Clay Waters was director of Times Watch, a former project of the Media Research Center.
Latest from Clay Waters
An editorial in Thursday’s New York Times made hay of a partisan Democratic report concerning alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election: “A Grave Warning on Russian Meddling.” The text box: “Senate Democrats issue the most comprehensive public analysis thus far of Moscow’s war on the West.”
The New York Times may be at its most liberal on the immigration issue, and when President Trump seemed to warm to the idea of a path to citizenship for some illegals, reporters abruptly warmed to him, at least compared to the “hard-line anti-immigration activists” in his party. The lead story by Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Sheryl Gay Stolberg, “Trump Receptive To Working Out Citizenship Path," tempted Trump with chances of political victory, and provided the paper's usual “undocumented” euphemism for illegal immigrants.
Stretching to find racism in every corner of the American psyche, the New York Times Sunday Review found nationalism and white supremacy in finding Asians to be hard-working and attractive, as well as in the new Museum of the Bible in D.C. Audrea Lim’s “The Alt-Right’s Asian Fetish – How the ‘model minority’ myth blends with racist ideology. Also featured was Katherine Stewart's "The Museum of the Bible Is a Safe Space for Christian Nationalists," a smear written by the author of “The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children.”
The Boston Globe indulged in some early nostalgia for President Obama on the front of Sunday’s edition: “Gone But Still Growing On Us.” The online headline to Astead Herndon’s story: “Trump is making Obama great again.” Herndon used strict methodology to make his case for Obama's popularity: "On Twitter, Obama’s growth in popularity can be quantified. When he wished the country a Merry Christmas in his last year as president, the message was retweeted about 100,000 times." This is Sunday front-page news?
The front of the New York Times Sunday Travel page featured some pretty blatant bias by omission, courtesy of contributor Tony Perrottet, on the late Cuban dictators Fidel Castro -- a whitewashing of Communist history well-suited to the paper’s Red Century series of articles that left out the brutal history of Soviet and Chinese communism. The headline over the story, which covered three-quarters of the front of the Travel section: “A Cuban Island That Has Played Both Paradise and Prison.” The subhead: “The Isle of Youth -- which has been both a Communist Utopian getaway and home to a brutal prison that housed Castro for a time -- is a world apart, even by Cuban standards.”
New York Times art critics Holland Cotter and Roberta Smith reacted with horror, and socialist tropes, to news that the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan was making its “suggested fee” of $25 mandatory for non-New Yorkers: “The Museum Should Be Open to All.”
More proof that the New York Times’ political bias extends into death. The latest hostile treatment of a figure who ran afoul of the liberal line on social issues appeared Thursday, in an obituary of the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormon church). Thomas Monson received less sympathetic treatment than did ruthless longtime Communist dictator, Fidel Castro.
As the protests in cities and towns across Iran enter their sixth day, the New York Times has caught a lot of flak in the wake of its passive, often misleading initial coverage of the political uprising, as people rebel against the oppressive state, and shout slogans blaming the government for focusing on Hezbollah and Palestine while ignoring issues at home. The paper’s Tehran-based reporter Thomas Erdbrink, who has a history of excuse-making for the regime, got off to an awful start with “Protests in Iran Over Economic Woes Spread, Including to the Capital.” It led with this: "Protests over the Iranian government’s handling of the economy spread to several cities on Friday, including Tehran, in what appeared to be a sign of unrest."
Sunday’s New York Times featured the latest attack by reporter Nicholas Fandos on the GOP for daring to criticize special counsel Robert Mueller and his increasingly partisan-looking investigation fo Donald Trump: “Attacks on Mueller and F.B.I. Open a Rift in the Party of Law and Order.” The text box: “Worry that a drive by Trump loyalists could stain the G.O.P.” Fandos has proven himself a frantic spinner for the Democrats and Mueller while disdaining Republicans in Congress, and again does yeoman’s work trying to position the party of the Clintons and Obama as the new “law and order” party.
Entertainment Weekly’s year-end best of double issue (dated December 29, 2017 – January 5, 2018) came with its standard anti-Trump and pro-Obama political slant scattered throughout the publication, including this gem of a headline: “Jimmy Kimmel: In Trying Times, The Late-Night Jester Became A Surprising – And Compelling – Voice Of Reason.”
