Sheryl Gay Stolberg
New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg handled the latest disturbing anti-Israel outburst from a controversial Democratic freshmen representative...by rushing to Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s defense in Tuesday’s edition under a headline that reduced the controversy to a partisan squabble: “A ‘Calming Feeling,’ a Furor and a New Front in the War Over Anti-Semitism.” Tlaib made a bizarre and historically fraudulent comment on Jews fleeing persecution and Palestinians supposedly giving them refuge after the Holocaust. The paper’s response fits the media pattern. When a Democrat says something offensive or controversial, the media reacts not to the actual Democratic statement, but how the Republicans reacted to it, “pouncing” or otherwise.
Reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg buttered up another influential Democrat, House Oversight Committee chairman, Rep. Elijah Cummings. Rep. Cummings, who is aggressively, some would say recklessly, going after the Trump administration and threatening the president with impeachment, was hailed in Thursday’s New York Times: “Evenhanded Chairman Changes His Tone as the President Tests His Patience.” The paper also showed a sudden respect for Christianity, at least when it is practiced by a Democrat.
Former senator and vice president Joe Biden is officially running for president, and once again went to Anita Hill in its front-page story Friday, “Biden’s ‘Regret’ For Hill’s Pain Fails to Soothe.” Hill is seen by the press as a victim of both Clarence Thomas and the all-white, all-male Senate Judiciary Committee. She made regular appearances in the paper during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, and been given a fresh life with Biden’s presidential announcement: "....Ms. Hill says the call from Mr. Biden left her feeling deeply unsatisfied."
As Democrats make hay out of the potential “obstruction of justice” details in the Mueller report and ponder impeachment proceedings, the New York Times is taking a much more enthusiastic line on impeaching a president than it did the last time it was done, to Democrat Bill Clinton, in 1999. Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Nicholas Fandos reported on Thursday’s front page under a headline suggesting Democrats would only be upholding their sacred duty by impeaching Trump: “Impeachment Divides a Party Balancing Duty With Danger.”
Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar’s latest disturbing comment, this time describing the 9-11 terror attacks dismissively as “some people did something....”, provided fodder for the New York Times to get offended. Not offended by Omar’s comment, of course, but against Donald Trump and New York Post for tough responses. Maggie Haberman and Sheryl Gay Stolberg tried to artificially widen Trump’s Twitter attack on Omar’s 9-11 comments into an assault on all Muslims in America on Tuesday’s front page: “Trump Rekindles Campaign Threat Of Islamic peril.” It began: "President Trump has often seen the political benefits of stigmatizing Muslims."
Reporters and columnists took a petulant tone in Wednesday’s New York Times in the aftermath of the Mueller report and the Trump Administration’s triumphant reaction. One can visualize gritted teeth and pursed lips of the paper’s journalists reporting on Trump administration insiders, celebrating vindication, But fear not, there is hope for the Democrats. Wednesday’s lead story, “Move to Nullify Health Care Act Roils Democrats,” had this cheery text box summary: “A chance to shift the conversation from the Mueller report.”
New York Times reporters Glenn Thrush and Sheryl Gay Stolberg kept up with the ongoing (and for Democrats, seemingly never-ending) saga over the constant spew of anti-Semitic statements emanating from controversial new Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar. The suspiciously regretful-sounding “Democrats Let Their Message Escape Them” appeared on the front of Thursday’s edition. Indeed, the reporters appeared to lament the controversy less for Rep. Omar’s actual anti-Semitic statements than for distracting Democrats from liberal legislation. A previous story sported tougher anti-Republican language, calling out "bigoted" remarks by the GOP.
Reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg was concerned about the ramifications of the latest (it’s hard to keep track) anti-Semitic controversy around new Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar. But it’s not concern over Omar’s latest offensive statement, in which she said during a friendly interview that Israel activists “push for allegiance to a foreign country.” Instead, Stolberg is concerned Omar is right about the harmful and outsized power wielded by the pro-Israel lobbying group American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC): “Ilhan Omar’s Criticism Raises the Question: Is Aipac Too Powerful?”
New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg went into a defensive crouch on behalf of the Democratic Party as it was being “vilified” by the GOP in Monday’s “Republicans Hope to Sway Voters With Labels That Demonize Democrats.” The online headline was even less objective: “Republicans Already Are Demonizing Democrats as Socialists and Baby Killers.” Stolberg’s lead resembled more the work of a whining liberal columnist than a hard-nosed political reporter: "In the 116th Congress, if you’re a Democrat, you’re either a socialist, a baby killer or an anti-Semite."
The New York Times’ reaction to the anti-Semitic controversies engulfing two freshmen Democrats shows that “whataboutism” -- trying to discredit an opponent's position by charging them with hypocrisy -- is no longer “the last refuge of scoundrels” but is back in favor. Mark Landler used Democratic-friendly rhetoric to change the subject and tar Trump as the one with the anti-Semitism problem, in “Trump, No Stranger to Jewish Stereotypes, Rejects Ilhan Omar’s Apology.” Sheryl Gay Stolberg’s story, “In Surprise Vote, House Republicans Lift Anti-Semitism to Political Issue,” also had a distinct “Republicans pounce” vibe, casting Omar and Rashida Tlaib as poor, passive victims of cynical Republicans:
There is angst in the Democratic Party over the party’s emerging hostile stance on Israel, and it finally broke onto the New York Times front page on Saturday. “Discord Over Israel Reveals Democrats’ Divide,” on two controversial new Democratic Muslim congresswomen, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. Both have gotten themselves into controversy with controversial, inflammatory statements about Israel, though the Times and other outlets have often sidestepped the matter. Sheryl Gay Stolberg’s new story makes up for the omission somewhat, though still pulls some punches and focus on Republican pouncing.
California Democratic Rep. Nancy Pelosi is Speaker of the House again, and the New York Times Sheryl Gay Stolberg, fresh off whitewashing the reputation of new Rep. Ilhan Omar, is thrilled: “Same Gavel, but Whole New Challenge for Pelosi.” The online headline had more room to gush: “Nancy Pelosi, Icon of Female Power, Will Reclaim Role as Speaker and Seal a Place in History.” The text box on the story’s inside continuation page: “Poised to be the public face of the opposition in the ear of #MeToo.”