Clay Waters

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Contributing Writer

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.

Latest from Clay Waters

Amazing. The day after Anemona Hartocollis's puff piece on the court appearance of 18 anti-war 'grannies' accused of blocking an entrance to a military recruitment center in Times Square, the Times follows up with front-page coverage of their aquittal("New York Judge Tells Grannies To Go in Peace").

The front of Thursday’s Metro section features Anemona Hartocollis’ soggy profile of a group of left-wing elderly protesters arrested last October for blocking a military recruiting center in Times Square.

The headline is sweet: "With ‘Grannies’ in the Dock, A Sitting Judge Will Squirm."

The text box is sickeningly sweet: "Who wants to rule against grandmotherhood, or apple pie, or Santa?"

MediaBistro runs an email from NYT Executive Editor Bill Keller sent to liberal journalist Murray Waas, in which Keller claims the Bush adminstration is "declaring war at home on the values they profess to be promoting abroad."

Wednesday’s lead Times editorial on lethal injection, "Lethal Cruelty," is another dubious attempt by the Times to argue that the death penalty is somehow unconstitutional, that pesky Fifth Amendment notwithstanding.

Sunday's off-lead story by David Cloud is on Mary McCarthy, the CIA analyst fired for leaking classified information about suspected terrorists allegedly being held in secret CIA prisons in Eastern Europe. It comes under the comforting headline "Colleagues Say C.I.A. Analyst Played by Rules."

Liberal movie critic Manohla Dargis continues to mix popcorn and politics in her Friday review of "American Dreamz."

When Sen. John Kerry lost to George W. Bush in the presidential election of 2004, the press turned its attention to 2008 and Sen. Hillary Clinton as a potential Democratic savior.

As Mrs. Clinton’s home state broadsheet, the Times has a front-row seat for the run-up to Election 2008. Yet a Times Watch study has discovered that ever since the Hillary-for-president talk heated up in earnest, the newspaper has used its seat more as a cheering section for Clinton than as a dispassionate perch for objective observation.

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.