The New York Times

Tags ››› The New York Times
  • Fox’s Ralph Peters: Trump’s NATO Position Is “Destructive And Idiotic”

    Blog ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    Following comments Donald Trump made to The New York Times raising the possibility that as president he would not honor the United States’ NATO obligations, Fox News national security analyst Ralph Peters called Trump’s position “the most destructive and idiotic statement on foreign policy” by a presidential candidate in his lifetime.

    In a July 20 interview with the Times, Trump “called into question whether, as president, he would automatically extend the security guarantees that give the 28 members of NATO the assurance that the full force of the United States military has their back.” Trump suggested that, as president, he would assist Baltic NATO member states “only after reviewing whether those nations ‘have fulfilled their obligations to us.’”

    Peters blasted Trump’s comments during a July 21 interview on Fox Business, saying that “there’s no excuse for what Trump said, and what he did was invite Vladimir Putin to invade the Baltics,” adding that “Trump’s throwing [the Baltic NATO member states] to the wolves” and “knows nothing about” NATO:

  • NY Times Editorial Explains The Absurdity Of Trump Campaign’s Outreach To Latino Voters

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    The New York Times editorial board excoriated the Trump campaign’s planned “Hispanic engagement tour” as a “farcical gesture” given Trump’s dehumanization of the Latino electorate and resultant widespread belief  among Latinos that Trump is “racist.”

    The Trump campaign’s announcement that it plans to reach out to Hispanic voters comes amid the whitest Republican National Convention in a century -- an event celebrated by white nationalists and criticized by the media for its hostility toward Latinos. The sudden interest in engagement is also surprising given Trump’s tendency to reject requests for interviews with Hispanic media.

    The Times editorial explained that, despite Trump’s sudden realization “of the limits of a presidential campaign based on chauvinism and fear,” it’s too late for him to repair the damage he’s done with the Latino community. The editorial noted that “a new Latino Decisions survey has 83 percent of Latino voters saying Mr. Trump is a racist.” From the July 21 editorial:

    But after the lights go down in Cleveland, when the yelling subsides, the balloons go limp and the delegates go home, the party will be alone with its message and its nominee.

    What next? Why, minority outreach, of course. “Donald Trump’s going to be doing a Hispanic engagement tour coming up soon,” said the party chairman, Reince Priebus.

    “Engagement” doesn’t seem likely, given public reactions to the Trump campaign’s message of suspicion and disgust. In some states, Mr. Trump is polling at zero among black voters. A new Latino Decisions survey has 83 percent of Latino voters saying Mr. Trump is a racist, and 71 percent saying he has made the Republican Party more hostile to Latinos. Those results track closely with other polls this month, one conducted by The Wall Street Journal and NBC News and one by Univision.

    [...]

    The Latino electorate, meanwhile, isn’t going away or shrinking. Neither is the challenge of confronting immigration. Instead of a “Hispanic engagement tour,” which is almost sure to be a farcical gesture, Republicans could stop demonizing immigrants and start thinking about actually fixing the immigration system.

    This means getting back to where they were only three years ago, when an ambitious bipartisan plan handily passed the Senate. That bill was blocked by hard-core House Republicans fanning the same border hysteria and cultural anxieties that Mr. Trump exploits today. Republicans will eventually understand — even if their nominee does not — that there is no future in being the party of white grievance and racial exclusion. Not in these diverse United States. Whether that insight is reached through reflection and self-correction, or an autopsy of yet another failed presidential campaign, remains to be seen.

  • NY Times’ Kristof: “As Ailes Topples Today, I’d Bet On The G.O.P. Tumbling Tomorrow”

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof linked embattled Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes’ apparent downfall to the travails of the Republican Party that just nominated Donald Trump for president.

    The Times is reporting that "Ailes and 21st Century Fox, Fox News’s parent company, are in the advanced stages of discussions that would lead to his departure as chairman” following an internal investigation into allegations that Ailes has engaged in a pattern of sexual harassment.

    Responding to the news, Kristof noted that “ today’s G.O.P. has been galvanized, prodded and molded by Fox News” under Ailes and that Trump “is the Republican nominee perhaps in part because Fox News and other prominent right-wing commentators weakened the control of Republican Party bosses.” He concludes that Ailes and the Republican Party share a common “myopia,” writing in a July 19 piece:

    The ugly sexual harassment of which Ailes is accused was common a generation ago and too often was accepted as boys-will-be-boys behavior. But times have changed, and he apparently continued in the 2010s conduct that is no longer winked at and is now often (unfortunately, not often enough) taken very seriously. Ailes was stuck in the past, and now he apparently will end his career in disgrace as a result, if the reports are correct.

