Editor Keller Confesses: 'Most Journalists Would Recoil in Horror" From Palin Presidency
'If the 2012 election were held in the newsrooms of America and pitted Sarah Palin against Barack Obama, I doubt Palin would get 10 percent of the vote. However tempting the newsworthy havoc of a Palin presidency, I'm pretty sure most journalists would recoil in horror from the idea....Perhaps one key to Palin's dislike of the news media is a streak of intellectual insecurity, or a trace of impostor syndrome. Her best defense against being found shallow is a strong offense. I think a lot of journalists, regardless of their politics, find her confounding and a little frightening. Evidently, so do most Americans; only 21 percent of voters have a favorable impression of her in the latest CBS poll.' – Executive Editor Bill Keller, in the June 19 edition of the New York Times Sunday Magazine.
Michael Shear, AKA Mr. Hard News
Host Sam Roberts: 'But you pointed out that this is a particularly inopportune time for this latest sex scandal to break in Washington. Why is that?'
Michael Shear: 'Lots of policy and we're going to start with the sex scandal! That's fine. Yeah, it's not a good time for Democrats.' – "Caucus" reporter Michael Shear, sounding bitter, on the June 9 edition of the paper's political podcast, 'The Caucus.'
"Palin Wanted a Tanning Bed in the Governor's House." – Headline over a June 10 Shear blog post. Shear spent the weekend along with the rest of the media pouring through former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's emails.
Anti-Terrorist-Program Wrecker James Risen Pursued by Right-Wing Bloggers
'In 2006, I was awarded the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, for reporting on President Bush's illegal domestic wiretapping program....the Bush Administration had, in all likelihood, violated the law and the United States Constitution by secretly conducting warrantless domestic wiretapping on American citizens...an organized campaign of hate mail from right wing groups with close ties to the White House was launched, inundating me with personal threats...Right wing pundits and bloggers supporting the Bush administration took to television and the Internet to call for the White House and the Justice Department to prosecute me for espionage.' – Investigative reporter James Risen, whose scoops crippled two anti-terrorist programs during the Bush years, quoted in an affidavit filed in federal court June 21. The government has issued Risen a subpoena ordering him to identify a source in his 2006 book 'State of War' about a C.I.A. plan to feed Iran bad information to cripple its nuclear program.
Egan Favors "Renegade" GOP Huntsman Over Conservative "Sea of Craziness"
'But for the increasingly intolerant minority who will decide the next Republican nominee, Huntsman is already a heretic for speaking common sense on climate change, gay civil unions and immigration....In that world, to be thoughtful is a vice. Skepticism is a second strike....Huntsman has yet to formally announce his candidacy, though all signs point to it. At the least, by refusing to throw red meat to the wackos, he can elevate the Republican debate. I know, I know: it would cost him the nomination. The modern Republican Party will force any politician who shows signs of doing actual hard thinking about life and public policy to walk a plank into a sea of craziness. But he's already a renegade. Why not take the next step?' – Reporter turned blogger Timothy Egan in a June 9 posting on his nytimes.com blog.
Congressional Oversight = Sexual Harassment
'It's official: Elizabeth Warren will return to the torture chamber known as the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on July 14. Earlier this week, Darrell Issa, the California Republican who is chairman of the committee, tweeted the news. Apparently, Democrats aren't the only ones who use Twitter to harass women.' – Business columnist Joe Nocera, June 11.
Columnist Tom Friedman 'I Voted for Obama for One Reason'
'I voted for Obama for one reason. Because I thought he could change the polls and not read the polls. I thought he was someone, because of his oratorical skills and because of his unique background, who would actually use the presidency to educate us, in the way that all my colleagues have talked here, to actually change the polls. And my biggest disappointment is I really see a guy reading the polls as closely as ever. Roger referred to energy. Let's look at the last year, Charlie, you and I've talked about this before - 'climate change.' Those two words, climate change, became a four-letter word in American politics under Barack Obama's watch. Not only do Republicans-it's against the law in the Republican Party....at least Romney, Mitt Romney was just so courageous! He actually said he believes in science, oh my God! And Rush Limbaugh said you're out of the party, pal, OK! That goes as courage now.' – Columnist Thomas Friedman on the June 21 edition of the PBS talk show Charlie Rose.
Exec. Editor Keller Tells U.S. to 'Live Up To What It Believes,' Support Gay Marriage
'Even before New York passed its law last week, the move toward legalization of same-sex marriage in America had become inexorable. It may feel excruciatingly slow for those who are waiting their turn, but it's just a matter of time until the country lives up to what it believes....[Sen Ron] Paul's approach offers conservatives all of that plus a heaping helping of less-government-in-your-life. And one other thing: a chance to avoid being on the wrong side of history.' – Executive Editor Bill Keller, in his column for the upcoming July 3 edition of the Times Sunday magazine (it was posted online several days early).
Anthony Weiner, Victim of Washington 'Puritanism'?
'Technological temptations flood in, at a time when a prying press helps make Washington more puritanical." – Text box to Kate Zernike's June 12 story on the downfall of Rep. Anthony Weiner.
'In Brooklyn, a single mother, her son, her sperm donor and his lover are helping to redefine the concept of the American family.' – Front-page tease to a 4,000-word June 19 story by N.R. Kleinfeld on a nontraditional family.
Times Warns Indiana: 'Fiscal Conservatism...Comes With Its Own Costs'
'The state also serves as a case study of the often large tradeoffs required to balance the books when political leaders take the possibility of raising income taxes off the table. Fiscal conservatism, in other words, comes with its own costs....Such fiscal restraint has helped the state bookkeepers - Indiana's new budget envisions $1 billion in reserves in two years. Many residents, however, struggle with a different reality.' – Michael Powell and Midwest bureau chief Monica Davey from Indianapolis, June 23.
Not a Single Liberal on the Supreme Court?
'Wal-Mart got what it wanted from the court - unanimous dismissal of the suit as the plaintiffs presented it - and more from the five conservative justices, who went further in restricting class actions in general....Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the four moderates on the court, dissented from Justice Scalia's broader analysis and sought a much narrower holding.' – From a June 21 editorial.
The Obamas Just Keep on Saving the World
'The prickly ambivalence that South Africans often show toward the United States, which is often perceived here as an overbearing superpower, seems to have been suspended for Mrs. Obama. South Africans have embraced her with stirring emotion since she arrived on Monday, and she has been hugging them back, one by one, stop after stop....Donald Gips, the American ambassador, who has cultivated friendships with a wide range of South Africans, said he believed that Mrs. Obama's visit would contribute to a further warming of relations between the United States and Africa's leading democracy.' – Celia Dugger with the First Lady in Johannesburg, June 23.
Don't Forget Authoritarian Rule and Imprisoning Opponents
'To the many comparisons that can been made between Venezuela and Cuba - two close allies, both infused with revolutionary zeal, driven by movements that revere their leaders - consider one more: the presidential brother, stepping in during a time of illness.' – Simon Romero in Caracas, June 29, on countries led by leftist dictators; Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Fidel Castro in Cuba.