Times Watch Quotes of Note 2009: The Worst Quotes of the Year from the NYT

New York Times bias often came with a smile in the early part of 2009, with the paper falling hard for Obama's "historic" presidency and limitless intellect. But by late summer that smile had curdled into a snarl, as Times reporters seethed at“angry,” “bitter,” and, above all, “white” tea party protesters who challenged the president on his attempted takeover of health care and his massive spending proposals.

Times Watch welcomes first-time judge Scott Johnson to join Thomas Lifson and Don Luskin in choosing the most biased quotes as their "favorite" from the Times in 2009.

Scott Johnson of the Powerline blog went beyond the call of duty and may qualify for hazard pay, picking favorites in each category. But he found this quote from Thomas Friedman's September 9 column in praise of Communist China the worst of all:

Watching both the health care and climate/energy debates in Congress, it is hard not to draw the following conclusion: There is only one thing worse than one-party autocracy, and that is one-party democracy, which is what we have in America today. One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages.

Johnson writes: “Given the esteem in which he is held by “right” (as in left) thinkers, Tom Friedman deserves special recognition for this quote. It sheds light on Friedman, the Times, and Times readers.”

Thomas Lifson, editor and publisher of American Thinker, picked this September 13 quote from columnist Maureen Dowd:

Surrounded by middle-aged white guys -- a sepia snapshot of the days when such pols ran Washington like their own men's club -- Joe Wilson yelled "You lie!" at a president who didn't. But, fair or not, what I heard was an unspoken word in the air: You lie, boy!

Lifson commented: “Maureen Dowd’s imputing of racism to Rep. Joe Wilson, in her infamous 'You lie, boy!' fantasy is not merely repulsive, it reveals a mind alarmingly detached from reality. The sheer meanness and casual flinging of a scurrilous charge plumb a moral low.”

Don Luskin, chief investment officer of Trend Macrolytics LLC and publisher of The Conspiracy to Keep You Poor and Stupid, picked the paper's double standards on unions, which are vital institutions -- for other businesses. For the New York Times itself? Not so much:

The argument against unions -- that they unduly burden employers with unreasonable demands -- is one that corporate America makes in good times and bad....The real issue is whether enhanced unionizing would worsen the recession, and there is no evidence that it would. There is a strong argument that the slack labor market of a recession actually makes unions all the more important. -- Editorial from Dec. 29, 2008.


The New York Times News Service will lay off at least 25 editorial employees next year and will move the editing of the service to a Florida newspaper owned by The New York Times Company....The plan for the news service calls for The Gainesville Sun, whose newsroom is not unionized and has lower salaries, to take over editing and page design. -- Richard Perez-Pena, Nov. 13, 2009.

Luskin said this double standard “expresses the fundamental hypocrisy of the Times as an elite institution that tries to establish its institutional legitimacy by attacking elite institutions.”

For all the worst quotes from 2009, visit Times Watch.

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