The New York Times has endorsed President Obama’s re-election and the paper is doing its best to help out any way it can. The latest move just reinforced the fact that the Times is so institutionally Democratic that it hasn’t endorsed a GOP presidential candidate during Obama’s lifetime.
That support plays out in the paper itself. New York Times Editorial Page Editor Andrew Rosenthal's Sunday Review was wall-to-wall for Obama this past week, with two left-wing op-eds on Obama on the front page, a full-page endorsement of Obama for re-election, and three liberal columnists simultaneously obsessed with abortion, including the paper's foreign policy columnist Thomas Friedman. (Right-of-center Ross Douthat also covered women's issues, but questioned Obama's "weirdly paternalistic form of social liberalism.")
Over the fold on page 1 was "The Price of a Black President" by Frederick Harris, director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University, who praised blacks for voting for Obama before going on to criticize Obama from the left.
“When African-Americans go to the polls next week, they are likely to support Barack Obama at a level approaching the 95 percent share of the black vote he received in 2008. As well they should, given the symbolic exceptionalism of his presidency and the modern Republican Party’s utter disregard for economic justice, civil rights and the social safety net,” he wrote.
Also on the front was Soros buddy Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize winning economist and moral scold, writing on inequality. He was just as subtle, Stiglitz busting “economic myths,” including: “America is a land of opportunity. ... Trickle-down economics works.”
“Mitt Romney has been explicit: inequality should be talked about only in quiet voices behind closed doors. But with the normally conservative magazine The Economist publishing a special series showing the extremes to which American inequality has grown -- joining a growing chorus (of which my book ‘The Price of Inequality’ is an example) arguing that the extremes of American inequality, its nature and origins, are adversely affecting our economy -- it is an issue that not even the Republicans can ignore. It is no longer just a moral issue, a question of social justice,” he wrote.
Columnist Maureen Dowd offered her usual measured take on women's issues and abortion in "Of Mad Men, Mad Women and Meat Loaf." “Our mom, a strict Catholic, taught us that it was immoral for a woman to be expected to carry a rapist’s baby for nine months. (Don’t even mention that rapists can assert parental rights in 31 states.)”
She then continued the liberal attack linking the GOP to rape. “But compassion is scant among the Puritan tribe of Republicans running now. As The Huffington Post reports, at least a dozen G.O.P. Senate candidates oppose abortion for rape victims. The party platform calls for a constitutional amendment with no exceptions for rape, incest or the mother’s life,” she continued.
Dowd predictably bashed two Republican election seekers, Rep. Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, for controversial comments related to abortion and rape, then went into full condescension mode to explain why women may vote for the Republican ticket anyway: “Republicans are geniuses at getting people to vote against their own self-interest. Hispanics, however, do not seem inclined to vote against their self-interest on immigration laws, and Obama is counting on that to buoy him,” Dowd added.
Columnist Nicholas Kristof also raised the arcane rape statistic in his column on the same page, “Want a Real Reason to Be Outraged?”
Even foreign policy columnist Thomas Friedman got into the act, under the sarcastic headline "Why I Am Pro-Life." Of course he's not actually against abortion, he's just making the tired government argument that "pro-life" also means things like more money for the EPA and Head Start. He also details the Akin and Mourdock controversies. (Are Obama supporters highlighting anything else at this point?)
Sunday also offered the official full-page endorsement of President Obama for reelection. (No surprise: The last Republican the paper endorsed was Dwight Eisenhower in 1956.) Principled liberals might like to know that the long editorial offered not one word on drone attacks or the other war on terror issues Obama has embraced.
The paper warned: "An ideological assault from the right has started to undermine the vital health reform law passed in 2010. Those forces are eroding women’s access to health care, and their right to control their lives. Nearly 50 years after passage of the Civil Rights Act, all Americans’ rights are cheapened by the right wing’s determination to deny marriage benefits to a selected group of us. Astonishingly, even the very right to vote is being challenged.”
That was all in a day’s work at the Times. With about a week left in the election, who knows what else the paper could cook up to ensure Obama’s victory.
Clay Waters is the director of Times Watch, a Media Research Center project that tracks the New York Times. Click here to follow Clay Waters on Twitter.