Last week, Democrats held their first true presidential debate. With the field winnowed down to 10 candidates — three of them actual contenders for the nomination -- only one moment truly stood out. That moment came not from Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders but from a candidate desperate for attention: Beto O'Rourke. O'Rourke ran in 2018 for a Senate seat in Texas and lost in shockingly narrow fashion to incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz. 



The latest anti-Kavanaugh hit job comes in book form: “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation,” by New York Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly. An excerpt appeared Sunday: “Brett Kavanaugh Fit In. She Did Not.” That “she” is Deborah Ramirez, whose uncorroborated sexual allegation against Kavanaugh (were part of the hearings frenzy. The reporters claim a new and damaging account involving Kavanaugh and a lewd act at a party. But there was also one staggering factual omission that once again suggested the New York Times still cares more about ruining Kavanaugh’s reputation than the pursuit of truth.



New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg latest Trump-fearing packet of fury was promoted with a comic-book image that took up the entire front page of the Sunday Review: “The Changing Face Of Dystopia -- In the sequel to “The Handmaid’s Tale,” the truth saves. If only that still worked in real life.” Goldberg unashamedly conflated fiction and reality and saw the usual ominous parallels between Atwood’s fantasy and reality under President Trump.



Prolific horror fiction novelist Stephen King appeared on ABC’s The View, Wednesday to plug his newest book The Institute, about a group of teens with supernatural abilities who are kidnapped by a group of zealots, locked up and experimented on. While King claimed he left politics out of his stories, he connected the Trump administration “locking up kids in cages” as making his fictional novel, come to life.



Anthony Breznican interviewed the renowned horror novelist Stephen King for the New York Times: “Life Is Imitating Stephen King’s Art, and That Scares Him -- In his 61st novel, “The Institute,” children with supernatural abilities are taken from their parents and incarcerated. Sound familiar?” In case that subhead wasn’t obvious enough, the Times is referring to Trump “locking kids up.” King spouted: “All I can say is that I wrote it in the Trump era. I’ve felt more and more a sense that people who are weak, and people who are disenfranchised and people who aren’t the standard, white American, are being marginalized."



Conservatives have repeatedly protested how The New York Times "Bestseller List" doesn't live up to its name. The newest example came from Sean Davis of The Federalist, and the book in question is Justice On Trial by Mollie Hemingway (of The Federalist) and Carrie Severino. The book about the Kavanaugh confirmation shot to #1 on Amazon, but the Times was playing games....again.



Novelist John Irving heaved up “The Anti-Abortion Crusade’s Cruel History” onto the op-ed page of Monday’s New York Times. The text box provided this melodramatic slander: “Abortion opponents don’t care about an unwanted child or the mother.” That smear is repeated in Irving’s text. That tired bit of abuse skips a rather obvious point: That keeping the child from being killed is certainly an excellent start toward “caring” for it, as opposed to aborting it. While it’s not a perfect corollary between pro-life and pro-choice, studies indicate that “red states” residents are more generous givers than those of “blue states.”



Something fascinating happened in The New York Times Book Review on Sunday. They offered five separate reviews of books by "conservatives," even as they continued to ignore the number-one nonfiction book at the top of their own Best Sellers list: Unfreedom of the Press by Mark Levin. 



After months of hard work, Media Research Center founder and president Brent Bozell and director of media analysis Tim Graham have a new book out Tuesday titled Unmasked: Big Media's War Against Trump. Bozell and Graham bring all the MRC's research to bear on how the "objective press" used every tool in its toolbox to keep Donald Trump from becoming the President of the United States -- or remaining in that job.



New York Times reporter Peter Baker managed to peel himself away from the Mueller report long enough to lavish almost 1,400 words on a biography of the late first lady Barbara Bush, The Matriarch, on Thursday: “To Barbara Bush, Donald Trump Represented ‘Greed, Selfishness.’ The story’s text box expanded the argument: “Because of Mr. Trump, Mrs. Bush gave up on her party.” Baker reveled in Barbara Bush’s hostility toward Trump, and Nancy Reagan.



New York Times reporter Penelope Green filed an ostensible news story that read more like an earnest undergraduate paper (full of lines sure to mortify when read later) celebrating “second-wave” feminist Carol Gilligan: “Healing a Rupture That Spawns Patriarchy -- Carol Gilligan talks about male privilege, women’s silence, listening and lifting new voices.” Green's "news" story sounds more like an embarrassingly overwritten undergrad paper: "Incidentally, the “cleaning house” that Ms. Kondo teaches is exactly what many want to do with the patriarchy."



Is the New York Times book review truly a haven of centrism and neutrality? Lara Takenaga talked to Book Review editor Pamela Paul (Times Book Review editor since 2013) and section staffers Gregory Cowles and Barry Gewen. The piece was posted online in October 2018 but not printed until this week: “‘Political Switzerland’ for Books.” The “Switzerland” quip is from Paul, referring to the section's supposed ideological objectivity and neutrality. But a glance at any Times’ book review section (from either before or after Paul’s editorship) renders that assertion laughable.