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Another Bullet in the Old Grey Lady’s Ass

Actually, this is a double-barreled load.

First up: Howie Carr of the NY Times gets caught trying to blame Fox News, talk radio and the ‘Net for the media’s hyperventilating over violence and various atrocities alleged to have occurred in Katrina’s aftermath, without really backing the accusation up with, you know, that little thing called “evidence.” JustOneMinute took a look at the Times’ coverage of those same events, and finds Mr. Carr’s accusational switch to be stuck on stupid.

Next up, Clay Waters at NewsBusters shreds Gail Collins and her editorial page team for their sneering mockery of conservatives and religious types who saw something faith-affirming in the acclaimed documentary “March of the Penguins”:

A New York Times Sunday editorial, “Penguin Family Values,” mocks conservatives for praising “March of the Penguins,” a surprise hit documentary about penguin families: “The news that emperor penguins are exemplars of self-sacrifice, marital fidelity and steadfast parenting has brought joy to many religious conservatives, who see the brave birds in the documentary ‘March of the Penguins’ as little Christian beacons of family and faith.”

The Times had further sophomoric mocking of those who would equate human behavior with animal: “Those who start looking outside the human family for old-fashioned values, in fact, will need to quickly narrow their search terms. They will surely want to ignore practices observed in animals like dolphins (gang rape), chimpanzees (exhibitionism), bonobo apes (group sex) and Warner Brothers cartoon rabbits (cross-dressing). Casting a wide net for chaste and saintly creatures, the mind flails, then comes up mostly empty. Yowling tomcats? Lazy, sexist lions? Preening peacocks? Better stick with the penguins.”

The problem? Waters points out the Times had made the same kind of play–on those same editorial pages–two years earlier, when it suited their belief system:

Analyzing the behavior of capuchin monkeys, Adam Cohen lauded their quest for fairness (or is it socialism?) in a bizarre signed editorial in September 2003: “Give a capuchin monkey a cucumber slice, and she will eagerly trade a small pebble for it. But when a second monkey, in an adjoining cage, receives a more-desirable grape for the same pebble, it changes everything. The first monkey will then reject her cucumber, and sometimes throw it out of the cage. Monkeys rarely refuse food, but in this case they appear to be pursuing an even higher value than eating: fairness.”

Times Watch wrote at the time that such behavior sounded “more like a petulant six-year old whining that her brother got more ice cream than she did for dessert.”

But Cohen found this monkey business profoundly revealing: “But in a week when fairness was so evidently on the ropes — from the World Trade Organization meeting in Cancún, which poor nations walked out of in frustration, to the latest issue of Forbes, reporting that the richest 400 Americans are worth $955 billion — the capuchin monkeys offered a glimmer of hope from the primate gene pool. The study’s implication that we are, to some extent, hard-wired for fairness speaks with special force to the legal system….

No wonder they’re laying people off. It’s a house of dunces who’ve been found out. And now that their OpEd pundits’ traffic is sagging since they’ve been locked behind a pay-to-play wall (a tactic which, BTW, ain’t exactly a tough clam to shuck), they’re gonna keep on having to cut until Pinchy realizes he’s failing the 21st Century media test.

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