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

NYT movie critic Manohla Dargis has mostly praise for the new movie "North Country," starring an un-prettified Charlize Theron, though Dargis admits it's an "old-fashioned liberal weepie" (albeit one "with heart") based on a true story of a class-action sexual harasment suit at a Minnesota mining company.

The front of Wednesday's Sports section features a profile of Washington Wizards center Etan Thomas by Ira Berkow, "A Center Fakes Right, Goes Left, Speaks Out."

Josh Benson's Sunday article for the New York Times on the suddenly-close race for New Jersey governor between Democratic Sen. Jon Corzine and Republican candidate Doug Forrester discusses the outside political celebrities each campaign is calling in: Karl Rove and Dick Cheney on the Republican side, Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama for the Democrats.

No bias here, but kind of amusing: The front of Saturday's Sports page featured a picture of the 16-year old golf phenom Michelle Wie taking a free drop of her ball after it was ruled unplayable in the first round of the Samsung World Championship. The headline over the accompanying story read "Wie Knows How to Play, And She Knows the Rules."

Israeli-based Steven Erlanger's "news analysis" from Jerusalem in Friday's New York Times is purportedly about the Israel-Palestinian "road map" toward peace ("Mideast Knot: One Map, Many Paths"), but Erlanger devotes most of his space to sympathy for Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

The Times gives Democrats room for hope to take over Congress in 2006. Was the Times as enthusiastic about Republican prospects in 1994?

Robin Toner's Page One New York Times story ("Democrats See Dream of '06 Victory Taking Form") begins: "Suddenly, Democrats see a possibility in 2006 they have long dreamed of: a sweeping midterm election framed around what they describe as the simple choice of change with the Democrats or more of an unpopular status quo with the Republican majority."

The New York Times breaks its weird silence on reporter Judy Miller, with David Johnston's article (a page A16 piece that lacks even a front-page blurb) marking her testimony today to the grand jury investigating the leak of Valerie Plame's name.

The New York Times' resident iconoclast columnist (anti-recycling, pro-gas tax) John Tierney unloads on liberal bias in the media in his Tuesday column (sub. req'd). The piece from libertarian-leaning Tierney comes with the usual Times' head-scratcher of a headline, "Where Cronies Dwell," but the text box gets right to his point: "The left has a lock on journalism and law schools."

There's one last hurrah for the controversial, now-shelved International Freedom Center in the New York Times in this morning's "Public Lives" section story by Robin Finn.

After a long delay and some unsatisfying back-and-forth between bloggers and Times ombudsman Barney Calame, Thursday's New York Times prints a Raymond Hernandez story that finally notes the Democratic scandal involving aides to New York Sen. Chuck Schumer obtaining the credit report of possible Republican Senate candidate Michael Steele, the Lt. Governor of Maryland. The piece is at best dutiful, with little juice, from the dull and uninformative headline ("Democrats Are on Defensive In Maryland Senate Race") on down.

Hernandez opens: "National Republicans, who face an uphill battle in their efforts to capture the open United States Senate seat in heavily Democratic Maryland next year, are trying to exploit potential legal problems that Democrats are now suddenly facing in that race. The Republicans are seizing on a disclosure that two researchers at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee improperly obtained the credit report of Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, a Republican who is considering a bid for the Senate seat. In recent days, Republicans have sought to put Democrats on the defensive, saying the incident underscores just how concerned the opposition is to the prospect of a Steele candidacy."

Riding a wave of lawsuits against businesses, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer is running for governor of New York in 2006 , and the New York Times Sunday Magazine delivers a one-sided story in his favor ("Spitzerism -- Is A Prosecutor's Zeal What The Democrats Need?") by Noam Scheiber, a senior editor at the liberal New Republic magazine.

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 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."