Feb
04
2014

NY Times Covers for Obama's Move to the Right

Paper misrepresents inequality poll

Tax the Rich mural (photo: Tiff Chow)

President Barack Obama has decided to talk less about income inequality and more about "opportunity." This shift to a more conservative framework to discuss economic divisions is, according to the New York Times, what the public wants. But that doesn't appear to be the case. Reporter Jackie Calmes (2/4/14) explained that Republicans think talking about inequality "smacks of class warfare," and suggests that the public at large thinks so too: "On this question, the president and his party have moved in Republicans'--and voters'--direction," she wrote. The Times added that Democrats see that opportunity frame "as more appealing to middle-class voters […]

Jul
01
2013

SoundBites July 2013

SoundBiteC

Blameless Factory Owners, Advice for Obama, Defiling Mass Media

Jul
01
2013

Re-Examining ‘Crack Baby’ Myth — Without Taking Responsibility

Media manufactured a racist canard

NBC's Tom Brokaw (10/24/88) helped propel the  "crack baby" storyline.

A true re-examination would ask: What is it about media institutions that makes them so willing to write off millions of mainly black children?

Apr
01
2013

Missing the Bigger Picture on Transgender Healthcare

When appropriate care depends on your school or job

Transgender people and allies fight for healthcare for everyone, not just university students. (photo crediit: Liz Highleyman)

The New York Times (2/13/13) reported that in the last few years, several elite U.S. universities have begun to cover sex reassignment surgery and/or hormones for trans-gender students. On the one hand, it’s great that they’re reporting news like this. After years of extremely disrespectful coverage of transgender issues (Extra!, 11/07), it feels like a victory that the story’s “balance” is limited to noting that “the idea still seems radical to plenty of people.” On the other hand, not a single trans-identified person is quoted. But what is most striking about this kind of article is how it utterly fails […]

May
16
2012

NYT's Jerusalem Bureau Has New Conflict of Interest

Reporter's husband's job is to influence her coverage

The New York Times' Jerusalem bureau was embroiled in controversy two years ago when news broke that bureau chief Ethan Bronner had a son who enlisted in the Israeli army (Extra!, 4/10). As Bronner wraps up his tenure, a new conflict of interest has arisen: Bureau reporter Isabel Kershner's spouse works to promote favorable coverage of Israel at an Israeli government-linked think tank that Kershner frequently quotes. As an article by Alex Kane in the May 2012 issue of Extra! reports, Kershner's husband, Hirsh Goodman, is a senior research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), an institution […]

May
01
2012

New Conflict of Interest at NYT Jerusalem Bureau

Isabel Kershner’s family tie to pro-government think tank

Photo Credit: New York Times

After the news broke that New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Ethan Bronner had a son who enlisted in the Israeli army (Extra!, 4/10), Times public editor Clark Hoyt noted (2/6/10) that it was problematic for Bronner to continue reporting on “one of the world’s most intense” conflicts while his son took up arms for one side. Hoyt spoke to a former Times Jerusalem bureau chief, David Shipler, who stressed the importance of disclosing this relationship to readers. Bronner is now close to the end of his tenure in Jerusalem. But two years after that controversy, the New York Times […]

Feb
24
2012

NYT Lets Unnamed Officials Smear Critics as 'Terrorists'

Anonymous attacks violate paper's policy

(UPDATE: The Times public editor has notified FAIR about his email response to readers critical of the February 6 story. You can read it at the FAIR Blog). In two stories this month, New York Times journalists allowed anonymous government officials to smear critics as terrorists and terrorist sympathizers--a shocking violation of the paper's explicit rules against allowing anonymity to be a cover for attacks. In a February 22 story about Khader Adnan--the Palestinian hunger striker challenging the Israeli practice of holding prisoners without trial--reporter Isabel Kershner wrote: An Israeli official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, called the deal […]

Jan
06
2012

NYT Misleads Readers on Iran Crisis

Paper disappears some inaccurate reporting

In two articles yesterday (1/5/12), the New York Times misled readers about the state of Iran's nuclear program. On the front page, the Times' Steven Erlanger reported this: The threats from Iran, aimed both at the West and at Israel, combined with a recent assessment by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran's nuclear program has a military objective, is becoming an important issue in the American presidential campaign. There is no such International Atomic Energy Agency assessment. The IAEA report the Times is mischaracterizing raised questions about the state of the Iranian program, and presented the evidence, mostly years […]