Clay Waters was director of Times Watch, a former project of the Media Research Center.
Latest from Clay Waters
Amy Chozick, who covered the Hillary Clinton campaign for the New York Times, sports sackcloth and ashes for the sin of actually reporting on publicly available emails from the Clinton campaign -- while ignoring all the dirty details in the emails themselves: "But it wasn’t a scoop. It was more like a bank heist....I didn’t push to hold off on publishing them until we could have a less harried discussion. I didn’t raise the possibility that we’d become puppets in Vladimir Putin’s master plan."
GQ magazine attracted controversy with a pseudo-irreverent, provocative list in its May issue, "21 Books You Don't Have to Read Before You Die." The overarching tone is an ideology-first assault against the dreaded oeuvre of Dead (Racist/Sexist) White Males, with GQ gleefully ripping the reputation of books unjustly bolstered in the Western canon by white privilege, as a review of the piece in Entertainment Weekly made clear. GQ's introduction set the juvenile, hectoring tone: "Some are racist and some are sexist, but most are just really, really boring..."
Liberal movie critic Jeannette Catsoulis finally found an "earnest" political message movie she didn’t like -- one with a free-market libertarian bent that happens to match up with the Times’ outlier status as an editorial supporter of the Kelo decision (and, a beneficiary of similar eminent domain abuse). The enraging true story pit homeowner Susette Kelo against the town of New London, Conn., which condemned her private property in order to give it to another private owner, Pfizer, in the name of an economic development plan that failed. Yet Catsoulis turned up her nose at Kelo's plight and whined that such abuse of eminent domain may be "defensible" after all.
Thursday’s New York Times featured some unseemly gushing over Democratic Judge Kimba Wood, whose decision outed Fox News host Sea Hannity as a client of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, under a headline showcasing extraneous praise for Wood: “On Bench for Cohen Case: ‘The Judicial Equivalent of Teddy Roosevelt." Reporters Alan Feuer and Benjamin Weiser opened by irresponsibly lumping in the conspiracist Alex Jones with responsible conservative outlets:
New York Times media reporters Michael Grynbaum and John Koblin doubled down on hypocritical double standards on disclosure, criticizing Fox News host and commentator Sean Hannity for his undisclosed client relationship with Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, while letting NBC News host Chuck Todd throw stones at Hannity from his crystal perch, in “No Disclosure, but No Punishment, as Hannity Gets ‘Full Support’ From Fox.” The online headline was snarkier: “No Disclosure? No Problem. Sean Hannity Gets a Pass at Fox News.”
The front of the National section of Tuesday’s New York Times featured Mitch Smith in Wichita at the trial of three militia members, accused of planning to bomb an apartment complex occupied by Somali immigrants in, “Terror Plot or Idle Talk? Kansas Trial Hinges on the Answer -- 3 Militia Members Talked of Killing Somali Refugees.” The Times takes at face value a dubious "study" from a hard-left ethnic identity group, while skipping the group’s virulent stance on Trump.
For the second week in a row, The New York Times Sunday Review featured Frank Bruni, former White House reporter, once again using the slot to cheerlead for Democrats to take over Texas in the November elections: “Will Democrats Win the House? Ask Texas.” The text box: “The victory-starved party smells ‘blood in the water.’” The Times has long been obsessed with turning Texas blue for years, at any level of politics, state or national. Bruni picked up that torch and ran with it, giddily hopeful that this year it will finally happen.
The New York Times found yet another angle from which to attack the Republicans as the 2018 elections loom. Friday’s lead National story concerned various teachers strikes in “red states,” “Teacher Walkouts Threaten Republicans’ Grip on Red States – Years of Budget Cuts Push Education Into Political Fray.”
The release of former FBI director James Comey’s book coaxed Michiko Kakutani, the New York Times’s former, famously influential chief book critic out of retirement and, unusually, into the news pages of Friday’s edition: “James Comey Has a Story to Tell. It’s Very Persuasive.” Kakutani was given over 2,000 words and a full news page to offer praise for A Higher Loyalty -- Truth, Lies, And Leadership, though the book evidently has no bombshell news to offer. While other outlets questioned Comey's personal insults of Trump, the only criticism Kakutani managed was about the damage Comey purportedly did to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
In Friday’s New York Times, Gardiner Harris and Eileen Sullivan went on the attack against Mike Pompeo, the current CIA Director and President Trump’s nominee to become Secretary of State with the title “Trading Snarl for Smile, Pompeo Makes Case to Lead State Department.”