    The Republican Party suffers a similar myopia. It continues to behave as if America were in the 1970s, and its nostalgia leads it to antagonize blacks, Latinos and Muslims, as well as many whites uncomfortable with what feels to them like bigotry. In the 2000 Republican convention, George W. Bush was careful to put black faces on the podium almost nonstop, so that people joked that convention coverage looked like Black Entertainment Television, because Bush knew that he needed to come across to American centrists as tolerant and open-minded. In contrast, the 2016 convention is mostly whites all the time.

    Republican leaders have talked for many years of the need to adapt to changing values and changing demography. But so far they haven’t managed to change, any more than Ailes did — and so just as Ailes’s rise was a boon for the Republican Party, so his downfall is a harbinger of trouble ahead, of a political party that blindly marches on without regard to changing times. As Ailes topples today, I’d bet on the G.O.P. tumbling tomorrow.

     
  • Media Highlight Trump VP Pick Mike Pence’s “Radical Obstinacy” On Abortion

    ››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS

    Media figures are calling out the “bizarre” and “extreme” anti-abortion record of Donald Trump’s vice presidential running mate, Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN). They called Pence “the most anti-abortion presidential or VP candidate we’ve had,” and noted that he “became a conservative hero” by virtue of his “longstanding, implacable and dogged” opposition to abortion.

  • There’s More To The Harvard Racial Bias Study Than Right-Wing Media Are Reporting

    Other Media Note Error Of Extrapolating From Limited Data

    ››› ››› TYLER CHERRY

    After The New York Times published results from Harvard economics professor Roland Fryer’s study showing that police, after making a stop, are “less likely to shoot if the suspects were black," right-wing media hyped the report headline that there was “no racial bias” involved in police shootings. They argued that high rates of black crime could instead explain the disproportionate rate of black fatalities at the hands of police. But other media outlets noted that the study’s data is limited, that it is based on testimonies of police officers, and that it “avoided the question of whether black citizens are more likely to be stopped to begin with.”

  • New York Times’ Maureen Dowd Writes Yet Another Anti-Clinton Column

    Blog ››› ››› BRENNAN SUEN

    New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd continued her nearly 23-year long crusade against Hillary Clinton with a column accusing her of “compromis[ing] the president” and “willfully put[ting] herself above the rules.” 

    Dowd wrote a July 9 column, titled “The Clinton Contamination,” admonishing Clinton after FBI Director James Comey called her private email server “extremely careless” but recommended no charges for criminal conduct -- the Justice Department accepted those recommendations. In her column, Dowd called Clinton’s actions “arrogant” and “selfish” and said she “contaminated three of the purest brands in Washington -- Barack Obama, James Comey, and Loretta Lynch,” continuing that “Hillary’s goo got on Obama.” Dowd concluded that “the Clintons work hard but don’t play by the rules.” Dowd lamented that “the email scandal” had supposedly “clouded the futures” of some of the most trusted Clinton aides, and derisively referred to former President Bill Clinton as “the Arkansas devil.”

    A Media Matters analysis of Dowd’s columns found that 72 percent of her work between November 1993 and June 2014 included negative tropes against the Clintons, including regularly portraying Hillary Clinton as an unlikeable, power-hungry phony. In the year following, all 17 of Dowd’s columns with significant mentions of Clinton were negative. Dowd regularly relies on sexist tropes to describe Clinton, including that she is a “granny” who “can’t figure out how to campaign as a woman” and suggesting she “should have run as a man” during the 2016 election. Hypocritically, Dowd has also accused her of “cry[ing] sexism too often.” 

    Even Norman Ornstein, a scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, mocked Dowd’s column, tweeting, “Congratulations! This is the 7,673rd time Maureen Dowd has written this column! What a gig!”

  • "So Fucking Irresponsible": NY Post's Cover About Shooting Of Dallas Police Roundly Condemned

    ››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS

    In the wake of an attack on police officers in Dallas, TX, during a peaceful demonstration against the recent police shootings of two black men, the New York Post used the cover of its Friday edition to announce a "civil war." Media figures from across the political spectrum condemned the "utterly irresponsible" cover as "morally perverse and factually wrong."

  • Nine Times Reporters Botched The Facts On Hillary Clinton's Emails

    ››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN

    Media outlets have had to correct numerous reports on  Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state due to flawed journalistic processes that favored anonymous sourcing and failed to prioritize accuracy. With the FBI calling for no criminal charges following its probe into the use of the server, Media Matters looks back at nine corrections from seven different publications.  

