The New York Times did its part for the Hillary Clinton campaign (and President Obama’s legacy) in Thursday’s edition, offering happy talk about lost coal jobs in Kentucky, skipping over some inconvenient facts that would cloud the pro-Democratic narrative, while another story bashing Donald Trump’s tax plan passed up a golden opportunity to revive Clinton’s infamous “dead broke” comment.
The New York Times “Interpreter” column is a recent addition to the paper’s news pages. Sold as a philosophical fact-check, it comes off as an excuse to sneak yet more liberal opinion into the paper under the guise of offering an elevated perspective on current events. Most egregious yet: Wednesday’s column by Amanda Taub, in which she goes to ludicrous lengths to wave away the problem of the threat of sexual assault by Islamic migrants and denigrate conservative critics of the assaults: “Portraying Muslims as a Threat to Women, Donald Trump Echoes ‘Us vs. Them’ Refrain.” Taub’s text is even worse, as she offensively compares valid concerns about Islamic refugee sexual violence and refugee attitudes toward women in general to Jim Crow and the lynching days
Olympic judo competitor Islam El Shehaby of Egypt refused to shake hands with Or Sasson, the Israeli opponent who defeated him, after their August 12 match. Media coverage, though not widespread, was condemnatory of the Egyptian’s unsportsmanlike snub and religious hostility. Except for a post by the semi-anonymous blogger “N.P.” at the U.K.-based magazine The Economist, a magazine with an anti-Israel ideological line, which argued that “Israel’s holier-than-thou protestations, though, risk sounding shrill," and that it could have been a lot worse, referring to “the bullets that killed 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972.” Only “bullets” killed the Israeli athletes?
Air conditioning: Great for prisoners, bad for the environment? That’s the unwitting and contradictory takeaway from Tuesday’s New York Times. The lack of air conditioning in some Southern prisons led the National section. Alan Blinder fretted: “In U.S.’s ‘Sweatbox’ Jails, a Constitutional Clash Over Air-Conditioning.” But the same day's Science section asked rhetorically: "...can I use my air-conditioner guilt free?" and then responded with a sniff: "Not quite," citing myriad environmental problems.
President Obama, demi-god of cool. The New York Times Gardiner Harris hailed Obama’s musical taste in his Monday “White House Letter,” “The President’s Revealing Disclosure, in Rhythm and Prose.” Yep, it’s more of that tough Times coverage of the president, as Harris got way too excited over the president's “Musical taste that includes surf rock, soul and the blues.” But when it came to documenting Obama’s cultural signifiers that appeal to the liberal elite, Harris was only following in the fawning footsteps of his colleagues.
The Obama administration is once again riding to the rescue of U.S. Muslims persecuted by Republicans. That’s the takeaway from Monday’s lead National section story by Katie Shepherd (who claimed without evidence that "anti-Islamic rhetoric and discrimination surges this presidential election year"): “To Township, It’s a Zoning Issue. To Justice Dept., It’s Discrimination – The Federal Agency Emerges as a Bulwark For American Muslims.” The New York Times covered the controversy over the proposed Ground Zero mosque in similar positive fashion, while sliming critics of the project as Islamophobes.
New New York Times Public Editor Liz Spayd gets results? On Tuesday Spayd pondered, under the chiding headline, "The Clinton Story You Didn’t Read Here,” why her paper didn’t cover the latest turn in the Hillary Clinton private server saga. Finally, the Times provided some coverage of the controversy from a joint convention of minority journalists, but misleadingly called it a "press conference" and skipped the laudatory cheers those "objective" journalists gave the Democratic nominee.
In Saturday’s lead New York Times story, reporter Jackie Calmes glimpsed a silver lining in the rise of Donald Trump, as a challenge to the Republican party's myopic focus on “business and the privileged” that could relegate Reagan's "outmoded" ideas of tax cuts to the dustbin of history. The full deck of headlines: “As Trump Rises, G.O.P. Faces Push On Its Economics – Working-Class Appeal – Calling for the Party to Focus on Workers It Has Neglected.” Calmes used the prime piece of media real estate to aggressively push conservative “reformocons” who are against tax cuts.
The front page of Friday’s New York Times featured a welcome report by Anemona Hartocollis on how alumni aversion to left-wing protests and the squelching of free speech on campus is starting to hit those elite alma maters right in the pocketboo: “Amid College Protests, Alumni Are Less Fond and Less Giving." Hartocollis’ prominently placed article is a welcome corrective to the paper’s usual indulgence of such anti-speech attacks (while condemning the rare conservative campus pushback).
