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Location: San Diego, California, United States

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Do you still want to deny the NYT bias?

James Taranto in his April 6, 2007, "Best of the Web Today", documents a blatant example of the left bias at the NYT:

"On June 5, 1999, the New York Times published an editorial praising the president for using a recess appointment to install James Hormel, a gay-rights activist, as ambassador to Luxembourg:

""President Clinton took an appropriate stand against bigotry yesterday by giving James Hormel a recess appointment as the nation's Ambassador to Luxembourg. Mr. Hormel's nomination had been blocked for 20 months by a handful of Senate Republicans disturbed by his sexual orientation.

The credentials of Mr. Hormel, heir to a meat-packing fortune and a former dean at the University of Chicago Law School who has been active in civic, educational and political causes, were not the sticking point. There were sufficient Senate votes to confirm him had Trent Lott, the Senate majority leader, allowed a vote. . . .

Under the constitutional provision that allows Presidents to bypass the confirmation process when Congress is in recess, Mr. Hormel can remain as Ambassador until late next year. His shameful treatment by Mr. Lott and his G.O.P. colleagues will be remembered long beyond that.""

The New York Times editorial board, however, seems to have conveniently forgotten the Hormel incident. Today the paper weighs in on another president's recess appointment of an ambassador to a Low Country:

"President Bush resorted to an old political trick this week, using recess appointments to evade Senate confirmation votes that he was sure to lose. . . .

The most bitterly resented but least important appointment sent Sam Fox, a major Republican donor, to Belgium as ambassador. Mr. Fox contributed $50,000 to Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group whose vicious ads during the 2004 campaign lied about Senator John Kerry's war record and helped win President Bush a second term. It is common for administrations to reward big donors with ambassadorships. But this appointment is a deliberate thumb in the eye of Senator Kerry and fellow Democrats who were poised to reject the nominee. . . .

With nominees of such dubious merit, it is no wonder that Mr. Bush resorted to an end run around the Senate. The American public will almost certainly pay the price." [my emphasis]

The assertion that Fox "was sure to lose" a confirmation vote in the Senate is either mistaken or dishonest. As we noted yesterday, Sens. Claire McCaskill and Joe Lieberman had both announced they would support Fox, which would give him 51 votes assuming no Republican defections. The Democrats planned to block Fox's confirmation by bottling the nomination up in committee, just as the Republicans did to Hormel.

Also as in the case of Hormel, Fox's credentials are not in question--or at least the Times does not question them. The only objection it offers to his nomination is that it hurts John Kerry's feelings.

Given the Times's worldview, which is that any opposition to gay rights is invidious, we can understand why the paper found the Republicans' blocking of Hormel worse than the Democrats' blocking of Fox. But no one can dispute that the latter is exceedingly petty. And the Times looks even more risibly partisan than usual in calling recess appointments "an end run around the Senate" when a Republican uses them and a "constitutional provision" when a Democrat does.""

Mr. Taranto critiqued the content of the editorial. I critiqued the language, in my opinion the real source of bias at the NYT - not only on their editorial page, where perhaps it could be excused, but in its day to day reporting, also.



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