Under the stewardship of Andrew Rosenthal (infamous for accusing House Speaker John Boehner of racism for asking President Obama to delay a speech to Congress for a day) the Times' Sunday Review section is devolving into a hard-left opinion page.
Last week's Sunday Review fully fulfilled its lefty promise, aided by Times columnists Nicholas Kristof and Maureen Dowd, who chose the same topic: Brave liberal nuns versus and out of touch conservative Catholic hierarchy. Kristof's "We Are All Nuns" and Maureen Dowd's particularly overwrought "Bishops Play Church Queens as Pawns." Dowd was ably dissected by Tim Graham at NewsBusters: "She thinks that by insisting the nuns and sisters follow the historic doctrines of the church, the church is 'losing its soul.' To insist on orthodoxy is putting the nuns through an Inquisition – with Dowd wanting the reader to imagine nuns in thumbscrews or on a rack."
The opinions emanating from Rosenthal's domain – outside writers – were no more mainstream. "Writers on the World," a two-page spread of essays on America from authors Margaret Atwood, E.L. Doctorow, and Martin Amis, in advance of a New York literary festival. Asking the authors to consider the question of America's role in global political culture, Times critic A.O. Scott set America up as a dramatic villain, and the writers obliged, with the left-wing Doctorow particularly predictable in an amateurish, sarcastic left-wing rant on how to achieve "American Unexceptionalism."
If you’re a justice of the Supreme Court, ignore the first sacrament of a democracy and suspend the counting of ballots in a presidential election. Appoint the candidate of your choice as president. ...Suspend progressive taxation so that the wealthiest pay less proportionately than the middle class. See to it that the wealth of the country accumulates to a small fraction of the population so that the gap between rich and poor widens exponentially....See to it that a majority of prisoners are African-American. When possible, treat immigrants as criminals....Inject religious precepts into public policy so as to control women’s bodies."
And a Sunday Review opinion piece by psychology professors Richard Ryan and William Ryan used a single study (employing "semantic association") to elevate a common liberal taunt redolent of cheap psychology: "Homophobic? Maybe You're Gay," which asked: "Why are political and religious figures who campaign against gay rights so often implicated in sexual encounters with same-sex partners?" The Ryans then strung together a few incidents involving conservatives who opposed gay marriage (hardly a fringe stance) over the course of the last several years to insinuate some broad pattern.
In recent years, Ted Haggard, an evangelical leader who preached that homosexuality was a sin, resigned after a scandal involving a former male prostitute; Larry Craig, a United States senator who opposed including sexual orientation in hate-crime legislation, was arrested on suspicion of lewd conduct in a men’s bathroom; and Glenn Murphy Jr., a leader of the Young Republican National Convention and an opponent of same-sex marriage, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge after being accused of sexually assaulting another man.