Clay Waters was director of Times Watch, a former project of the Media Research Center.
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New York Times’ Susan Chira, a “senior correspondent and editor on gender issues,” interviewed Anita Hill for some reason for Friday’s paper, “Hill Reflects: ‘Clearly the Tide Has Not Turned.’” Hill is seen by the press as a victim of both Clarence Thomas and the all-white, all-male Senate Judiciary Committee who brutally questioned her and has achieved secular sainthood, so there are never any inconvenient questions. Interviewing and citing Hill in the aftermath of sexual allegations against Republicans is a regular thing at the paper now. This one is keyed to the accusations hurled against now-Judge Brett Kavanaugh, whom the paper promises “we’re still investigating.”
New York Times reporter Astead Herndon had an unwelcome surprise for Times readers on the front of Friday’s paper -- a bit of actual scrutiny of Democratic 2020 presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren, based on her clumsy handling of a DNA test meant to prove she had Native American heritage: “Warren Facing Cloud of Anger Over DNA Test.” The story got some pushback within the mainstream liberal media -- no surprise -- but from an unlikely source: the paper’s own former opinion page editor Andrew Rosenthal (recently in the news for his 1992 fake news attack on George H.W. Bush over a supermarket checkout scanner).
The New York Times' lead story Thursday proved that its newish alarmist environmental reporter Kendra Pierre-Louis is a worthy successor to the paper’s previous alarmist environmental reporter, Justin Gillis, in “Emissions Surge, Hastening Perils Across The Globe – 2 New Warming Studies – Rising Greenhouse Gases Likened to ‘Speeding Freight Train.’” The lead sentence was even more histrionic than the left-wing Huffington Post’s take, which treated the carbon report as bad news but didn’t engage in wild extrapolation the way Pierre-Louis and her headline writer did.
New York Times reporter Peter Baker marked the ceremony for former President George H. W. Bush on the front of Thursday’s edition, but his main focus was on attacking one of the attendants: President Trump, through biased interpretation of body language and some light mind-reading. At a moment that promised bipartisan respect, the Times wants to deepen the very divisions it pretends to deplore. Baker condescended: "[Historian John Meacham] also essentially explained Mr. Bush’s thousand-lights phrase to Mr. Trump."
The New York Times vastly disparate treatment of Orthodox Jewish schools, or yeshivas, versus Islamic ones came into focus in Tuesday’s edition. The online headline was harsh: “Do Children Get a Subpar Education in Yeshivas? New York Says It Will Finally Find Out.” Reporter Eliza Shapiro was damning in her critique of the Jewish private schools for not teaching secular subjects. But the paper's past treatment of Islamic schools that teach only the Koran is far different, waving way concerns about lack of secular education. In 2006 the paper ran a puff piece on a Muslim center in Queens, under a jaunty headline, “Memorizing the Way to Heaven, Verse by Verse.”
New York Times reporter Peter Baker tastelessly marked the beginning of the four-day commemoration of the life of former President George H.W. Bush by....whining about the “dog whistle” racist Willie Horton ads from Bush’s successful 1988 campaign against Democrat Michael Dukakis. For 30 years, media conventional wisdom has been appalled at the supposedly racist campaign ads from the Bush camp criticizing the irresponsibly lax prison program of Massachusetts, which featured the story of Willie Horton, a convicted murderer who raped and killed a woman in Maryland while on a weekend furlough.
New York Times media reporter Jim Rutenberg branches off into global warming alarmism (while still mocking conservatives) with an oddity about a freelance environmentalist going viral with emotional videos of dead dolphins on the beach in Naples, Fla. that she blames on global warming: “Filling a TV News Gap With Just an iPhone.” The online headline: “News Networks Fall Short on Climate Story as Dolphins Die on the Beach.” Note how the Times steals a base, equating climate to the dead dolphins as if there is a clear, proven linkage (there isn’t).
Hypersensitive to any sign of Republican weakness, real or exaggerated, the New York Times used front-page space Monday to push political reporter Jonathan Martin’s “House G.O.P. Brushes Off Losses, Leaving Some Members Baffled.” The Democrats certainly had a good election in the 2018 midterms, gaining around 41 House seats (but losing two in the Senate) against a Republican president. But Republicans had an even better one in the 2010 midterms, gaining 63 House seats, and gaining six in the Senate against Democratic president Barack Obama. Between the losing Democrats in 2010 and the losing Republicans in 2018, guess which losing party the Times found to be more in mortal danger?
Saturday’s New York Times featured unhidden, extraneous hostility toward the president’s reading habits, in a snarky story more fitting to Sunday Styles or the opinion section then the news section. In “Books Trump Can Praise Without Reading a Word,” Katie Rogers quickly termed pro-Trump books from the likes of Jeanine Pirro and Gregg Jarrett to be “conspiracy theory.” It marks a 180 degree tilt from how the paper regularly praised President Barack Obama for... reading.