Boy, do reporters miss Obama. New York Times political reporter Matt Flegenheimer's “The Year the Traditional News Cycle Accelerated to Trump Speed” basically blamed Trump for 2017 in total. Flegenheimer has established a reporting pattern of loathing Republicans like Sen.Ted Cruz while basically worshipping liberal Democratic presidential hopefuls. He began his Saturday story with ill-concealed regret that the former president was no longer in the White House: "Barack Obama was president earlier this year. Really, eyewitness accounts from the period confirm this. It lasted nearly three weeks, it seems...."
Newsweek, circling the drain of journalistic credibility, has resorted to immature rehashes of liberal social media clickbait, to bizarrely accuse President Trump daughter Ivanka of sending a “dogwhistle” signal to racist movements. The headline suggests that the Trump family is responsible for the ideological content of flags on boats sailing near them while on vacation. “Oops! Ivanka Trump Vacation Photo Has Confederate Flag on Boat Behind Jared Kushner."
New York Times reporter Ceylan Yeginsu filed breaking news from London: A three-month old interview with a former president! Prince Harry interviewed Barack Obama in Toronto in September, and the interview aired on BBC’s Radio 4: “A Prince and a President: BBC’s Obama Interview.” The online headline was cornier: “When Harry Met Barry: The BBC Obama Interview.”
Merry Christmas, Nazi! Newsweek keeps topping itself with discreditable anti-Trump “news” stories, the latest the holiday-themed “How Trump and the Nazis Stole Christmas To Promote White Nationalism” by Cristina Maza, filed on Christmas Eve. That headline kind of says it all, but if you want the full lunacy, keep reading:
At least one part of Amanda Hess’s job at the New York Times is making whites feel guilty about sharing black-themed “memes” (humorous images or clips and text combinations) on the internet -- or as she uncompromisingly terms them, “Digital Blackface.” The hypersensitive Hess was again seeing racism in other normal things in her introduction to the paper’s special year-end section on Sunday, “The Year in Pictures.”
How do you get the liberals at the New York Times to embrace America’s internal surveillance agencies? Get President Trump and Republicans to criticize them. Saturday’s off-lead story by Adam Goldman and Maggie Haberman, “Hurdle Facing F.B.I. Chief? The President – Politics hard to Avoid as Trump Weighs In.” The jump-page headline: “F.B.I. Director Wants To Move Agency Ahead, But Trump is in the Way.” The text box: “Constant criticisms have damaged morale at the bureau.” That’s pretty bold, since it’s pretty much the paper’s raison d’etre to demoralize U.S. intelligence agencies by printing leaked classified documents, from the Pentagon Papers to the exposure of a legal terrorist-fighting banking surveillance program, SWIFT, to WikiLeaks. Yet the Times was undaunted in blaming Republicans for somehow demoralizing the powerful federal law and security agency.
The New York Times Roger Cohen composed an inspired masterpiece of anti-Trump oratorical obloquy: “Wondering, If This Is America.” Cohen, an international columnist for the paper born in London, mustered his high indignation not only of President Trump (aka “Mussolini’s understudy”) but of America itself. Cohen sold his Saturday edition article on Twitter as “Turkmenistan-on-the-Potomac: If This Is America.”
The Republican tax plan may have passed Congress and been signed by President Trump, but that’s not stopping the New York Times from slamming it as a fairy tale that will doom the GOP in the 2018 congressional elections. On the front of Thursday’s Times, Patricia Cohen insisted that President Trump’s “Rosy Forecast for Economy Defies Evidence.” Friday’s front page featured reporter Jonathan Martin, who rarely has an encouraging word for Republicans, staying true to form: “For G.O.P., Tax Law Is a Salve, But Hardly a Cure-All for 2018.” And there was a woeful dispatch from a Maryland town built on socialism, er “egalitarian pillars”: “Egalitarian Town Worries About What’s Next."
Anita Hill to Hollywood’s rescue? That was the theme on the front of Thursday’s Arts page. Cara Buckley’s Hollywood column hailed Clarence Thomas’s accuser as a movie-industry savior in “Can She Fix The Sexual Misconduct Problem?” Meanwhile, Buckley conveniently ignores the fact that the public backed Thomas’s interpretation of events, not Hill’s, and that Hill lost her passion for sexual harassment justice when it was President Bill Clinton under fire (Clinton’s not even mentioned here).
The Republicans are doomed in the New York Times, once again. In Tuesday's edition, Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns gathered to giddily shovel the dirt over the GOP’s hopes in the 2018 congressional elections under the harshly titled: “House Control Is at Stake as G.O.P. Suburbs Recoil at President.” The text box: “A mounting backlash could turn some red-hued districts blue in 2018.”