Thursday’s New York Times showed itself all too eager to use new charges against Republican Rep. Chris Collins of New York to help Democrats. The front-page story was accompanied by an over-the-fold photograph of U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman announcing the charges against Collins, which the photo caption took care to identify as a Republican. The paper piled on with a story inside by Goldmacher, showing the paper already taking a sharp pro-Democratic partisan angle on the November elections. Contrast that instant identification by the New York Times to how the paper covered a Democratic congresswoman convicted and sentenced to five years in prison.
Thursday’s New York Times featured some unseemly gushing over Democratic Judge Kimba Wood, whose decision outed Fox News host Sea Hannity as a client of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, under a headline showcasing extraneous praise for Wood: “On Bench for Cohen Case: ‘The Judicial Equivalent of Teddy Roosevelt." Reporters Alan Feuer and Benjamin Weiser opened by irresponsibly lumping in the conspiracist Alex Jones with responsible conservative outlets:
Muslim “feminist” Linda Sarsour has gotten criticism from conservatives for her vulgar, sexist, intolerant remarks about Muslim apostate Ayaan Hirsi Ali (still the target of death threats), as well as her blandished descriptions of Sharia law and public appearances with convicted terrorists. Eli Rosenberg profiled her before her controversial commencement address at the City University of New York, slated for June 1. The Times went all out to make her a martyr: “A Graduation Speaker Raises Ire Before Taking the Podium -- Threats and Messages of Hatred Flow As Sarsour Plans to Speak at CUNY." The caption under a flattering photo of Sarsour: “Linda Sarsour said she became a target of far-right conservatives after the Women’s March. ‘I’m everything they stand against,’ she said.”
Sunday’s New York Times went from positioning race-baiter Al Sharpton as a credible voice of anti-Trump dissent, to hailing the wisdom of another liberal MSNBC host: Chris Matthews. Matthews' horrified reaction to Trump-supporting Rudy Giuliani led off a contemptuous profile of the former NYC mayor, written by the eccentric reporter Alan Feuer: “America’s Mayor Rolls the Dice.” Feuer threw around psychiatric slurs: "Something had gone horribly wrong with Mr. Giuliani. There seemed no other way to explain it....To Mr. Giuliani’s critics, the answer was obvious: incipient mental illness."
There is a grievous double standard at the heart of the New York Times' coverage of stories at the intersection of free speech and terrorism. The paper has self-righteously refused to reprint "offensive" cartoons of Muhammad, while refusing to admit why: not out of respect for people of faith, but for fear of reprisal. The proof? The same paper has eagerly reprinted offensive anti-Christian art, such as the infamous "Piss Christ" and a dung-clotted "painting" of the Virgin Mary.
The New York Times is one of the media's prime carriers of sickly White House assurances about Ebola, dictating unfounded claims that it has the disease under control, while dismissing calls from Republicans and health experts for banning flights out of infected countries as paranoid, unscientific overreaction.
Survivalists: Paranoid right-wingers or a shrewd, far-thinking, and diverse urbanites? The New York Times can't decide. Editorial board member Lawrence Downes' Thursday morning post, "Jesus, Freedom and Guns," used a YouTube video from a left-winger to mock gun-rights supporters as Christian paranoids fearing government tyranny:
Here is a video shot at a gun-rights rally on Jan. 19 at the Arizona state Capitol in Phoenix. It’s a good window into the life of Arizona, a state where the Tea Party, birtherism and anti-immigrant radicalism regularly combine to raise the political temperature from overheated to boiling.
It was all Occupy Wall Street all the time in Sunday's New York Times, with no less than four favorable references to the left-wing sit-in scattered throughout the paper. The Tea Party movement certainly hasn't permeated the pages of the Times in such friendly fashion.
Meanwhile, the paper continues to downplay or ignore violence committed by the Occupy movement. The Times did not cover the riot by Occupy LA the night of July 12, where four officers were injured and 17 protesters arrested after protesters tried to transform a monthly "Artwalk" event into a "Chalk Walk" protest and begin hurling rocks and bottles at police officers in riot gear.
In the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, New York Times reporters overcame enormous danger and duress to perform often-heroic feats of journalism, as proven by the Pulitzer Prize winning “Portraits of Grief” series, which commemorated the lives of every single victim of the terrorist attacks. But in the months and years that followed the paper reverted to partisan and liberal ways, even when the subject was the deadly attack on their hometown.
On Sunday the Times will print a special section marking the 10th anniversary of 9-11 (you can read it online now). In anticipation of the paper's commemoration, here’s a sampling of the paper’s years of slanted coverage related to the attacks.
Real estate mogul Donald Trump, acting like a presidential candidate, is garnering attention by latching on to the “birther” issue -- the discredited notion that President Obama was not born in Hawaii but in another country, thus making him ineligible for the presidency. The New York Times ran a poll April 22 that asked: “Do you think Barack Obama was born in the United States, or was he born in another country?” The Times then broke down the results out for Republicans (but not for independents or Democrats): 45% of Republicans answered Obama was born elsewhere, 33% said he was born in the United States.
Meanwhile, the Times has yet to bring up a 2006 poll showing more than half of Democrats believed Bush was complicit in the 9-11 attacks.
Times liberal columnist Charles Blow pounced on Saturday: “It further exacerbates a corrosive culture on the right that now celebrates the Cult of Idiocy -- from Glenn Beck to Michele Bachmann -- where riling liberals is more valuable than reason and logic, and where intellectualism and even basic learnedness are viewed with suspicion and contempt.”
A recent nytimes.com Room for Debate online roundtable, “The Psychology of the 'Birther' Myth,” hosted seven experts about the psychology of the myth. The introduction:
Anti-Bush 9-11 "Truthers" get a fair hearing from the New York Times, but anti-Obama "Birthers" are harshly criticized, and Rush Limbaugh is of course to blame.
Media reporter Brian Stelter's Saturday Business story, "A Dispute Over Obama's Birth Lives On in the Media," questioned those questioning Obama's birth certificate, his citizenship, and his resulting eligibility for the presidency. Good for the Times. But where is the Times's critcism when liberals gin up wackier conspiracy theories?
Back in June 2006, Times reporter Alan Feuer showed far more respect to a conspiracy theory many times more incendiary and implausible: That the 9-11 attacks were an inside job, that the controlled demolition of the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon were engineered by President Bush. Yet not once did Feuer dismiss the 9-11 Truthers bizarre charge as a "conspiracy theory," as Stelter did in the first line of his Sunday piece on the Birthers: