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Is The Gray Lady Losing It?

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Think the Times would ever extend the same treatment to a wealthy backer of conservative causes? In its June 24 editorial, “What Sheldon Adelson Wants,” the Times expressed its political disagreements with Mr. Adelson this way:

No American is dedicating as much of his money to defeat President Obama as Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate who also happens to have made more money in the last three years than any other American. He is the perfect illustration of the squalid state of political money, spending sums greater than any political donation in history to advance his personal, ideological and financial agenda, which is wildly at odds with the nation’s needs…. Given that Mr. Romney was not his first choice, why is Mr. Adelson writing these huge checks?The first answer is clearly his disgust for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, supported by President Obama and most Israelis. He considers a Palestinian state “a stepping stone for the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people,” and has called the Palestinian prime minister a terrorist. He is even further to the right than the main pro-Israeli lobbying group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which he broke with in 2007 when it supported economic aid to the Palestinians.

Mr. Romney is only slightly better, saying the Israelis want a two-state solution but the Palestinians do not, accusing them of wanting to eliminate Israel. The eight-figure checks are not paying for a more enlightened answer.

Mr. Adelson’s other overriding interest is his own wallet. He rails against the president’s “socialist-style economy” and redistribution of wealth, but what he really fears is Mr. Obama’s proposal to raise taxes on companies like his that make a huge amount of money overseas….

Mr. Obama’s Justice Department is also investigating whether Mr. Adelson’s…operations violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, an inquiry that Mr. Adelson undoubtedly hopes will go away in a Romney administration. For such a man, at a time when there are no legal or moral limits to the purchase of influence, spending tens of millions is a pittance to elect Republicans who promise to keep his billions intact.

So going on nothing other than its own surmise, the Times essentially says Mr. Adelson is intent on corrupting America’s judicial and legislative systems while implying that it – the Times – is better suited than Mr. Adelson to ascertain what the “nation’s needs” – and Israel’s – are.

Immigration

On June 26 the Times railed against Monday’s Supreme Court immigration decision. The court knocked out three parts of an Arizona immigration law, on the grounds that they intruded on the prerogatives of the federal government, but left standing the provision requiring police officers to check the immigration status of anyone they stop on some other legitimate basis if the officer has a “reasonable suspicion” the person is in the country illegally.

According to The Times, “The Supreme Court rejected the foundation of Arizona’s cold-blooded immigration law and the indefensible notion the state can have its own foreign policy” and “Arizona’s fallacious claim that part of its statue was intended merely to help federal agents do their job….”

“Its own foreign policy”? “Fallacious claim”? Actually, the Supreme Court described the Arizona law as having been “enacted in 2010 to address pressing issues related to the large number of unlawful aliens” in Arizona and frustration with the ineffective enforcement of federal immigration laws.

And could the Times be unaware that President Obama recently shut down a major portion of the federal enforcement program? Perhaps the extravagant language and hyperbole can be explained by the fact that the ruling allowing the provision to stand came in an 8-0 vote (Justice Kagan recused herself because of her prior work as President Obama’s solicitor general), with the court’s liberals joining its conservatives.

The Times has been foaming at the mouth over the Arizona immigration law from the beginning, insisting when it passed in 2010 that “If you are brown-skinned and leave home without your wallet, you are in trouble.”

Meanwhile, as William McGowan notes in his book Gray Lady Down: What the Decline and Fall of The New York Times Means for America, “the Times condemned almost any effort at border enforcement or interior immigration control.”

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