Republicans discuss Barack Obama's environmental policies as a "war on coal." And in the New York Times, reporter Trip Gabriel covers that story not as someone trying to explain reality to readers, but as someone helping to make the Republican case.
Sometimes the facts that need checking are pretty easy to check. That seemed to be the case with some misleading statements Paul Ryan made at a campaign stop yesterday. The New York Times set the record straight. Unfortunately their fact check was pretty much buried. The piece (8/17/12) by Trip Gabriel–headlined "Ryan Pushes Working-Class Message in Ohio"–is all about how the Romney campaign is deploying Ryan to speak to "white working-class voters." Gabriel notes: Republicans are excited about the Biden-versus-Ryan showdown because of Mr. Ryan's rhetorical skills and command of policy. That's funny, because down in the 8th paragraph or […]
Paul Krugman writes today (New York Times, 7/16/12) on media's failure to factcheck campaign claims: Perhaps in a better world we could count on the news media to sort through the conflicting claims. In this world, however, most voters get their news from short snippets on TV, which almost never contain substantive policy analysis. The print media do offer analysis pieces–but these pieces, out of a desire to seem "balanced," all too often simply repeat the he-said-she-said of political speeches. Trust me: you will see very few news analyses saying that Mr. Romney proposes huge tax cuts for the rich, […]
His campaign might fading, but Newt Gingrich is still wowing the New York Times (2/10/12). Reporter Trip Gabriel writes: Mr. Gingrich is well known as the candidate of big ideas, hatched from a deep knowledge of politics and policy. But he is less recognized for his warehouse of everyday facts, the kind of small-bore knowledge useful in winning bar bets–or in impressing voters and arguing down skeptical reporters. And: Mr. Gingrich appears to have a steel-trap mind and would make a dangerous opponent at Trivial Pursuit. Praising Gingrich's intellect isn't new, but it's a reminder that Gingrich isn't always dazzling […]
Of course Newt Gingrich (you know, the "big thinker" in the Republican campaign) made a lot of news by declaring that the Palestinians are an "invented" people. As As'ad AbuKhalill–aka Angry Arab–pointed out, the New York Times ran a piece on this controversy on December 10 quoting exactly two sources: former U.S. ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk and David A. Harris, chief executive of the National Jewish Democratic Council. Times reporter Trip Gabriel also noted of Gingrich: He described Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, as denying Israel's right to exist. "You have Abbas, who says in the […]
The New York Times today (11/29/11) has a somewhat cheeky piece about Republican candidate Newt Gingrich's background as a historian–which, according to reporter Trip Gabriel, means he's unusually smart: In an election season rife with factual misstatements, deliberate and otherwise, Mr. Gingrich sometimes seems to stand out for exhibiting an excess of knowledge. I don't know whether he really "sometimes seems" to have an "excess of knowledge"–whatever that might be. The point seems to be that he comes across as smarter than, say, Michele Bachmann. Well, sure. But what about Gingrich's misstatements? According to PolitiFact, at one debate Gingrich claimed […]
"Teachers Wonder, Why the Heapings of Scorn?" is the headline of a front-page New York Times piece today (3/3/11). The article by Trip Gabriel reports, "Education experts say teachers have rarely been the targets of such scorn from politicians and voters." Politicians, sure, but what's the evidence that voters–i.e., the public–have been heaping scorn on teachers? Gabriel offers nothing to substantiate this claim other than references to "online comments and placards of counterdemonstrators"–quoting blog commenters as evidence of the national mood has got to stop, guys–and the assertion that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's teacher-bashing has made him a "national […]