  • Editorial Boards Celebrate The Supreme Court’s Strengthening Of Reproductive Rights

    ››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS

    On June 27, the Supreme Court found in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt that restrictions placed on Texas abortion providers by the state’s HB 2 violated a woman’s constitutional right to abortion access. Editorial boards across the nation hailed the decision as “a major victory for abortion rights,” and “the most significant victory in a generation for a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body.”

  • For Clinton, All News Is Bad News: Brexit Edition

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Deciding that a national referendum staged thousands of miles away offers deep insight into America’s pending presidential election -- and that Hillary Clinton’s campaign in particular may be damaged by a vote in Europe -- several pundits in recent have days have stressed the Bad News angle for the Democrat.

    Reading all kinds of American implications into the United Kingdom’s vote to exit the European Union, known as “Brexit,” commentators seemed to be straining in order to stick to their preferred all-news-is-bad-news pattern when covering Clinton.

    Meet The Press host Chuck Todd insisted that in the wake of Brexit, Clinton “has to learn a lesson here” because she represents “the establishment.” Or “the status quo,” as The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza suggested during the same segment.

    On ABC’s This Week, Greta Van Susteren agreed that the “status quo really needs to be worried” and that Brexit “hurts Secretary Hillary Clinton, because she is going to be pinned with status quo.”

    And because Clinton’s such a supposedly stagnant candidate with so little vision, the vote in the U.K. set off “panic” inside “Democratic circles,” according to Time.

    But does that framing of the Brexit vote reflect reality? Clinton’s the first woman to ever win a major party’s presidential nomination in American history and her party’s newly drafted platform is the most aggressively progressive in decades, yet the press depicts her as “status quo” and out of touch with voters urging change. 

    The New York Times seemed to take the lead over the weekend in ringing the Brexit alarm bells for Clinton. On Sunday’s front page, the Times insisted the U.K. outcome casts a “shadow” over Clinton’s White House run, which seems odd since Clinton played no role in the British vote. But the Times was certain the referendum represented the type of outcome she “fears” in November.

    Additionally:

    According to their friends and advisers, Mrs. Clinton and former President Bill Clinton have worried for months that she was out of sync with the mood of the electorate, and that her politically safe messages — like “I’m a progressive who gets results” — were far less compelling to frustrated voters than the “political revolution” of Senator Bernie Sanders or Mr. Trump’s grievance-driven promise to “Make America Great Again.”

    Fact: Clinton just defeated Sanders by approximately 3.7 million votes in the Democratic primary, and she leads Trump by 12 points in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll. But the Times hypes anonymous concerns her "safe" message isn’t resonating? (What would the polls look like today if Clinton’s message was resonating?) More importantly, since when is the candidate who tallies the most votes depicted as being out of touch with voters?

    In a strange attempt to prove its point, the Times noted, “Mr. Sanders and Mr. Trump won a combined 25 million votes during the primary season, compared with 16 million for Mrs. Clinton.”

    Clinton won more votes than either Sanders or Trump this year. But because combined they tallied more than her that means a referendum in Europe is bad news for her; that she’s “out of step.” That seems illogical.

    More Times oddities:

    In swing states like Ohio, many Democrats and Republicans yearn for an economic comeback and are not confident that Mrs. Clinton understands their frustrations or has the ideas and wherewithal to deliver the sort of change that could satisfy them.

    Democrats in Ohio aren’t sure Clinton “understands” their concerns, even though three months ago Democrats in Ohio selected Clinton as the winner of the state’s primary contest by almost 14 points.

    Meanwhile, since when are national votes in foreign countries even considered to be precursors for American elections? Or is the press only leaning on that angle now because pundits think it represents bad news for the Democrat?

    If that’s the rubric, journalists ought to be consistent. If votes in foreign countries, and specifically countries that resemble the U.S. population, are deemed to be bellwether events for U.S. presidential elections, shouldn’t the press treat other recent votes as being preludes to U.S. election results?

    For instance, what was the lesson Clinton was supposed to have learned from Canada last October when voters there overwhelmingly elected a liberal prime minster? Or did that referendum not matter since the results were in sync with Clinton’s campaign message of inclusion and progress?

    If for some reason Clinton had made Brexit a central issue in her American campaign, or if overseas referendums served as well-established indicators for U.S. election results, pundits might be safe in drawing sweeping conclusions about the Democrat’s chances in the wake of the U.K. vote.

    Instead, lots of the commentary looks and sounds like a kneejerk attempt to assume big news is bad news for Clinton’s White House hopes.

