Panel Host Challenges Executive Editor on Front-Page Liberal Bias

Plus: "Unimaginable" arrogance by the Times on WikiLeaks, the "Advocates for Women's Health" at Planned Parenthood, and former partisan union boss John Sweeney as a secular saint.
Panel Host Challenges Executive Editor on Front-Page Liberal Bias

Marvin Kalb: "On the Times you have news and then you've got opinion. Now there should be a wall between the two. Your ombudsman Arthur Brisbane says, and I quote, 'the news pages are laced with analytical and opinion pieces that work against the premise that the news is just the news,' unquote. Many conservatives as you well know, criticize the Times as being a liberal, left-wing newspaper, and that those views get into the news part of your newspaper. Why do you allow this to happen?"

Bill Keller: "We don't allow it to happen. I mean-"

Marvin Kalb: "But it happens almost every day." - Exchange between Executive Editor Bill Keller and host Marvin Kalb on a panel at George Washington University, January 31.

GOP's "Blustery and Bellicose" Christie vs. Compassionate Dem Governor

"There is Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey: blustery and bellicose, hectoring the unions, enthralling fellow Republicans with his tax caps and spending cuts, already generating presidential murmurings after barely a year in office. And then, up the road in Connecticut, there is a new governor trying to be everything Mr. Christie is not....Mr. Malloy grew up with dyslexia and physical disabilities. He still cannot write or type. And as he closes a 20 percent budget deficit, he spends much of his energy finding ways to spare the most vulnerable." - David Halbfinger's February 16 profile of new Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy, bashing fellow Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey.

More of that Sober, Substantive New York Times Budget Analysis

"Are there any adults in charge of the House? Watching this week's frenzied slash-and-burn budget contest, we had to conclude the answer to that is no. First Speaker John Boehner's Republican leadership proposed cutting the rest of the 2011 budget by $32 billion. But that wasn't enough for his fanatical freshmen, who demanded that it be cut by $61 billion, destroying vital government programs with gleeful abandon." - From the lead editorial for February 17.

More of That Calm, Objective New York Times Business Reporting

"As the nation's obesity crisis continues unabated, federal regulators on Monday issued their bluntest nutrition advice to date...More important, perhaps, the government told Americans, "Enjoy your food, but eat less." Many Americans eat too many calories every day, expanding their waistlines and imperiling their health.While the recommendations may seem obvious, it is nonetheless considered major progress for federal regulators, who have long skirted the issue, wary of the powerful food lobby." - Reporter Andrew Martin on the front of the February 1 Business Section.

Hope for Dems in NC Convo - GOP in Tampa Risks "Woeful Disconnect"

"The selection of North Carolina also underscored the hope of Mr. Obama and his advisers that they have a better chance of organizing supporters - and finding new voters - in a conservative-leaning but demographically evolving Southern state than in a traditional battleground like Missouri." - Jeff Zeleny in a February 2 story on the Democrats picking Charotte, North Carolina for their 2012 presidential convention.


"Tampa as a Republican comfort zone also brings risk: if the party plays too much to its base, will it look out of touch? This, after all, is a city settled largely by Cuban immigrants in the 1880s, who came here to roll cigars. Now it is more diverse than the party it is hosting. As of the 2000 census, Tampa was at least 19 percent Hispanic and 26 percent black. And economically, the gap between rich and poor is particularly pronounced....The wrong mix of poverty juxtaposed with Republicans partying - perhaps against a backdrop of oil-stained beaches - could give Democrats just what they need to portray their opponents as woefully disconnected from the middle class." - Damien Cave's May 13, 2010 story on the Republicans choosing Tampa, Fla. as the site for their 2012 presidential convention.

Bill Keller Tries His Hand at Stand-Up

"Although it is our aim to be impartial in our presentation of the news, our attitude toward these issues is far from indifferent...." - From Executive Editor Bill Keller's cover story on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, for the January 30 edition of the New York Times Magazine.

A Little Too Excited About This

"The Bush dynasty is no stranger to generational conflict: father and son differed over deposing Saddam Hussein, raising taxes and the role of the United Nations. Now it is father and daughter who find themselves at odds over a weighty issue. Barbara Bush, one of the twin daughters of George W. Bush, will endorse same-sex marriage on Tuesday, publicly breaking ranks with a father who, as president, pushed for a constitutional amendment banning such unions." - Michael Barbaro, February 1.

