2012 was another banner year for bias at the New York Times, from slanted coverage of campaign 2012, to bizarre displays of unfairness to conservatives. The Times also intensified its push for liberal legislation on issues dear to the heart of its readership, like fighting "climate change" and amnesty for illegal immigrants. Here are some of the worst bits of bias from the year that was. (There's a more comprehensive version of this article on Times Watch.)
Taking Sides With Mitt Romney's Snobby Liberal Neighbors
Epitomizing the paper's social liberalism, the front of the June 7 New York Times Home section (!) featured a large story targeting Republican nominee Mitt Romney that made the paper's notorious front-page investigation into Ann Romney's horse look as significant as Watergate by comparison.
You know there's something afoot when the New York Times portrays former President George W. Bush as a fount of wisdom. Julia Preston, the paper's most slanted-immigration reporter, reported from D.C. on Wednesday, "Praising Immigrants, Bush Leads Conservative Appeal for G.O.P. to Soften Tone."
Preston, who is unabashedly pro-amnesty, doesn't actually name these "conservatives" supporting amnesty, though the ever-reliable Richard Land makes his usual appearance in this standard-issue Times article, as a stand in for all "religious conservatives breaking away from the GOP on amnesty."
The New York Times continued to push for amnesty for illegal immigrants, this time on Saturday's front page, courtesy of its most reliable pro-amnesty reporter, Julia Preston, reporting from New Haven, "Young Immigrants Say It's Obama's Time to Act." For the umpteenth time the paper boasted of illegals emerging "from the shadows" (although for a such a frightened group, they sure do get their pictures in the Times a lot).
President Obama on Friday bypassed Congress to put in place the New York Times' beloved Dream Act by executive order that halted deportation of young people who came to the United States illegally. That merited Saturday's lead story slot, occupied by immigration beat reporter Julia Preston and John Cushman, "Obama To Permit Young Migrants To Remain In U.S."
Preston and Cushman devoted precisely two of their 28 paragraphs to opposing views from "angry" Republicans in Congress. The rest were devoted to Obama's announcement, joyful illegals, and their liberal supporters happy that immigrants could finally, as the Times has reported ad nauseum, "come out of the shadows" (Preston's reporting in particular is notoriously pro-amnesty.) And the paper's succeeding stories on the issue were little better.
Just as she did on Wednesday, the New York Times's pro-amnesty immigration reporter Julia Preston portrayed Arizona's popular crackdown on illegal immigration (now before the Supreme Court) as controversial in "A Hearing And Rallies Over a Law In Arizona." Thursday's edition also featured an above-the-fold front-page photo of a stoic Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer passing "opponents of her state's immigration law outside the Supreme Court."
There are politically motivated hearings every day on Capitol Hill. So why did the New York Times single out one in particular for coverage? Likely because it was led by liberal Sen. Chuck Schumer and exploting the Times' favorite cause, the defense of illegal immigrants.
Immigration-beat reporter Julia Preston, one of the paper's most reliably pro-amnesty reporters, authored Wednesday's "Fierce Debate on Arizona Immigration Law on Eve of Supreme Court Hearing."
On Monday Julia Preston, one of the New York Times's most reliably pro-amnesty reporters, slid into Denver bureau chief Kirk Johnson's usual slot of using a news story to promote a different kind of Western Republican (i.e. not one of those harsh conservatives), in this case Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, who is "A Die-Hard Conservative, but Not on Immigrants."
He is a Republican and a Mormon. He opposes abortion. Mark L. Shurtleff, the attorney general of Utah, also rejects President Obama’s health care law as an assault on states’ rights and he went to Washington last week to urge the Supreme Court to throw it out.
There’s a jubilant undercurrent in Julia Preston’s Tuesday report in the New York Times on Obama’s new policy limiting deportations of illegal immigrants who have not committed a crime, “U.S. Issues New Deportation Policy’s First Reprieves.”
Preston has a reputation for sympathetic coverage of illegal immigration policy. In December 2010 she lamented a Senate vote blocking a bill granting amnesty to illegal immigrant students as a “painful setback.”
New York Times reporter Julia Preston’s “news analysis” on Sunday on the Senate defeat of legislation granting amnesty to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants, known as the Dream Act by supporters (“Immigration Vote Leaves Obama’s Policy in Disarray”) is a reversal of the emotion displayed in her previous celebratory coverage of even the puniest symbolic gatherings of pro-“Dream Act” protesters involving as few as four students.
Preston seemed anguished about what she called a “painful setback” to granting amnesty to perhaps hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrant students, suggesting it was a particular setback for Obama.
The vote by the Senate on Saturday to block a bill to grant legal status to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrant students was a painful setback to an emerging movement of immigrants and also appeared to leave the immigration policy of the Obama administration, which has supported the bill and the movement, in disarray.
The bill, known as the Dream Act, gained 55 votes in favor with 41 against, a tally short of the 60 votes needed to bring it to the floor for debate. Five Democrats broke ranks to vote against the bill, while only three Republicans voted for it. The defeat in the Senate came after the House of Representatives passed the bill last week.
Preston tried to minimize the reach of the "tailored" bill.
The result, although not unexpected, was still a rebuff to President Obama by newly empowered Republicans in Congress on an issue he has called one of his priorities. Supporters believed that the bill -- tailored to benefit only immigrants who were brought here illegally when they were children and hoped to attend college or enlist in the military -- was the easiest piece to pass out of a larger overhaul of immigration laws that Mr. Obama supports.
The New York Times promoted the "DREAM Act" on Saturday with a Julia Preston article that never located a single lobbyist for stricter immigration enforcement. Instead, Preston assisted in publicizing a major administration push: "Five cabinet secretaries have made calls, held news conferences or blogged on the issue." It didn't matter how ridiculous it sounded to border enforcers:
On a call organized by the White House on Friday, David Aguilar, the deputy commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, said that strict eligibility requirements in the bill for young immigrants who are here would dissuade others outside the country from trying coming to the country illegally. Addressing concerns from lawmakers who say they want more border security before voting for the legislation, Mr. Aguilar said, “At no point in history has the border been as secure as it is today.”
New York Times reporter Julia Preston provided her predictably pro-amnesty slant in Wednesday story on the apparently deathless Dream Act, a bill up in the lame-duck session of Congress (it passed the House Wednesday night) that would provide amnesty for illegal immigrant students: “Illegal Immigrant Students Await Votes on Legal Status.”
With both houses of Congress set to vote this week on a bill that would give legal status to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrant students, one of those students will wait for news of the outcome at an immigration detention center in Arizona.
The student, Hector Lopez, 21, was deported to Mexico in August after having lived with his family in Oregon since he was an infant. After two months of trying to find his bearings and a job in Mexico City, Mr. Lopez, who does not speak Spanish, traveled to the border last month and turned himself in to the immigration authorities, requesting asylum in the United States.