Helms vs. Byrd at the NYT

Documenting and Exposing the Liberal Political Agenda of the New York Times.
Helms vs. Byrd at the NYT

Reporter Carl Hulse flips through former Sen. Jesse Helms' memoir, "Here's Where I Stand." The headline accurately captures the loaded nature of the review: "In Memoir, Jesse Helms Says He Was No Racist."

Hulse begins: "Former Senator Jesse Helms defends his record on race relations and explores his role in the rise of the modern conservative movement in a new memoir that reserves some of its harshest words for the news media."

Hulse brings up some of Helms' most controversial moments (in the media, anyway): "In his book, he disputes the idea that he injected racial politics into one of those re-election bids - his 1990 contest against Harvey Gantt, a former mayor of Charlotte and a black man who supported a civil rights measure that Mr. Helms and other conservatives said could lead to job quotas. Late in the close fight, the Helms campaign broadcast a commercial that showed the hands of a white person crumpling an employment rejection letter while the announcer said the position had to go to a minority applicant. Mr. Helms's book does not discuss the imagery in that commercial but said the advertisement was created by his advisers 'to help voters understand the practical reality of the law Gantt favored.'"

(The Sept. 5-12 edition of The Weekly Standard fills in some gaps in Helms' record, including the senator's anti-Communism and support for democracy in Central America.)

By contrast, the Times ignored the recent memoir of a far more racially controversial senator, one who is still serving: Ex-Clansman (and fiercely anti-Bush Democrat) Sen. Robert Byrd.

The Washington Post devoted a front-pagepiece to Byrd's book in June, headlined "A Senator's Shame: Byrd, in His New Book, Again Confronts Early Ties to KKK."

The Times' preferred method of Byrd-watching is morerespectful.

To comment on this story, jump over to the posting on MRC's new blog, NewsBusters: Exposing and Combating Liberal Media Bias. The direct address for the node is here.

For more Hulse, click here.



Jude Wanniski's Snide Send-Off

Douglas Martin's obituary Wednesday for supply-sider Jude Wanniski is slightly snide: "Mr. Wanniski coined the phrase 'supply-side economics' to describe his idea that a reduction in personal tax rates would stimulate productive investment, the production side of the economy and spur economic growth. He immodestly called this idea, which he formulated in the early 1970's, 'a general theory of the world political economy.' Others viewed it as traditional Republican 'trickle down' economics, meaning that the benefits accruing to wealthier taxpayers would filter throughout the economy. But, indisputably, the idea that tax cuts are almost always a good idea became a tenet of Republican, and many Democratic, campaigns."

There's some misinformation regarding supply-side tax cuts later: "The famous epiphany came when Arthur B. Laffer, an economist then at the Office of Management and Budget who had studied with Mr. Mundell, was sitting at a table in 1974 having drinks with Mr. Wanniski and Dick Cheney, then deputy White House chief of staff. Mr. Laffer drew on a cocktail napkin to explain his theory of how lower taxes generated greater economic growth, thus, almost miraculously, paying for themselves. That story became legend."

No serioussupply-side economist thinks tax cuts "pay for themselves."

Another obituary on the same page, written by reporter Jennifer 8. Lee (that's not a typo) is slightly kinder. It's about former Rep. James Scheuer. It opens by accurately terming the former New York congressman "fiercely liberal."

Lee then takes up the liberal line (shared by Scheuer) that abortion is purely a personal matter: "Mr. Scheuer also held that government should step out of individuals' bedrooms. He introduced a bill to repeal laws limiting the trade of contraceptives and argued that abortion was a private and not a policy matter. He once had a hundred posters printed up that said, 'Someday the decision to have children will be between you, your spouse and your congressman.' The photograph showed a couple sitting in their bed with Mr. Scheuer, dressed in a suit, sandwiched between them."

For more on Wanniski, click here.

For more on Scheuer, clickhere.



Passive-Aggressive Bush-Bashing

Halfway into Wednesday's lead editorial, "New Orleans in Peril," the Times pats itself on the back while stabbing Bush in his (and pretending that it didn't): "But this seems like the wrong moment to dwell on fault-finding, or even to point out that it took what may become the worst natural disaster in American history to pry President Bush out of his vacation."

As AmyRidenour notes on MRC's NewsBusters blog, "the New York Timesmused that this is the 'wrong moment' to editorialize about Bushs vacation - and then did it anyway."

For the rest of the editorial, click here.