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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Sunday's off-lead story is by Japanese-based reporter Norimitsu Onishi ("Revival in Japan Brings Widening Of Economic Gap -- Reckoning for Premier -- Egalitarianism Is at Stake as Rich-Poor Division Threatens Mobility").

Of course, Japan's striated class system and government-controlled economy was for decades the main threat to mobility. But Onishi has another culprit in mind: Reaganism.

Thursday’s New York Times carries a largely hagiographic obituary by Marc Charney of the Rev. William Sloane Coffin, worshipped in left-wing circles for his anti-war protests of the 60s from his position of influence as chaplain of Yale University.

Yesterday, Times Watch wondered when the New York Times would correct its front-page story from last Friday suggesting the White House and Lewis Libby had willfully misled reporters on an intelligence finding on Saddam Hussein’s quest for uranium, a story based on bad information released by prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald’s office had to correct its court filing on Tuesday.

Here we go again. Anne Kornblut’s Wednesday story on Sen. Hillary Clinton’s speech in Chicago (“A Speech on the Economy, for 2006 or 2008?”) helps the senator and potential presidential candidate by ludicrously awarding her “conservative credentials.”

New York Times National reporter Jodi Rudoren (formerly Jodi Wilgoren, and therein lies a self-absorbed tale) has a Saturday front-page story on yet another investigation of a congressman, Rep. Alan Mollohan of West Virginia.

In anticipation of mass rallies in support of illegal immigrants, pro-immigrant reporter Nina Bernstein made Sunday’s front page with “Making It Ashore, but Still Chasing U.S. Dream,” following up on the stories of the 286 Chinese immigrants on Golden Venture freighter that ran aground off Queens in 1993.

Today the New York Times finally corrects a left-wing myth perpetrated in its pages as fact.

As Katie Couric announces she is jumping from NBC’s “Today” show, which she’s co-hosted for 15 years, to the anchor slot of the “CBS Evening News,” Edward Wyatt gamely argues in Thursday’s Business Day how Couric actually has roots as a hard news reporter (“Coming Back to Hard News”) and carried those over to her Today show segments, which Wyatt repackages as “tough assignments.”

“But she has showed that she can handle tough assignments with aplomb and has been unafraid to take certain risks.”

Ken Shepherd of the Free Market Project points out that business reporter Michael Barbaro’s initial filing for the paper’s “continuous news desk” used some pretty loaded language in a story on Wal-Mart:

“Wal-Mart Stores, whose voracious, all-in-one retailing model has crippled thousands of competitors over the last 40 years, is turning to an unusual business plan: helping its rivals.”

On the front of Monday’s Arts page stands Felicia Lee’s “Gay Moms And Dads Can Bring The Family,” based on Rosie O’Donnell’s new HBO special on “the first-ever cruise for gay families.”

The piece reads more as pro-gay mainstreaming than a news item, leading off with unusual criticism by a reporter of a question from another reporter.

Neela Banerjee’s Monday political memo, "The Abortion-Rights Side Invokes God, Too," certainly helps the pro-abortion lobby Planned Parenthood portray itself as just as religious as any pro-life organization.

Rachel Swarns is a bit harshly reductive in her take on anti-illegal immigrant House Republicans in her Wednesday reflection billed as a “news analysis,” “Split Over Immigration Reflects Nation’s Struggle.”

“It is almost as if they are looking at two different Americas.

There’s some odd wording in Pentagon reporter Thom Shanker’s short piece Tuesday on an unusual ceremony in a Pennsylvania meadow.

“Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld gazed across a rolling meadow on Monday, its grass yellow in late winter's grip, and toward the stand of hemlock trees marking the area where Flight 93 crashed on Sept. 11, 2001. He then bent and wordlessly placed a medallion at the base of a temporary memorial here.

It’s a tale of two presidential campaigns on page A26 of Sunday’s New York Times. 

At the top of the page, Sheryl Gay Stolberg’s “Testing Presidential Waters As Race at Home Heats Up” follows Virginia Republican Sen. George Allen around the state in preparation to running for a second term -- and possibly for president in 2008.

The text box emphasizes Allen’s conservatism:

What happened to fact-checking at the Times?

On March 11, the Times fronted an interviewed with what it claimed was the infamous "hooded inmate" from Abu Ghraib prison. But Ali Shalal Qaissi, the man they interviewed and pictured on the front page, was not the man in the now-iconic photo, as the Times explained in the March 18 edition.

Hillary-hailing reporter Raymond Hernandez makes the front page of Thursday’s Metro section with a story that isn’t about Hillary but nonetheless helps Sen. Clinton reelection campaign -- an expose of her Republican opponent K.T. McFarland (“Questions Arise About Resume Of Challenger To Clinton”).

The Times leads Wednesday with Elisabeth Bumiller’s take on Bush’s lively White House press conference, which the Times headlines “Bush Concedes Iraq War Erodes Political Status.”

The New York Times pro-Palestinian reporter Steven Erlanger files “A New Landscape: Hamas Digs In” for Monday’s edition, suggesting the anti-Israeli terror group has some legitimate gripes.

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: