Why would failing to report on an anti-war group's openly displayed 'Letter from God' be a case for media bias?



Earlier today, TimesWatch made a run (with help from bloggers EU Rota and Cori Dauber) at a tendentious New York Times editorial claiming Bush "misled Americans" about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and terrorist connections. Now the White House itself has gotten in on the act, dissecting Tuesday's lead editorial, "Decoding Mr. Bush's Denials," piece by piece.



News Flash: Scandal-plagued left-wing radio network pitches the New York Times and obtains hoped-for "good press."


As financial scandal was breaking at the left-wing radio network Air America (in the blogosphere at least) this summer, the Times could spare just one weak Metro-section story on the network "borrowing" $875,000 from a Bronx Boys and Girls Club, despite the easily exploitable hypocrisy angle (liberals taking money from poor kids!).

Times Public Editor Barney Calame even made the unusual step (online, anyway) of actually chiding his paper for being slow on the uptake.


In a very atypical article, New York Times reporter David Kirkpatrick (the man usually designated to report on that strange anthropological sample known as conservatives) writes up a story on plans for anti-Alito ads by liberal groups which actually calls them "liberal groups." How refreshing.



The media have been extraordinarily giddy since last Tuesday’s elections. As NewsBusters’ Clay Waters reported on Thursday, the New York Times has been all over this story, suggesting that the replacement of two Democratic governors with two Democratic candidates for governor represented “Republican unraveling.” The New York Times’ Robin Toner continued with this theme this morning in an article entitled “An Opening For the Democrats, However Slim”:

“Democrats dream of another 1994, with control of the House changing hands, this time to them. All they need, after all, is a net gain of 15 seats, surely an attainable goal in a nation of 435 Congressional districts.”

The article quickly raised some hurdles for the Democrats to achieve this goal, none of which included possible problems with their agenda, or the public’s perception of them as not being any better than Republicans as depicted in poll after poll. Instead, Toner created a perfect excuse for failure in 2006:



The Times' top book critic again denies that there's liberal bias in the media.

This morning, Michiko Kakutani hails the anti-Bush book "Attack the Messenger" by Craig Crawford, a columnist for Congressional Quarterly, under the headline "Bushes' War Against Media."



Do the votes in New Jersey and Virginia signal a "Republican unraveling," as the Times suggests, or is the paper just promoting wishful Democratic thinking?

Thursday's "House Shelves Plans for Alaska Drilling" by Carl Hulse is ostensibly about the issue raised in the headline, but much of it harps on the Republican losses in Tuesday's elections (even though the party didn't actually lose any seats). The text box argues: "A concession adds sting to Republican election losses."



Democrats won yesterday’s gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia, both offices they held going into Tuesday’s voting, and Democrats lost the Virginia lieutenant governor’s race, a switch in favor of the GOP. That’s hardly an impressive show of electoral strength.


The media storyline from yesterday's election results has been, for the most part, that Democrats picked up big victories, and that it was all bad news for the Republicans. And that President Bush, bogged down in incompetence (Hurricane Katrina) and malice ("he lied - people died!"), pandering to the right-wing (Alito) and heading an out-of-control criminal White House (Libby and Rove) is acting as an anchor, dragging down the Republican Party, leading to these spectacular Democratic wins. We see it in the New York Times:
After months of sagging poll ratings, scandal and general political unrest, the Republicans badly needed some good news in Tuesday's elections for governor. What they got instead was a clear-cut loss in a red state, and an expected but still painful defeat in a blue one. The Republican loss in Virginia, which President Bush carried with 54 percent just a year ago, came after an 11th-hour campaign stop by Mr. Bush and the kind of all-out Republican effort to mobilize the vote that reaped rich rewards last year.


New Jersey and Virginia's tradition of odd-year elections for governor give the media ample fodder for speculation on how Democrats and Republicans will perform in future congressional and presidential elections. But for the New York Times, the Democratic successes of 2005 seem to have far more significance than did the Republican successes of 1993 and 1997.


Is Wal-Mart good for America or destroying its families? Two new documentaries show opposing views on the world’s largest retailer, but the media didn’t.

The anti-Wal-Mart film “Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price” has received most of the attention. The movie on the benefits of Wal-Mart, “Why Wal-Mart Works & Why That Makes Some People Crazy” was slighted. When both did get attention on “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” with the anti-Wal-Mart film getting more airtime from an agreeable Dobbs according to a report by the Free Market Project.

NBC began a November 1 “Today” segment with “A media blitz is under way about Wal-Mart and from Wal-Mart.” Text then appeared on the screen that read “Wal-Mart drives down retail wages $3 billion every year.” Despite mentioning the “media blitz” from Wal-Mart, the only official representation of the store was two lines from an ad. Reporter Dawn Fratangelo mentioned Wal-Mart’s new environmental programs and new health care plan. She then added “But critics call it a publicity stunt,” and interviewed a man from union-backed
wakeupwalmart.com about it. Only anti-Wal-Mart people were featured in the story, and nothing positive about the company was included.