The New York Times was in a panic in Saturday’s edition, with reporters Manny Fernandez and David Montgomery relaying Democratic whining about a GOP fundraising letter in “Texas Democrats Urge G.O.P. to ‘Eradicate’ Incendiary Rhetoric.” The Texas-based team of Fernandez and Montgomery have previously teamed up for freak-outs over the “far right,” “ultraconservative” Texas GOP, and they are still skittish about their fellow Texans: "Leaders of the Texas Democratic Party called the letter racist, anti-Latino and anti-immigrant and said it was filled with the kind of rhetoric that fueled the hatred of the El Paso gunman."
The front of Wednesday’s New York Times declared all was well on the Southern border, no matter what President Trump or his alarmed supporters may say: “No Crisis Here, Say Neighbors Close to Mexico -- Citing Other Problems ‘That Need Fixing.’” The reporting team found nothing but “tranquility” all along the border. The jump-page headline: “No Immigration Crisis Here, Tranquil Town Along Southern Border Says.” Even as the television networks reluctantly aired a few concerns about border security, the tone of the Times story was utterly dismissive of border security concerns.
There is a pernicious media trend to treat ordinary partisan things as out of the ordinary and a danger when conservatives do them. One offender is New York Times Supreme Court reporter Adam Liptak. Recently he worried about the Supreme Court’s legitimacy, now that it was finally leaning somewhat rightward. He exhibited a sudden concern about the ordinary partisan phenomenon of “judge shopping,” which liberal lawyers have been doing for years (as Liptak himself admits). But now it’s a “problem” in “How Judge Shopping in Texas Led to Ruling Against Health Law.”
Texas-based New York Times reporter Manny Fernandez sounded perturbed that the “Kennedyesque” Texas hope, Democrat Beto O’Rourke, lost to that unlikable conservative incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz on Wednesday: “Cruz Stays in Senate As Democratic Gains Fall Short in Texas.” On Thursday, Fernandez hewed to Democratic talking points by proclaiming Beto O’Rourke the moral victor in “Texas Looks Less Daunting to Democrats After Narrow Loss to Cruz.” The article was graced with a sentiment-inspiring photo of O’Rourke and his wife hugging. It’s clear the Times doesn’t want to give up on the charismatic liberal Texan just yet.
The New York Times hit the campaign trail around the country over the weekend and offered several dispatches, including the strikingly titled “A purple flying unicorn discovered in Texas” from reporters Manny Fernandez and Mitchell Ferman. The paper’s hostility to incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is well-documented, so Fernandez’s loaded name-calling wasn’t surprising, but it was odd that he conveniently found on the spot an undocumented “unusual phenomenon” of Republican Cruz-haters that are putting his re-election in jeopardy.
As usual, the media and the New York Times appear to have overhyped hopes for a Texas takeover in Congress this November. The paper’s familiar anti-conservative labeling pattern was present in the paper’s live updates of results from primary elections in Texas, with “far-right” Republicans pitted against benign-sounding “progressives” – not “far left,” not even “liberal.”And Beto O’Rourke, the newest Democratic savior of Texas, whom the paper fawned over last month, underperformed substantially, coming out on top in a challenging three-way Democratic primary.
Showing the timeliness and sensitivity it’s renowned for, the political left is using the tragedy of Hurricane Harvey in Houston to excoriate it as an example of an untrammeled free market run amok, and suggests such laissez-faire policies made the damaging storm even more dangerous. The front page of Thursday’s New York Times featured Manny Fernandez and Richard Fausset's “A Limitless City, Now Envisioning New Limitations -- Progress, With a Price -- A History of Sprawl at Odds With the Forces of Nature.” From that liberal headline you know what's coming. Sure enough Fernandez, who finds Texans “ultraconservative” and shifting “further to the far right,” thinks Houston's free-market policies have doomed it to environmental danger.
New York Times Houston-based reporter Manny Fernandez continues to champion Democrats and act frightened of the dominant state Republican Party. First, his “Austin Journal” on Friday, “Long-Suffering Texas Democrats Suffer On as Lawmakers Meet,” overtly sympathized with those downtrodden Texas Democrats. The next day, he made a slanted, label-heavy return to the subject of the state's "bathroom bill."
How "far right" can Texas go? The scare-mongering theme about “vanishing Republican moderates” is a popular myth at the Times and other liberal media outlets, especially in red states like Texas. The New York Times really went overboard with it Wednesday in “Bathroom Bill Tests the Clout of a Rare Moderate in Texas” by Manny Fernandez and David Montgomery. Fernandez, Houston bureau chief for the Times, is clearly not comfortable in what he has called “ultraconservative Texas.”
Wednesday’s New York Times came to the passionate defense of “unauthorized immigrants” (don’t call them illegals!) in danger in “ultraconservative” Texas, and landed some ideological left jabs at the state in the process. Reporters Manny Fernandez and David Montgomery filed a hostile, label-stuffed story from Houston (and notice the quote marks around the term “sanctuary cities”: “With Measure Banning ‘Sanctuary Cities,' Texas Pushes Further to the Right.” Fernandez often looks askance at the scary conservatives who apparently dominate his Texas beat.
Post-election, the New York Times seems dimly aware it has a “red state” credibility problem, but its pattern of coverage shows it has a long way to go. Sunday it whined about how the imminent Trumper invasion posted a threat to the cultural life of Washington, D.C., not exactly a top issue for blue-collar Macomb County voters. They aren’t as comfortable in red Texas, as shown by Manny Fernandez's stand-offish approach to his conservative fellow Texans. Reporter Adeel Hassan got an awful lot of front-page mileage out of a distressing anecdote in “Refugees Discover 2 Americas: One That Hates, One That Heals.” The NYT also asked the question on the minds of red state America -- How does Mexico feel about all this?
The front of Sunday’s New York Times National section was swallowed up by an essay from Texas correspondent Manny Fernandez, “A Look at What Makes Texas Texas,” a cultural cringe in 1,700 words from Fernandez. The reporter moved to Houston from Brooklyn to cover the state for the NYT, and he still seems slightly freaked by his “hard-right” neighbors and the “fear, anger and sometimes paranoia that lurks beneath the surface of Texas politics.”