Times Reporters Endorse Kerry? - July 13, 2004 - TimesWatch.org

Times Watch for July 13, 2004

Times Reporters Endorse Kerry?

It's no secret the Times editorial page will endorse John Kerry for president. But in an interview with the Times, Kerry suggests he's gotten two thumbs-up from a couple of reporters there as well.

Here's an excerpt from the full interview, a portion not included in the excerpt the paper ran Sunday: "And I believe if you talk with Warren Hoge or you talk to David Sanger, you talk to other people around the world, they will confirm to you, I believe, that it may well take a new president to restore America's credibility on a global basis so that we can deal with other countries and bring people back into alliances. The credibility of this country has been tarnished by this president. We can restore it. We will restore it."

Hoge and Sanger aren't among those foreign leaders Kerry once alleged were backing him, but are in fact New York Times reporters (Hoge reports on the United Nations; Sanger follows the president). By citing them, was Kerry merely buttering up his audience-or does he truly think Hoge and Sanger are cheering him to win?

Kerry may be right to assume Hoge and Sanger are in his camp. Last November, Hoge told the newswire Reuters: "America is now something of a rogue state, a pariah nation. People repeatedly say it isn't Americans we don't like, it is just Bush. He pushes hot buttons. Bush has so much to do with this rather stupendous fall-off in American popularity. It is quite amazing to think where we were the day after September 11 and how much of that goodwill has been squandered."

Meanwhile, Sanger has long hammered Bush's war reasoning and lamented his lack of international curiosity. In October he wrote: "Mr. Bush seemed determined to show that Iraq was a special case and to dispel the impression held in many parts of the world that he is impatient, trigger-happy and uninterested in building alliances. He sounds like a man who believes himself genuinely misunderstood".But even some of Mr. Bush's aides concede that Mr. Bush has only begun to discover the gap between the picture of a benign superpower that he sees, and the far more calculating, self-interested, anti-Muslim America the world perceives as he speeds by behind dark windows."

For Kerry's interview with the Times in full, click here.

" Campaign 2004 | Warren Hoge | Sen. John Kerry | David Sanger

Sunny Skies in the West for Dems

Carl Hulse delivers Democratic optimism for Sunday readers in "Democrats See New Hope in Republican Strongholds."

Much as his colleague James Dao boosted Democratic candidates for governor in 2003 (only to see the Dems lose), Hulse sees good tidings for the D's in 2004: "Democratic contender threatening to make off with a Republican Senate seat. Candidates in Alaska and Oklahoma are also mounting strong challenges, as Democrats look to offset potential losses from retirements in the South".Further fueling Democratic optimism about the West is the fact that most party incumbents there are holding their own. Neither Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, who in 1998 won by fewer than 500 votes, nor Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon is facing a strong challenge. Senator Barbara Boxer of California remains the favorite in her race against Bill Jones, a former California secretary of state. Democrats say the chief concern they have in the region is protecting the seat held by Senator Patty Murray of Washington, who is facing Representative George R. Nethercutt Jr."

We'll see in November if Hulse is on to something, or if his piece is just another instance of the Times cheering on Democratic candidates.

For the rest of Hulse on Democratic prospects, click here.

" Campaign 2004 | Democrats | Carl Hulse | Senate

Unlabeled Liberal Health "Experts" vs. "Conservatives"

The story, "Experts in Sex Field Say Conservatives Interfere With Health and Research," lets liberal activists pose as nonpartisan health groups fighting "conservatives."

Sunday's piece by Mireya Navarro begins: "For years, Advocates for Youth, a Washington-based organization devoted to adolescent sexual health, says, it received government grants without much trouble. Then last year it was subjected to three federal reviews. James Wagoner, the president of Advocates for Youth, said the reviews were prompted by concerns among some members of Congress that his group was using public funds to lobby against programs that promoted sexual abstinence before marriage. Although that was not the case, Mr. Wagoner said, the government officials made their point. 'For 20 years, it was about health and science, and now we have a political ideological approach,' he said. 'Never have we experienced a climate of intimidation and censorship as we have today.' Mr. Wagoner is among the professionals in sex-related fields who have started speaking out against what they say is growing interference from conservatives in and out of government with their work in research, education and disease prevention."

Advocates for Youth is a liberal anti-abstinence group. Yet it's only the other side that is slapped with a political label: "Conservative members of Congress and groups defend the new scrutiny, saying some research on sexuality is frivolous and a waste of taxpayer money."

Navarro frets about the state of science: "The additional scrutiny is also affecting government agencies. Last February, a stinging critique of the administration's use of scientific information by the Union of Concerned Scientists included a testimonial from Margaret Scarlett, an epidemiologist who left the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2001 after 15 years with the agency because of what she called 'an unheard-of level of micromanagement in the programmatic and scientific activities of the C.D.C.'"

UCS is a liberal anti-missile defense group, which require no actual scientific qualifications for membership. Yet this interest group is portrayed as an objective scientific group combating supposedly anti-science "conservatives."

For the rest of Navarro on conservatives vs. science, click here.

" Abstinence | Advocates for Youth | Health | Labeling Bias | Mireya Navarro | Science | Union of Concerned Scientists