A Tale of Two Wartime Inaugurals Over the weekend the Times forwarded complaints about the cost of Bush's upcoming inauguration. Sunday's front-page headline forreporter John Tierney's story reads: "For Inauguration in Wartime, A Lingering Question of Tone." And Saturday's Times features reporter Anne Kornblut talking to first lady Laura Bush. The headline tries to put the administration on the defensive for having the temerity to hold the "$40 million celebration as planned": "Laura Bush Defends Gala In Time of War and Disaster." Tierney's Sunday story at least gives both sides, letting former Bush speechwriter David Frum defend the White House:... continue reading
Losing Interest in Africa When Bush Helps London-based Alan Cowell reports out the results of the G8 finance ministers meeting in Finance Chiefs Cancel Debt of 18 Nations, a story unaccountably buried in Sundays edition of the Times. Cowell explains: The world's wealthiest nations formally agreed Saturday to cancel at least $40 billion of debt owed to international agencies by the world's poorest lands, most of them in Africa..The deal on Saturday was expected to ease the 18 poorest countries' annual debt burden by $1.5 billion.The United States agreed to pay up to $1.75 billion in compensation to international lenders... continue reading
Howell Raines: Bush Shows How "To Vacation Through an Apocalypse" In a column for the Los Angeles Times, former Times Executive Editor (and eternal blowhard ) Howell Raines joins the left wing in using the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina to bash Bush. From the middle of the piece: "The dilatory performance of George Bush during the past week has been outrageous. Almost as unbelievable as Katrina itself is the fact that the leader of the free world has been outshone by the elected leaders of a region renowned for governmental ineptitude. "Louisiana's anguished governor, Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, climbed into a... continue reading
Will NYT Editorial Page "Bork" John Roberts? Wednesday's lead editorial on Bush's Supreme Court nominee John Roberts delivers invective worthy of Sen. Kennedy on Robert Bork (or the editorial board's own Adam Cohen about anyone to the right of William Brennan ): "If he is a mainstream conservative in the tradition of Justice O'Connor, he should be confirmed. But if on closer inspection he turns out to be an extreme ideologue with an agenda of stripping away important rights, he should not be.The far right is on a drive to resurrect ancient, and discredited, states' rights theories. If extremists take... continue reading
The Publicity-Shunning Valerie Plame? Tuesdays front-page story from Scott Shane, In Leak Case, Half a Couple Maintains Veil, leaves off some interesting parts of the Valerie Plame (now Valerie Wilson)-Joseph Wilson controversy: For nearly two years, the investigation into the leak of a covert C.I.A. officer's name has unfolded clamorously in the nation's capital, with partisan brawling on talk shows, prosecutors interviewing President Bush and top White House officials, and the imminent prospect that reporters could go to jail for contempt of court. But the woman at the center of it all, Valerie E. Wilson, has kept her silence, showing... continue reading
Still Raving About Karl Rove The Rove resignation watch enters a second week with Tuesday's Page One from David Sanger and Richard Stevenson, "Bush Responds To Questioning Over Leak Case." Questions are "growing" from the start, naturally, over the release of C.I.A. worker Valerie Plame's identity: "Faced with growing questions about the role of his close adviser Karl Rove in the C.I.A. leak case, President Bush said on Monday that he would fire any member of his staff who 'committed a crime.'" The Times insists that Bush has been inconsistent: "The president's answer to a question at a news conference... continue reading
NYT Jumps on DeLay, Discounts Jesse Jackson/DNC Fine A $200,000 fine against political action committee treasurer Bill Ceverha (who?) is worth a two-column story in Friday's Times, while an equivalent fine against the DNC and left-wing activist Jesse Jackson gets a short AP dispatch in Friday's Times. The difference? Ceverha is the treasurer of a PAC founded by liberal bogeyman Rep. Tom DeLay. Anne Kornblut continues the Tom DeLay drumbeat of "scandal" with "Treasurer of a Texas PAC Is Fined Nearly $200,000 - Official of Committee Formed by DeLay." She notes: "A Texas judge ruled on Thursday that the treasurer... continue reading
The Spirit of Sheehan Lives On Cindy Sheehan is gone, but her Bush-bashing crusade lives on thanks to White House reporter Elisabeth Bumiller, whose Monday and Tuesday reports both focus on the the anti-war mother who recently halted her vigil to be with her ill mother. Bumiller writes Monday: "There is no sign that Mr. Bush will meet with Ms. Sheehan (he met with her once in a group in June 2004, two months after her son's death, when she said that he was disrespectful for calling her 'Mom'), but he did say shortly after she began her vigil on... continue reading
Missing a Bush Protester's Pro-Saddam Tilt After filing a favorable story on preparations by extremist left-wing protesters to disrupt the Bush inaugural, Michael Janofsky relates their giddiness as their plans come to fruition on Inauguration Day in "Demonstrators Revel in Opposition on Big Day for President." He sketches the scene: "For all their disgust with President Bush's inauguration, protesters could hardly have been happier. They screamed. They chanted. They held up signs. They got their message onto national television. And when Mr. Bush's motorcade rolled right past them on Pennsylvania Avenue at Fourth Street shortly after 3 p.m., they let... continue reading
The Times' Flood Control Hypocrisy Hurricane Katrina is a natural disaster unparalleled in modern times, leaving at least half of a major city underwater. In this national tragedy, the nation's paper of record rises to the occasion by declaring everything Bush's fault. But perhaps some blame could be more plausibly apportioned to the Times' own editorial page. Thursday's lead editorial, "Waiting for a Leader," pretends to be focused on the here-and-now while actually looking ahead to blame Bush: "While our attention must now be on the Gulf Coast's most immediate needs, the nation will soon ask why New Orleans's levees... continue reading