Forget the editorials, even the NY Times Styles section is a no-Trump zone

Capital Times hero: Jamie Kuhn for refusing the Pledge of Allegiance
Villain: tortured Vietnam POW Don Heiliger

Picking up where we left off (“The news media isn’t biased, it’s just liberal”), let us pre-empt the nattering nabobs who will cavil, “but that’s the editorial page!” It’s not just the opinion page. The major news media is deeply and thoroughly liberal-progressive-socialist from Page One to the funny papers. So much so it is embedded into their genomes.

Take, for instance, the New York Times Magazine. At the back of the book it features a Q and A it calls “Talk.” With whom does it talk? Usually, a liberal. Sunday (6-18-17) we get Naomi Klein, author of “No is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics, yadda yadda yadda.”

The one-page “Talk” feature includes a sidebar on Ms. Klein’s “Top 5 Boycotts” in case you doubted her lib-prog-soc bonafides. It’s not just that the NY Times prefers liberals for its interview subjects, but that the interviewer herself is a Lefty. Here’s one “question” that is freighted with bias:

You talk about [Trump] as if he’s a triumph of capitalism, even though he’s not — he inherited his wealth.

That’s a question?! More like a peewee league tee ball. Mr. Trump did inherit wealth, it is true. But he did not inherit “his wealth.” Donald Trump was dealt a good hand, but by all measures he greatly expanded that wealth.

NY Times Editorial Page is shown at right; the editorial at left is the “Styles” section.
Got to admit, opposing Trump is very much in style among the Breakfast at Tiffany’s set

O.K., that’s the magazine. Now let’s turn to the Times Sunday “Styles” section (what, in another age, would have been called the Women’s Page). On the cover is a photograph of Sen. Al Franken and actress Olivia Wilde. Two more liberals. What do THEY think about Donald Trump. Gee, we can hardly wait.

Readers who might hope the Times would throw hard balls tight and inside to those two are quickly disabused when the interview starts off with “What a pair: explorers of the truth in 2017, no less.”

Let’s go to the first section, the “news” section. A Page One column on (who else?) Michael Flynn. “Ex-aide’s business ties draw FBI scrutiny.”

Inside lurks another bit of bashing: “Trump’s business ties in Persian Gulf raise questions about conflicts.”

Who has these questions? A former Obama staffer, that’s who. Who else disapproves? A “journalist who works for the Qatar-owned Al Jazeera network.”

B-b-but he’s a JOURNALIST!

But wait, there’s more! “Russia renewed unused, but still valuable, Trump trademarks last year.” Russia? You know, that country that  …

… last year, while hacking Democrats’ e-mails and working to undermine the American presidential election, the Russian government also granted extensions to six trademarks for Mr. Trump that had been set to expire.

Deeper into the story is the acknowledgment that renewing trademarks is a routine matter “and there is nothing to suggest from the few public records available that Mr. Trump was shown favoritism. Still …”

Bias is who you interview, what questions you ask and don’t ask, what you choose for a story, where you place it in the newspaper/broadcast, how you frame that story, and how you package it.

Extra extra, read all aboudit!

Young woman of color plays race card

We hope it unnecessary to press the case that The Capital Times (“Your Progressive Voice”) is thoroughly marinated in that special sauce. O.K., one example: The CT also conducts one-on-one interviews with lib-prog-socs — exclusively so. Today it’s Jamie Kuhn, who is returning to the Dane County Board.

I served with her back in the day when she and the campus representative refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. My colleague Don Heiliger took offense. This is how TCT described it:

In a move that some considered dirty pool, Heiliger mailed letters to war veterans living in the northern district of Kuhn’s then-legislative boss, Rep. Sarah Waukau, D-Antigo, urging them to express their outrage by writing letters to editors and contacting local media, igniting a debate over patriotism versus freedom of expression.

Now, Don Heiliger endured 5½ years of physical torture, deprivation, and mental anguish in the Hanoi Hilton during the Vietnam War. He had no trouble pledging allegiance. But a pampered and cosseted Madison liberal? Well, it’s a liberal rite of passage. Don Heiliger fought for her freedom, denied still today by the Communist government there. But if elected official Jamie Kuhn is free to express in a very public way her opinion of America why is it it “dirty pool” for Don Heiliger (R.I.P.) to express his and to spread Ms. Kuhn’s message beyond the Madison bubble? If Ms. Kuhn’s equivalent of a raised middle finger is so righteous, why did her Democratic employer dismiss her?

Maybe because Rep. Waukau understood 17 years ago that a Madison liberal who plays junior Jane Fonda doesn’t play very well in a district that today is solid Republican. If Democrats want to understand why Donald Trump, Scott Walker, and Ron Johnson win Wisconsin, they might look to Madison liberals like Jamie Kuhn.

Not that Ms. Kuhn has figured it out, yet.

“There were some folks on the board who had a concern about a young woman of color coming on the board and having an opinion, and the best they could do was try to start a controversy.”

In other words, it’s all about identity politics. Conservatives be racist and sexist. Jamie Kuhn be a courageous victim. In the Capital Times pantheon, Kuhn is a hero, not prisoner-of-war airman Heiliger.

Don’t feel too sorry for Jamie Kuhn. After being released by then-Rep. Waukau, State Sen. Mark Miller took her on, where she coordinated the Democratic senators 2011 Run to Rockford — another gift that keeps on giving to state Republicans.


About David Blaska

Madison WI
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