Sunday, February 24, 2008

NY Times Duke Hoax & McCain Smear “reporting”

Paul Mirengoff at Powerline compares America’s best known liberal/leftist opinion journal's “reporting” of the Duke Hoax and the McCain Smear:

The New York Times’ story about John McCain’s alleged involvement with a female lobbyist brings to mind its infamous coverage of the alleged rape by members of the Duke lacrosse team. As Stuart Taylor recounted in his book on that sorry affair, Until Proven Innocent , the Times reporter who initially covered the story, Joe Drape, quickly learned facts that strongly tended to exonerate the accused players.

The Times, however, refused to print his material and soon replaced him with Duff Wilson who took a pro-prosecution slant, thereby enabling the Times to peddle its preferred narrative of white privilege and racial oppression. (emphasis added)

In McCain’s case, the Times received “exculpatory” material from his campaign which documented instances in which McCain did not take positions congenial to the female lobbyist in question. The Times refused to use or acknowledge that material, selecting only instances that enabled it to pursue its preferred narrative that McCain was unduly influenced by that lobbyist.

In the lacrosse story, the Times flitted back and forth between the rape narrative, which it could not support, and a narrative it thought was a slam dunk – the Duke lacrosse team as a bastion of white male privilege and sexism.

In the words of Times sportswriter Tom Jolly: “From the beginning, we've felt this story had two main elements: one was the allegation of rape; the other was the general behavior of a high-level sports team at a prestigious university."

But the Times’ fallback narrative had little more merit than the rape allegations. The lacrosse players, on the whole, were good students. Moreover, early on they were endorsed by the female students that probably knew them best, Duke’s female lacrosse players. But by flogging both “elements” of the story, the Times was able to make the whole seem greater than the sum of its parts.

In McCain’s case, the Times is even shiftier. It insinuates a sexual relationship, falls back to an influence-peddling claim, and in case none of that sticks, argues that McCain isn’t as pure as he makes himself out to be. But, again, the latter claims are based on a one-sided presentation of the facts. …
The rest of Mirengoff’s post is here. I hope you read it.

Were many of you surprised to learn the Times refused to print material that didn’t fit its narrative?

I doubt it. You’re a smart group.

At the NY Times it’s now “Just the News That Fits Our Views.”

Hat tip: Anon commenter who gave me a heads-up on Mirengoff's post


Anonymous said...

Under the campaign-finance laws, why shouldn't the New York Times' relentlessly partisan, anti-GOP coverage be considered an in-kind contribution to the Democrats?

JWM said...

To Anon @ 9:01,

You bet.

And why shouldn't the NYT's "political" reporters, Maureen Dowd, Paul Krugman, Frank Rich et al be listed as DNC "hires?"


Anonymous said...

Conservatives, independents and Republicans needs a mainstream alternative newspaper. Sulzberger's Times still sets much of the media agenda. Located in Manhattan, it is the hometown newspaper of the CBS, NBC and ABC operations and of the Associated Press, among others.