  • With Gun Votes Pending, New York Times Again Whitewashes GOP’s Radical Obstruction

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

    Trying to jump-start the gun debate in America, Democrats last week, led by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), were forced to stage a nearly 15-hour talking filibuster in the wake of the Orlando gun rampage that left 49 people dead at a gay nightclub. The marathon event was held in order to champion two gun measures. One would give the Justice Department authority to block gun sales to people on the  terror watch list (the "terror gap"), and the other would require background checks on nearly all gun sales. 

    Those votes are scheduled for Monday evening as amendments to a DOJ spending bill. Republicans will also put forward two measures; one purports to straighten the background check system while actually weakening it, and the other purports to block sales to suspected terrorists but has "an unworkable standard" in actually stopping any sales. 

    But The New York Times has already been downplaying any chance of Congress passing the Democrats' proposals. “Why the Orlando Shooting Is Unlikely to Lead to Major New Gun Laws,” read a June 16 headline.

    Why were the background check and terror gap efforts supposedly doomed? “Largely because of hotly contested Senate races in a bitter election year,” the newspaper reported. “Election-year politics will make a bill to expand background checks an uphill climb,” the Times stressed.  

    For readers, the storyline was clear: The two sides simply can’t agree on this one. Maybe next year -- because for now, Republicans just don’t see eye-to-eye with Democrats on gun legislation.

    But none of that glossed-over analysis is applicable to what’s happening today. And the framing the Times uses -- which was also employed by other news organizations -- categorically ignores what’s been unfolding in American politics since President Obama was elected, and specifically it ignores how the Republican Party has tried its best, via radical obstructionism, to thwart Obama in every conceivable way. And Republicans are doing it in a manner that’s unprecedented in modern American politics.

    Here’s the political context that’s been flushed down the memory hole since the Orlando massacre: Republicans don’t simply disagree with Obama on gun legislation; they disagree with him on everything. ("If he was for it, we had to be against it," former Republican Ohio Sen. George Voinovich once explained.) Yet too many in the press still downplay that central fact.

    Indeed, so much of the congressional gun coverage last week glossed over the fact that Democrats had to stage a nearly 15-hour filibuster just to get Republicans to allow votes on gun legislation in the wake of another gun massacre. And these were gun amendments whose measures enjoy overwhelming, bipartisan support among voters.

    Media Matters has been documenting this journalism shortcoming for a very long time. Here was a recent thumbnail sketch of what blanketed GOP obstruction has looked like under Obama:

    Today's Republican Party is acting in a way that defies all historic norms. We saw it with the GOP's gun law obstruction, the Violence Against Women Act obstruction, the sequester obstruction, Supreme Court obstruction, minimum wage obstruction, 9/11 first responder obstruction, government shutdown obstruction, immigration reform obstruction, Chuck Hagel's confirmation obstruction, Susan Rice secretary of state obstruction, paid leave obstruction, Hurricane Sandy emergency relief obstruction, the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act obstruction, and the consistent obstruction of judicial nominees.

    Good luck finding any of that context in the current coverage about the congressional gun votes. Instead, news consumers are supposed to pretend the last eight years of GOP obstruction never happened and that the gun votes this week are taking place in a vacuum.

    They’re also supposed to pretend one party in particular doesn’t sponsor obstructionism. Look at this June 14 Times article about the Orlando shooting and gunman Omar Mateen (emphasis added):

    Even if Mr. Mateen had remained on the watch list, it would not have stopped him from buying a gun. Congress blocked an attempt last year to give the F.B.I. the power to block gun sales to people on terrorism watch lists.

    But of course, “Congress” didn’t block the attempt in 2015; Republicans did.

    If you’re sensing déjà vu about gun massacres and jockeying over congressional votes, that’s because following the deadly rampage at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, CT, Republicans, at the urging of the National Rifle Association, blocked any attempt to vote on a gun safety bill to strengthen background checks.

    At the time, Sen. Patrick Toomey (R-PA) was among the few Republicans who tried to fashion together a compromise. In the end, the GOP abandoned that effort. Pressed to address the failure, Toomey explained:

    In the end, it didn't pass because we're so politicized. There were some on my side who did not want to be seen helping the president do something he wanted to get done, just because the president wanted to do it.

    Three years ago, Toomey revealed the underlying truth; he articulated his own party’s obstructionist blueprint. But most journalists politely filed that quote away, and they certainly haven’t dwelled on it in recent days as new gun votes loom.

    Meanwhile, back to the Times coverage. You know what would have provided additional context for the Times article, which chose to view the pending gun votes through the narrow prism of a soda straw? Polling data. The same day of the Times piece, new polling information showed that 86 percent of Americans support denying gun sales to anybody who’s on the government’s terror watch list, including 87 percent of Republicans. Numerous polls over the past few years have indicated that around 90 percent of Americans favor a background check for every gun sale. 

    As for the idea that Republicans can’t find common ground with Democrats on gun legislation because this year is an election year? That just defies logic and whitewashes what’s transpired for the last eight years.

    How do we know current Republican obstruction isn’t about election year positioning? We know because Republicans have been radically obstructing Obama every year he’s been in office, regardless of balloting.

    Remember these two initiatives that the GOP bizarrely blocked when no significant elections were pending:

    *Disaster relief for Hurricane Sandy victims (January 2013)

    *The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act (December 2014)

    And don’t forget about the GOP’s illogical government shutdown of 2013 and the equally loopy sequestration that same year.

    It’s simply not credible to blame possible failed gun votes this week on “election year” politics. After eight years, we know the Republican Party’s radical obstructionist streak pays no attention to the calendar.

  • How The Media Helped Donald Trump Boost His Candidacy

    Harvard Professor Gives Insight Into New Shorenstein Report About How The Media Helped Trump And Hurt Clinton

    Blog ››› ››› JOE STRUPP

    The author of a new Harvard study on the media’s coverage of the presidential primary says the press clearly helped Donald Trump on his path to becoming the presumptive Republican nominee.

    This week, Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy released a detailed report on the media’s coverage of the presidential race in 2015, the year leading up to the first primaries. The study found that “Trump is arguably the first bona fide media-created presidential nominee. Although he subsequently tapped a political nerve, journalists fueled his launch."

    The study’s author, Harvard professor Thomas E. Patterson, told Media Matters in an interview that the massive amount of Trump coverage -- as well as its largely positive tone -- predated Trump’s rise in the polls and “helped position him to make a stronger run.”

    “In the past, to get a lot of coverage pre-Iowa you had to be pretty high in the polls, and they started to give him heavy coverage when he was way down there, in the single digits,” Patterson said in an interview. “It is virtually impossible when you go back through all the races before 2016 when you were in a multi-candidate field and you were down where he was you are almost an afterthought to journalists.”

    The study looked at coverage of the candidates prior to the caucus and primary votes by Fox News, CBS, NBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today.

    Equating the Trump coverage to advertising dollars, Patterson’s report found that Trump received about $55 million worth of positive and neutral coverage in the eight outlets studied, well ahead of the second place candidate, Jeb Bush, at $36 million.

    “It’s gold, it works in every way in [his] favor,” Patterson said. “As you start to go up in the polls, there is a circular pattern, you can raise money and it becomes easier to pull voters into your column. What was abnormal was this extraordinary amount of attention Trump got early on even though he did not appear on paper to be a credible candidate. He was far down in the polls, but he made statements that made for great stories.”

    The study found that all eight of the news outlets studied gave Trump predominantly positive or neutral coverage, from The New York Times, where 63% of stories about Trump were positive or neutral, to USA Today, which led the way with 74%.

    By the same token, Clinton received largely negative coverage across the eight news outlets during 2015. The report argues of this disparity, "Whereas media coverage helped build up Trump, it helped tear down Clinton. Trump’s positive coverage was the equivalent of millions of dollars in ad-buys in his favor, whereas Clinton’s negative coverage can be equated to millions of dollars in attack ads, with her on the receiving end." 

    Patterson pointed to reporting on Clinton's use of a private email account while secretary of state and Republicans' ongoing focus on the 2012 Benghazi attacks as two of the most negatives stories.

    “In her case, the emails and the questions about the emails, how big an issue is this actually, that was a big part of her coverage,” Patterson said. “Benghazi was a bigger part of the news early on and then she had that day-long session with Congress that a lot of people thought she did quite well with. Of all the candidates of recent decades who have been front-runners, she has had the strongest headwinds of negative coverage.”

    But Patterson said the press may have over-covered the email issue and failed to put it in proper context.

    “How big an issue is the email controversy in the context of the candidate’s preparedness and ability to be president of the states?” he asked. “I think you would get some who say it is a molehill into a mountain. My own sense is that as a standalone issue the emails are pretty small potatoes in the realm of presidential preparedness. It has been a common practice in Congress and among cabinet officers to combine them one way or another. She is not an outlier on this and you could ask why the press has not brought that part of the story into it.”

    Patterson added that even apart from those controversies, Clinton’s “substantive issue coverage was more negative than the other candidates.”

    Despite the helping hand the media gave Trump during the primaries, Patterson notes that “in the past few weeks, Trump has gotten the kind of press scrutiny that if it had come earlier it would have been a drag of some kind on his candidacy, perhaps enough to make it hard for him to go into the convention with a majority.”