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Democrat Echo Chamber

One of the websites listed here last week as a Monitor favorite did a sterling job Sunday exposing The New York Times as a journalistic copy machine of Democratic Party talking points.OK, so it’s not exactly a scoop that the Times has chosen to become the functional equivalent of a Democratic house organ, but it is, nevertheless, rare that the dots can be connected in such elementary fashion.

In dissecting the Times’s Nov. 28 editorial on judicial filibusters, the blog Oh, That Liberal Media (OTLM) charged that “Not only are New York Times editors regurgitating Democratic talking points in their editorials, they aren’t even bothering to check them out first.”

To prove the point, OTLM quoted the editorial, titled “Mr. Smith Goes Under the Gavel,” as follows:

“Judicial nominees have never been immune from filibusters. When Republicans opposed President Lyndon Johnson’s choice for chief justice, Abe Fortas, they led a successful filibuster to stop him from getting the job. More recently, in the Clinton era, Republicans spoke out loudly in defense of their right to filibuster against the confirmation of cabinet members and judicial nominees. Republican senators, including Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Mike DeWine of Ohio, used a filibuster in 1995 to block President Bill Clinton’s nominee for surgeon general. Bill Frist, now the Senate majority leader, supported a filibuster of a Clinton appeals court nomination. Senator Christopher Bond, a Missouri Republican, was quoted in The St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 1993 saying, “On important issues, I will not hesitate to join a filibuster.” ”

OTLM checked out the quote the Times attributed to Bond and found that, “Contrary to the clear implication of the editors, the quote from Senator Bond has nothing to do with judicial filibusters. It related to his participation in a filibuster to block President Clinton’s economic stimulus package.”

OTLM then provided the full context for Bond’s statement:

“This month, the Republican minority used their unity and Senate rules to block Clinton’s $16.3 billion economic stimulus package. “On important issues, I will not hesitate to join a filibuster,” declared Sen. Christopher S. Bond, R-Mo., who offered four amendments and orated as part of the Republican campaign.”

Where, asks OTLM, might the editorial writers at the Times have stumbled upon “the idea to include this irrelevant quote from a 1993 article in a St. Louis paper? A quote that has nothing whatsoever to do with filibusters of judicial (or even cabinet) nominees”?

The answer came from a Google search of the quote, which, according to OTLM, “yield[ed] two results: today’s NYT editorial, and a Democratic Policy Committee page of talking points about judicial filibusters titled ‘The Republican Flip-Flop on Filibusters.'”

How embarrassing. The ‘paper of record’ acting as echo chamber for the hacks who pen the propaganda for a political party. Or, as OTLM put it: “Ouch. The New York Times editors simply swallowed the Democrat talking points whole, rather than checking out this material for themselves.”

The complete critique of the editorial, which OTLM describes as ‘tripe, start to finish’) can be found at www.thatliberalmedia.com.

* * *

As the Monitor knew it would, last week’s ‘Online Reading List’ brought in plenty of responses, including several from individuals who were offended, insulted, or disappointed that a particular website or blog wasn’t listed. The list wasn’t meant to be anything approaching comprehensive, and there are dozens of sites not on the list that the Monitor deems worthwhile. Perhaps a supplemental list is called for at some future date.

Two sites were left off due to a last-minute editing error: Jewish World Review (jewishworldreview.com) and IsraPundit (Israpundit.blogspot.com). Both belong on any list of must-visit websites.

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press. He can be contacted at jmaoz@jewishpress.com.

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