The New York Times writes a whole long article about a study of American drone strikes in Yemen issued by what the Times calls "a legal advocacy group," the Open Society Justice Initiative. No mention of the initiative's funding or its chairman, George Soros.
When the Koch brothers or Sheldon Adelson participate in public affairs through philanthropy, the Times calls it "dark money," calls them billionaires, and puts their name in the headlines. But when it is Mr. Soros advancing a left-wing agenda, that billionaire gets a free pass — the Times leaves him out of the story. It sure looks like a double standard.
A Times article about Robert Mercer, a donor who supports Senator Ted Cruz, describes Mr. Mercer as " a reclusive Long Islander who started at I.B.M. and made his fortune using computer patterns to outsmart the stock market."
"Reclusive" is newspaper jargon for anyone who doesn't drop whatever he is doing immediately and run to the telephone whenever a newspaper reporter calls. Its use in these instances, as in the New Republic's description of "reclusive" Harold Simmons, bears no resemblance to the dictionary definition of the word reclusive, which describes someone living in solitary confinement, secluded from the world like a monk or a hermit. It's a way the newspapers pressure people to cooperate with them by hurling insults at those, especially Republicans, who don't play their game.
The Times carries a column that reads like a paid advertisement — free of any skepticism — about a book called "Just Say Yes: A Marijuana Memoir."
The column and the book try to make the point that the author of the book, Catherine Hiller, smoked marijuana "more or less every day for the past 50 years," and "her life turned out nicely."
Plenty of other books from less obscure publishers get much less attention from the Times than this book does, so you have to wonder why it is that the Times fell so hard for this one. The Times column came on top of an article that the author wrote for the the Times about her drug-buying experiences. Maybe this is the sweet spot for the Times demographic — hippies in their 60s and 70s — but for anyone younger or less invested in the pro-marijuana advocacy campaign, it risks coming off as kind of weird.
From an article in the New York Times Magazine, about the Thomas Guide and driving in Los Angeles:
So everyone who drives a newer-model BMW is a "Grade A jerk"?
Funny, no ads from BMW in this Sunday's Times Magazine.
Contrarianism and counter-intuitiveness are great, but one can take them too far, too, and it sure looks like that is what the New York Times did in a front-page news article from Saudi Arabia about "avenues for mercy" in the Saudi legal system. The Times reports:
A Times news article on the naming of a new president of New York University ends this way:
A front-page New York Times news article about Senator Rand Paul and his presidential campaign concludes with this passage:
For at least this literal-minded reader, this was an ending that raised more questions than it answered. For starters, how did the Times know when Dr. Paul fell asleep? It must have been hard for the senator to doze off with the Times reporter there staring at him watching for what time his eyes shut and listening to see if he started snoring. If that's not what happened, the Times is relying on someone's say-so without telling us who that person is, or how that person knows.
The New York Times has issued a correction of the Thomas Friedman column we wrote about here the other day. We wrote: "The passage about Mr. Adelson joking 'with another wealthy Israeli' is a strange one because neither Mr. Adelson nor the person he was joking with, Haim Saban, is an Israeli. They are Americans." The Times correction reads, "Thomas L. Friedman's column on Wednesday incorrectly suggested that the businessman Sheldon Adelson is Israeli. He is American."
In advance of the Israeli election, Thomas Friedman has a column up attacking Sheldon Adelson. One of Mr. Friedman's complaints is that Mr. Adelson invests in newspapers. From the column:
A Times article about Aaron Kushner stepping down from his leadership role at Freedom Communications, publisher of the Orange County Register, reports:
A Style section article includes the following one-sentence paragraph:
It is strange that "melted Swiss cheese" is cited as evidence that the Polo Bar corned beef sandwich is "true" to the roots of a city that "once had 1,550 registered kosher delicatessens." A true kosher deli wouldn't let swiss cheese anywhere near a corned beef sandwich — it would violate the provision of Jewish law that forbids mixing milk and meat.
Amid an otherwise pretty good column today, David Brooks writes, "reintroducing norms ... will require holding people responsible. People born into the most chaotic situations can still be asked the same questions: Are you living for short-term pleasure or long-term good? Are you living for yourself or for your children? Do you have the freedom of self-control or are you in bondage to your desires?"
An article in Sunday's Review section by two Times reporters, William J. Broad and David E. Sanger, expresses skepticism about a nuclear deal with Iran, concluding, "If past is prologue, the West might once again find itself stonewalled." Flip a few pages, and a Times editorial, "Sabotaging a Deal With Iran," appears to have been written without taking into account the issues raised by the two reporters.
The lead front-page news article in today's Times begins:
So much for the idea that Republicans would get credit for not shutting down the Department of Homeland Security.
Imagine the coverage if the Republicans had shut down the Department of Homeland Security (which wouldn't have actually shut down anyway, because something like 85% of the workers are considered "essential.")
Or imagine if the Times covered Obama that way. The passage of ObamaCare would have been covered with an article that would have begun, "President Obama nearly lost the vote to pass his signature domestic initiative."
Or imagine if the Times covered sports that way. The Patriots Super Bowl victory would have been written up as "the Patriots nearly lost the Super Bowl."
The decision to crop George W. and Laura Bush out of a front-page New York Times photo of the Selma anniversary march is attracting some attention.
Update: The Times public editor tackles the issue and finds the photo wasn't cropped; rather, the Times staff photographer at the event didn't even bother to submit a photo that included President Bush, explaining, "Bush was in the bright sunlight. I did not even send this frame because it's very wide and super busy and Bush is super-overexposed because he was in the sun and Obama and the others are in the shade."
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