Thursday’s New York Times got a kick out of conservative defeats in Kansas at the local and national level, when it wasn’t from relishing Donald Trump controversies and prematurely crowning Hillary Clinton the winner of the election. Reporter Carl Hulse, always on the look-out for signs of conservative weakness, found a pattern in a defeat of “hard-right” Kansas congressman and Tea Party “firebrand” Tim Huelskamp: “Voters Send a Message in Tossing a Tea Party Firebrand From the House.”
New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani is notorious about letting her personal liberal politics infect her aesthetic judgment. In January 2009 she praised incoming president Barack Obama’s "love of fiction and poetry" that "imbued him with a tragic sense of history and a sense of the ambiguities of the human condition," as opposed to President George W. Bush's "prescriptive" reading that provided him only a black-and-white "Manichean view of the world." It’s near the end of the Obama era, and Kakutani is still keeping up with the current Manhattanite ideological fashions. The latest trend: Glibly, and offensively, comparing the violence and death-dealing of antebellum slavery to black suffering at the hands of police and the judicial system today, with a swipe at Ronald Reagan.
The New York Times covers Israeli politics much the way it does American politics:With bias toward conservatives. A headline over James Glanz’s story portrayed conservative Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a criminal who just hadn’t been caught (yet): “Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, Still a Step Ahead of Scandals, Faces a New Inquiry," smeared the PM with trumped-up scandals as being just a “Teflon-coated” step ahead of the law, a la Ronald Reagan. A day before, Netanyahu was falsely portrayed as “crushing Israel’s free press.”
Offensive BLM melodrama in the NYT: A "superhero” Black Lives Matter protester faced down “storm troopers” in a showdown compared to the Tiananmen Square massacre, according to the latest New York Times Magazine. Magazine photography critic Teju Cole compared a widely-circulated photo of a confrontation between police and BLM protester Ieshia Evans in Baton Rouge to the unknown “Tank Man” of the Tiananmen Square massacre.
The New York Times post-convention political roundup praised Democratic stage-craft, Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech, and forwarded complaints about bias at Fox News (but not CNN). Adam Nagourney’s “Stark Contrasts in Style and Substance” praised Democratic convention stagecraft and says that as a speaker who can “move a crowd, seize a moment...Barack Obama laps the field.”
The ultimate night of the Democratic National Convention saw the coronation of Hillary Clinton as the first female presidential nominee, celebrated on whole top half of the front page of Friday's New York Times. Meanwhile, Patrick Healy and Amy Chozick did their best to both humanize and historicize Hillary, "who sacrificed personal ambition for her husband’s political career and then rose to be a globally influential figure....a prize that generations of American women have dreamed about for one of their own."
New York Times coverage of Night 3 of the Democratic National Convention could be characterized by an hour-long swoon over Barack Obama’s speech -- pardon, his “stirring valedictory address." Also, Democrats were (again!) finding their voice on gun control, Bill celebrated Hillary, TMI-style, and Frank Bruni celebrated the president as "our national poet."
Night 2 of Democratic Convention coverage: A New York Times reporter referred to the Clintons’ “very rich and complicated relationship,” the “historic” card was played nonstop, and the editorial page owes Mitt Romney an apology on Russia. The reporters weren’t particularly thrilled with Bill Clinton’s speech, but one reporter still found a euphemism for Bill Clinton's personal sex scandals, finding the Clintons' marriage a "rich and complicated relationship."
The bias highlight of Night One of the Democratic National Convention from the New York Times was the laudatory coverage of “pop-culture heroine” Michelle Obama’s prime-time anti-Trump speech. The most prominent was Michael Shear and Mark Landler’a “Stirring Speech by a First Lady Backs Another." Nick Confessore found it "a moving political speech.” Meanwhile, Matt Flegenheimer looked back affectionately at how left-wing Hillary rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (aka "Birdie Sanders") became cool with the kids.
Monday’s New York Times highlighted Democratic “discord” on the eve of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, as outrage about the contents of a massive email leak from the Democratic National Committee, showing the DNC colluding to scuttle the insurgent campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders in favor of Hillary Clinton. But a “White House Letter” from Julie Hirschfeld Davis was more congenial to Democratic feelings: “Obama: A Character Witness and a Prominent Clinton Convert.” Meanwhile, the Times can’t decide if Hillary Clinton’s running mate Tim Kaine is a liberal or a centrist (sometimes he’s both within two sentences).
Liberal journalists may be spending the weekend gnashing their teeth over the New York Times Public Editor’s promise to analyze why people think the paper has a liberal bias. Liz Spayd recently became the paper’s sixth Public Editor, and she quickly got provocative in her second column for the Sunday Review: “Why Readers See The Times as Liberal.” The text box provided the flavor: “The danger of bias. Or even just its appearance.”