Obama's critics on the Left were upset that Times reporters Jackie Calmes and Michael Shear failed to ask about surveillance programs and the Snowden case. They failed to upbraid him about his Justice Department's crackdown on journalists or requiring Bush-trashing/Pulitzer-winning Times colleague James Risen to testify in court. What about drone attacks? These lines of inquiry are reserved for the dreaded warmongering "neoconservatives" of Team Bush.
Obama isn't the only Democrat who is being awarded with feigned ignorance by the Times. The "newspaper of record" looked ridiculous when disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner was forced to admit he kept right on "sexting" strange women who were not Mrs. Weiner after he resigned and promised to end his creepy online sexual misbehavior with strange women. In April, they published a gooey cover story in The New York Times Magazine titled "Huma and Anthony: The private life of a former power couple."
All three networks picked up that soon-to-unravel Happy News. The author of that cover story, Jonathan Van Meter, sympathetically recalled on NBC that Weiner was "still wracked with a sort of shame and pain and guilt about it, and -- and he cried, I think every time I interviewed him, at some point." But in retrospect, Van Meter claimed when challenged on whether he asked Weiner about a relapse: "Never even occurred to me to ask!"
Was Van Meter that clueless? Even Politico media reporter Dylan Byers, nobody's idea of a right-winger, wrote at the time that Van Meter "seems not only sympathetic to Weiner, but uncritical and unquestioning." But it's also very likely that the Times editors ordered and expected a Weiner-on-the-rebound piece, and it made no sense to resist that template. The face-omelet of embarrassment should be theirs, as well.
Both of these storylines reveal that just as the Times tried to move mountains to ruin President Bush, they are also rabidly partisan in seeing themselves as life preservers for Democrats. Why anyone would see this as a "prestige" newspaper while its news coverage careens wildly from abuse to neglect is a mystery.
L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. To find out more about Brent Bozell III, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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