Sen. John McCain's visit to New Hampshire brought out conservative criticism,and the Times' usual ideological labeling disparity from chief political reporter Adam Nagourney, in Monday's "McCain, in New Hampshire, Gets an Earful From the Right":
"Senator John McCain, who is battling with the White House over the interrogation and trial of terrorism suspects, on Sunday flew to New Hampshire - and right into a blistering editorial from the conservative Manchester Union-Leader that assailed him for standing up to President Bush on the issue....After months of orchestrated peace, the battle with Mr. Bush over the administration's effort to reinterpret the Geneva Conventions has put Mr. McCain back into a familiar position: bucking the White House and at odds again with some conservatives, who had already been wary of his ideological views."
Just in case we haven't gotten the point: "The dispute is shaping up as an early chapter in a shift of influence in the Republican Party away from Mr. Bush as he approaches the final two years of his administration, and toward its presidential nominee of 2008. And it is spotlighting divisions in the party as prospective presidential candidates jockey for support from the conservative wing."
And still more: "Mr. McCain said Sunday that he was acting out of conscience, not political calculation, to reinforce an image of independence that has been questioned in recent months as he has supported Mr. Bush on issues like the war in Iraq. Still, he said his office had been deluged with critical phone calls, and that he had picked up enough buzz from conservative radio talk stations to conclude that he might have once again rattled his support among conservatives."
In all, Nagourney throws out 10 "conservative" labels.
Compare that to thelack oflabeling in an adjacent story Monday by Anne Kornblut, who normally follows Hillary Clinton in Washington but went to Iowa to laud another potential Democratic candidate for president, liberal Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, in "For This Red Meat Crowd, Obama's '08 Choice Is Clear."
"...Mr. Obama has allowed his already stratospheric profile to grow a little higher of late and has done less to tamp down the celebrity buzz than he did when he first arrived in the Senate last year."
There are no liberal labels in her story on Obama's visit, which included quotes from that "legendary political figure," Iowa's very liberal Sen. Tom Harkin. The only political label in Kornblut's story is when she says Sen. Obama "spoke in mostly moderate language."