Praising Obama’s Defense of Free Speech, NYT Leaves Much Unsaid

Barack Obama at the UN General Assembly (Africa Renewal)

The New York Times‘ September 26 coverage of Barack Obama’s UN address on Arab democracy, free speech and violence included a good sampling of the distortions, double standards and bigotry often present in U.S. corporate reporting on these issues. Helene Cooper‘s news report (9/26/12) explained that Obama’s speech was a “strong defense of America’s belief in freedom of speech,” challenging “fledgling Arab and North African democracies to ensure that right even in the face of violence.” According to Cooper, Obama also “asserted that the flare-up of violence over a video that ridicules the Prophet Muhammad would not set off a […]


NYT Wonders: Is Barack Obama a Crybaby?

New York Times reporter Helene Cooper wants to know: Does Barack Obama seem like, you know, a crybaby? Cooper’s piece (6/14/12) about the campaign’s economic messaging dwells on Obama’s tendency to pin the blame elsewhere—namely on his Republican predecessor and others in the party who adhere to favor similar policies. She writes that as the furor created last week over Mr. Obama’s remark that the private sector is “doing fine” demonstrated, the president must walk a tightrope whenever he talks about the economy. What kind of tightrope? According to Cooper, Obama must talk about his accomplishments but “he cannot go […]


It’s GOOD That Romney Has No Principles

We’ve been seeing a lot of this sort of thing lately–this time from Elizabeth Wurtzel on (1/9/12): All the reasons Romney is disliked are all the reasons he would be an excellent president. Let’s start by recognizing that principled politicians are highly overrated–consider Jimmy Carter as Exhibit A. Despite our pretensions to pretension, we are not a country that loves ideology–we’re not, heaven forbid, France–so much as we are a can-do people that, after all, last elected a yes-we-can president. We like what works, not what it says in The Communist Manifesto, which reads like a guidebook for a […]


NYT and Obama’s ‘Disagreeable Medicine’

Today New York Times reporter Helene Cooper (8/10/11) surveys the bad economic situation and asks of Barack Obama: Is he willing to try to administer the disagreeable medicine that could help the economy mend over the long term, even if that means damaging his chances for re-election? What’s that mean, exactly? The first person she quotes is former Clinton official (more recently, former managing director of Kissinger Associates) David Rothkopf, and he’s talking about cutting so-called “entitlements”: Mr. Obama, Mr. Rothkopf argues, has to focus in the next 18 months on getting the economy back on track for the long […]


Iran Helping Iraqi Insurgents…Make That Al-Qaeda

“Iran arming Iraq insurgents”was last month’s story. Today’s papers are telling a different story; the new line being pushed by U.S. officials is that Iran is supporting Al-Qaeda. Today’s Washington Post: Iran Allows Money, Recruits to Reach Al-Qaeda, U.S. Says ‘Secret deal’ allegedly supports activities of terrorists in Pakistan In the New York Times: Treasury Accuses Iran of Aiding Al-Qaeda Associated Press: U.S. Accuses Iran of ‘Secret Deal’ With Al-Qaeda The Post calls this “the most serious U.S. allegation to date of Iranian aid to the terrorist group”– though it later notes that “U.S. officials have repeatedly accused Iran of […]


NYT’s Anonymous Israeli Truth-Tellers

What’s the Israeli government’s new “plan” for peace? Reading the New York Times doesn’t help your understand where they stand. Earlier this week, the Times‘ Ethan Bronner (5/17/11) praised a speech by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu for exhibiting “greater flexibility on territory.” Bronner wrote that he showed “more willingness to yield territory than he had before, strongly implying that he would give up the vast majority of the West Bank.” As Matthew Taylor wrote at Mondoweiss (5/17/11), there was little actual evidence that there was much going on here–just some “implying” and “suggesting.” A Times article today (5/19/11) from […]


On the U.S.’s ‘Complex Relations’ with Dictators

The New York Times‘ Helene Cooper on President Obama’s speech last night (3/29/11): To the democracy protesters across the Middle East, he vowed that the United States would stand by them, even as he said that “progress will be uneven, and change will come differently in different countries,” a partial acknowledgment that complex relations between the United States and different Arab countries may make for different American responses in different countries. “Complex relations” make for “different American responses”?That’s a nicer way of saying that we are on the side ofthe dictators you are protesting,which makes it rather unlikelythe U.S.will intervene […]


Obama’s Best Week Ever?

On yesterday’s Chris Matthews show on NBC, the assembled journalists all seem to agree that Barack Obama’s decision to cut a tax deal with Republicans and come out swinging against the left was great news. Time‘s Mike Duffy: “These liberals may scream, but they’ve been screaming about Barack Obama since the beginning. This isn’t anything new.” Chris Matthews and NBC‘s Andrea Mitchell went back and forth about whether this was an actual “Sister Souljah moment” or a “mini moment.” But Helene Cooper of the New York Times summed up the conventional wisdom best: I think President Obama just had a […]