New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes’s latest front-page story on the budget battle displayed typical Times’s labeling bias, with “angry conservatives” but no liberals. Calmes also paid the Republican leadership a backhanded compliment for trying to stop their conservative base from provoking a financial crisis.

On Tuesday, Calmes claimed on the front page that Obama was “repositioning” himself as a centrist (after years of the Times insisting he already was one).



Tuesday’s off-lead New York Times story by Jackie Calmes from Washington claims Obama is now grasping centrism as a weapon in the budget battle. So why has the Times been telling us he has always been a centrist? “Obama Grasping Centrist Banner In Debt Impasse – Talks Remain Stalled – President Urges Biggest Deal Possible Despite G.O.P. Skepticism.”

For the last three years we’ve been told by the Times and the rest of the media Obama was in fact a “pragmatic” centrist, unlike the conservative George W. Bush. Why would Obama have to "reposition" himself to ground he already occupied?

President Obama made no apparent headway on Monday in his attempt to forge a crisis-averting budget deal, but he put on full display his effort to position himself as a pragmatic centrist willing to confront both parties and address intractable problems.



New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes was with the president in El Paso, Texas, inspiring Latino voters for his 2012 reelection by pushing Congress to hack a "path to citizenship for illegal immigrants." It’s a long shot in a Republican-controlled Congress, on an issue Obama did not press when the Democrats had big majorities in the House and Senate, but those points were buried in her 1,100-word story Wednesday, "In Border City Talk, Obama Urges G.O.P. to Help Overhaul Immigration Law."

President Obama came to this border city on Tuesday to argue that he is doing his part to crack down on illegal immigration, and that Republicans must now join him in overhauling the nation’s immigration laws for the millions of workers already here illegally.


Stop Spending Cuts or People Will “Starve to Death”

“I stopped eating on Monday and joined around 4,000 other people in a fast to call attention to congressional budget proposals that would make huge cuts in programs for the poor and hungry....These supposedly deficit-reducing cuts -- they’d barely make a dent -- will quite literally cause more people to starve to death, go to bed hungry or live more miserably than are doing so now.” – Food writer Mark Bittman in a March 30 op-ed, “Why We’re Fasting.”

 

“What causes the lack? Imprisonment, torture, being stranded on a desert island, anorexia, crop failure....and both a lack of aid and bad distribution of nutrients. Some (or much) of both of these last two stem from unregulated capitalism and greed.” – Bittman on his blog at nytimes.com, March 31.



In her Sunday off-lead New York Times story on bipartisan senators looking for budget compromise, “‘Gang of Six’ In the Senate Tackles Debt – A Bipartisan Effort to Build a Budget, Jackie Calmes furthered the Times’s long-standing legend about the “nasty” campaign ad by Republican Saxby Chambliss that helped him defeat Democratic Sen. Max Cleland of Georgia in 2002.

Once again, the Times falsely described a “nasty” anti-Cleland campaign ad by Chambliss, this time claiming it was “picturing Mr. Cleland with Osama bin Laden.” Has anyone at the Times ever actually watched the ad?

Days after President Obama called for forming a bipartisan group in Congress to begin negotiating a $4 trillion debt-reduction package, the parties have not even agreed to its membership. Yet six senators -- three Democrats, three Republicans -- say they are nearing consensus on just such a plan.

....

The group’s oldest members -- Senator Richard J. Durbin, 66, a progressive from Illinois who counts the Senate’s only socialist as a friend and ally, and Senator Saxby Chambliss, 67, a genial Georgia conservative whose nasty first campaign left lingering bad feelings among Democrats, and who is a confidant of Speaker John A. Boehner -- illustrate that even with the mounting federal debt intensifying the partisan divide over spending and taxes, the severity of the fiscal threat is forging unlikely alliances.


The ambitious, cost-trimming House Republican budget proposal put forward by Rep. Paul Ryan “is not going to become law anytime soon, if ever,” New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes assured us in her Wednesday “news analysis,” “A Conservative Vision, With Bipartisan Risks.” Yet it still “poses huge political risks for Republican candidates for Congress and for the White House in 2012.” A front-page, above-the-fold front-page photo teased the article, with the caption helpfully mentioning that Ryan’s budget “poses huge political risks for Republicans.”

Calmes, whose coverage is quite sympathetic to Obama’s fiscal priorities, especially his expensive “stimulus” package, immediately assured readers the conservative proposal didn’t have a snowball’s chance of becoming law:

The audacious long-term budget path that House Republicans outlined on Tuesday is not going to become law anytime soon, if ever. Senate Democrats and President Obama will see to that.

Even so, the plan rolled out by the Republican majority in the House figures to shake up this year’s already contentious budget debate as well as next year’s presidential politics. By its mix of deep cuts in taxes and domestic spending, and its shrinkage of the American safety net, the plan sets the conservative parameter of the debate over the nation’s budget priorities further to the right than at any time since the modern federal government began taking shape nearly eight decades ago.


