9:39 AM, Mar 3, 2014 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
In an increasingly grim and dangerous world, we must give thanks to the Old Gray Lady for providing its readers with one howler after another. Some of the latest.
Friday, February 28: Paul Krugman is more often right than his critics concede, an understandable refusal given his off-putting, angry, strident presentational style that is the meat on which his fans feed. Krugman is a master at loading the rhetorical dice. Consider this: “Everyone knows that the Obama administration’s domestic economic agenda is stalled in the face of scorched-earth opposition from Republicans.” The “everyone” is precious, reducing to non-persons the majority of Americans who rate the president’s job performance as unsatisfactory. But the best comes next. Krugman analyzes the source of the likely demise of the president’s freer trade agenda – “it doesn’t seem to be making much progress, thanks to a combination of negotiating difficulties abroad and bipartisan skepticism at home.” But everyone knows that the Democratic Senate leader, Harry Reid, personally killed the president’s request for fast track negotiating authority – one of the sources of Krugman’s “negotiating difficulties,” and that Reid did so both because he has always opposed trade deals and because he wanted to spare his Democratic colleagues being forced to choose between telling the president to take a hike, and offending their anti-free-trade union funders. Republicans generally support the trade deals, the death of which Krugman attributes to “bipartisan skepticism.” Republican opposition is “scorched-earth”; Democratic opposition is “bipartisan skepticism.”
Saturday, March 1. In a report of Ukrainians’ accusation of a Russian invasion, a three-person team of reporters quite accurately noted that Obama has said, “There will be costs” if Russia intervenes. The trio characterized that statement as a “pointed warning.” That was the latest in a long line of the Times’s efforts to give heft to the President’s empty warnings. Earlier (February 19) Steven Lee Myers, reporting from Moscow on Obama’s statement aimed at Ukraine’s military during the crisis that “there will be consequences if people step over the line,” said the president “pointedly warned the Ukrainian military.” Empty warnings rarely have any point at all.
Sunday, March 2. A page 1 story headlined “Big-Money Donors Demand Larger Say in Party Strategy” devotes several paragraphs, running over onto page 17, to tales of Republican donors’ decreased willingness to defer to party elders on policy matters. Over to page 17, where the Times news reporters finally mention that elite donors “in both parties” are becoming more active in policymaking. Any reader who has better things to do on a Sunday than plow through this piece in its entirety just might miss that add-on point to an article that is, all in all, reasonably fair, but misleads by consigning mention of Democratic donors to a far less prominent spot than accorded their Republican counterparts.
Krugman is a commentator and can be forgiven his less-than-precise use of language; the “pointed” crowd are reporters, and should know better than to use that word in the context of Obama’s threats; the editors are the arbiters of balance, and might have used some of the page one space on donors to inform the reader that the rather long piece they were being invited to read related to developments in both parties.
Jan 13, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 17 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
To hear it from the New York Times editorial page, the many issues surrounding the attacks in Benghazi are now settled.
9:08 AM, Jan 1, 2014 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
During an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, New York Times reporter David Kirkpatrick was asked about the connections between Muhammad Jamal’s network and the Benghazi attack.
Contradicts previous reporting from the New York TImes.4:01 PM, Dec 29, 2013 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
Let’s start by giving David Kirkpatrick credit. Kirkpatrick, the Cairo bureau chief of the New York Times and author of this weekend’s much-discussed piece on Benghazi, provides many new on-the-ground, minute-by-minute details of the attacks and the weeks and months leading up to them. Some of the reporting is incredible. Kirkpatrick describes the vase in the living room of the home belonging to the mother of Abu Khattala, a main suspect in those attacks. He reports on how the fighting in the consulate paused when Abu Khattala entered the compound, a revealing fact. Citing security camera video footage, the author describes how one of the attackers paused amidst the bedlam in the consulate to pour some Hershey’s chocolate syrup down his throat. Kirkpatrick obviously spent considerable time on the ground in Benghazi and interviewed several anti-Western Islamists, including some involved in the attacks. There’s little doubt he took considerable risks as he reported his piece.
11:01 AM, Dec 29, 2013 • By THOMAS JOSCELYN
David D. Kirkpatrick of the New York Times has published a lengthy account of the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya. While much in Kirkpatrick’s report is not new, the piece is receiving a considerable amount of attention because of this sweeping conclusion: “Months of investigation by The New York Times, centered on extensive interviews with Libyans in Benghazi who had direct knowledge of the attack there and its context, turned up no evidence that Al Qaeda or other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault.”
2:45 PM, Nov 10, 2013 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
In last week's issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD, I wrote "The Media Kowtow" a feature about how "a hugely influential portion of the American media has vacillated between openly admiring the Chinese government and providing a forum for its apologists." A large part of that story is how China has wooed American media figures and otherwise kept them from reporting on the horrific nature of the communist ruling party.
9:01 AM, Nov 3, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The Washington Post has done a thorough job of reporting on the creation of Obamacare. It is a tale of how political hubris prevailed over prudence, as summed up in a single quotation:
8:23 AM, Oct 10, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman, claimed today that a New York Times editor confided in him that Paul Krugman's column is "their biggest nightmare." Scarborough wouldn't reveal which Times editor told him that, and he said it was told to him "off the record."
12:35 PM, Sep 12, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
John Boehner, the Republican House speaker, told reporters Thursday he was "insulted" by the op-ed article in the New York Times by Russian president Vladimir Putin on the Syrian conflict. The Washington Free Beacon has the video: