New York Times Watch Quotes of Note: No Respect for Deceased Andrew Breitbart

Respect for the Deceased

"Andrew Breitbart was controversial, not for his polemics, which weren’t different than you’d find in a lot of other right-wing blogs, but his willingness to push the limits of what he saw as journalism, what a lot of other people saw as just stunts and demagoguery.” – Media editor Bruce Headlam in a March 1 webcast, the day Andrew Breitbart's death was announced.


Columnist Ross Douthat Sees Stark Media Bias on Social Issues

"Conservative complaints about media bias are sometimes overdrawn. But on the abortion issue, the press's prejudices are often absolute, its biases blatant and its blinders impenetrable. In many newsrooms and television studios across the country, Planned Parenthood is regarded as the equivalent of, well, the Komen foundation: an apolitical, high-minded and humanitarian institution whose work no rational person - and certainly no self-respecting woman - could possibly question or oppose." – Columnist Ross Douthat February 5.


Bill Keller: Times Is Biased, But Fairness Would Be “Tedious”

“ would probably fall under the realm of social issues, by and large. Marriage, for instance. Or certain religious topics, like the recent debate over contraception....We can't entirely leech the New York-ness out of The New York Times. If we somehow achieved absolute objectivity, it would be kind of tedious to read...Watching The New York Times try to be even-handed on some issues is like trying to watch somebody dance their kids' dance styles. We look like we're trying too hard.” – Former executive editor Bill Keller in a February 22 chat in New York, after being asked about his paper’s liberal slant.


No Slant Here

“Republicans Stampede to the Right Ahead of 2012 Election.” – Online headline to February 26 story by Jonathan Weisman.


Gee, Ya Think?

“Beheadings Raise Doubts That Taliban Have Changed” – February 24 Times headline.


Maureen Dowd on the “Nasty...Foolish...Creepy” GOP Candidates

“How can the warm, nurturing Catholic Church of my youth now be represented in the public arena by uncharitable nasties like Gingrich and Rick Santorum?....More and more, they openly yearn for a fresh candidate, including Jeb Bush, who does, after all, have experience at shoplifting presidential victories at the last minute....The barking-mad Republicans of Virginia are helping to make the party look foolish and creepy.” – Columnist Maureen Dowd, February 26.


Blaming GOP Rhetoric for Hate Crimes Against Muslims

"As anti-Muslim rhetoric rises locally and nationally -- some of it fueled by the presidential campaign -- a group of Chicago-area Muslims is battling back, using tactics including a television ad campaign and public forums against bigotry....The effect of these verbal attacks may go beyond the political. Hate crimes against Muslims increased nearly 50 percent in the United States in 2010, according to a Federal Bureau of Investigation report released in November. That month, officials at O’Hare Airport fired a baggage handler who was accused of writing ‘Burn Islam’ and ‘Filthy Muslim’ on his Facebook page." – David Lepeska in a February 24 article for the Times’ Chicago edition.

Taking Obama’s Word on $4 Trillion in Deficit Cutting

"Yet starting with that April speech, Mr. Obama has come to adopt most of the major tenets supported by a majority of the commission’s members, though his proposals do not go as far. He has called for cutting deficits more than $4 trillion over 10 years by shaving all spending, including for the military, Medicare and Social Security; overhauling the tax code to raise revenues and lower rates; and writing rules to lock in savings."– White House reporter Jackie Calmes in a front-page story February 27.


Some Religions Are Acceptable Targets for Mockery

"Let me just tell you this Mitt 'Muddle Mouth': I'm a single parent and my kids are *amazing*! Stick that in your magic underwear." – From the Twitter feed of columnist Charles Blow, while watching the CNN Republican debate of February 22. Blow later apologized for the anti-Mormon slur on Twitter.

"While it's easy to be seduced by a church known for its practicality, its financial acumen and its commitment to both self-betterment and worldly outreach, I wouldn't buy the underwear just yet. Everything comes with a caveat....Mormons typically create their perfect world not by embracing the future, but by fetishizing the past...." – From a journal entry in "What Is It About Mormons?" the January 30 edition of "Room for Debate" at, by screenwriter Ian Williams. 


The Geniuses of Lefty MSNBC

"Though cable news is still stereotyped by some as a 24-7 screaming match, there are now pockets of intellectual stimulation that did not exist a decade ago....At MSNBC, 'Morning Joe' with Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski has become must-see television for politicians and journalists, while Ms. Maddow, a Rhodes scholar, has been lauded for her long, carefully argued essays." – Media reporter Brian Stelter, February 13.

