Though both Jonathan Chait and Amanda Marcotte approve of same-sex marriage, they differed on Monday in their assessment of the case against it. Chait, of New York magazine, claimed that anti-gay-marriage arguments have been pitiful and consequently were doomed from the get-go. He declared that “preventing gay people from marrying each other serves no coherent purpose. Allowing them to marry harms nobody.”
Meanwhile, Marcotte argued in a Talking Points Memo column that same-sex marriage helps to “redefine…marriage as an institution of love instead of oppression,” and that the anti-gay-marriage forces are clinging to the idea that marriage is “about dutiful procreation and female submission.”
Discussing the growing immigration crisis on the July 9 edition of At This Hour with Berman and Michaela, CNN commentator Sally Kohn and host Michaela Pereira both jumped to defend President Obama from attacks from both Republicans and Democrats on his response to the flood of children arriving at the southern border.
Pereira wondered how people would dare to label the crisis as Obama’s Katrina moment, asking, “is it even fair to compare this to Katrina? You think about the fact that hundreds of people lost their lives, their homes, their livelihoods, is this a fair assessment?” Meanwhile, liberal pundit Sally Kohn went further, rejecting the entire premise that there is even a crisis to begin with: [MP3 audio here; video below]
So-called reform conservatives such as David Frum, Michael Gerson, and Ramesh Ponnuru often get relatively favorable attention from liberal journalists -- relative, that is, to Tea Party types, which in turn reinforces the Tea Party's belief that the reformers aren't really conservatives.
Two lefty pundits recently examined the state of reform conservatism. Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne penned an article for the spring issue of the quarterly Democracy in which he analyzed the work of certain reformers and discussed how they might pull the Republican party toward the center. He also denounced the GOP's current message discipline in the service of its supposedly extremist agenda -- or, as Dionne put it, "the right’s version of political correctness."
Common-ground alert: Salon's Alex Pareene doesn't think much of the New York Times's opinion columnists as a group, and neither, presumably, do NewsBusters readers. As for the reasons why, well, let's just say most of Pareene's almost certainly aren't the same as yours.
Pareene blasts Maureen Dowd for "sloppiness, not to mention rote repetition of themes and jokes and incredibly lazy thinking" and skewers Nick Kristof for his alleged "do-gooder liberalism [which] involves the bizarre American conviction that bombing places is a great way to help them." He likes Thomas Friedman even less, writing that Friedman "is an embarrassment" who "writes stupid things, for stupid people, about complicated topics" and "dutifully pushes a stultifyingly predictable center-right agenda."
New York Times columnist Ross Douthat could hardly be considered a conservative in the mold of, say, a Ted Cruz. Most often he has reflected the "conservativism" of fellow New York Times columnist David Brooks who last summer came out in strong support for the Senate immigration bill.
Therefore it was a very pleasant surprise that Douthat broke with his fellow "conservative" columnist by recently denouncing the Republican establishment push to pass an immigration bill this year as "perverse":
NBC’s chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd had some tough words for President Obama on Monday’s Morning Joe. Todd, anchor of MSNBC’s Daily Rundown and a frequent critic of Republicans on network’s programming, scolded the president for running a “leaderless Washington,” and for failing to “rally the world” to a “solution in Syria.”
Todd’s critique was in reference to a Saturday op-ed in the New York Times, in which conservative columnist Ross Douthat berated the Obama administration for promoting policies of little importance to most Americans – in lieu of an aggressive jobs agenda.
On Sunday's Reliable Sources, CNN's Howard Kurtz doubled down on his December column that the media needed "to be leading the conversation" on guns in the wake of Newtown. He even compared the gun debate to the conversations on civil rights and, recently, same-sex marriage. Is gun control the new civil rights movement?
Of course, Kurtz claimed objectivity although since Newtown the media have been anything but fair to gun rights advocates in the "conversation" on guns: "I would say that it's important for journalists, whether you like the phrase 'leading the conversation' or not, to push controversial issues that the politicians otherwise might prefer not to talk about."
Yet New York Times columnist Ross Douthat countered that the media is overwhelmingly one-sided when it tries to push issues into the spotlight, and pointed to the selective outrage behind the Newtown shooting versus the horror stories coming from the Gosnell trial.
Kermit Gosnell is the late-term abortion doctor in Philadelphia, on trial for infanticide in the gruesome killing of seven babies. The day after his trial began March 18 (as Tom Blumer noted at Newsbusters) Jon Hurdle at the New York Times opened by telling readers that "In opening statements in court on Monday, prosecutors charged that a doctor who operated a women’s health clinic here killed seven viable fetuses..."
Fetuses? The Times more accurately described it in a January 2011 brief, when Gosnell was first charged with murder:
Right-leaning New York Times columnist Ross Douthat was thrown into the David Brooks chair on the weekly political roundatable on NPR's All Things Considered Friday. NPR anchor Robert Siegel insisted Rick Perry had a whole set of strange and anti-scientific statements that suggest he's "too far right" to be electable. Notice how NPR just rolls up everything they disagree with and loads it into one question for the "conservative" panelist:
In his Monday column, “Tales of the Tea Party,” Ross Douthat, the New York Times' s idea of a conservative, exploded four common Tea Party myths spread by the left. The text box read “The stories liberals tell themselves.” What Douthat couldn’t mention was that all four kinds of “stories” have been told by Times reporters as well.
Douthat began by debunking the Tea Party racism myth, one spread by the paper's Tea Party beat reporter Kate Zernike on several occasions, to the point of considering opposition to the minimum wage racially suspect.
A month ago, a U.C.L.A. graduate student named Emily Elkins spent hours roaming a Tea Party rally on the Washington Mall, photographing every sign she saw.
Elkins, a former CATO Institute intern, was examining the liberal conceit that Tea Party marches are rife with racism and conspiracy theorizing. Last week, The Washington Post reported on her findings: just 5 percent of the 250 signs referenced Barack Obama’s race or religion, and 1 percent brought up his birth certificate. The majority focused on bailouts, deficits and spending -- exactly the issues the Tea Partiers claim inspired their movement in the first place.
The easy thing would be to take them at their word. But for liberals, that would be too simple. The Democrats are weeks away from a midterm thumping that wasn’t supposed to happen, and the liberal mind is desperate for a narrative, a storyline, something to ease the pain of losing to a ragtag band of right-wing populists. Something that explains the Tea Parties -- and then explains them away.
The “Tea Partiers are racists” theory is the most inflammatory storyline, but there are many more. Let’s consider them, in order of increasing plausibility.
Douthat then posted some paragraphs under the following four bullet headlines of stories liberal tell themselves. Under Douthat’s headlines I've inserted examples of how Times reporters have told their readers those same liberal stories.