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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
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