Michael Powell’s New York Times story on the latest job figures made the lead slot in Saturday’s Times, with a headline portraying a revitalized Obama and a defensive G.O.P. “U.S. Posts A Gain Of 216,000 Jobs, A Lift For Obama -- Private Sector On Rise -- As Jobless Rate Falls to 8.8%, White House Warns G.O.P.

One might not think an 8.8% unemployment rate would be cause for swagger and celebration, but you couldn't tell that from the Times's headline and lead.

The United States economy showed signs of kicking into gear in March, adding 216,000 jobs and prompting President Obama to proclaim a corner finally turned.

The president and his fellow Democrats pointed to the latest jobs report on Friday, and to an unemployment rate that fell a touch to 8.8 percent, as evidence that their policies, like stimulus spending and the payroll tax cut, were working. All of this, they made clear, could become ammunition in their showdown with House Republicans, who have spoken of cutting deeply into the federal budget and have threatened a government shutdown.

An emboldened Mr. Obama
spoke of the political implications before several hundred workers at a United Parcel Service shipping center in Landover, Md.


Monday's New York Times “news analysis,” “President Underscores Similarities With Brazilians, but Sidesteps One,” found reporters Alexei Barrionuevo and Jackie Calmes with Obama in Rio de Janeiro highlighting the president’s positive reception in Brazil, inspiring the citizenry "because of his African heritage."

From a visit to this city’s most infamous slum to a national address amid the gilded elegance of a celebrated theater, President Obama on Sunday sought to underscore the shared histories and futures of the United States and Brazil, reaching out to the people of one of the most racially diverse countries in the Americas.

But Mr. Obama, on the second day of a five-day tour of Latin America, once again seemed to sidestep mentioning his own racial background in appearances here, even as Brazilians who gathered at a plaza trying to catch a glimpse of him said that he had inspired millions in this country because of his African heritage.


Slow news Friday? In “With a Change in Top Aides, The West Wing Quiets Down,” New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes fawned over Obama’s top aides, chief of staff William Daley and advisor David Plouffe, as a welcome balm after the frenzied working atmosphere set by former chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel (though the paper hardly maintained a drumbeat of criticism during Rahm’s reign).

Blogging at the Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin says the Times piece “gives ‘fluff’ a bad name....maybe the Times should look inward and be asking how such suck-uppery gets passed off as news.”

When Rahm Emanuel was the White House chief of staff, decisions about what President Obama would say in the short address he delivers on the radio and Internet each Saturday changed so often that speechwriters would wait until Friday to write.

But since William M. Daley took over two months ago, and David Plouffe succeeded David Axelrod as communications chief, the decision is made early -- and it sticks.


New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes appeared on a panel discussion on “The Role of Minority Party in Congress” held at the Wilson International Center for Scholars on Monday, and outlined four liberal complaints against Republicans for not sufficiently accommodating Barack Obama early in his presidency (when they were distinctly the minority party and rather powerless) on his allegedly moderate measures like health reform and financial regulation.

Blaming Republicans for Obama’s woes ignores the fact that the Democrats had just won huge filibuster-proof majorities in 2008. The party controlled the Senate by a 60-40 margin and the House of Representatives by a health 257-178. And conservatives would argue that Obama’s claims of bipartisanship were severely overstated and amounted to trying to pick off individual Republicans to get on board with his sweeping liberal agenda on stimulus and health care “reform,” instead of reaching out to the Republican caucus as a whole with more moderate and modest proposals.

Talking on the panel Monday, aired by C-SPAN, about the need for political accommodation in Congress, Calmes took “the risk of sounding like I’m expressing an opinion" in her closing remarks, about an hour and ten minutes into the discussion:



It’s one thing for the Obama administration to refuse to admit that throwing more than $800 billion in so-called “stimulus” at the recession hasn’t worked. But on Friday night’s Washington Week roundtable on PBS, New York Times national correspondent Jackie Calmes accepted the idea that “it’s too early to say” how Team Obama should be graded while unemployment remains high. That’s called charitable procrastination:

NANCY YOUSSEF, McCLATCHY NEWSPAPERS: So how would you rank or rate the administration on its economic policy? Can you give it a rating this soon, or is it too early to say?
 
JACKIE CALMES, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, it's too early to say when unemployment remains stuck at 9.5 percent. Most people think that -- most economists who aren't partisan think we will avoid a double-dip recession, but, and that the stimulus did work, but it, you know -- maybe should have been more of it, or better designed.

A few seconds earlier, Calmes complained that after the "stimulus" bill passed, “things worked so slowly that people still to this day think it was a failure”:



In today's "It Took You Long Enough To Figure It Out" segment, the New York Times is seriously worried that if the only Bush tax cuts that expire in January are those for the wealthiest Americans, the rich still win.

Not surprisingly, Jackie Calmes' piece on Wednesday also referred to extending existing law as "tax cuts," a neat little trick the Left employ to give the appearance new cuts are being discussed when in fact the only thing on the table is whether what's on the books will continue to be so.

But facts aren't important in this debate. Scaring folks into believing rich people are taking money away from them is: