Clay Waters was director of Times Watch, a former project of the Media Research Center.
Latest from Clay Waters
Reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg buttered up another influential Democrat, House Oversight Committee chairman, Rep. Elijah Cummings. Rep. Cummings, who is aggressively, some would say recklessly, going after the Trump administration and threatening the president with impeachment, was hailed in Thursday’s New York Times: “Evenhanded Chairman Changes His Tone as the President Tests His Patience.” The paper also showed a sudden respect for Christianity, at least when it is practiced by a Democrat.
After it emerged that the Trump Administration is considering labeling the terrorist-linked Muslim Brotherhood as terrorists, several strange defenses of the group appeared in the New York Times. The Muslim Brotherhood has already been banned by Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Tuesday’s Times tried to poison its portrayal of Trump Administration foreign policy by again linking it to international autocrats, a common theme in the paper, “Pushed by Autocrats, Trump Pursues Hard Line on Muslim Brotherhood.” (How subtle.)
On the front page of Monday’s New York Times, political reporters Astead Herndon and Lisa Lerer were given room to celebrate Democratic female candidates under the pseudo-clever headline: “Women Who Won Are Asked if They Can Win.” (Why are they trailing so badly in the polls then?) The text box on the jump page: “The misogyny Clinton faced in 2016 resurfaces for 2020.” (So that’s why they’re trailing so badly: Misogyny.) Rather than question her, Herndon and Lerer set the table for Gillibrand to make her case: "Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York had a request: Before anyone mocked her claim that she was the Democratic presidential candidate best positioned to take on President Trump, at least listen to the evidence."
On the front page of Sunday’s edition, New York Times reporter Shane Goldmacher propped up leading Democratic candidate Joe Biden as an old-fashioned guy who might be too bipartisan and nice to fit the angry anti-Trump Democratic mood: “Democrats Split Over Targeting Trump or Party.” But is Biden really a nice-guy “moderate”? The evidence, suppressed by Goldmacher suggests Biden is just an old-fashioned Democratic attack dog, a role he played to perfection a Obama’s running mate.
New York Times reporter John Eligon, after years of criticizing police in the aftermath of racially charged shootings, is suddenly concerned about police being unfairly treated. He led off Saturday’s National section page with “Black Officer, White Victim and Rare Murder Conviction,” on the verdict of third-degree murder a Minneapolis jury returned against Mohamed Noor, a former police officer and Somali-American Muslim, in the shooting of Justine Ruszczyk. The text box: “Uncomfortable questions about the racial dynamics of a deadly shooting.” A slanted “questioning” process, helped along by Eligon leaving out Noor’s discredited defense of his decision to fire on Justine Ruszczyk.
The New York Times and the rest of the media were miffed by Attorney General William Barr daring to call spying by its proper name during his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The media’s amusing aversion to the word “spy” was obvious on the front page of Friday’s Times, which came up with this wonderful euphemism: “F.B.I. Sent Cloaked Investigator To Question Trump Aide in 2016."
Need any more evidence the New York Times has given up appealing to Middle America and is concentrating on satisfying its left-wing anti-Trump rump? Behold Wednesday’s Food section, ominously pitched as “A collaboration with the New York Times climate desk” and left a bitter ideological taste. The appropriately green front cover introduced readers to a hectoring litany of questions: “Does what I eat affect climate change?” “Should humans stop eating meat altogether?”
New York Times reporter Lisa Friedman performed if not quite a victory lap, then a victory jog, while reporting that some Republicans in Congress are seeing the light and voicing concern about climate change albeit for cynical political reasons: “In Shift for Republicans, Some Point to Climate When Proposing Policy.” Friedman, the former editor of ClimateWire, took the activist mindset throughout, taking on the mantle of former reporter-activist Justin Gillis.
Irin Carmon, a former Washington Post contributor and fierce abortion supporter, found a novel angle from which to attack the urprise hit pro-life movie Unplanned, “A Hit Anti-Abortion Film Is Inspiring Real-World Harassment.” No, it isn’t -- and if it is, Carmon failed to present any evidence to support that headline under her story for New York magazine’s “Cut." Carmon relied on other left-wing journalists to make her case and to assure readers Johnson was lying
An anti-Semitic cartoon in the International edition of the New York Times depicted Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a guide dog with a big nose and Star of David around his neck, leading a corpulent, equally large-nosed President Trump wearing a yarmulke. the cartoon does not mark the paper’s first foray into anti-Israel tropes. After its first response flopped, the Times issued a somewhat stronger statement, saying it was “deeply sorry” for publishing the cartoon. But the stakes were raised on Monday when the Times own columnist Bret Stephens criticized the paper: “A Despicable Cartoon in The Times.”
Perhaps sore about the unflattering attention he received from his previous month’s column, suggesting that white rural Americans were beyond help, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has a follow up arguing that it’s actually conservatives who hate the heartland, arguing that "disparaging views about middle America are widespread among right-wing intellectuals and, more discreetly, right-wing politicians."
The New York Times is still mocked in media bias circles for a notorious headline from 1997 lamenting tougher sentencing guidelines. The article's now-notorious headline: "Crime Rates are Falling, but Prisons Keep on Filling.” But the paper's hand-wringing liberal confusion over the apparent paradox has a straightforward explanation: Crime was down at least partially because more criminals were locked in prison. The same misguided lament still flickers in occasional headlines, a subliminal ghost, as different liberal editorial writers and reporters rediscover the same seemingly horrifying statistic. The latest entry came on Friday: “Crime is Down. U.S. Incarceration Rates? Barely.”
New York Times reporter John Eligon filed an aggrieved defense (disguised as a news story) of Rep. Ilhan Omar from Kansas City, who’s been widely accused of anti-Semitism: “American Muslims View Omar’s Controversies, and the Fallout, With Unease.” The online headline was even more slanted: “Unchecked ‘Hate’ Toward Rep. Ilhan Omar Has American Muslims Shuddering.” Eligon previously went soft on the racist, sexist Black Israelites, after the rabble-rousers made it into the news cycle after the verbal assaults on school teens during the infamous Lincoln Memorial saga. Eligon piece on Omar was along the same rough lines of defending the indefensible:
Former senator and vice president Joe Biden is officially running for president, and once again went to Anita Hill in its front-page story Friday, “Biden’s ‘Regret’ For Hill’s Pain Fails to Soothe.” Hill is seen by the press as a victim of both Clarence Thomas and the all-white, all-male Senate Judiciary Committee. She made regular appearances in the paper during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, and been given a fresh life with Biden’s presidential announcement: "....Ms. Hill says the call from Mr. Biden left her feeling deeply unsatisfied."
As Democrats make hay out of the potential “obstruction of justice” details in the Mueller report and ponder impeachment proceedings, the New York Times is taking a much more enthusiastic line on impeaching a president than it did the last time it was done, to Democrat Bill Clinton, in 1999. Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Nicholas Fandos reported on Thursday’s front page under a headline suggesting Democrats would only be upholding their sacred duty by impeaching Trump: “Impeachment Divides a Party Balancing Duty With Danger.”
The New York Times’ hostile coverage of the annual White House Easter Egg Roll proved the paper wouldn’t dare give the Trump administration an easy boost with the non-offensive ritual, the way it did during the Obama administration. The headline in Tuesday’s edition was the giveaway: “Easter Eggs Come With a Side of Politics.” The online headline: “At a White House Tradition, Politics Color Everything but the Easter Eggs."
New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg went way out on the post-Mueller report ledge for everyone to see, on the front of the paper’s Sunday Review, telling Democrats to get on with it and send Trump to prison: "I’ll admit to having watched this over and over again; it’s one of the most satisfying bits of wish fulfillment I’ve ever seen. Wish fulfillment is all it was, though. It’s a national disgrace that Trump sleeps in the White House instead of a federal prison cell..."
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof spent yet another Easter Sunday trying to see just how little one can believe of Christianity’s anchoring ideas, and still consider oneself a Christian. Kristof refers to these regular interviews with theological figures as “my occasional series of conversations about Christianity.” All have the same theme -- seeing if one can get away with calling oneself a Christian if you don’t actually buy that whole virgin birth and Resurrection mythology. Fortunately for him that this year’s interviewee was on Kristof’s wavelength.
The photo dominated the front of the New York Times Styles section over the title “The Fashionista.” Who is this new impresario taking over the fashion world? The next line: “Fidel Castro received rock star treatment and left an indelible mark on fashion when he visited New York in 1959.” Yes, Fidel Castro, Communist dictator and fashion plate, "highly educated" and comparable to Frank Sinatra and James Dean. This nauseating propaganda as fashion piece was penned by Tony Perrottet, who with this article has successfully infiltrated another seemingly unlikely Times section with Castro propaganda.
The New York Times Friday edition was chock-full of post-Mueller report coverage emphasizing President Trump’s attempts to hinder an investigation into what amounted to no underlying crime, while glossing over his vindication from criminal charges and the discrediting of the media's “collusion” narrative of the last two years. Special counsel Robert Mueller found no conspiracy by the Trump campaign to cooperate with Russian agents and Mueller did not cite the president for obstruction of justice. So the paper changed the subject to Bill Barr's "Nixonian" spin and Democrats pushing impeachment.