Clay Waters was director of Times Watch, a former project of the Media Research Center.
Latest from Clay Waters
When Donald Trump mentioned Nazi Germany in reference to a lurid document floating around U.S. intelligence agencies, the New York Times was shocked and appalled -- and deeply hypocritical, given the eagerness of the paper's reporters, editors, and columnists to make those same comparisons against Donald Trump.
The front page of the New York Times on Tuesday featured a hit-job against Betsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, by reporter Noam Scheiber, “Trump Education Pick Plays Hardball With Her Wealth.” Scheiber, formerly of the left-wing New Republic magazine, is a passionate fan of a $15 minimum wage, and his left-wing leanings are evident in this long hostile profile of DeVos, which included slams at the left’s favorite villains, activist libertarian businessmen David and Charles Koch.The ideological article, full of both personal insults and ideological assumptions, would not have been out of place at The New Republic, or even the hard-left The Nation magazine
The latest conversation from the joyless liberal New York Times movie critics A. O. Scott and Manohla Dargis tacked race and class. The online headline was provocative to the point of offensiveness: “Watching While White: How Movies Tackled Race and Class in 2016.” Dargis, the more radical of the two, proclaimed herself pleased that Hollywood isn’t telling quiet as many lies about American greatness and white superiority, and asserted that "Movie critics, who are largely white and male (see the numbers!), seem stubbornly reluctant to engage with race, at least as it pertains to whiteness."
Would an Attorney General Jeff Sessions wreck civil rights? Several newspapers seem to think so, including Monday’s New York Times, which tried to poison the well against him as his confirmation looms. The long front-page profile of Sen. Sessions of Alabama, Donald Trump’s pick for attorney general, hid its hostility and labeling slant under the benign headline, “Bonding by Bucking the Establishment.”
The front page of the Sunday Review was graced with a half-page photo illustration of first lady Michelle Obama under a story by Jodi Kantor, “Michelle Obama’s Turn.” Kantor is author of “The Obamas: The Partnership Behind a Historic Presidency,” which didn’t exactly speak truth to power. In her latest Kantor, who is an actual reporter for the Times, portrayed president-elect Donald Trump as an interloping brute come to wreck the first lady’s house.
Journalist Glenn Thrush, who recently took his Democratic partisanship from Politico to the New York Times, filed “Trump Finds That Attack-Dog Strategy Has Its Limits” for Saturday’s New York edition. The news media was not at all happy with Donald Trump Twitter mockery of liberal Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer, and Thrush piled on Trump. Thrush is a self-described “hack” for the failed Clinton campaign, and also has a history of sensitivity to insults to Democrats -- don’t dare call (failed) Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis “abortion Barbie”! That explains the self-satisfied tone here, lecturing Trump on how to respond to accusations of Russian meddling and how to treat his Democratic opponents.
The New York Times continued its embarrassing idolization of departing first lady Michelle Obama, but this time without even the excuse of arts page placement: White House reporter Julie Hirschfeld Davis gushed over the first lady's last public remarks in Saturday's “In Emotional Finale, First Lady Says, ‘I Hope I’ve Made You Proud."
New York Times critic Dwight Garner wrote an embarrassingly florid tribute to first lady Michelle Obama, in the guise of a book review, on the front of Friday’s Arts section: “Eyes on a First Lady Unlike Any Other.” Garner was reviewing the work of 16 equally smitten liberals under “The Meaning of Michelle: 16 Writers on the Iconic First Lady and How Her Journey Inspires Out Own. He began by posing the question on everyone's lips: "Who will Americans miss more, Barack or Michelle Obama?"
After several months of New York Times angst over the supposed racist turn of the Republican Party, the front page of Monday’s New York Times featured a hostile report on a Koch brothers public relations campaign appealing to black voters, business reporter Hiroko Tabuchi’s “Koch Strategy Mixes Gospel And Oil Policy.” Beyond the “ultraconservative” labeling on the front page, Tabuchi found a left-wing environmentalist to smear as “racist” the attempt by the wealthy industrialists Charles and David Koch to convert minorities to their viewpoint on an issue.
Is the United States doomed to become the latest global victim of a dangerous strongman, a la Venezuela under Hugo Chavez? That's what economics reporter turned left-wing columnist Eduardo Porter thinks in Wednesday’s New York Times: “How Dysfunction Threatens U.S. Democracy.” What led to this dramatic conclusion? Trump’s election. Porter made a rare Times admission of the “authoritarian” nature of the Communist rule of Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, only to bash Trump as a similar threat to democracy.
Congress convenes today, and congressional reporter Carl Hulse, a reliable Democrat defender and Republican critic, came loaded for bear against the Republican House and Senate, now fortified by a president from their own party, in his Tuesday New York Times column, “In Congress, Free to Govern and Face the Consequences.” The online headline is harsher: “Republicans Stonewalled Obama. Now the Ball Is in Their Court.” In it, Hulse made the same argument he’s been making for over a decade: Republicans are doomed.
