Feb
23
2010

You Can't Be a Neutral Observer of Your Child's War

New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt (2/21/10) returns to the issue of Times Jerusalem bureau chief Ethan Bronner having a child fighting on one side of the conflict he's covering (FAIR Activism Update, 2/12/10): Some Times journalists have taken issue with my position in this case, believing it suggests that no Jewish reporter could fairly cover the Israeli/Palestinian conflict (or, for that matter, a corollary: that a Muslim of Arab descent could not cover Iraq). Until Thomas L. Friedman was sent to Jerusalem in 1984, the Times would not assign a Jew to that post, a sorry history that […]

Feb
21
2010

When a Scandal Involves a Stockholder, NYT Takes a Pass

James Ledbetter (Big Money, 2/20/10) points out that Mexican media mogul Carlos Slim, the third-richest person on the planet and one of the New York Times' biggest stockholders, is a central player in a remarkable New York-based legal story–one that the Times has so far ignored. The story involves Slim's attempt to take over a loan that JPMorgan Chase made to a subsidiary of Grupo Televisa, Slim's major business rival–a deal that would have required Televisa to reveal virtually all its financial secrets. A U.S. federal judge in New York City held that JPMorgan was acting in "bad faith" and […]

Feb
16
2010

NYT Documents NATO's Concern for Civilian Casualties

From one of today's New York Times stories (2/16/10) about the NATO/U.S. campaign in Marja, Afghanistan (emphasis added): The heavy civilian toll highlighted the stressful and confusing nature of the fighting, especially in Marja, and of the difficulties inherent in conducting military operations in a guerrilla war, where insurgents can hide easily among the population. Still, the deaths are troubling to the American and NATO commanders, who have made protecting civilians the overriding objective of their campaign–even when doing so comes at the expense of letting insurgents get away. The stream of news releases flowing from NATO headquarters detailing the […]

Feb
12
2010

NYT and Climate Change: It Gets Worse

On Tuesday, the New York Times (2/9/10) was front-paging a non-story about criticism of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change– hyping accusations about scientific misconduct and conflicts of interest that the paper itself called "half-truths" (FAIR Blog, 2/9/10). Well, it turns out that there was quite a bit of snow on the East Coast this week, which seeminglyinspired another awful piece (2/11/10), this one headlined "Climate-Change Debate Is Heating Up in Deep Freeze." The whole premise of the piece is based on complaints from right-wing climate change deniers–Sen. James M. Inhofe, assorted "global-warming critics," Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge and the […]

Feb
10
2010

NYT Covers Harper's Investigation… Sort Of

As Steve Rendall noted here (1/22/10), Scott Horton's explosive Harper's report (3/10) on several ostensible suicides at Guantanamo has received very little mainstream media attention–despite the fact that Horton's account suggests that the prisoners were murdered by U.S. officials at a "black site" within the Guantanamo facility. But never fear–the story has finally broken through. And in the New York Times, no less! Sort of… it's on the letters page. To the Editor: Re "Editorial Shake-Up as Harper's Tries to Stabilize in a Downturn" (Business Day, February 1): I'd like to clarify your report of something I said at a […]

Feb
09
2010

NYT and the IPCC: Little Evidence, Big Story

Last month CJR blogger Curtis Brainard (1/29/10) complained that the media were not giving enough attention to some complaints–mostly from climate change deniers–about the 2007 IntergovernmentalPanel on Climate Change report and complaints about IPCC head Rajendra Pachauri. Jim Naureckas suggested right here that this was a bad idea, but today the New York Times (2/9/10) seemed totake CJR's advice. The headline ("U.N. Climate Panel and Chief Face Credibility Siege") and second paragraph suggest something important: But Dr. Pachauri and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are now under intense scrutiny, facing accusations of scientific sloppiness and potential financial conflicts of […]

Jan
29
2010

David Brooks Thinks the Little Guy Isn't Sacrificing Enough

David Brooks, the conservative New York Times columnist who speaks for the little guy who eats at the Applebee's salad bar, has figured out (1/29/10) what Barack Obama ought to do: Force the country to accept common sacrifice. This is the issue that unlocks everything else…. Establish your credibility and offer to raise taxes on the lower 98 percent. At a time of 10 percent unemployment, when the median wage for male workers is lower than it was in 1974, Brooks has a solution: Let them not eat so much cake.

