8:14 AM, Oct 13, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
If you've been dying to go to Iran, this might be your chance. The New York Times is selling a 13-day tour of Iran, guided by a Times journalist--Elaine Sciolino--for a mere $6,995.
"Promotional material for the tour on the Times website promises 'luxurious hotels' and describes Tehran as a city where 'the young and fashionable adopt a new trendy joie de vivre.' Also on the itinerary: 'a pleasant evening stroll around the colorful bazaars,' along with insights into the 'accomplishments' of the late Ayatollah Khomeini," reports Ira Stoll of Smarter Times.
The Times promotional language says participants will "Enjoy some time haggling over spices, textiles, antiques and copper handicrafts" at the Vakil Bazaar in Shiraz before retiring to their "five-star hotel boasting stunning Persian soft furnishings." Another day is said to feature a "relaxing evening and dinner."
There's no mention at all in the Times promotional language about the tour of Iran's status as a state supporter of terrorism, of its pursuit of nuclear weapons, or of its human rights abuses. For information about those abuses, anyone considering plunking down nearly $7,000 for the pleasure of accompanying a Times journalist on a "relaxing evening and dinner" after antique shopping in Iran may want to consider, first, browsing the State Department's latest human rights report on Iran. It reports that under Iranian law, "a woman who appears in public without an appropriate headscarf (hijab) may be sentenced to lashings and fined." It also says that "The law criminalizes consensual same-sex sexual activity, which may be punishable by death or flogging."
One can understand why the Times is seeking new revenue opportunities as a tour operator, since its revenues in traditional areas such as newspaper subscriptions and advertising are not growing fast enough to satisfy investors. But there is potential for this sort of thing to adversely affect the Times' journalism. How fair will Times journalism be toward those calling for tougher Iran sanctions if the sanctions would force the newspaper to cancel its lucrative luxury tours of Iran? Why are Times journalists lending their reputations, such as they are, to promotional material that describes Iran as a kind of paradise — "colorful bazaars," "trendy joie de vivre" — while skipping over the reality of other parts of Iran, like, say, Evin Prison?
Stoll also points out this State Department warning: "Some elements in Iran remain hostile to the United States. As a result, U.S. citizens may be subject to harassment or arrest while traveling or residing in Iran...The U.S. government does not have diplomatic or consular relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran and therefore cannot provide protection or routine consular services to U.S. citizens in Iran."
11:28 AM, Aug 27, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The editorial board at the New York Times says it's not endorsing in the Democratic primary for governor of New York. In a lengthy editorial, the Times writes that the sitting governor, Democrat Andrew Cuomo, "broke his most important promise" to root out corruption in the Empire State. The paper had endorsed Cuomo in his first run for governor in 2010. Here's an excerpt from Thursday's non-endorsement:
Don’t waste time writing a Letter to the Editor unless it’s adulatory.Aug 18, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 46 • By KENNETH L. WOODWARD
On June 23, something very rare appeared in the pages of the New York Times: an admission by a Times columnist that he had made a reporting mistake. The columnist was David Carr, who acknowledged that he had erred in an earlier piece which implied that the Washington Post had not paid sufficient attention to Eric Cantor’s upset in the Virginia primary.
Aug 18, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 46 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
It was something of a puzzle, according to the headline in the August 7 New York Times: “Islamic Militants in Iraq Are Widely Loathed, Yet Action to Curb Them Is Elusive.” On the one hand, the article pointed out, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, “is on nearly every nation’s public enemy list, as well as the United Nations’ list of terrorist organizations facing sanctions.” What’s more, ISIS’s barbarism has been publicized and its threat to others is clear.
10:50 AM, Jul 27, 2014 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
A leading drug policy researcher, David Murray, has a must-read piece up at the Hudson Institute website, "Comparing Marijuana and Alcohol: Seriously." Murray's article is a devastating deconstruction of claims that marijuana is relatively safe, or at least safer than alcohol. And, as he points out, it thereby undermines much of the basis of the New York Times's blithely irresponsible editorial endorsement of marijuana legalization.
10:02 AM, Jul 14, 2014 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
The New York Times does it again. On Sunday, Ethan Bronner, the paper’s deputy national editor, handed us his analysis of what has unleashed another round of horror in the Middle East. It seems that the cause is Israel’s decision to build a wall which creates “growing human distance between Israelis and Palestinians who once knew each other intimately and are now virtual strangers.”
2:58 PM, Jul 13, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
At the New York Times, Maureen Dowd is outraged at what she calls Chelsea Clinton's "cashing in to help feed the rapacious, gaping maw of Clinton Inc." Here's an excerpt, from her July 12 column, on the former first daughter's $75,000 speaking fee:
1:01 PM, Jul 2, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The Republican party is on its way to rediscovering conservative ideas , reports no less an authority than the New York Times. In an extensive piece for the Times magazine, Sam Tanenhaus profiles the group of reform conservatives (including several frequent WEEKLY STANDARD contributors) who are shaping the GOP's policy agenda:
1:52 PM, Jun 18, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama had lunch today with columnist Paul Krugman and several economists, the White House announced.
The pool reporter passed along the White House's announcement:
The President hosted top economists for lunch to discuss ways to accelerate economic growth, expand opportunity, and improve the competitiveness of the American economy. The following economists attended:
10:35 PM, Jun 5, 2014 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
It's no surprise New York Times editorials reflexively defend President Obama, but the decision to refocus the blame on Bowe Bergdahl's fellow soldiers for his apparent desertion is pretty astonishing. And yet, here we have the Times is fretting about "The Rush to Demonize Sgt. Bergdahl":
8:41 AM, May 27, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
A self-described nerd, he is known to travel with policy journals and send all-hours inquiries to think tanks …