Clay Waters was director of Times Watch, a former project of the Media Research Center.
Latest from Clay Waters
The New York Times dubiously blamed girlish stereotypes and traditionalism in affluent districts for girls’ (relative) lack of representation among high-achievers in math in “Where Boys Outperform Girls in Math: Rich, White and Suburban Districts,” featured prominently in the news section of Sunday’s paper. As scholar and author Christine Sommers noted, “This New York Times article documents a large reading gap favoring girls and a small math gap that sometimes favors boys. Guess which gap is presented as a big problem?”
Yet another long New York Times article on the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela spared no space for the “S-word,” -- socialism -- that is the root cause of the country’s woes. William Neuman and Clifford Krauss devoted 1,700 words on the front of Friday’s edition to one facet of the country’s woes: "Job at Oil Giant Is No Longer Path to the Venezuelan Dream.” The absence of the actual cause of Venezuela’s human tragedy – authoritarian socialism – is par for the course for the paper, as demonstrated on Newsbusters again and again.
Should the Trump administration interact with religious leaders? It depends. New York Times' Catie Edmondson went hard against Trump’s supposed anti-Muslim (as opposed to anti-Islamic terrorism) animus in “As Trump Woos Middle Eastern Leaders, Muslim Americans Feel Scorned.” Yet the Times also criticized the Trump administration for meeting with Christians.
When do controversial candidates risk hurting the party as a whole? Only when they’re Republicans. That’s the takeaway from The New York Times's Thursday coverage of primary races for the House and Senate. A Republican gave an all-too-accurate statement about the media would cover Republican Corey Stewart going forward: “Every candidate will be asked if they support Stewart." Meanwhle, a Democrat who admitted to domestic violence stood alone, and was even allowed to speak of "redemption" for himself.
New York Times reporter Jake Lucas performed public relations for the paper’s social media outreach, celebrating a recently established Times Facebook group in Tuesday’s edition. It has a modest membership and a poorly disguised left-wing tilt to its membership.
“Atrocities Under Kim Jong-un: Indoctrination, Prison Gulags, Executions” is a solid, depressing rundown of the totalitarian state in Monday’s New York Times. So what took the paper so long to acknowledge the brutality of the regime? The timing seems calculated to embarrass President Trump, in Singapore at a summit meeting with the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. Mere months ago the Times was celebrating Kim's sister on the front page:"Flashing a sphinx-like smile and without ever speaking in public, Ms. Kim managed to outflank Mr. Trump’s envoy to the Olympics, Vice President Mike Pence, in the game of diplomatic image-making."
More strange new respect for religion -- or at least religious figures who advocate left-wing issues – in Sunday’s New York Times. Elisabetta Povoledo reported from Rome on Pope Francis’s “climate change” crusade and his lecture of corporations in “Pope Urges Oil Executives to Act on Climate: ‘There Is No Time to Lose.’” (Christian conservative opponents of gay marriage and abortion still reliably get hostile coverage.) Povoledo leveraged the Pope’s moral authority to push warming as a “global crisis.”
On the front page of Sunday’s New York Times, environmental reporter Coral Davenport devoted over 2,000 words to the Trump administration's alleged "retreat from scince." The headline made the proposition clear: “In the Trump Administration, Science Is Unwelcome. So Is Advice.” To Davenport, "science" includes support for the liberal climate change consensus, and the Iran deal.
In Friday’s lead New York Times story on the Group of 7 meeting of industrialized nations in Canada which opened today, reporter Michael Shear set the table with sour grapes for Trump and sympathy for Europe’s more conventionally liberal leadership: “Anger Flares Up As The Group of 7 Heads to Quebec": "Mr. Trump is the black sheep of this family, the estranged sibling who decided to pick fights with his relatives just before arriving to dinner."
Writer Laura Pappano devoted a full page of The New York Times to praise Christian college students for opening up their universities to liberal mores: “Living Out the Message – Christian college students are using their love for Jesus to engage with and change the world, including pushing for gay rights.”
New York Times reporter Nicholas Fandos hiked out to Montana to talk to Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana for Monday’s edition. Tester, who may be tested in the fall as he’s up for re-election in a state Donald Trump carried by 20 points, was fawned over on his farm by Fandos, both in the main story, “Senate Democrat in Deep-Red Montana Isn’t Sweating Trump’s Threats,” and also an “Inside the Times” preview on page 2. Fandos painted a flattering picture of a folksy down-home Democrats who loved nothing better than messing about on the family farm.
The New York Times featured a university student in France who has become a liberal hero by embracing a tenet of fundamentalist Islam in the form of a headscarf. It’s jarring to read a Times article so gung-ho in support of a sign of religious fundamentalism, and which criticizes the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo without mentioning the massacre of 12 of its employees by radical Islamists in 2015. The Times betrays a double standard when it comes to Islamic fundamentalism compared to that of other religions.
New York Times Sheryl Gay Stolberg reported from a California town that the GOP has (once again) doomed itself in upcoming congressional elections because of (once again) immigration: “Republicans, Seats at Risk, Fight for ‘Dreamers.’” Stolberg’s zeroed in on Republican Rep. Jeff Denham of California for her front-page Saturday story: "A vote this summer to help undocumented immigrants could demoralize President Trump’s most ardent supporters and depress Republican turnout in November. A vote to toughen immigration rules and harm the young Dreamers would further energize Democratic voters."
Showing impressive gumption, the New York Times' Amanda Taub actually blamed Trump for the factual failures among the left and its media allies circulating an Obama-era photo of two migrant children in a cage and blaming it on Trump: "Research shows that the loss of this trust -- particularly when combined with extreme polarization -- can weaken support for democracy over time. This story’s viral spread suggests that the administration’s treatment of immigrants could have far-reaching consequences for all Americans."
Former National Intelligence Director James Clapper was the subject of a sickly sweet interview for technology magazine Wired: “How A Former US Spy Chief Became Trump’s Fiercest Critic.” The loving interview was penned by Garrett Graff, former editor in chief of The Washingtonian and deputy national press secretary for liberal Democratic governor and presidential candidate Howard Dean. Isn’t it odd that the technology-loving, privacy-embracing rebels at Wired are so enthusiastically taking the side of the national security state and domestic surveillance?
Tuesday’s New York Times led with Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Maggie Haberman rushing to tar President Trump’s criticism of the “deep state” and the mainstream press as corrosive, paranoid, and conspiratorial (while unwittingly strengthening his case) in “Trump’s Embrace Of ‘Spygate” Plot Sows Suspicions -- Eroding Public Trust -- Conspiracy Theories Are Brought From Fringes to the Oval Office.” The text box didn’t offer much benefit of the doubt: “Ex-aides cite political opportunism and the president’s paranoia.”
The front of Monday’s New York Times featured socialist-spouting economics reporter Peter Goodman using Prescot, a struggling town in northwest England, as a cudgel for Margaret Thatcher bashing worthy of a Marxist professor: "After Years of Fiscal Belt-Tightening, England is Feeling the Pinch – Prolonged Budget Cuts Reshape British Life.” Goodman started hot and didn’t let up: "A walk through this modest town in the northwest of England amounts to a tour of the casualties of Britain’s age of austerity."
New York Times reporter Nellie Bowles devoted a 3,400-word attack on Jordan Peterson, the Canadian psychologist, professor, YouTube lecture star, and author of the runaway best-seller 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, who has become Public Enemy No. 1 for the intersectional left. The headline gave away Bowles’ dishonest take: “Jordan Peterson, Custodian of the Patriarchy -- He says there’s a crisis in masculinity. Why won’t women -- all these wives and witches -- just behave?” Ben Shapiro didn’t mince words in his takedown: "The piece is tailored to Bowles’ message: Peterson is a horrifying misogynist."
Following the rest of the press, New York Times reporter Julie Hirschfeld Davis falsely portrayed the president as attacking all “undocumented immigrants” (in the paper’s politically correct terminology) as “animals” when he was clearly only talking about criminal gangs, including the murderous MS-13. The story came out of a White House meeting between President Trump and California mayors and sheriffs who oppose the state’s policy of “sanctuary cities” to protect illegal immigrants: “Trump Rants on Unauthorized Migrants: ‘These Aren’t People, These Are Animals.”
The New York Times has been heavily criticized for its blatantly anti-Israeli coverage of the deadly protest in Gaza, after the terrorist group Hamas urged Palestinian civilians to rush the fence guarding Israel’s border from attack. The disparity continued on Wednesday’s front page, “Israelis Reflect: ‘I Hope at Least That Each Bullet Was Justified.’” Reporters Isabel Kershner and David Halbfinger reported from a kibbutz close to the conflict, near the “open-air prison” that they call Gaza.