The New York Times was shocked, shocked, to find “a startling breach of decorum and of the norms” by a member of President Trump’s cabinet. Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Coral Davenport covered a heated social media spat between far-left Congressman Raul Grijalva and Ryan Zinke, Trump’s Secretary of the Interior: “Zinke’s Insults At Lawmaker Rattle Capitol.” It took chutzpah on the paper’s part to complain about Zinke’s insulting tweet about Rep. Grijalva's drinking, given the paper’s support of Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee smearing Brett Kavanaugh on drinking during his confirmation hearings a couple of months ago.
New York Times reporter Adam Nagourney’s front-page obituary for President George H.W. Bush, who passed away Friday night at his Houston home at age 94, was in the main a respectful effort. But it was marred by the inclusion of a liberal media legend that won’t die: The myth of Bush touring the floor of a grocery store trade show in February 1992 during his re-election campaign, and supposedly staring in baffled wonderment at a conventional supermarket price scanner. It was a phony anecdote forwarded by reporter Andrew Rosenthal (who wasn’t even there) to paint the first Bush as an out-of-touch patrician.
The New York Times managed an impressive feat, covering -- online only -- the latest controversy involving anti-Trump porn lawyer Michael Avenatti – without making a single mention of Brett Kavanaugh, whose Supreme Court nomination Avenatti tried to bring down by pushing forward the absolutely bizarre accusations of Julie Swetnick. Perhaps that's because the paper's reporters have basically promised a hit-piece book on the new Justice and want to preserve the integrity of its anti-Kavanaugh crusade?
News of interest solely to dead-end Judge (now Justice) Brett Kavanaugh haters appeared on page two of Wednesday’s New York Times under the headline, “We’re Still Investigating Kavanaugh,” by Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, who covered the Kavanaugh controversy. The online headline was more defensive: “Why We’re Writing a Book About Justice Brett Kavanaugh.” The cash-in promises to be a another anti-conservative Justice hit piece with a Times angle, like Strange Justice, cowritten by then-Wall Street Journal reporters Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson (who would later spend three years as the Times’ executive editor).
Mississippi Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith won a run-off election against Democrat Mike Espy, an African-American who served as agriculture secretary during the Clinton administration. But both before and after the Republican victory, the paper dwelled on racial wounds that the sitting senator had apparently reopened during her campaign. A sports story made the ridiculous claim that Hyde-Smith was "endorsing public hangings," showing "support for the Confederacy," and "espousing voter suppression."
There was some intense flattering of Obama acolytes in the lead National section story of Monday’s New York Times: “Obama Alumni Add Heft to the House’s Freshman Class – Seasoned Policymakers, Well Versed in the Ways Of Washington, Heed the Call to Service.” In case the headline wasn’t fawning enough, the first paragraph: "Their previous jobs have taken them to the Oval Office, the Situation Room and the Senate floor. One met with a Saudi king and plotted strategy to fight the Islamic State. Another cracked down on human rights abuses in North Korea. Their Rolodexes are flush with former cabinet members and current Pentagon officials who are happy to take their calls."
New York Times writer Amanda Hess issued surprise criticism of the media’s coverage of Bill Clinton’s sex scandals in her review of The Clinton Affair, A&E’s six-part mini-series on Bill Clinton’s scandal over White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Hess argued that the women who accused the former president of sexual harassment were unjustly mocked and shunned by the mainstream press: “Paula Jones Re-emerges In New Light – A time to listen to the women of the Bill Clinton scandals.” It’s sound advice from Hess, but 20 years too late for the partisan New York Times, which dismissed Juanita Broaddrick’s credible allegations of rape against Clinton as “toxic waste.
After then-candidate Donald Trump issued an off-the-cup hypothetical about not respecting the election results, the New York Times hysterically compared him to a dictator. So it’s striking how accepting the Times is of liberal Democrats who actually do fail to accept the disappointing results elections. On the front page of Monday’s New York Times, political reporters Glenn Thrush and Jeremy Peters fixed the blame solely on Republicans and "conservative-dominated legislatures...stoking paranoia over stolen elections."
It was make-fun-of-the-conservative day in Sunday’s New York Times, where “digital editor” Palko Karasz filed a strange piece half-filled with insults culled from a Twitter “hashtag” mocking a pro-Brexit British conservative politician, Jacob Rees-Mogg: “Why Twitter Is Cursing A British Conservative Who’s Not Named May.” (That would be embattled Prime Minister Theresa May.) The online version lovingly reprinted no less than 10 of the mean tweets. But why?
The New York Times sank into an ugly ethnic and religious controversy in its Sunday Styles front-page story on American Jewish reaction to the politically poweful couple of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, a take that many found offensive: “But Are They Good for the Jews?” That question is a traditional one in the Jewish community, if not a cliché, but underlined the offensiveness of the article, which pondered if this Jewish couple should be anathema to the larger Jewish community.
The House Ethics Committee reprimanded Democrat Rep. Ruben Kihuen, accused of sexual harassment, and Republican Rep. Mark Meadows for his handling of sexual harassment by an aide. The resulting coverage from the New York Times and CNN was a classic example of the double standards the media applies to Democratic and Republican scandals.