Understanding the Anger of the London Terrorists A Saturday Page One story from London by Hassan Fattah, "Anger Burns on The Fringe of Britain's Muslims," is predominantly a profile of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a controversial Islamic movement in Britain. But the story. opens with a sympathetic look at friends of the terrorists who slaughtered over 50 civilians in London 11 days ago. "At Beeston's Cross Flats Park, in the center of this now embattled town, Sanjay Dutt and his friends grappled Friday with why their friend Kakey, better known to the world as Shehzad Tanweer, had decided to become a suicide... continue reading
Public Blaming Locals More Than Bush - But NYT Ignores Finding Following the resignation of Michael Brown as the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Richard Stevenson files "After Days of Criticism, Emergency Director Resigns." "Mr. Brown had become a political liability to the White House, even in his constrained new role. Democrats in Congress had been questioning how the administration could retain him in such an important job as director of FEMA after his performance in responding to the hurricane. A poll taken over the weekend by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, a... continue reading
Karl Rove Testing Bush's Loyalty? Judy Miller's revenge continues, as Wednesday's front page features a "White House Memo" from David Sanger, "Rove Case May Loom as Test of Loyalty for Bush," on who leaked the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame (and husband of anti-war hero Joseph Wilson) to the press. Karl Rove told Time Magazine's Matthew Cooper in July 2003 that Ambassador Joe Wilson's wife worked for the CIA, though apparently without revealing her name or that she was covert. Nevertheless, Sanger continues the Karl Rove resignation watch: "Loyalty has long been the most hallowed virtue in the Bush... continue reading
Laura Bush: Ignorant or Malicious? One certainly can't accuse White House reporter Elisabeth Bumiller of giving Laura Bush "typical" first lady soft-soap coverage. First Bumiller implied Ms. Bush was off the reservation on matters of White House security. Then, in Monday's "The First Lady's Mideast Sandstorm," Bumiller tries to make a gaffe out of a comment Laura Bush made about Egyptian democracy while in the country two weeks ago (yes, two weeks ago). "For more than four years now, Laura Bush has been the popular and uncontroversial first lady, the one who reads to schoolchildren, plants environmentally correct native grasses... continue reading
Where's Howie? Not in the Times DNC boss Howard Dean's inflammatory statements have even prominent members of his party (including liberals Sen. Joe Biden and Rep. Barney Frank) distancing themselves - and party fundraising is suffering. But the Times doesn't find the turmoil interesting or even newsworthy. So far the Times has made do with a single underwhelming Adam Nagourney story in May that was rather mild about Dean's "freewheeling remarks" (such as saying Rep. Tom DeLay belonged in jail and "I hate what the Republicans are doing to this country, I really do"). Perhaps the Times thinks it filled... continue reading
Gov. Haley Barbour's Suspicious Non-Bashing of Bush Louisiana Democrats can lambaste Bush and the federal government's response to hurricane Katrina all they want without objection from the Times. But let Republican Gov. Haley Barbour dare praise the federal response, and it "raises eyebrows." That's according to a Tuesday story from reporter Michael Cooper, "Bush Has Staunch Defender Amid Critics on Gulf Coast." The text box reads: "Praise for the federal response from a rising G.O.P. star raises eyebrows in his state." "Mr. Barbour's praise of the federal efforts has put him at odds with some other Mississippi officials who have... continue reading
A Skeptical Take on "Self-Interested Promotion" by PBS Kudos to the Times' Lorne Manly for his front-page story for Thursday's Arts section, "Public Broadcasters' Tightrope Over Funds," a skeptical take on how public broadcasters can report on their budget battles in a fair and balanced manner. It's a refreshing change, coming after a barrage of pro-PBS-slanted reporting in the news pages from Stephen Labaton. Manly finds another angle, as shown by the report's text box: "When journalism and self-interested promotion collide." Manly listens in on a public radio broadcast from New York City: "'The Brian Lehrer Show' decided to tackle... continue reading
"Antipathy Toward Homosexuality" Among Christian Conservatives? The title of contributing writer Russell Shorto's predictably slanted cover story on gay marriage for the Sunday Magazine poses the question: "What's the Movement to Outlaw Gay Marriage Really About?" The answer: Traditional-marriage advocates think homosexuality is a disease, of course. That theme is made clear in the story's subhead: "Maryland's anti-gay-marriage crusaders share this with organizers nationwide: They say they are fighting a disease." Shorto makes a jaunt to the headquarters of the Family Research Council and notes a novel display case: "This shrine to marriage as a heterosexual, Judeo-Christian institution is a... continue reading
Republican Rebels Call for Iraq "Exit Strategy" Sheryl Gay Stolberg finds anti-war sentiment even among Republicans in Thursday's "'Exit Strategy' Is More Than a Whisper in Washington, With Lawmakers Speaking Out." Stolberg stacks the deck from the start, using a mother who lost her son in Iraq to set the scene: "Celeste Zappala, whose son died in Iraq, visited Capitol Hill on Wednesday to demand 'a very quick exit strategy.' Her timing was perfect. With opinion polls showing a drop in support for the war, and a British memo asserting that the Bush administration had intended to go to war... continue reading
Houston's "Scramble to Profit" from Katrina? Tuesday's Times story by Simon Romero on the efforts of Houston businesses to assist in Katrina relief efforts was fairly unobjectionable - but the version that appeared in the Times' international edition (the International Herald Tribune) contained some political raunch that didn't reach the paper's domestic edition. Blogger Austin Bay says "note the sharpened rhetorical daggers" in the lead sentence of the IHT version: "No one would accuse this city of being timid in the scramble to profit from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina." For more on local reaction to the Times story, see... continue reading