Double Standard: NYT's Q&A Reporter Fawned Over Lefty Doonesbury Cartoonist, Got Testy With Rep. Steve King

December 14th, 2014 8:03 PM

Two recent Q&A sessions (labeled "Talk") by New York Times reporter Jim Rutenberg for the paper's Sunday magazine encapsulated the paper's liberal double standards. While Rutenberg threw challenging, testy questions at conservative Iowa congressman Steve King in this Sunday's edition, he carried out a sympathetic, almost fawning session with lefty "Doonesbury" cartoonist Garry Trudeau last month.

Of the 11 questions Rutenberg posed to Iowa Rep. Steve King in today's edition of the magazine, six were various shades of critical. Here's a sample, with Rutenberg's questions in bold and King's replies beneath.

Many members of your party believe that a failure to get behind immigration overhaul will hurt Republicans in the next election cycle. Human beings have a nearly infinite capacity to self-rationalize. Whatever kind of crisis emerges, the agenda that they have long advocated for magically becomes the silver bullet for the circumstances that have arrived.

Your remarks that many children brought here illegally were most likely drug mules “with calves the size of cantaloupes” drew condemnation from many Republicans, including John Boehner. Isn’t this sort of statement counterproductive to your goals? Every Republican who was critical of my remarks was pro-amnesty to some degree. Boehner gave license, and the rest gave chase.

After King accused the Obama administration of driving wedges between people, Rutenberg sniped:

What about those who might call you divisive? You called President Obama’s decision to use his middle name, Hussein, at his swearing in “bizarre.” I am not in the business of dividing people. I’m in the business of defending the Constitution and the rule of law and refurbishing the pillars of American exceptionalism.

By contrast, of 13 questions Rutenberg posed to Trudeau in their November 9 Q&A session, only one was even gently critical, about Trudeau's cartoons in the 1980s suggesting Ronald Reagan suffered brain damage: "Doonesbury was famous in the ’80s for the 'Reagan’s Brain' strips, in which a reporter, Roland, files dispatches from within the president’s damaged brain. Would you write them differently today?"

Other questions simply drew out Trudeau's liberal bent: "Have you been personally disappointed in the administration?"