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
Greenspan's "Irrational Exuberance" Predicted Stock Plunge? Mark Stein's Saturday review of the week in business includes a bite on the supposed "housing bubble" and what Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan has to say about it: "Frothy exuberance? People who think the housing market is robust and those who think it is scary each had a little more evidence this week to make their case. The median price of existing homes in the United States jumped more than 15 percent, to $206,000, last month from April 2004. The median price of new homes also climbed 3.8 percent last month, to $230,800... continue reading
An Anti-Republican Protest, As Reported by a Protestor Princeton University student and Times stringer Elizabeth Landau's May 6 anti-Frist story (which TimesWatch cited for bias) earns the following editor's note on Saturday: "An article on May 6 described a demonstration at Princeton University against the proposal by Bill Frist, the Senate majority leader and a Princeton graduate and board member, to bar filibusters on judicial nominees. The writer, a freelance contributor who is a Princeton student, did not disclose to The Times that before she was assigned the article, she had participated in the demonstration. The Times does not ordinarily... continue reading
Making an Anti-Bush Tempest Out of the Asian Tsunami The Times continues to use the tsunami tragedy for political purposes against Bush. The Times' front-page Sunday story from Jane Perlez, "From Heart of Indonesia's Disaster, a Cry for Help," contains this line: "The first American military helicopters pledged by the Bush administration as a key part of the American aid package arrived at the Banda Aceh airport on Saturday and made some deliveries, said Alwi Shihab, the minister for social services. American pledges of aid have risen sharply this week, in the face of local criticism that Washington had done... continue reading
NYT Conceals Good News for Karl Rove At last, some actual news on the Bob Novak-Valerie Plame-Karl Rove-Joseph Wilson front, though the Times does its best to suggest its pro-Rove findings are actually bad for the White House. Friday's lead from David Johnston and Richard Stevenson, "Rove Reportedly Held Phone Talk On C.I.A. Office," reveals that it was columnist Robert Novak that told Bush adviser Karl Rove about Valerie Plame in 2003, not the other way around, as many assumed: "Karl Rove, the White House senior adviser, spoke with the columnist Robert D. Novak as he was preparing an article... 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
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