Leave That Sort of Thing To Us
"But it is an open question whether conservative media outlets risk damage to their credibility when obscure or misleading stories are blown out of proportion and when what amounts to political opposition research is presented as news." - Media reporter Brian Stelter on the Andrew Breitbart-Shirley Sherrod tape controversy, July 26.
"But what is emerging is more of a permanent crusade, where information is not only power, but a means to a specific end. As content providers increasingly hack their own route to an audience, it's becoming clear that many are less interested in covering the game than tilting the field." - Media columnist David Carr on the Andrew Breitbart-Shirley Sherrod tape controversy, July 26.
"Even the civil rights hero John Lewis has been slimed by these vigilantes. Lewis was nearly beaten to death by state troopers bearing nightsticks and whips in Selma, Ala., just three weeks before Sherrod's father was murdered 200 miles away in 1965. This year, as a member of Congress, he was pelted with racial epithets while walking past protesters on the Capitol grounds during the final weekend of the health care debate. Breitbart charged Lewis with lying - never mind that the melee had hundreds of eyewitnesses - and tried to prove it with a video so manifestly bogus that even Fox didn't push it." - From Frank Rich's July 25 column on Andrew Breitbart and Shirley Sherrod. There's no evidence - much less from "hundreds of eyewitnesses" - that Lewis was "pelted with racial epithets" at the protests on Capitol Hill against Obama-care.
"Adrift like other Republican moderates, Mr. Chafee broke with the party altogether and has now decided to run his own kind of highly unusual campaign, based on the risky premise that unpleasant times demand some unpleasant truths....In fact, Mr. Chafee appears to be the only statewide challenger this year - that is, a candidate who does not already have to balance a budget - promising to pursue a specific tax increase....This explains, along with the party's hard line on social issues, the near extinction of New England Republicans like Mr. Chafee, whose more traditional notion of fiscal responsibility has fallen out of favor with conservatives." - Political writer Matt Bai, July 15.
"The question of racism in the amorphous Tea Party movement is, of course, a serious one, since so much of the Republican Party seems to be in the thrall of its activists. There have been scattered reports around the country of racially charged rhetoric within the movement, most notably just before the vote on the new health care law last March, when Representative John Lewis, Democrat of Georgia, the legendary civil rights leader, was showered with hateful epithets outside the Capitol." - Political writer Matt Bai, July 18. There's no evidence the Tea Party "showered" Lewis with "hateful epithets. The Times issued a correction a week later, removing the part in bold.
"There are more uninsured residents of Texas - 6.1 million and counting - than there are people in 33 states. The state's elected officials might be expected, therefore, to cheer a federal health care law that is likely to deliver billions of dollars from Washington to Austin and cover millions of low-income Texans. Instead, the Republican political leadership has greeted the law and its anticipated costs with open hostility, leaving policy makers to move forward with a complex set of changes even as the governor, attorney general and ranking legislators rage against it." - Reporter Kevin Sack, July 28.
"It's strange logic to think that this tiny group, [Obama] somehow benefits politically from protecting them. They have a summit the year before this voter intimidation thing came up. There were a hundred people there. There's nobody there." - Times columnist Charles Blow, discussing the controversy over the squelched prosecution for voter intimidation of the New Black Panthers, on the July 19 edition of the MSNBC talk show "Morning Joe."
"The only debate we should be having is about the best way to protect our newest veterans from falling prey to this handful of military apostates. If they only recruit a few, that is still too many. Terrorists have shown the world time and again that a few well-trained men is all it takes." - Charles Blow, in his April 18, 2009 column in the Times, on the alleged epidemic of white U.S. veterans coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan and joining supremacist groups.
"Mr. Cumings is chairman of the history department at the University of Chicago and the author of 'The Origins of the Korean War,' a respected two-volume survey. He mows down a host of myths about the war in his short new book, which is a distillation of his own scholarship and that of many other historians. But he begins by mowing down David Halberstam." - Book critic Dwight Garner, in a July 22 review of left-wing historian Bruce Cumings book on the Korean War. Journalist Halberstam died in 2007 when the car he was riding in was hit broadside while making a turn.
"Congress approved a sweeping expansion of federal financial regulation on Thursday, reflecting a renewed mistrust of financial markets after decades in which Washington stood back from Wall Street with wide-eyed admiration." - Lead sentence to the July 16 lead story by Binyamin Appelbaum and David Herszenhorn on financial regulation.
"The [CNN] venture, initially on a shoestring, took off, and the unlikely pair got along well. [Ted] Turner defended Mr. Schorr when Senator Barry Goldwater, the conservative Arizona Republican, wanted him fired. Goldwater had held a grudge since 1964, when Mr. Schorr, while at CBS, reported on the enthusiasm of right-wing Germans for Goldwater as he secured the presidential nomination that year. Mr. Schorr noted that a planned postconvention Goldwater trip mainly involved time at an American military recreation center in Berchtesgaden, site of a favorite Hitler retreat." - From Robert Hershey Jr.'s obituary of veteran liberal journalist Daniel Schorr, July 24. The Goldwater trip never happened.
"Senator Inhofe should be a harmless diversion, the kind of laughable fool that any state can kick back to the capital, where hard-earned ignorance is supported by a well-paid staff." - From former reporter Timothy Egan's July 21 post at nytimes.com.
"The magazine includes a consumer guide to vendors who are practiced in avoiding heterosexist language and customs." - From Kevin Sack's July 16 profile of a gay couple who run an online same-sex wedding magazine.
"The controversy illustrates the influence of right-wing Web sites like the one run by Andrew Breitbart, the blogger who initially posted the misleading and highly edited video, which he later said had been sent to him already edited. (Similarly, Mr. Breitbart used edited videos to go after Acorn, the community organizing group.) Politically charged stories often take root online before being shared with a much wider audience on Fox. The television coverage, in turn, puts pressure on other news media outlets to follow up." - July 22 story by Sheryl Gay Stolberg on the Shirley Sherrod controversy.