is something a government has a right to do, a “right” that’s now at risk of being “curbed.”



The front page of the Times Sunday Business section is dominated by reporter Landon Thomas Jr.’s profile of conspiracy-mongering author John Perkins (“Confessions of an Economic Hit Man).”

In “Confessing to the Converted -- How a Book Tries to Tap Into Fears of ‘Corporatocracy,” Thomas begins:



Another double standard?

Last week, the New York Times haughtily washed its hands of the controversial Mohammad cartoons, saying it had no intention of printing them because it was the paper’s policy to avoid “gratuitous assaults on religious symbols.” (Though that didn't prevent the paper from running a photo of "The Virgin Mary" painting clotted with elephant dung). Besides, the editorial sniffed, “the cartoons are so easy to describe in words.”



In David Sanger’s “Political Memo” for the New York Times on Wednesday, “Handling of Accident Creates Tension Between White House Staffs,” Sanger predictably uses the incident to symbolize what he sees as the unprecedented secrecy of Vice President Cheney.



Former NY Times executive editor Joseph Lelyveld lovingly profiles “staunch conservative” Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska in a cover story for the Sunday magazine. If Hagel, a frequent critic of Bush and the Iraq war, does run for president in 2008, he may give media favorite Sen. John McCain a run for the cherished “maverick” label.



Lizette Alvarez reports from Denver Thursday on the Army’s drive to recruit more Hispanics in “With Charm and Enticements, Army Is Drawing Hispanic Recruits, and Criticism.”

She paints the drive in a negative light: