If it's Thursday, it must be...yet another front-page New York Times story on the issue that is going to tear the Republican Party apart and doom prospects in 2016 (the actual issue changes every week, of course).
On cue with the ginned-up controversy over Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, came reporter Jennifer Steinhauer's story, under a liberally stacked deck of headlines: "Rights Measures Expose Divisions In G.O.P.'s Ranks – Debate Enters '16 Race – Laws Seen as Targeting Gays, and Posing a Peril to Business."
The New York Times demonstrated their ardor to take Chris Christie down a peg again in the Tuesday front page story headlined “In Christie’s Career, Fondness for Luxe Benefits.” Reporters Kate Zernike and Michael Barbaro did a “deep dive” into Christie’s fondness for private planes and luxury hotels.
So try a Nexis search over the last year for “Hillary Clinton” and “private planes” or “private jets.” No news story. “Hillary Clinton” and “luxury”? No news story. Zernike and Barbaro know they could do this kind of a news story, as they admit in their Christie story:
Saturday's front-page report on Jeb Bush, "Looking to ’16, Another Bush Stakes Out the Middle Ground," marks the latest New York Times profile to flatter the moderate Republican, at least in comparison to those "hard-line" right-wing conservatives. But such reportorial flattery from the Times would end the day Jeb Bush won the Republican primary, as John McCain found out in 2008.
New York Times reporter Michael Barbaro issued a gushing profile Sunday of Jeb Bush, former Republican governor of Florida, possible presidential contender, and, apparently, the smart Bush: "Jeb Bush Gives Party Something To Think About." By contrast, President George W. Bush, who "left Yale with gentleman’s C’s after four years" (shouldn't that at least be "graduated Yale"?) is a potential millstone around Jeb's neck.
There is much praise of Jeb Bush's voracious book reading and formidable intelligence, but a Barbaro tweet reveals a side agenda – denigrating GWB: "My deep dive into the intellectual life of Jeb Bush, who's definitely not his brother." (Barbaro has previously gone to silly extremes to denigrate Republican politicians.)
The New York Times covered the latest annual gathering of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) with its usual mix of suspicion, overloaded labeling bias, and anti-GOP doomsaying. The paper's skeptical coverage of the three-day conservative confab, held this year at National Harbor on the Potomac, opened with two stories in Friday's edition, one on the organizers's attempts to put "a less strident face on the convention and the party."
Reporter Jonathan Martin's rundown of the speech by Republican star Sen. Marco Rubio, still in the mix for the 2016 presidential race, contained nine "conservative" labels, which actually makes it a model of restraint for the Times compared to last year's label-heavy reporting. Yet the question remains: Just how many "conservative" labels do you need, when the conference has the actual word "conservative" in the title?
Joseph Lhota is a moderate Republican running for mayor of New York City, but Michael Barbaro's front page Thursday story focuses on an incident back in 1999 when he inflamed Manhattan's artsy liberal elite: "For Mayoral Hopeful Who Lost Fight to Remove Art, No Regrets." Barbaro also reminds us that the New York Times is guilty of double standards in its treatment of art that offends religious sensibilities.
Lhota was deputy mayor under Rudy Giuliani when controversy erupted over the Brooklyn Museum's display of Chris Ofili's painting of the "Holy Virgin Mary," clumped with elephant dung.
2012 was another banner year for bias at the New York Times, from slanted coverage of campaign 2012, to bizarre displays of unfairness to conservatives. The Times also intensified its push for liberal legislation on issues dear to the heart of its readership, like fighting "climate change" and amnesty for illegal immigrants. Here are some of the worst bits of bias from the year that was. (There's a more comprehensive version of this article on Times Watch.)
Taking Sides With Mitt Romney's Snobby Liberal Neighbors
Epitomizing the paper's social liberalism, the front of the June 7 New York Times Home section (!) featured a large story targeting Republican nominee Mitt Romney that made the paper's notorious front-page investigation into Ann Romney's horse look as significant as Watergate by comparison.
The New York Times leaned "Forward!" for Barack Obama's reelection in its campaign coverage over the weekend. The front of the paper's Saturday Election 2012 section featured a large photo from an Obama rally of a volunteer handing out flags at a fairground rally in Hilliard, Ohio on Friday. The caption noted "A crowd of 2,800 showed up to see Mr. Obama."
Meanwhile, campaign reporter Ashley Parker estimated on Twitter Friday night that 25,000 people attended a Romney rally in West Chester Township in Ohio. But those strong turnout figures for Romney, which suggested high levels of enthusiasm in a crucial state, were buried in the very back of Parker and Michael Barbaro's Sunday story from the campaign trail.
The second 2012 presidential debate hosted by Candy Crowley got the full court press from the New York Times, with live fact-checking online and a 40-minute TimesCast wrap-up, that found Times reporters wrongly defending Obama and bashing Mitt Romney on a fiery exchange on Libya. Times journalists were highly supportive of Barack Obama's performance and critical of the "peevish" Mitt Romney, who "was arguably showing disrespect for the president," as Jackie Calmes insisted.
Times journalists also falsely insisted that President Obama had called the Benghazi attacks "an act of terror" in a Rose Garden speech the day after, and that Mitt Romney had made a "serious gaffe" when he suggested Obama had not. Yet in fact, as two other Times journalists softly pointed out later in the videocast, Obama was only speaking generally when he said in his Rose Garden speech that "no acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this nation." Of the Benghazi assault, Managing Editor Richard Berke admitted that Obama "didn't say 'it was a terrorist attack.' It was more of a vague quote."
On Thursday, New York Times campaign reporters Michael Barbaro and Ashley Parker filed a relatively positive story on the suddenly resurgent Romney campaign: "Romney Campaign Looks to Capitalize on Image Voters Saw in Debate."
Inside Mitt Romney’s campaign headquarters over the past few days, the data pouring in was unmistakable. Aides scouring the results of focus groups and national polls found that undecided voters watching the presidential debate in Denver seemed startled when the Republican candidate portrayed all year by Democrats -- the ultraconservative, unfeeling capitalist -- did not materialize.
New York Times campaign reporter Michael Barbaro jumped on the hidden Mitt video in a"Caucus" post Tuesday night, eagerly dramatizing "A Mood of Gloom Afflicts the Romney Campaign."
Mitt Romney’s traveling press secretary walked to the back of the candidate’s plane midflight on Tuesday and teasingly asked a pair of journalists in an exit row if they were “willing and able to assist in case of an emergency.”
Under the circumstances, it was hard to tell whether it was a question or a request.
A secretly recorded video of Mitt Romney speaking at a fundraiser about the "47 percent of the country who are dependent on government," put out last night by the liberal magazine Mother Jones, calls into question whether Romney is "at base, an empathetic and caring man." That's according to the New York Times, which rushed the Monday night breaking news onto Tuesday morning's front page in a story by Michael Shear and Michael Barbaro, "In Video Clip, Romney Calls 47% ‘Dependent’ and Feeling Entitled."