The New York Times’ reaction to the anti-Semitic controversies engulfing two freshmen Democrats shows that “whataboutism” -- trying to discredit an opponent's position by charging them with hypocrisy -- is no longer “the last refuge of scoundrels” but is back in favor. Mark Landler used Democratic-friendly rhetoric to change the subject and tar Trump as the one with the anti-Semitism problem, in “Trump, No Stranger to Jewish Stereotypes, Rejects Ilhan Omar’s Apology.” Sheryl Gay Stolberg’s story, “In Surprise Vote, House Republicans Lift Anti-Semitism to Political Issue,” also had a distinct “Republicans pounce” vibe, casting Omar and Rashida Tlaib as poor, passive victims of cynical Republicans:
There were lots of lefty angles to the New York Times coverage of President Trump’s well-received State of the Union address. White House reporter Peter Baker opened with a dig: "President Trump...signaled that he would continue to wage war for the hard-line immigration policies that have polarized the capital and the nation. " A fact-check article on the speech insisted socialism wasn’t the problem in Venezuela’s circle down the drain. And Annie Karni, lunging to prove Trump wrong, ignorantly asserted on Twitter: "Trump just ad-libbed 'they came down from heaven' when quoting a Holocaust survivor watching American soldiers liberate Dachau. Jews don't believe in heaven."
The media is ready to convict President Trump of “treason” for his shaky summit in Helsinki with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and has been obsessed with Trump’s supposed “collusion” with Russia during the 2016 election campaign. But this new-found fear of all things Russia is more than a little politically expedient. The New York Times is just one outlet that dismissed the very idea of Russia as a threat back in the spring of 2012, mocking then-Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney:" Two decades after the end of the cold war, Mitt Romney still considers Russia to be America’s ‘No. 1 geopolitical foe.’ His comments display either a shocking lack of knowledge about international affairs or just craven politics. Either way, they are reckless and unworthy of a major presidential contender."
The sudden, if not unexpected, appointment of John Bolton as President Trump’s national security adviser led the New York Times on Friday and the paper packed a year’s worth of predictable “hard-line” and “hawkish” labels in one edition. (The Times has used “hard-line” to describe Soviet Communists and Iranians who support the continuing Islamic death sentence against author Salman Rushdie, so it’s a pretty loaded term in Timesland.
Betraying its obvious antagonism toward America’s ally Israel, and coddling the statehood hopes of Palestinians (along with much of the rest of the media), the New York Times reacted with alarm to the breaking news Tuesday that President Trump would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Israel’s center of government since 1948.
The mass murder in Las Vegas is invariably leading to laments about the lack of congressional action on gun control at the New York Times. Reporter Mark Landler traveled with the president to Las Vegas for “Trump to a Grieving City: ‘This Is a Rough Time,’” in Thursday’s edition. And an earlier story gave away the slant in the headline: “Conversation Turns to Guns, Then Republicans Change the Subject.” Landler’s last paragraphs devolved into non-journalistic sentiment rebuking the Republican-held Congress for failing to enact the Times preferred strict gun-control laws, while praising President Obama’s care and weeping.
Wednesday’s White House press briefing didn’t feature CNN’s Jim Acosta, so his colleagues picked up the slack with lobbying efforts for single-payer health care, ensuring wealthy Americans don’t get tax cuts, and anti-Trump comments by ESPN’s Jemele Hill. Los Angeles Times reporter Noah Bierman got the ball rolling on single-payer health care, asking Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders what she made of Democrats proposing such a change.
"Dark” was the New York Times’ theme for Donald Trump’s Inaugural Address, even in the banner headline that began the paper’s coverage of the 45th President. It also happened to be liberal Democrats' favorite criticism of the speech. Mark Landler wondered: "The question left hanging after this angry jeremiad: How will the new commander in chief be able to work with these people to govern the country?"
When Donald Trump mentioned Nazi Germany in reference to a lurid document floating around U.S. intelligence agencies, the New York Times was shocked and appalled -- and deeply hypocritical, given the eagerness of the paper's reporters, editors, and columnists to make those same comparisons against Donald Trump.
Hillary Clinton evidently doesn’t actually commit scandalous or criminal behavior, she merely is pressed by questions that passively “shadow” her and “follow” her presidential campaign. That’s the tone of recent New York Times scandal coverage on Clinton’s various controveries involving her foudation and her handling of classified documents, both of which have gained new life with a big new batch of previously undisclosed emails.
The bias highlight of Night One of the Democratic National Convention from the New York Times was the laudatory coverage of “pop-culture heroine” Michelle Obama’s prime-time anti-Trump speech. The most prominent was Michael Shear and Mark Landler’a “Stirring Speech by a First Lady Backs Another." Nick Confessore found it "a moving political speech.” Meanwhile, Matt Flegenheimer looked back affectionately at how left-wing Hillary rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (aka "Birdie Sanders") became cool with the kids.
President Obama’s speech at a memorial service for the five police officers assassinated in Dallas while patrolling a Black Lives Matter protest led Wednesday’s New York Times. The paper portrayed Obama flatteringly as having “spoke hard truths to both sides” at the service, while downplaying how the President politicized the memorial by thumping for gun-control, ranting about how a Glock pistol was easier to get than a book. The story was unnecessarily sycophantic, while tamping down criticism of Obama’s politicized tone: “Obama Consoles And Challenges A Shaken Nation." The Times also failed to catch -- then conveniently excised -- a flubbed Biblical quotation by Obama.