Jan
27
2010

New Action Alert: Does NYT's Jerusalem Chief Have a Conflict?

FAIR has a new Action Alert out, "Does NYT's Top Israel Reporter Have a Son in the IDF?" (1/27/10), about the New York Times' failure to respond to questions about whether Jerusalem bureau chief Ethan Bronner's son is enlisted in Israel's military, and, if so, whether this poses a conflict of interest. If you send a message to the Times about the alert–or otherwise have thoughts you'd like to share about the alert–please make use of the comments thread for this post.

Jan
27
2010

NYT Covers Tasini's 'Long Shot' Senate Bid

The New York Times, which we had criticized (FAIR Blog, 1/12/10, 1/13/10) for ignoring insurgent candidate Jonathan Tasini in its coverage of the New York Senate race, ran a substantial piece about his candidacy today (1/27/10). While the piece, by N.R. Kleinfield, had a somewhat wry tone as it stressed the "long shot" nature of Tasini's bid, it also gave him space to outline his progressive policy positions and how they differ from those of incumbent Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

Jan
27
2010

Healthcare and Budget Reconciliation…Again

The lead in an article in today's New York Times (1/26/10) tells us that the White House and Congressional Democrats will soon decide "whether to use a procedural maneuver" to pass a healthcare bill with less than 60 votes in the Senate. That process is called budget reconciliation; it would be a complicated process, to be sure, and as the Times tells us "it carries numerous risks, including the possibility of a political backlash against what Republicans would be sure to cast as parliamentary trickery." Well yes, they could indeed say that–and reporters will type it into stories. As the […]

Jan
20
2010

For 'Liberal' NYT, Taxing the Rich Is a Fringe Idea

The New York Times is one of the most effective tools for limiting discussion in the U.S. political system. Falsely perceived as a left-leaning outlet, it has the power to make the most reasonable proposals seem ultra-radical by placing them beyond the pale. Take yesterday's review by Times book critic Michiko Kakutani (1/19/10) of progressive economist Joseph Stiglitz's Freefall: America, Free Markets and the Sinking of the World Economy. Kakutani says Stiglitz's accurate prediction of the financial crisis " lends credibility to his trenchant analysis of the causes of the fiscal meltdown," though at the same time she accuses him […]

Jan
13
2010

Corporate Media Love a Horserace–but They Love Gatekeeping Even More

One of the frustrating things about corporate media coverage is that it's so focused on horserace coverage–who's likely to win or lose in voting that might be months or years away–and yet they're so bad at it. Take the matter of Jonathan Tasini, running in the Democratic senatorial primary in New York against incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand–and an apparent nonperson to the state's most powerful newspaper, the New York Times. The Times has lately run two extensive stories (1/11/11, 1/13/10) on whether Harold Ford, a former representative from Tennessee, would also run against Gillibrand–both of which ignored the fact that it […]

Jan
12
2010

'Considering' a Campaign More Newsworthy Than Conducting One?

The New York Times ran a front-page story (1/11/10) on the race for the Senate seat held by New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand that omits mention of the sole Democratic candidate running a serious campaign against her. Jonathan Tasini (who garnered 125,000 votes in a bid for the seat against Hillary Clinton in 2006) declared in June of last year. But while the paper of record has logged numerous stories on the race–including several, like todayâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s, focusing on people who are "thinking about" challenging Gillibrand (e.g., "Thompson Won't Rule Out Pursuing U.S. Senate Seat," 12/19/09)–they have so far completely ignored […]