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Breaking News: Three-Year-Old Details of Prisoner Deaths in Afghanistan Tim Golden on Friday gets huge front-page play for "In U.S. Report, Brutal Details Of 2 Afghan Inmates' Deaths" on the violent treatment of two Afghan men in Bagram prison in Afghanistan. It's a 6,100 word front-page story with more to come (the first of two articles). Beyond the lurid and disturbing details of prisoner mistreatment and death, columnist John Podhoretz questions the Times' timing, so soon after the Newsweek "flushed Koran" tale. Podhoretz points out that the abuse at Bagram prison occurred in December 2002, that those responsible have been... continue reading
NYT Ombudsman Chides Paper for Being Slow on Air America Uptake Times ombudsman and loyal company man Barney Calame (who's making predecessor Daniel Okrent look like a profile in courage) finally finds something to criticize his paper about in his latest web journal entry: The paper's almost nonexistent Air America coverage. ( Hat tip to MediaCrity .) Calame admits: "Readers of The Times were poorly served by the paper's slowness to cover official investigations into questionable financial transactions involving Air America, the liberal radio network. The Times's first article on the investigations finally appeared last Friday after weeks of articles... continue reading
Did Bush and Blair "Fix" Iraq Reports? White House reporter Elisabeth Bumiller uses the White House meeting between Bush and British PM Tony Blair to follow up on the latest left-wing cause celebre, the " Downing Street Memo ," in "Bush and Blair Deny 'Fixed' Iraq Reports." "President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain presented a united front on Tuesday against a recently disclosed British government memorandum that said in July 2002 that American intelligence was being 'fixed' around the policy of removing Saddam Hussein in Iraq. 'There's nothing farther from the truth,' Mr. Bush said in his... continue reading
The Republicans' "Ideological Putsch" Against PBS The Times' pro-PBS crusade continues in a Wednesday editorial accusing "spiteful" Republicans of (as the headline reads) "Squelching Public Broadcasting." "Do little boys and girls out there know how to spell 'spite'? For those who don't, the House Republicans who voted last week to gut federal support of public broadcasting - from 'Sesame Street' to well beyond - are offering a graphic demonstration as they attack one of the nation's more valued institutions." Reality Check: As Times reporter Stephen Labaton admits deep inside a pro-PBS article June 10, "Gary E. Knell, the president of... continue reading
Nicholas Confessore, Liberal Editor Turned Times Reporter New reporter Nicholas Confessore pens "Breaking the Code," on the conservative Bush's push for tax reform, for the cover of the Times Sunday Magazine (sharing the space with a defense of the Social Security program from liberal contributing writer Roger Lowenstein). Confessore, who made his Times debut this month as a city reporter, is a former editor at the liberal journal Washington Monthly and more recently was staff writer for the liberal American Prospect magazine. He's also written for liberal mags The New Republic and Salon. Apparently this is an ideal resume for... continue reading
Congress Targets Sesame Street Stephen Labaton's latest story on the PBS beat, "Panel Would Cut Public Broadcasting Aid" runs in Friday's art section: "A House Appropriations panel on Thursday approved a spending bill that would cut the budget for public television and radio nearly in half and eliminate a $23 million federal program that has provided some money for producing children's shows that include 'Sesame Street,' 'Clifford the Big Red Dog,' 'Between the Lions" and "Dragon Tales.' The presentation seems stacked from the start. An accompanying photo caption warns, "Financing for the Ready to Learn program is in jeopardy" over... continue reading
SATURDAY Bush Avoided "Heart of the City's Devastation" Saturday's front-page story from White House reporter Elisabeth Bumiller marking President Bush's first trip to New Orleans lays into the president as being remote and slow to act or empathize: "President Bush, facing searing criticism over the federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina, toured New Orleans and the Gulf Coast yesterday in his first on-the-ground look at the desperation that has gripped the region for the last five days." "Mr. Bush's arrival coincided with long-awaited deliveries of aid to the flood zone. But the president did not interact much with storm victims,... continue reading
"Irritating" Labeling Habits at the Times Thursday's front-page story by Pam Belluck features a couple who had a child from an embryo left over from a fertility clinic. But it gets off on the left foot with the headline "From Stem Cell Opponents, an Embryo Crusade." MRC's TimGraham argues that phrase is misleading: "Pro-lifers aren't even stem cell research opponents.They are embryo-destruction opponents, not 'stem cell opponents.' This isn't just a lingo dispute. This is an accuracy dispute." Belluck sets the scene of the married couple from Bellevue, Wash.: "Randy and Julie McClure had three children who were long out... continue reading
Okrent's Last Stand Times Public Editor Daniel Okrent penned his last column Sunday, a catchall titled "13 Things I meant to Write About but Never Did." Puzzlingly, Okrent criticizes the paper's "ideologically fueled detractors on the right" for quoting him accurately when he called the Times a liberal newspaper : "Last July, when I slapped the headline "Is The New York Times a Liberal Newspaper?" atop my column and opened the piece with the catchy one-liner 'Of course it is,' I wasn't doing anyone - the paper, its serious critics, myself - any favors. I'd reduced a complex issue to... continue reading
No Liberals In The Filibuster Debate It's a labeling frenzy over the filibuster fight in Wednesday's paper. First up is the front-page story from Robin Toner and Richard Stevenson, "Justice Choice Could Rekindle Filibuster Fight," on what the Senate's compromise over filibusters may mean in case of a Supreme Court vacancy in the near future. It had a stark labeling disparity, with 11 "conservatives" versus just one liberal, including this rather redundant example: "Conservatives were furious over Democratic efforts to keep a handful of conservative nominees to appellate courts from an up-or-down vote on the floor." Meanwhile, chief political reporter... continue reading