Tea Parties = "Group Therapy" for Angry Conservatives

Plus: Making Fun of Republicans Like Mocking the Mentally Ill
Tea Parties = "Group Therapy" for Angry Conservatives
"All of these tax day parties seemed less about revolution and more about group therapy. At least with the more widely known protest against government spending, people attending the rallies were dressed patriotically and held signs expressing their anger, but offering no solutions." - Reporter Liz Robbins in an April 15 online article about that day's anti-tax "tea parties." The paragraph was taken out of the version that appeared in the April 16 print edition.

Making Fun of Republicans Like Mocking the Mentally Ill
"This is a column about Republicans - and I'm not sure I should even be writing it. Today's G.O.P. is, after all, very much a minority party. It retains some limited ability to obstruct the Democrats, but has no ability to make or even significantly shape policy. Beyond that, Republicans have become embarrassing to watch. And it doesn't feel right to make fun of crazy people." - From Paul Krugman's April 13 column "Tea Parties Forever."

SportsFiguresShould Speak Out - But Only for Liberal-Approved Causes
"[John Madden's] mantra should have been: it's a football game,duh!He was a revolutionary in the booth, especially as a master of shtick. Unfortunately, as the national voice of his sport, he was more the mouse who didn't roar but played it safe, by punting most controversy, like other champion American pitchmen, Michael Jordan andTiger Woods....Admittedly, no laws are broken by the failure to use a platform for social good, but Jordan and Woods over the years have been called out for never speaking out, risking their corporate appeal. Why only athletes? Why not men like Madden?" - Sports columnist Harvey Araton on the retirement of football analyst John Madden, April 19.
"Innocent until ? Presumed innocence? Those are sweatband statements that would be more palatable. Even then, does cross-team friendship and university pride negate common sense at a college as difficult to gain admission to as Duke? Has anyone - from the women's lacrosse coach, Kerstin Kimel, to the Duke president, Richard H. Brodhead - reminded the players of the kind of behavior they are staking their own reputations on?" - Sports columnist Harvey Araton in a May 26, 2006 column on the Duke lacrosse women's team, who planned on showing support for male lacrosse team members falsely accused of rape by wearing bandanas with the words INNOCENT.

Big-Spending Obama Not Liberal, Just "Pragmatist"
"The economic philosophy that Mr. Obama developed during the presidential campaign drew from across the ideological spectrum even as it remained rooted on the center-left. As that philosophy has been tested in practice through his early months in office, the president has if anything become more comfortable with an occasionally intrusive government as a counterweight to market forces that are now so powerful and fast-moving that they cannot be counted on to be self-correcting when things go wrong. He regularly rebuts conservative criticism on that score by pointing out that it was George W. Bush, just before he left the White House, who put the government in the business of deciding which financial institutions would fail and which would be allowed to survive. Yet if Mr. Obama's position brings the United States full circle from Ronald Reagan's nostrum that government is the problem, it also stresses continuity and a commitment to the most basic conservative tenets: the power of markets as an engine of innovation and prosperity, and the necessity of economic growth for improving incomes and living standards." - Richard Stevenson, April 19 Week in Review lead story.

Haven't Those GOP Moderates "Dwindled" Away By Now?
"[Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen] Specter is holding fast to his identity as part of a dwindling band of Republican moderates. As one of only three Republican members of Congress who supported the stimulus - and the only one up next year for re-election - he has become a test case for their survival." - Katharine Seelye, April 16.
"Trent Lott is all the things that most Republican senators want in a leader....By any rational standard, the 55-year-old Mississippian is very conservative. But the dwindling band of Republican moderates gives him high marks for attentiveness." - Adam Clymer, December 1, 1996.

Not Terrorist, Just a "Military, Political and Social Organization"
"Hezbollah is a military, political and social organization in Lebanon with strong ties to Iran, a bloc in Lebanon's Parliament and ministers in the cabinet." - An April 14 story from Cairo by Michael Slackman. The article about Hezbollah doesn't use the word "terrorism" a single time.

Wonder Which Side The Times Is On

"Those who still support the Bush hard line denounced the decision....Yet those old animosities are giving way to an emerging interest in dialogue that is working in Mr. Obama's favor, both in Washington and Florida. In Miami, the conservative old guard could still be found." - Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Damien Cave from an April 14 story on Obama lifting some restrictions on travel and sending remittances to Cuba.

A Tale of Two Justices

"Justice Ginsburg turned 76 last month and underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer in February. Here on Friday, she was energetic, enthusiastic and characteristically precise in her answers to questions from two law professors in a 90-minute conversation." - Adam Liptak on liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, April 12.


"Justice Clarence Thomas has not asked a question from the Supreme Court bench since Feb. 22, 2006. He speaks only to announce his majority opinions, reading summaries in a gruff monotone. Glimpses of Justice Thomas in less formal settings are rare." - Adam Liptak on conservative Justice Clarence Thomas, April 14.

Editor Admits Times Readership Mostly Liberal
"The best kind of letter is relatively short (under 150 words), clearly written, strongly opinionated and direct. It doesn't contain personal invective aimed at the writer or subject of an article. And it's well written. I'll be honest: Because of the nature of our readers, letter writers who defend Republican, conservative or right-wing positions on many topics have a higher shot at being published." - Times Editorial Page editor Andrew Rosenthal answering readers questions in a "Talk to the Newsroom" session the week of April 13-17.

Dungeon Master Bush
"To read the four newly released memos on prisoner interrogation written by George W. Bush's Justice Department is to take a journey into depravity. Their language is the precise bureaucratese favored by dungeon masters throughout history." - The lead to Sunday's April 19 masthead editorial after the Obama administration released C.I.A. "torture" memos.

Flattering a Liberal Paper, Denigrating Conservative Opposition as Racists
"In the 1950s and '60s, under Ralph McGill, The Atlanta Constitution infuriated conservative white readers with its liberal views, especially on segregation. Cynthia Tucker, the editorial page editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, has been heir to that tradition, provoking anger with strongly worded positions to the left of the region's popular opinion, like attacking the case for war against Iraq." - Media reporter Richard Perez-Pena in the lead to his April 20 article on news that the liberal editorial page of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution may shift rightward.