More unseemly eagerness in Thursday’s New York Times to use the tragic murders in Parkland to help Democrats gain Congress, while weakening constitutional rights. Reporter Alan Blinder went to Helena, Montana searching out “red state” voters willing to reject the “iron rule” of supporting the National Rifle Association, which is "hard line," shows "belligerence," and demands "lock-step loyalty."
The New York Times' Erica Goode latched on to a scientific smear job involving global warming and polar bears, under the online headline, “Climate Change Denialists Say Polar Bears Are Fine. Scientists Are Pushing Back.” The text box was bluntly biased even for the Times: “Researchers chastised a Canadian zoologist’s blog for its falsehoods.”
Stirring the political controversy in the Vatican, New York Times Rome bureau chief Jason Horowitz once again gleefully pitted Pope Francis against “ultraconservative” Catholics in Tuesday’s “Pope Puts Caring for Migrants and Opposing Abortion on Equal Footing.” Horowitz used the Pope's newest apostolic exhortation to sharpen the conflict, crediting Francis with "citing vicious examples of defamation in some Catholic outlets" by Church conservatives.
The New York Times takes cartoons very seriously, criticizing the long-running Fox comedy The Simpsons for its humorous stereotyping of Indian convenience-store owner Apu. Sopan Deb has the latest on the gripping saga of a humorless comedian who made a documentary, “The Problem With Apu,” attacking The Simpsons for its purportedly racist stereotyping. Never mind that the Simpsons is full of stereotypes of all kinds -- and is a cartoon.
The mainstream media’s contempt for “Trump’s favorite network” Fox News, and especially the morning show Fox & Friends, continues apace. A particularly virulent and condescending example is Charles Blow’s Monday column for the New York Times, “Horror of Being Governed by ‘Fox & Friends.’” Blow spewed: "America is being governed by the dimmest of wits on the most unscrupulous of networks. The very thought of it is horror-inducing."
In Sunday’s New York Times, Jerusalem bureau chief David Halbfinger managed both to minimize the existential threat Israel faces in the region, and the death cult of the anti-Israel terror group Hamas (while repeating Hamas talking points as fact) in “Though Deadly, a Protest Is Hailed as a Big Step for Gazans.”
New York Times columnist Frank Bruni went to Houston to personally deliver an embarrassing fanboy letter to the latest Democratic hope against the loathed conservative Sen. Ted Cruz, in “Watch Out, Ted Cruz. Beto Is Coming” in the Sunday Review. The text box: “The Senate race in Texas just might be the happiest political fable ever.”
New York Times religion reporter Laurie Goodstein forwarded “alarming” complaints from former Obama administration staffers and Islamic groups about Mike Pompeo, the current CIA director who is President Trump’s choice to become the new secretary of state, and John Bolton, Trump’s pick for national security advisor: “Alarms Raised On Nominee’s Views on Islam.” Goodstein even dredged up accusations of "modern-day McCarthyism."
Liberal media hope springs eternal that House Speaker Paul Ryan will lose his southeastern Wisconsin congressional seat, judging by the headline over Sheryl Gay Stolberg’s story in Thursday’s New York Times, “Can Ryan Be Defeated? Maybe Not, but His Race Is ‘a Circus.’” It’s part of a drumbeat of Times stories and analytics deployed to fire up Democrats and/or discourage Republicans as the November congressional elections approach. In this case, the savior is Randy Bryce, labor activist and newly mined Democratic man of the people.
The New York Times shamelessly shoehorned gun control into Martin Luther King’s civil rights legacy by way of Richard Oppel Jr.’s tilted history lesson of the 1960s on Wednesday, “Killing Led, at Last, To Gun Restrictions,” part of the series “King’s Legacy: A Fight for Social Change.” Oppel lamented, in the paper’s alleged news section, that if only America had only been wise enough to pass severe gun restrictions generations ago we wouldn’t have a violence problem today.