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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Mrs. Triangulation is the title of New York Times contributing writer Matt Bai's profile of Sen. Hillary Clinton (on the cover the article is referred to even less plausibly as "Hillary's Centrist Crusade").

Bai has apparently been taken in by Clinton's centering propaganda, as has the Times in general: It's coverage of the senator has consisted largely of portraying her as a safe centrist and even a social conservative, while accusing those who call her liberal as guilty of "caricature."

While Hillary Clinton has perhaps not been the vociferous anti-war opponent of MoveOn.org fantasies, she's hardly been quiet about her loathing of the Bush administration, as when she compared Bush to Mad Magazine's moronic cartoon mascot: "I sometimes feel that Alfred E. Neuman is in charge in Washington."

Just as in several stories by Hillary-approving reporter Raymond Hernandez, Bai on Sunday doesn’t identify Hillary as a liberal, instead claiming she's a centrist and even has "conservative leanings."

That spin is at odds with reality. The American Conservative Union gives Hillary Clinton a rating of 9 out of a possible 100 points. Meanwhile, she garnered a 95% rating from the liberal Americans for Democratic Action (it should be said that 17 of the 45 Democratic senators had perfect 100% records in the ADA's 2004 survey, based on their position on 20 significant votes).


And Paul Krugman makes quite a lot of them.

Editorial page editor Gail Collins announced in a "letter from the editor" in the Sunday Week in Review that the paper's corrections policy for its news pages would now apply to Times columnists as well.


Sigh. The day after Times Watch gave the paper an "attaboy" for delivering a somewhat balanced front-page story on the battle over a proposed left-wing museum at Ground Zero, comes a Friday editorial, "Freedom or Not?" It accuses those who don't want anti-American sentiments enshrined at the site of being "censors."



One kudo for the New York Times today for the front page story by David Dunlap on the important ideological battle over a proposed museum at the site of the Twin Towers ("Freedom Museum Is Headed For Showdown at Ground Zero").

Critics of the International Freedom Center, including many relatives of the victims of 9-11, contend that the proposed museum would slight the victims in favor of liberal history lessons.



A New York Times Sunday editorial, "Penguin Family Values," mocks conservatives for praising "March of the Penguins," a surprise hit documentary about penguin families: "The news that emperor penguins are exemplars of self-sacrifice, marital fidelity and steadfast parenting has brought joy to many religious conservatives, who see the brave birds in the documentary 'March of the Penguins' as little Christian beacons of family and faith."


The hurricane may have knocked anti-war Bush-hater Cindy Sheehan off the news pages of the New York Times, but she still has enough liberal cred to make a local splash, as shown in a Monday Metro Section report in the Times by Marc Santora on Sheehan's visit to a church in Brooklyn, "Mother Who Lost Son in Iraq Continues Fight Against War."


Friday brings New York Times reporter Richard Stevenson's latest biased "news analysis," "Amid the Ruins, a President Tries to Reconstruct His Image, Too." Tasteful metaphor, eh?

Twice in his story in the news pages, Stevenson cites as fact Bush's "faltering response" to Katrina, while again ignoring state and local (and Democratic) culpability.



The New York Times buries its latest poll story on Bush on Page 18, perhaps recognizing the lack of news in the findings. Yet reporters Todd Purdum and Marjorie Connelly try their best in, "Support for Bush Continues to Drop as More Question His Leadership Skills, Poll Shows."


In another New York Times story seemingly spurred by Democratic complaints, Philip Shenon reports Wednesday: "The inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday that his office had received accusations of fraud and waste in the multibillion-dollar relief programs linked to Hurricane Katrina and would investigate


Following the resignation of Michael Brown as the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Richard Stevenson writes in Tuesday's New York Times:


Friday's "news analysis" by Richard Stevenson, "The President From 9/11 Has Yet to Reappear," follows in the slanted footsteps of his previous one. The text box reads: "Still looking for vision in the face of national calamity."


Tuesday's Times story by Simon Romero on the efforts of Houston businesses to assist in Katrina relief efforts was fairly unobjectionable -- but the version that appeared in the Times' international edition (the International Herald Tribune) contained some political raunch sure to delight European readers of a left-wing bent.


Louisiana Democrats can lambaste Bush and the federal government's response to hurricane Katrina all they want without objection from the Times. But let Republican Gov. Haley Barbour dare praise the federal response, and it "raises eyebrows." That's according to a Tuesday story from reporter Michael Cooper, "Bush Has Staunch Defender Amid Critics on Gulf Coast." The text box reads: "Praise for the federal response from a rising G.O.P. star raises eyebrows in his state."


There was loads of competition, but perhaps the most cynical anti-Bush story to appear in the Times from the tragedy-filled holiday weekend came Monday from Adam Nagourney and Anne Kornblut, "White House Enacts a Plan To Ease Political Damage" which worked the cliches of a sinister Karl Rove trying to shift hurricane blame to New Orleans' Democrats.


Hurricane Katrina is a U.S. natural disaster unparalleled in modern times, leaving at least half of a major city underwater. In this national tragedy, the nation's paper of record rises to the occasion by declaring everything Bush's fault. But perhaps some blame could be more plausibly apportioned to the Times' own editorial page

Yesterday's lead New York Times editorial, "Waiting for a Leader," asks: "While our attention must now be on the Gulf Coast's most immediate needs, the nation will soon ask why New Orleans's levees remained so inadequate. Publications from the local newspaper to National Geographic have fulminated about the bad state of flood protection in this beloved city, which is below sea level. Why were developers permitted to destroy wetlands and barrier islands that could have held back the hurricane's surge? Why was Congress, before it wandered off to vacation, engaged in slashing the budget for correcting some of the gaping holes in the area's flood protection?"

Perhaps they were reading old Times editorials on flood control. As the EU Rota blog notes, the Times editorial page has often criticized such efforts as anti-environmental boondoggles.



In a column for the Los Angeles Times, former NYT Executive Editor (and eternal blowhard) Howell Raines joins the left wing in using the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina to bash Bush:

"The dilatory performance of George Bush during the past week has been outrageous. Almost as unbelievable as Katrina itself is the fact that the leader of the free world has been outshone by the elected leaders of a region renowned for governmental ineptitude.


Reporter Carl Hulse flips through former conservative Sen. Jesse Helms' memoir, "Here's Where I Stand." The headline accurately captures the loaded nature of the review: "In Memoir, Jesse Helms Says He Was No Racist."

Hulse begins: "Former Senator Jesse Helms defends his record on race relations and explores his role in the rise of the modern conservative movement in a new memoir that reserves some of its harshest words for the news media."


Today the Washington Post's Peter Carlson "celebrates" the 10th anniversary of The Weekly Standard magazine, puckishly noting that it "is a truly excellent right-wing warmongering magazine, no matter what your political persuasion might be."



Former Times' reporter Chris Hedges, who never let his job as a journalist get in the way of his strident anti-war activism, finds war veterans a self-pitying lot, blind to their own complicity in the horrors of war. At least that's how Hedges comes across in his review of "Black Virgin Mountain -- A Return to Vietnam," an autobiography by Vietnam veteran and author Larry Heinemann.


If any more proof was needed that former NBC reporter and now NYT columnist Bob Herbert was a reliable liberal, Herbert's Thursday's column shows he firmly believes in recycling.

In "Truth-Telling on Race? Not in Bush's Fantasyland," Herbert recycles a column he wrote back on May 20, 1999. Of the 16 paragraphs of Herbert's "new" column, the middle part (nine graphs) are lifted almost verbatim from 1999.