The Constitution: Old, Useless, "Out of Step" for Failing to Guarantee Health Care

"The rights guaranteed by the American Constitution are parsimonious by international standards, and they are frozen in amber....Americans recognize rights not widely protected, including ones to a speedy and public trial, and are outliers in prohibiting government establishment of religion. But the Constitution is out of step with the rest of the world in failing to protect, at least in so many words, a right to travel, the presumption of innocence and entitlement to food, education and health care." – Legal reporter Adam Liptak, February 6.



Michelle Obama, "Potent Weapon" Who Strikes a "Common Chord"

"...Mrs. Obama has managed to make her 'eat your peas' message painless and even occasionally joyful, hamming it up through a three-day, four-state tour to mark the second anniversary of her childhood anti-obesity campaign, 'Let’s Move!' The trip is a timely reminder of why the Obama campaign views her as such a potent weapon....Mrs. Obama can be deployed before virtually any audience, according to the president’s campaign advisers. Some conservatives criticize the first lady for trying to make Americans eat ‘cardboard and tofu,’ in the words of Rush Limbaugh. But her message has resonated with many other people, including those she met this week....The first lady drew on her own family, telling stories about her daughters, Malia and Sasha, that hinted at their rarefied existence but stuck a common chord with her guests." -- Mark Landler, February 11.


Friedman Thinks It’s Bad to be Criticized By a Dictator

“The Associated Press reported last week that Fidel Castro, the former president of Cuba, wrote an opinion piece on a Cuban Web site, following a Republican Party presidential candidates' debate in Florida, in which he argued that the 'selection of a Republican candidate for the presidency of this globalized and expansive empire is -- and I mean this seriously -- the greatest competition of idiocy and ignorance that has ever been.' When Marxists are complaining that your party's candidates are disconnected from today's global realities, it's generally not a good sign. But they're not alone.” -- Columnist Thomas Friedman, January 29.


Mitt Romney, "Unfeeling Corporate Titan."

"Unlike President George W. Bush's malapropisms, which generally served as late-night punch lines, Mr. Romney's foot-in-mouth comments have an economic undertone, which have gained traction because they perpetuate his critics' attacks that he is an unfeeling corporate titan." – Ashley Parker, February 2.


Using Leftist Hoax for Condescending Global Warming Assumptions

“The documents say that over four years ending in 2013, [Heartland Institute] expects to have spent some $1.6 million on financing the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, an entity that publishes periodic reports attacking climate science and holds lavish annual conferences. (Environmental groups refer to the conferences as ‘Denialpalooza.’) Heartland’s latest idea, the documents say, is a plan to create a curriculum for public schools intended to cast doubt on mainstream climate science and budgeted at $200,000 this year. The curriculum would claim, for instance, that ‘whether humans are changing the climate is a major scientific controversy.’ It is in fact not a scientific controversy. The vast majority of climate scientists say that emissions generated by humans are changing the climate and putting the planet at long-term risk, although they are uncertain about the exact magnitude of that risk. Whether and how to rein in emissions of greenhouse gases has become a major political controversy in the United States, however.” – Justin Gillis and Leslie Kaufman on documents stolen from the Heartland Institute, a group skeptical of the global warming crisis, February 16.


How I Admire Your Zealous Abortion Support

"But thanks to exquisite timing, an ear for the zeitgeist and an assist from the momentum and immediacy of the Internet, a $250,000 pledge from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to Planned Parenthood on Thursday turned into one of his biggest political coups in years...The donation...reflected the mayor's longtime support for the causes of reproductive rights and women's health." – Michael Grynbaum, February 4.


They Were Also, You Know, Criminals

“Experts say that the majority of those who took to the streets in London last summer were young people who were unemployed, out of school and not participating in a job training program....While youth unemployment has long been a chronic issue here, experts say the British government’s debt-reduction commitment to rein in social spending appears to be making the problem worse. Insufficient job training and apprenticeship programs, they argue, contribute to the large pool of permanently unemployed young people in Britain.” – Landon Thomas Jr. from London, February 16.


Krugman Flashes His Leftism in Playboy

“I think OWS [Occupy Wall Street] has done a great service. We didn’t need 10-point proposals. We needed someone to declare that the emperor was naked. The conversation has shifted since the protests began, and that’s good.” – Columnist Paul Krugman in the March 2012 issue of Playboy.


But When I Do It It's Funny

“Since cracking the starting lineup because of an injury and other unusual circumstances, Lin, a 23-year-old, undrafted, unheralded, twice-cut player, has torn up the league, setting records for a first-time starter. Unfortunately for Lin and the rest of us, the over-the-top coverage that followed ended over the line, exposing underlying racist tropes that still lurk in the id of American sports journalism, and by extension, the rest of us.” – Media reporter David Carr, February 20.


