January 18, 2001
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The New York Times this morning runs an op-ed piece under the headline, "Bush Wanders Off Center." The article says, "Not surprisingly, the latest polls show more Americans opposing Mr. Ashcroft's appointment than supporting it."
That's false. An ABC News/Washington Post Poll released January 16 found 54% in favor of confirming John Ashcroft as attorney general and just 26% opposed. Even when the question was deliberately slanted by telling respondents that Mr. Ashcroft is opposed by "organized labor and some groups that advocate women's rights, legal abortion, civil rights and gun control," 47% of those polled favor confirming Mr. Ashcroft, and only 43% oppose confirming him.
Instinctively Drawn: An editorial in today's New York Times reports, "Mr. Bush seems instinctively drawn to the classic conservative agenda of trimming high marginal rates, capital gains and estate taxes." When it comes to capital gains, would that it were so. In fact the Bush tax cut plan, unfortunately, contains no reduction in the capital gains tax. Of course, the capital gains tax was already cut sharply under the presidency of that classic conservative, Bill Clinton.
Black Coach: The race-obsessed New York Times does it again this morning with a front-page note about the new coach of a New Jersey-based football team known as the Jets. "Edwards will be the sixth black head coach in N.F.L history," the Times reports on the front page.
Smartertimes.com could maybe understand making a big deal of the league's first black head coach. But the sixth?
There's more. The Times sports section runs a 22-paragraph article about the new coach. A full five paragraphs are devoted to his race. Here's a flavor: "In a league that has struggled to increase the profile of minority coaches, Edwards's hiring will have significant resonance. He will be the sixth black head coach in National Football League history and the third active black head coach. The other current black head coaches in the N.F.L. are Dennis Green, the coach of the Minnesota Vikings, and Tony Dungy of Tampa Bay, who had Edwards as his assistant and defensive backs coach for the last five seasons. Edwards will be the first black head coach of a professional football team in New York."
Dix Hills: An article in the arts section of today's New York Times discusses drug abuse and refers to "Dix Hills, an affluent community on Long Island built atop new money." This is an inelegant wording that makes it sound like the community was physically built atop a pile of new money (not the most stable foundation). But it's also imprecise and not particularly accurate. Dix Hills is nice, but affluent is probably a bit of a stretch. And what in the world is the Times talking about when it refers to "new money"? How old must the money be before the Times stops sneering at it as "new money"?
News Blackout: The New York Times today manages to totally omit any mention of the fact that the Rev. Al Sharpton, a possible candidate for mayor of New York, is now the subject of an arrest warrant in St. Louis. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported yesterday on the issuance of an arrest warrant for Rev. Sharpton because of his failure to pay a fine for blocking an interstate highway during a 1999 protest. The Times slavishly covers Rev. Sharpton's every complaint against the New York police. The Times dutifully reported the Martin Luther King Day spectacle hosted by Rev. Sharpton this week, at which virtually every big-time New York Democratic politician -- even those like Peter Vallone and Alan Hevesi who should know better -- showed up to pay homage to the racial demagogue. But the fact that there is a warrant out for Rev. Sharpton's arrest is apparently not news that's fit to print.
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