After Roseanne Barr lost her hit show over a tweet, the blurb introducing television writer James Poniewozik’s report was morally convicting: "....when people decide to let racism slide, it costs the rest of us." A shame the Times chose not to apply that maxim to itself. Fast forward to the controversy over the paper’s hiring of Sarah Jeong to write about technology for the paper’s editorial board. Hours after the announcement came revelations from Jeong’s obsessively anti-white and anti-police ravings on Twitter, and a defense of Jeong’s hiring from the paper.
After Donald Trump chose former presidential candidate Ben Carson to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), journalists ridiculed the choice, mocked Carson’s beliefs and labeled him a “scammer.” Squawk Box co-anchor Joe Kernen anticipated the liberal media reaction on Dec. 5, saying, "Let's see, he's not a billionaire, so how's the mainstream media going to trash him? He's a -- he's just a loyalist. He's a doctor. Doesn't know anything about housing."
On Christmas Eve the New York Times pushed the NBA’s new gun control campaign (that's NBA, not NRA), both on the front page and the front of the Sports section. The sports editors really performed a full-court press, taking a local angle with an over-the-top deck of headlines above an enormous picture of New York Knicks player Carmelo Anthony: “Trying to Drown Out The Din of Gunshots – No Stranger to Despair, Anthony Joins Other Stars in Speaking Up for a Cause.” As long as it’s a cause approved of by the liberal Times, anyway.
Tuesday's New York Times "Gotham" column by Michael Powell went after conservative guerilla journalism in New York City: "At Advocates' Offices, Confronting an Anti-Liberal Scheme."
Powell, a well-known opponent of former New York City Republican Mayor Rudy Giuliani as a Metro reporter, portrayed methods that have an honored place in investigative journalism as "dirty tricks" when done by young conservative activists. While admitting ACORN did wrong, he chalked it up to stupidity, as if there was nothing sinister about giving a pimp advice on how to falsify taxes to conceal a prostitution ring.
Thursday’s lead story on the aftermath of the Iowa caucuses, “Romney Showing Financial Muscle For Next Round,” found New York Times reporters Jim Rutenberg (pictured) and Jeff Zeleny a little label-happy in Manchester, New Hampshire, using twelve variations on the “conservative” label in a 1,236-word story.
By contrast, back in 2008, the Times’s Michael Powell actually called the liberal Gov. Michael Dukakis a “pragmatist” and ultra-liberal politicians Sen. Ted Kennedy and Jesse Jackson “populists,” while calling Sen. Hillary Clinton a “liberal pragmatist” a grand total of once. In the same story, Sen. John Edwards was described as having wrapped himself in a “populist cloak.”
“Fiscal conservatism, in other words, comes with its own costs.” That sums up the lead story in Thursday’s National section by Michael Powell and Midwest bureau chief Monica Davey from Indianapolis, “The Indiana Exception? Yes, but...A State Averts the Worst of the Recession, But Its Success Comes at a Steep Social Cost.”
It’s a major story, packed with statistics and charts and interviews, clocking in at 2,500 words, which suggests the idea to bring Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels down a peg was being bandied about back when the governor seemed about to enter the Republican presidential race (he declined on May 22, citing family concerns).
Gov. Mitch Daniels sits in his grand cave of a Renaissance Revival office and reviews Indiana’s economic fortunes, his self-effacing manner not entirely disguising satisfaction. The state’s pension funds are relatively healthy, the unemployment rate is dropping slowly and per capita income is ticking up, slowly.
The New York Times provided big play to Tuesday’s special congressional election to fill New York's 26th congressional district near Buffalo, a race in which Democrat Kathy Hochul upset Republican Jane Corwin. Reporter Raymond Hernandez was quick to assume this one special race spells bad news for Republican plans to reform Medicare, and their prospects in the national elections 18 months away. But how does the Times typically react when Republicans win special and off-year elections?
The stack of headlines to Wednesday’s off-lead story by the conservative-hostile Hernandez set the tone: "Gaining Upset, Democrat Wins New York Seat -- Blow to National G.O.P. -- Victor in House Contest Fought a Republican Plan on Medicare."
Democrats scored an upset in one of New York’s most conservative Congressional districts on Tuesday, dealing a blow to the national Republican Party in a race that largely turned on the party’s plan to overhaul Medicare.
The results set off elation among Democrats and soul-searching among Republicans, who questioned whether they should rethink their party’s commitment to the Medicare plan, which appears to have become a liability heading into the 2012 elections.
Michael Powell’s New York Times story on the latest job figures made the lead slot in Saturday’s Times, with a headline portraying a revitalized Obama and a defensive G.O.P. “U.S. Posts A Gain Of 216,000 Jobs, A Lift For Obama -- Private Sector On Rise -- As Jobless Rate Falls to 8.8%, White House Warns G.O.P.”
