The Hagel Double Standard, Again
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Today's New York Times mentions the following non-profit organizations:
• "The National Employment Law Project, an employment-rights advocacy group," in this article
•"the Brookings Institution" and "the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning research organization" in this article
•the American Civil Liberties Union in New Jersey, in this article
•the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, a research and advocacy group, in this article
The Times refers to not a single one of these groups as having "secret donors" or being "anonymously financed." Those terms are reserved for describing non-profit groups that the Times dislikes, such as the ones opposing the nomination of Senator Hagel to be secretary of defense.
It's hard to see this as anything but an example of bias. Either the anonymously financed nature of a group is worth mentioning, or it isn't. Instead what the Times seems to do is mention it for groups the Times opposes, but leave it unmentioned for groups the Times supports.
The Times' bias and double standards in connection with its news coverage of the Hagel nomination are also on display in an article in today's paper about the nomination. The article contains this passage:
The "without evidence" is an an editorial comment by the New York Times that is unwarranted. Compare it to how the Times handles a claim by an Obama economic adviser in an article elsewhere in today's paper:
There's no "Mr. Furman said without evidence" or "Both of these, he said without evidence," even though Mr. Furman's claim doesn't make much sense as an explanation of the January statistics, because the "uncertainties" were resolved at the beginning of the month, and because an article elsewhere in today's Times describes the slowdown as the result not of either uncertainty or Europe, but rather the fact that "the expiration of a two-percentage-point payroll tax cut on Jan. 1 and higher tax rates for wealthier Americans were weighing on the economy."
The Times article on Mr. Hagel today is further flawed by a passage that says: "many Republicans still nurse a grievance against Mr. Hagel for his opposition to the war in Iraq, and others have sought to make an issue of statements he has made on Israel and Iran." This ignored the fact that Mr. Hagel voted for the war in Iraq, and the language of "nurse a grievance" and "sought to make an issue" suggests that the opposition is somehow not justified. One issue that 26 senators in a letter have raised as an obstacle to Mr. Hagel's confirmation, his refusal to disclose the donors to organizations he was affiliated with, goes unmentioned by the Times again in today's article, yet another example of how the Times' interest in the anonymously financed nature of nonprofit organizations is highly selective.
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