“If it’s Kansas, Missouri, no big deal. You know, that’s the dance of the low-sloping foreheads. The middle places, right? …Did I just say that aloud?” – Carr, responding to Bill Maher talking about the sophistication of New Jersey, on the June 24, 2011 edition of HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.” Carr later apologized on his Twitter feed.

Pointing and Laughing at Mitt Romney

“For Brad Woodhouse, the spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, it was when he came across a Twitter post about a CNN interview in which Mitt Romney seemed to shrug off concern for the very poor. And Bill Burton's moment came a week and a half ago while he was in his family room watching Mr. Romney take Newt Gingrich to task for talking about putting a colony on the moon. If someone made such a proposal to him, Mr. Romney said, 'I'd say, 'You're fired.' ' Both moments were perceived by the Obama re-election campaign as another gift from Mr. Romney - now dubbed 'the gift that keeps on giving' by some on the Obama team.” – Helene Cooper, February 6.


How Pompous

“First they went after the Rockefeller Republicans, but I was not a Rockefeller Republican. Then they went after the compassionate conservatives, but I was not a compassionate conservative. Then they went after the mainstream conservatives, and there was no one left to speak for me.” – “Conservative” columnist David Brooks at the end of his February 28 column.


Santorum “Scares the Bejesus Out of people”

Chris Jansing: “To my point on the establishment, Charles, are they thinking, maybe Rick Santorum can win?”
Charles Blow: “No. Maybe they think it, but no one else thinks it. Rick Santorum scares the bejesus out of people.” – Columnist Charles Blow in a February 28 appearance on MSNBC’s Jansing & Co.


Santorum’s Creeping Sharia

“Remember earlier in the campaign when Newt Gingrich was worrying everyone about Sharia law: the Muslims were going to impose Sharia law in America? Sometimes Santorum sounds like he's creeping up on a Christian version of Sharia law.” – Former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller, in a February 28 appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.


Calmes Makes Still More Excuses for Obama’s Economic Record

“Well, they certainly hope so because there’s nothing they can do about it at this stage. You know, it’s probably the president made that promise in like February of 2009, just after taking office, and what they, what the administration will say, which has the benefit of some truth behind it, is that no one knew then exactly how severe the recession was....they’re thinking the public thinks that he was dealt a bad hand.” – White House reporter Jackie Calmes on the February 17 edition of Washington Week.


Rosenthal Compares Ultrasound to Rape, But It’s the Critics That Are “Deranged”

"As Dahlia Lithwick noted last week, since most abortions take place in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, most women will be forced to submit to trans-vaginal ultrasounds, a coerced penetration that in other circumstances would constitute rape under Virginia state law. (Some of the arguments against the rape comparison are so deranged that I don’t want to repeat them. You can read about them here.)" – Editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal, in a February 21 post on his “Loyal Opposition” blog.


Alan Cowell, Anti-Capitalist

"Moving after midnight, bailiffs supported by police officers dismantled a tent encampment outside St. Paul's Cathedral here early Tuesday, ending a four-month protest that caused tension within the Church of England and resonated with Britons opposed to what they see as runaway capitalist greed. Inspired by the Occupy Wall Street protest at Zuccotti Park in New York, the camp was started late last year amid a deep economic slowdown, as jobs were being lost and social services cut even as Britain's investment bankers sought large bonuses." – London-based reporter Alan Cowell, February 29.


And You Thought They Were Just Office Buildings

"Britons saw loop after loop of images of buildings on fire, smashed glass, streets in raucous refusal. Youths taking TVs, clothes, carpets, food from broken-open shops, sometimes with dizzy exuberance, sometimes with what looked like thoughtful care....The question is whether London’s new glass boxes of large size can, over time, submit, surrender, become part of the city. This is something that Canary Wharf, the Docklands financial district begun in the late ’80s, every day a thuggish and hideous middle-finger-flipped glass-and-steel at the poor of the East End, every night a Moloch’s urinal dripping sallow light on the Isle of Dogs, has never done and will never do." – From novelist and socialist China Mieville's main piece in the London-themed March 4 Sunday Magazine.


"Women Are Right to Think That" the Republicans Have Declared War on Them

"Republican politicians have pursued their assault on Mr. Obama, the left and any American who disagrees with them for years now. There are finally signs that they may pay a price for the casual cruelty with which they attack whole segments of society. Senator Lisa Murkowski, a Republican of Alaska, said on Tuesday that the Republicans have left people thinking they are at war with women. Women are right to think that." – From the March 7 lead editorial.