One might not think an 8.8% unemployment rate would be cause for swagger and celebration, but you couldn't tell that from the Times's headline and lead.
The United States economy showed signs of kicking into gear in March, adding 216,000 jobs and prompting President Obama to proclaim a corner finally turned.
The president and his fellow Democrats pointed to the latest jobs report on Friday, and to an unemployment rate that fell a touch to 8.8 percent, as evidence that their policies, like stimulus spending and the payroll tax cut, were working. All of this, they made clear, could become ammunition in their showdown with House Republicans, who have spoken of cutting deeply into the federal budget and have threatened a government shutdown.
An emboldened Mr. Obama spoke of the political implications before several hundred workers at a United Parcel Service shipping center in Landover, Md.
Powell’s admission and other bits of backhanded praise came, conveniently enough, in a December 23 story on Giuliani’s evident retirement from seeking office:
If this was goodbye, an air of the desultory clung to it, as a man once seen as destined for high office stood in the basement of a Midtown hotel and endorsed another politician for another office -- governor -- once in his sight.
From president to governor to senator, the list of powerful offices that the man, former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, once dreamed of capturing is long, and his longing now seems likely to go unrequited. In the past month he has forsworn interest in running for governor and for United States senator. After he endorsed Rick Lazio for governor, even the honorific shouted by reporters at the press conference on Tuesday -- Mr. Mayor! Mr. Mayor! -- had an antiquated sound to it.
As a federal prosecutor in Manhattan, he broke up cartels and took on the Mob, smashed corrupt politicians and threw a shudder into the insider-trading precincts of Wall Street (even if federal judges questioned his judgments and overturned some verdicts). If he was caricatured as a Savonarola for the 1980s, one could argue that the times required a harsh taskmaster.
George W. Bush has taken up a quiet post-presidential life. Like his father, he has sworn off any public denunciation of his Democratic successor. The Washington Post has an odd way of showing appreciation for Bush’s humble exit: mocking him on Saturday’s front page about his return to Texas: "In Insular World, the Negative Is Left Behind."
Sound like corporate synergy with Newsweek from a few years ago? The reporter is none other than serial Obama-flatterer Eli Saslow. No one at the Post seemed to debate this story idea: did Bill Clinton start having Bob Barr and the other impeachment managers over for hot dogs and Ruffles after he left office, or was he surrounded by friends and supporters? As Saslow recounts Bush talking to neighbors about his presidential memories, there are hints of delusion:
The presidency that is remembered on Daria Place bears little resemblance to the one that most of the country continues to blame for its problems. Bush left Washington on Jan. 20 with two-thirds of Americans disapproving of his job performance -- one of the worst ratings ever for an outgoing U.S. president. In his return to private life, he has maintained tranquility by adhering to a basic philosophy:
He lives squarely in the remaining 33 percent.
Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand is the new senator from New York, replacing Hillary Clinton, who resigned her Senate seat to become Secretary of State in the Obama administration. But the New York Times hasn't exactly rolled out the welcome mat. So far the paper has done little but nag Gillibrand for being insufficiently liberal, pushing her to back away from her stands against amnesty for illegal immigrants and her support of gun rights.
A Metro section story by Kirk Semple on Wednesday, "Drawing Fire on Immigration, Gillibrand Reaches Out," argued that Gillibrand must adapt by moving to the left to appease her diverse and apparently angry vast new constituency.
During her one term in the House of Representatives, from a largely rural, traditionally Republican district, Kirsten E. Gillibrand was on safe political ground adopting a tough stance against illegal immigration.
Ms. Gillibrand, a Democrat, opposed any sort of amnesty for illegal immigrants, supported deputizing local law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration laws, spoke out against Gov. Eliot Spitzer's proposal to allow illegal immigrants to have driver's licenses and sought to make English the official language of the United States.
But since her appointment by Gov. David A. Paterson last week to fill the Senate seat vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton, Ms. Gillibrand has found herself besieged by immigrant advocates and Democratic colleagues who have cast her as out of step with a majority of the state, with its big cities and sprawling immigrant enclaves.
The back and forth of racial accusations between the Obama and McCain camps made the front of Friday's New York Times in "McCain Camp Says Obama Plays 'Race Card,'" by Michael Cooper and Michael Powell. The reporters bizarrely suggested that it was the GOP, not Obama, that has injected race into the campaign, and relayed some dubious anecdotes to suggest Obama has been a victim of racist Republican attacks.
To continue the fun, a McCain spokesman on Friday compared the Times's editors to your "average Daily Kos diarist sitting at home in his mother's basement" playing Dungeons & Dragons.