The lead New York Times editorial for New Year's Eve aiming to wrap up 2016, “Take a Bad Year. And Make It Better,” marked a triumph of liberal emotion over reason. The editorial voice of this eminent newpaper reduces itself to a Woody Allen caricature of an urban liberal wimp tormented by dictator Trump and his racist fellow citizens, but without the virtue of actual humor.
Credit the New York Times for covering every possible left-wing, Manhattan-centric anti-Trump angle as Inauguration Day approaches. Reporter Emily Rueb found a surge in marriages, especially among gay couples and immigrants (preferably both), before Donald Trump takes office on January 20: “Saying ‘I Do’ Becomes A New Priority – Some Couples Feel an Urgency To Wed Before Inauguration Day."
The New York Times has two standards when it comes to defying the rule of federal law – it’s great when it comes to left-wing causes like amnesty for illegals and sanctuary cities, awful when it comes to opposition to gay marriage. And while the Times is adamantly opposed to churches who dare to act on their opposition to gay marriage, churches can gain Strange New Respect from the paper for acting as sanctuary for illegal immigrants. Religion reporter Laurie Goodstein in Philadelphia made the top slot in Wednesday’s National section with “In Trump Era, Offering a Place Of Both Faith And Sanctuary.” The jump-page text box: “Houses of worship offer shelter and aid to undocumented immigrants.” No “illegal immigrants” in Times-land. And two other recent pieces underlined the double standard.
Snopes is having its time in the spotlight in Monday’s New York Times, as reporter David Streitfeld pumped up the famous “fact-checking” website on the front of Business Day. Snopes’ profile is rising with its new relationship with Facebook, but as the site has waded more into politics, it’s getting a liberal reputation and allegations of hypocrisy have been raised. But Streitfeld dismissed any concerns as desperate conservatives lies, in “Bigger Fact-Checking Role for Snopes Brings More Attacks." And his fellow Snopes-fawner, colleague Jeremy Peters, accused conservatives of crying "fake news" to discredit the mainstream media.
Not even Christmas Day provided respite from New York Times bias: The Sunday Review was devoted to the Year in Pictures, and cast the just-concluded election as a clash of light vs. darkness. The front-page was wholly covered by a full-length photo of Donald Trump -- more accurately, Trump’s shadow -- in stark, Stygian darkness, while the back page featured a hopeful member of the Hillary faithful, clutching an American flag while watching the election results. In the Sunday magazine, devoted to remembrance of famous or significant personalities who passed in 2016, a loving remembrance of Bill Clinton’s liberal Attorney General Janet Reno stood in blunt contrast to a cynical one probing Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for intellectual blind spots.
ESPN's Howard Bryant capped off a year of flag-fear and injection of racial politics into sports with his column in the magazine’s last issue of 2016: “Fight of Our Times – In a year of great victory and great unrest, the legacy of Muhammad Ali has never felt more vital. But will athletes continue to rise up in 2017?” Bryant is known for his BLM-style rants against the alleged epidemic of racist police brutality, and has a particular loathing for public patriotism in professional sports: "The veneer of patriotism baked into the sport’s DNA created an appearance of unity and oneness designed to obscure cultural divisions and intimidate dissent."
Chris Suellentrop, a former editor on the NYT’s op-ed page, took on the burning issue of sexism in Super Mario Bros video games. The famous series is making its iPhone debut, but Suellentrop’s young daughter won’t be playing it, because of “Mario’s Not-So-Super Sexism.” He condemned its "stale, retrograde gender stereotypes."
More fake news from the New York Times? On Thursday morning, the paper ran a credulous story by reporter Jonah Engel Bromwich on the alleged unjustified removal of two YouTube stars, including Internet provocateur Adam Saleh, from a Delta Airlines plane in London, for speaking Arabic on a cellphone while waiting to take off. “YouTube Stars Say They Were Removed From a Flight for Speaking Arabic.”
The Times swallowed whole the dubious story from the notorious YouTuber, whose reputation has been built on video hoaxes purporting to uncover anti-Muslim bigotry...on planes. None of those facts seemed to trigger any skepticism among the journalists at the Times, who have been primed by Donald Trump’s victory to see Islamophobia around every corner and leaped eagerly on this fishy tale of bigots on a plane. Bromwich managed to find not a single skeptical passenger on the flight, while his colleagues at other papers found plenty.
New York Times columnists and editors hmay condemn Republicans for limiting what their Democratic successors can do – as what’s happening after a tough loss by the sitting Republican governor of North Carolina Pat McCrory to Democrat Jim Cooper -- but the Times celebrates it when President Obama does it, or is being encouraged by left-wing groups to do so.