After the terrorist attack in Libya on the anniversary of 9-11 that left four Americans dead, the Obama administration at first falsely blamed the attack not on terrorism, but on a spontaneous mob erupting about a film on YouTube portraying the Prophet Muhammed. The White House’s story about the video, put out on all five Sunday talk shows by then-U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, was later discredited, a fact that reluctantly filtered out into the media, even the New York Times. But apparently some Times journalists still haven’t gotten the news.
Don’t know much about...metaphors? The New York Times was shocked and appalled that a Republican senator predicted any Obama Supreme Court nominee would be treated like a piñata, and said such “violent imagery” made Sen. John Cornyn a “thug, threatening harm,” in a Friday editorial, “Republican Threats and the Supreme Court."
The New York Times online headline captured the pro-Democrat, anti-GOP tone of the report from David Herszenhorn and Carl Hulse, “Supreme Court Fight Won’t Die, No Matter How Hard Republicans Try.” Another Hulse article described the Democrats' dilemma in pitiable terms: "They were absolutely astonished when Senate Republicans took the power struggle to an entirely new level by announcing that they would not even shake hands with a Supreme Court nominee selected by the duly elected president of the United States."
The lead story in Saturday's New York Times heaped praise upon the passage of a package of spending increases: “Avoiding Rancor, Congress Passes A Fiscal Package -- $1.8 Trillion Measure – Spending Rise and New Tax Breaks Suggest End of Austerity." This big-spending budget earned Ryan some strange new respect, with reporter David Herszenhorn praising his “deftness in pacifying rebellious conservatives.” A copy editor gave Ryan a pat on the back in a text box: “A successful effort by Republicans to show that they can govern effectively.”
The election of a new Speaker of the House had the New York Times firing up its reliably crooked labeling machine. On Thursday, reporter and repeat offender David Herszenhorn lamented that "Many Republicans, including members of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus who had hounded Mr. Boehner from the speakership, accused him and other party leaders of betraying them with a late-hour deal that was negotiated in secret." Veteran congressional reporter Carl Hulse interviewed former Speaker John Boehner and took his side against his allegedly irresponsible opponents: "Mr. Boehner...eventually became the power structure, only to be forced out by hard-line conservatives he deems 'knuckleheads' for their inability to recognize that compromise is sometimes necessary in politically divided government."
New York Times reporter David "hard-line" Herszenhorn is making hostile labeling of conservatives a bad habit, especially in his post-Boehner reporting. The shock resignation of the Speaker of the House gave Times reporters an excuse to target the "far-right" conservatives who had supposedly hounded John Boehner out of office, and granting the speaker never a popular figure in Times-land, some retrospective honor. Thursday's story on the reluctant Speaker-elect Paul Ryan included three "hard-line" adjectives and one "hard-right," from a newspaper that rarely if ever refers to American Democrats as "hard-left," and worked in strong adjectives like "harsh," "absurdist" and "cruel," all the while marveling at Republicans who found Ryan insufficiently committed to conservatism.
The surprise withdrawal of Rep. Kevin McCarthy from the race for Speaker gave the New York Times an excuse to issue a series of front-page stories larded up with hostile "hard-line" and "hard-right" labels mocking the apparent chaos surrounding congressional Republicans, being held "hostage" by the party's conservative wing.
The shock resignation of Speaker John Boehner has driven the New York Times into a labeling fit, fearing an even more unreasonably conservative Republican leadership team will emerge in the aftermath. A snotty front-page report Monday warned of "conservative rage" and included eight "hard-line" or "hard-right" labels, including two in one sentence: "Mr. Boehner expressed that exasperation on Sunday, accusing the hard-liners, in an interview on 'Face the Nation,' when he was asked if the hard-liners were unrealistic."
Even after undercover tapes showed Planned Parenthood engaging in morally reprehensible and legally questionable practices with aborted babies, the New York Times is still using abortion as a wedge issue to use against "hard-right" Republicans, demonstrated by hostile, label-heavy stories in Friday's edition, including two on the front page. Elsewhere there was the usual defense of Planned Parenthood, which after all "provides an array of other women’s health services" besides abortion.
The New York Times's David Herszenhorn on Friday wrote up a bizarre new conference held by the parents of the Boston Marathon bombers in the Russian Republic of Dagestan, where they have lived for the past year: "Parents Deny Son's Guilt And Accuse U.S. of Plot."
It's puzzling why Herszenhorn chose such a credulous tone to the conspiratorial rants of the bombers' mother Zubeidat Tsarnaeva (The Washington Post made do with a brief mention at the very end of a related story on Friday).
After summarizing the danger that the trials pose for Democrats in an election year, the Times checked in on an unreliable source, Rep. James Clyburn, Democrat of South Carolina, to raise a defense of Rangel and Waters, both of whom are black, as is Clyburn.
Clyburn bears responsibility for the evidently false charges of racial slurs being hurled at civil rights hero turned congressman John Lewis of Georgia during the Capitol Hill protests March 20 against Obama-care. Herszenhorn and Hulse gave Clyburn (who has a history of making dubious accusations of racism) an unimpeded platform to indirectly repeat his allegations.
The paper's political team let Obama fully sell himself as a down-home populist by completely skipping (in the print edition) the fact that Obama would be departing from a town in New Jersey to two glitzy fundraisers in the Times's home town Manhattan. The Washington Post, on the other hand, did notice that Obama later traveled by helicopter to a fundraiser at the Four Seasons in Manhattan, then went on to Vogue editor Anna Wintour's townhouse for another.
Calmes filed a report on the fundraisers Wednesday night for the paper's "Caucus" blog: "After an afternoon of populism, lunching with small-business owners in New Jersey and gabbing with the opinionated ladies of ABC-TV's "The View," President Obama ended his day on Wednesday at separate $30,400-a-person fundraisers here in Manhattan."
But those politics-as-usual details didn't make it into the print story, leaving room for these vital nuggets: Obama "ordered a 'super sub with everything,' to highlight his party's small-business agenda....Mr. Obama ordered a six-inch 'super sub' -- he declared that at nearly 49 he can no longer eat the 12-inch variety -- and sat down at a table with the owner, Dave Thornton, and the owners of three businesses in nearby towns."