NYT's Hulse Accused of 'Regurgitation of Senate Democrats' One-Sided Talking Points'

Ed Whelan at National Review didn't much like congressional reporter Carl Hulse's front page report Saturday on the successful Republican filibuster of left-wing Obama nominee Caitlin Halligan’s nomination to be a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court. Calling Hulse's article "little more than a regurgitation of Senate Democrats’ one-sided talking points," Whelan identified four major "distortions." Here are a couple (bolds added by Times Watch):

[Hulse's] opening sentence states that Senate Republicans have “so far block[ed] President Obama from filling any of the four vacancies” on the D.C. Circuit. A reader might reasonably infer that Obama has made four nominations to the D.C. Circuit, and nothing in the article would dispel that mistaken inference. In fact, Obama has made only two nominations, and the Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Pat Leahy, has held a hearing on only one of them (Halligan). More generally, Obama’s whole approach to the D.C. Circuit has been a series of Keystone Kops capers. In sum, it would be much more accurate, and much less prone to mistaken inferences, to state simply that Senate Republicans have so far blocked the Halligan nomination.

Whelan also complained about Hulse spreadng the myth that the “Gang of 14 agreement” from May 2005 had somehow “became informal Senate policy.”  As Whelan had previously argued: "The Gang of 14 agreement expressly related only 'to pending and future judicial nominations in the 109th Congress' – that is, for 2005 and 2006. In other words, the agreement by its own terms stopped having any operative effect at the end of 2006." Thus, there was no reason to regard it as binding at the end of 2006.

Reporter Hulse is indeed fond of pro-Democratic, anti-Republican talking points, as Times Watch has long documented. His favorite type of story involves Democrats pressuring Republicans to give in on something related to policy or principle. In April 2010 he served as Bill Clinton's willing conduit to slimily suggest Tea Party protesters could be lighting the fuse for another Oklahoma City bombing.