Times Watch for October 22, 2003
Christian General Biased, Notes Anti-Semitic PM
Picking up a liberal media meme, an editorial in Wednesday's Times balances the pro-Christian remarks of Lt. Gen. William Boykin against the anti-Semitic rantings of Malaysia's prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.
The editorial page calls for the firing of Lt. Gen. William Boykin for remarks he made months ago to a church group: "Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced yesterday that the Pentagon was investigating speeches in churches by a high-ranking Defense Department official who called the war on terrorism a Christian battle against Satan and disparaged a Muslim adversary as an idol worshiper. The inquiry seems like a waste of time. Mr. Rumsfeld should remove the officer, Lt. Gen. William Boykin, as deputy under secretary of defense for intelligence, where he leads the effort to capture the people on a most-wanted list headed by Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein."
The Times reasoning? "Not only did a high-ranking government official make remarks that espoused a single religious view and denigrated others, but he damaged the national security policy of the United States. President Bush and all other top officials have said often, and rightly, that the United States is not engaged in a religious war." How dare a committed Christian espouse a single religious view! And in front of a church group, no less!
The Times then relays, as credible, criticism from Malaysia's anti-Semitic ("Jews rule the world by proxy") prime minister: "Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia, who was criticized by Mr. Bush on Monday for making anti-Semitic remarks, tossed the Boykin case back at Mr. Bush yesterday, telling an interviewer that the general has a 'biased view of Muslims.'"
Funny, because the Times criticized Mahathir as well, in an excellent editorial not five days ago that opened: "It is hard to know what is more alarming-a toxic statement of hatred of Jews by the Malaysian prime minister at an Islamic summit meeting this week or the unanimous applause it engendered from the kings, presidents and emirs in the audience."
This cynical use of any tool, no matter how crude, to bash Bush reminds Times Watch of columnist Paul Krugman's bizarre defense of Mahathir, which Donald Luskin analyses in an indispensable piece.
The Times then bizarrely calls out the defense secretary: "There was more than a whiff of hypocrisy in Mr. Rumsfeld's comments yesterday. The secretary professed to have formed no view on the Boykin matter because he had not heard the general's remarks. But Mr. Rumsfeld did not need a personal hearing earlier this year to chastise the Army chief of staff for differing with him on the war in Iraq, and to question the patriotism of retired generals who critiqued his war strategy on television. Unlike General Boykin, they did not have the backing of conservative Christians, a key constituency for Mr. Bush's re-election."
The Times has no quotes to back this assertion up. Precisely whose patriotism has Rumsfeld questioned? What the Times has in the past called "questioning the patriotism" of war critics, is what most people would call "disagreeing on an issue."
For the rest of the Times editorial on Boykin, Rumsfeld and Mahathir, click here.
Anti-Semitism | William Boykin | Editorial | Paul Krugman | Patriotism | Donald Rumsfeld
Times Bias Trickles Into Headlines
Times media reporter Jim Rutenberg delivers a balanced story on an upcoming CBS miniseries on the Reagan White House: "As snippets about the television movie circulate in Washington and Los Angeles, friends and relatives of the ailing Mr. Reagan are expressing growing concern that this deconstruction of his presidency is shot through a liberal lens, exaggerating his foibles and giving short shrift to his accomplishments." But a smart-aleck headline writer apparently couldn't resist getting in one last lick against the Reagan administration, titling Rutenberg's piece "Grumbling Trickles Down from Reagan Biopic."
That's of course a reference to "trickle-down economics," the dismissive description liberals gave to Reagan's supply-side tax-cutting. Hardy har har!
For the rest of Rutenberg's story, click here.
Arts | Headlines | Hollywood | Movies | Ronald Reagan | Jim Rutenberg
Linda Greenhouse Fights Godless Communism
While discussing the Supreme Court taking up the Pledge of Allegiance "Under God" case on Washington Week in Review, Times reporter Linda Greenhouse revealed: "I was in first grade at the time. I was very confused by it because having laboriously learned the Pledge without 'under God,' all of a sudden, 'under God' came in; it was a federal law. And I didn't realize at the time that I had become a foot soldier in the war against Godless communism. That's what it really was about."
Linda Greenhouse | Pledge of Allegiance | Religion | Supreme Court