The "Violence" That Lurks Inside Critics of Gay Marriage

"But 'Blackmail Boys' is about more than extortion. Distributed by TLA Releasing - the outfit behind a passel of recent gay-theme movies ('Fruit Fly,' 'BearCity') - it's also about double lives, the violence that can lurk inside those who cannot face themselves and the laudable quest for gay marriage in the United States." - From Andy Webster's January 28 review of the gay-themed thriller "Blackmail Boys."


"There is a compelling case that Obamanomics has produced results. An economy that was shrinking in size and bleeding more than 700,000 jobs a month is now growing at 2.6 percent and added 1.1 million jobs last year. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, known as the stimulus, produced or saved at least 1.9 million jobs and as many as 4.7 million last year, according to the Congressional Budget Office." - From Peter Baker's cover story for the January 23 edition of the New York Times Magazine.

"Unimaginable" Arrogance by the Times on WikiLeaks

"Put aside the debate over what WikiLeaks provided. Isn't it unimaginable to anybody that the New York Times would have had the arrogance to have this stuff and not publish it? To me whenever, whenever the question's been raised to me, was the New York Times behaving in an arrogant way or sort of, you know, flaunting its ability to publish this stuff, enabling WikiLeaks, working with WikiLeaks, or whatever - to me the most unimaginable, arrogant thing the New York Times could have done was to have this stuff, look at it, say this is interesting, let's have an ethical debate, let's put it back in the computer, and let's go have lunch. That to me is, would be shocking." - Washington bureau chief Dean Baquet, joining Executive Editor Bill Keller on a panel hosted by Marvin Kalb at George Washington University, January 31.

"Advocates for Women's Health" at Planned Parenthood?

"Advocates for women's health, including the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, have urged the administration to require coverage at no cost for family planning, including contraceptive drugs and devices." - Health reporter Robert Pear, February 3.

"Now, in a surprise step that has set off deep alarm among advocates for women's health, the newly conservative House of Representatives has proposed cutting the entire $317 million program of aid for family planning, known as Title X, in a 2011 spending bill that is expected to pass by the weekend. A proposed amendment to the bill would also bar Planned Parenthood from receiving any federal funds for any purpose." - Erik Eckholm, February 18.

Political Jealousy from Gail Collins

"'Planned Parenthood aids and abets the sexual abuse and prostitution of minors,' announced Lila Rose, the beautiful anti-abortion activist who led the project. The right wing is currently chock-full of stunning women who want to end their gender's right to control their own bodies. Homely middle-aged men are just going to have to find another sex to push around." - Gail Collins, former editorial page editor turned columnist, on February 5.


"The consequence of a decade's worth of indiscriminate demonization of Arabs in America - and of the low quotient of comprehensive adult news coverage that might have helped counter it - is the steady rise in Islamophobia." - Frank Rich from his February 6 column.

Reporter All But Calls for Tax Hikes in Texas

"Republicans, who control every statewide office as well as both houses of the Legislature, are beginning to confront what it means to close the budget gap solely with cutbacks....At Statehouse hearings in recent days, advocates for schools, the poor, the disabled and the elderly laid out in detail how Texans would be hurt by cutbacks. They forecast a near future in which nursing homes and rural health clinics would have to close, schools would be consolidated and nursery schools shuttered. But [Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has worked to raise his national profile as a fiscal conservative, vowed again in his speech not to raise taxes....Democrats said Mr. Perry and Republican legislative leaders, who have big majorities in both houses, are ignoring reality to curry favor with Tea Party conservatives." - Houston bureau chief James McKinley Jr., February 9.

"Wealthy Conservatives" vs. Unlabeled Left-Wing "Advocacy Group"

"Discrepancies in reports about an appearance by Justice Clarence Thomas at a political retreat for wealthy conservatives three years ago have prompted new questions to the Supreme Court from a group that advocates changing campaign finance laws....Justice Thomas reported that the Federalist Society, a prominent conservative legal group, had reimbursed him an undisclosed amount for four days of 'transportation, meals and accommodations' over the weekend of the retreat. The event is organized by Charles and David Koch, brothers who have used millions of dollars from the energy conglomerate they run in Wichita, Kan., to finance conservative causes. Arn Pearson, a vice president at the advocacy group Common Cause, said the two statements appeared at odds." - Reporter Eric Lichtblau, February 15.

Pro-Democrat Union Boss John Sweeney, Secular Saint?

"Among those to receive the award Tuesday from Mr. Obama was one of the world's richest men, Warren E. Buffett. But the president also lauded those who have worked on behalf of equality for the poor and struggling, including John J. Sweeney, who for more than a decade led the A.F.L-C.I.O., and Representative John Lewis, Democrat of Georgia, who helped lead the civil rights movement in America." - Michael Shear, February 16.