Sheryl Gay Stolberg
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.”
New York Times congressional reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg went all out in “glorifying” the election of Ilhan Omar, Democrat of Minnesota a left-wing woman with a history of anti-Israel rhetoric newly elected to Congress: “Glorified and Vilified, Former Somalia Refugee Makes Her Way to Capitol.” The text box to the Monday edition story: “Sure-footed and tough, with a flair for inspirational rhetoric.” Stolberg didn’t completely avoid Omar’s controversies, but carefully spun them in Omar’s direction, and minimized or skipped the creepier aspects, totally avoiding Omar’s paranoid anti-Israel tweet from 2012, that Israel had “hypnotized the world” to ignore its “evil doings.”
The New York Times had a sporting take on the unusual live-television argument that occurred in the White House on Tuesday, with President Trump squaring off against Democratic congressional leaders Sen. Charles Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi over a border wall and a government shutdown: “Pelosi Tells Trump: ‘Don’t Characterize the Strength That I Bring.’” Reporters Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Annie Karni set the scene up as a boxing match, with Pelosi the winner by knockout. The Times even quoted Pelosi in the headline, indicating their collective enthusiasm for Pelosi’s liberal politics and her purported political victory in the Oval Office arena.
The New York Times was shocked, shocked, to find “a startling breach of decorum and of the norms” by a member of President Trump’s cabinet. Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Coral Davenport covered a heated social media spat between far-left Congressman Raul Grijalva and Ryan Zinke, Trump’s Secretary of the Interior: “Zinke’s Insults At Lawmaker Rattle Capitol.” It took chutzpah on the paper’s part to complain about Zinke’s insulting tweet about Rep. Grijalva's drinking, given the paper’s support of Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee smearing Brett Kavanaugh on drinking during his confirmation hearings a couple of months ago.
There was some intense flattering of Obama acolytes in the lead National section story of Monday’s New York Times: “Obama Alumni Add Heft to the House’s Freshman Class – Seasoned Policymakers, Well Versed in the Ways Of Washington, Heed the Call to Service.” In case the headline wasn’t fawning enough, the first paragraph: "Their previous jobs have taken them to the Oval Office, the Situation Room and the Senate floor. One met with a Saudi king and plotted strategy to fight the Islamic State. Another cracked down on human rights abuses in North Korea. Their Rolodexes are flush with former cabinet members and current Pentagon officials who are happy to take their calls."
New York Times Sheryl Gay Stolberg argued in a “news analysis” that “G.O.P. Folds Up the Big Tent and Unfurls Its Banner as the Party of Trump.” The online headline: “Two Years and Hundreds of Inflammatory Ads Later, the G.O.P. Is the Party of Trump.” Stolberg predictably found racist appeals from Republican presidential candidates going back to Ronald Reagan.
The New York Times gave vastly different views of Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford regarding their extraordinary testimony, consistently chiding Kavanaugh as "angry" and "aggrieved" and calling his judicial temperament into question -- as if anger wouldn't be a perfectly reasonable response to false allegations of sexual assault. The paper was clearly disappointed with Sen. Lindsey Graham for his fierce attacks on Democrats.