Canada's "Virtue" Canadian correspondent Clifford Krauss writes "Was Canada Just Too Good to Be True?" from Toronto, questioning whether Canada is really as virtuous as it wants to appear. But Krauss assumes the liberal view that international treaties and gay marriage laws are signs of political virtue and tolerance: "Canadian cities are among the most ethnically diverse and safest in the world. Canadian tolerance took real form during the past two years with the extension of marriage rights to gays and lesbians in most of the country." (Last November, Krauss compared U.S. gays getting married in Canada to U.S. slaves... continue reading
Anita Hill "Brusquely Questioned" by the Senate Was Anita Hill really "brusquely questioned" by the "all-male" Senate Judiciary Committee back in 1991? Reporter Dean Murphy takes that liberal formulation as fact in his Friday profile of California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, "Lone Woman on Committee Feels Pull of Further Duty in Roberts Hearings." "It was the sight of Anita F. Hill being brusquely questioned by an all-male Senate Judiciary Committee about her sexual harassment charges against Clarence Thomas, then a United States Supreme Court nominee, that helped propel Dianne Feinstein into the Senate in 1992. In the years since, Mrs. Feinstein,... continue reading
Strange Coverage of Kim Jong Il Two stories on North Korea, two odd references to tyrant Kim Jong Il. Saturday's story by James Brooke, "A Voice From North Korea Echoes in the White House," profiles a refugee who's written a book, "The Aquariums of Pyongyang," about his life in a labor camp under Kim Jong Il's dictatorial regime. Brooke writes: "In late April, the president's reading of 'The Aquariums of Pyongyang' seemed to bolster his longstanding hostility toward North Korea. As American diplomats tried to revive stalled talks on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, Mr. Bush told reporters in Washington... continue reading
Detainees Flushed Koran, But NYT Hardly Notices Saturday's prominent Page One story by Eric Schmitt opens with the Pentagon report released Friday by lead investigator Brigadier General Jay Hood and details Koran "abuse" findings: "A military inquiry has found that guards or interrogators at the Guantnamo Bay detention center in Cuba kicked, stepped on and splashed urine on the Koran, in some cases intentionally but in others by accident, the Pentagon said on Friday. The splashing of urine was among the cases described as inadvertent. It was said to have occurred when a guard urinated near an air vent and... continue reading
At Last: A Remark the Times Finds Offensive Hillary Clinton beat reporter Raymond Hernandez follows the senator to a press conference, where she and other liberal senators denounced Karl Rove for comments he made at a Conservative Party fundraiser in Manhattan. Among Rove's red-meat: "Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 and the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers." Hernandez begins Friday's "Democrats Demand Rove Apologize for 9/11 Remarks" with liberal (make that "Democrat") fury: "Leading Democrats reacted furiously on Thursday... continue reading
Galling Coverage of Afghan "Anxiety" The tone of Thursday's grim off-lead story from Kabul-based Carlotta Gall can be inferred by the baleful stack of headlines: "Mood of Anxiety Engulfs Afghans As Violence Rises - Many Losing Confidence - Taliban Offensive Stirring Impatience - Hostile Fire Downed Chopper." Continue after the front-page jump, and the text box reads: "Confidence in Karzai and the U.S. is undermined." The flashpoint for this round up of woe is the fatal shoot-down of an American Chinook helicopter: "The loss of a military helicopter with 17 Americans aboard in eastern Afghanistan on Tuesday comes at a... continue reading
Still Slighting Local Failure in New Orleans Sundays huge lead story on Hurricane Katrina, reported by Eric Lipton, Christopher Drew, Scott Shane and David Rohde, Breakdowns Marked Path From Hurricane to Anarchy. The subhead puts the onus on the federal response: In Crisis, Federal Authorities Hesitated Local Officials Were Overwhelmed. That angle permeates the entire story, from the opening lines on: The governor of Louisiana was blistering mad. It was the third night after Hurricane Katrina drowned New Orleans, and Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco needed buses to rescue thousands of people from the fetid Superdome and convention center. But only... continue reading
London Terror Bombing: Tony Blairs Bitter Harvest? In his story titled 4 Blasts, and Blairs Rising Star Runs Into a Treacherous Future, reporter Alan Cowell wrote from London that Rarely has it been so true and so bloodily so as in the past 24 hours of Prime Minister Tony Blairs roller coaster ride from triumph to tragedy. Within hours of the violence, Cowell forecast political doom for Blair with an admittedly crude analysis: Perhaps the crudest lesson to be drawn was that, in adopting the stance he took after the Sept. 11 attacks, Mr. Blair had finally reaped the bitter... continue reading
NYT Again Hits Miami's Anti-Castro Exiles Wednesday's front-page story on anti-Castro Cuban exiles in Miami by Abby Goodnough, "Florida's Zeal Against Castro Is Losing Heat," shows how the paper loses its respect for aggrieved minority groups when they trend Republican : "But if Mr. Castro's grip on Cuban Miami remains strong, the fixation is expressed differently these days. The monolithic stridency that once defined the exile community has faded. There is less consensus on how to fight Mr. Castro and even, as Cuban-Americans grow more politically and economically diverse, less intensity of purpose." Goodnough stacks the deck with unflattering anecdotes... continue reading
Bill Keller Defends His Paper's "High-Minded" Journalism In an eyebrow raiser, Executive Editor Bill Keller writes a letter to the editor of his own paper, lambasting a recent Sunday Book Review cover story by U.S. Court of Appeals judge and law professor Richard Posner , a catch-all review of several books positing media bias variously on the left and the right. Keller claims that Posner's "market determinism" ignores the dynamics that make papers like his great, such as "the competitive gratification of being first to discover a buried story," which no doubt explains the Times 'wall-to-wall-coverage of the Air America... continue reading