May
25
2011

Gingrich Out of Touch With 'Rest of America'–but So Is NYT

The New York Times (5/25/11) is reporting, perhaps accurately, that Newt Gingrich may have trouble living down his $500,000 credit line at Tiffany's. But this sentence by Sheryl Gay Stolberg is so Timesian: The way some voters out in the rest of America might see it, he's a guy who paid more for jewelry than some people pay for their houses. It will no doubt come as a surprise to folks at a newspaper that reports (1/1/97) that $100-a-bottle wine was an "everyday occurrence," and told readers where they could have dinner for two for under $100 as "an experiment […]

Feb
08
2011

NYT's Fisk Factcheck Fail

The United States sent former ambassador Frank Wisner to Egypt to talk to Hosni Mubarak. Wisner garnered headlines when he declared support for Mubarak staying in power, causing the White House to try and argue that wasn't the message the White House was trying to send. But Wisner's background was worth more attention. As Pratap Chatterjee reported (Inter Press Service, 2/4/11): Frank Wisner, the former U.S. ambassador that President Barack Obama dispatched to Cairo earlier this week to advise President Hosni Mubarak, is employed by Patton Boggs, a law firm and registered lobbyist. On its website Patton Boggs summarises the […]

Jan
25
2011

Bob Herbert Slams Social Security Dishonesty; Times Reporters, on the Other Hand…

Bob Herbert, today in the New York Times (1/25/11): There has always been feverish opposition on the right to Social Security. What is happening now, in a period of deficit hysteria, is that this crucial retirement program is being dishonestly lumped together with Medicare as an entitlement program that is driving federal deficits. He's right. Where did I last readsomeone trying to pull off thatdishonest accounting? Oh yeah–it was in yesterday's New York Times. Sheryl Gay Stolberg reported on a poll that found people unwilling to support cuts to Medicare and Social Security, the programs that directly touch millions of […]

Dec
27
2010

Obama Goes to Hawaii Instead of Camp David Because He Doesn't

Sheryl Gay Stolberg has an article in the New York Times (12/26/10) about what President Obama's trips to Hawaii say about him: "Mr. Obama's disappearance behind the palm trees reveals much about his presidential style, and also his thinking about how to balance work and play." She contrasts these trips to his birth state with his rejection of the traditional presidential vacation spot: "He rarely goes to Camp David, the presidential retreat in the Catoctin Mountains of Maryland, and when he does, it is not to conduct business." One problem with Stolberg's analysis: Since taking office, Obama has been to […]

Nov
12
2010

Some Problems With Germany's Sermon for Obama

The lead story in today's New York Times (1/12/10), written by Sewell Chan, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and David E. Sanger, focused on allies' complaints about Barack Obama's economic policies: There was no way to avoid discussion of the fundamental differences of economic strategy…. Major disputes broke out between Washington and China, Britain, Germany and Brazil. Each rejected core elements of Mr. Obama's strategy of stimulating growth before focusing on deficit reduction. Several major nations continued to accuse the Federal Reserve of deliberately devaluing the dollar last week in an effort to put the costs of America's competitive troubles on trading […]

Sep
22
2010

Larry Summers, the 'Anti-Business' Hedge Fund Director

The New York Times' Sheryl Gay Stolberg (9/22/10), writing about "brusque and brilliant economist" Lawrence Summers stepping down as President Obama's chief economic adviser, cited House minority leader John Boehner's charge that "Mr. Obama's team lacked 'real-world, hands on experience,' a direct shot at Mr. Summers' career as an academic." She followed this by writing, "News of Mr. Summers' departure set off speculation that Mr. Obama would replace him with a corporate executive to counter the impression that he is anti-business." The Washington Post's Lori Montgomery (9/22/10) reported similarly, "Sources said the White House is considering whether to choose a […]

Aug
31
2010

Deficit Panic Continues at NYT

The New York Times' Sheryl Gay Stolberg writes today (8/31/10) about the possible steps Obama might take to bolster the economy: With voters angry about government spending, and economists divided about just what approach is the correct one, such aggressive steps are by now out of the question. "There's a deep frustration among economists that they simply don't know what to do under these circumstances, at least in terms of fiscal policy," said Bruce Bartlett, an economist who advised Republican presidents. "I think there are a lot of economists who, in principle, would support some new fiscal stimulus, perhaps a […]

Jul
16
2010

NYT, Equating Stimulus With the Iraq War, Recalls the Bush-Era 'Boom'

Notingthat policies like the stimulus plan tend to poll pretty badly, New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg writes (7/16/10) that Obama says he has pursued such policies because they're "the right thing to do for America." To Stolberg, that sounds familiar: It is an argument that sounds eerily similar to the one Mr. Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, made to justify an unpopular war in Iraq as he watched his own poll numbers sink lower. Mr. Bush and his aides often felt they could not catch a break; when the economy was humming along–or at least seemed to be […]

Dec
18
2009

Ideology Versus Pragmatism–Again

Once again, the New York Times is setting up a false debate over healthcare policy, contrasting White House-style "pragmatism" with left-wing "ideology." The lead of Sheryl Gay Stolberg's piece today (12/18/09): In the great healthcare debate of 2009, President Obama has cast himself as a cold-eyed pragmatist, willing to compromise in exchange for votes. Now ideology — an uprising on the Democratic left — is smacking the pragmatic president in the face. In this worldview, "ideologues" are those who push for reforms–including single-payer–that they believe will lower costs and offer more comprehensive coverage. "Pragmatists," meanwhile, are moving in the opposite […]

Sep
02
2009

'Personal Responsibility' Over 'Legacy of Racism'

Printing a letter to the editor from Leila McDowell (8/26/09), the New York Times has "Another Look at Obama's Speech to the NAACP"–from the group's on vice president of communications. McDowell starts with the fact that the "Times distinguished itself from most major media by virtually ignoring the 100th anniversary of the NAACP, which was started in New York"–and then, "when the Times finally did send a reporter…the resulting article ("Obama Gives Fiery Address at NAACP," July 17) focused on personal responsibility," even though "that was the least prominent part of Mr. Obama's speech": What was noteworthy was his discussion […]

Mar
09
2009

Strange Questions, Strange Journalism

Steve Benen of Political Animal points out a couple of strange questions posed by corporate journalists–one to each of last year's major presidential candidates. In this post, Benen quotes an unnamed New York Times reporter (apparently either Sheryl Gay Stolberg or Steven Lee Meyers) basically red-baiting Barack Obama: "The first six weeks have given people a glimpse of your spending priorities. Are you a socialist as some people have suggested?" The same reporter, or maybe a different one–I guess they were speaking ex cathedra–later pressed Obama: "If you're not a socialist, are you a liberal?" In a later post, Benen […]

Mar
02
2009

More Critter Economics From Big Media

Having already caught "the infamous GOP talking point that the stimulus package contains gobs of cash for saving marsh mice" having "found its way into a New York Times story, without the paper mentioning that the claim is untrue," blogger Greg Sargent (Plum Line, 2/24/09) now finds that "earlier drafts of the story did describe the claim as 'misleading'–but Times editors removed that description from the copy": A reader tells me that he emailed the author of the story, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, to discuss the omission. Here is part of her reply to him in her email, which I obtained: […]