08.18.2010 0

Nevada Senate Candidate Sharron Angle Targeted in Front Page NYT Hit Piece that Boosts Harry Reid

By Kevin Mooney — After taking direction from left wing editors opposed to constitutional limited government and Tea Party activism, New York Times reporter Adam Nagourney glared in disgust at the video image, before launching into his agenda laced, hysterical, high-pitched, condescending, factually dubious front page smear piece aimed against Nevada’s rising star Sharron Angle.

No doubt, Nagourney took cues from the big government activists who masquerade as detached news professionals. He also makes blanket assertions about the political viability of conservative policy stances that are very debatable. The remaining observations from the preceding paragraph are skewed and speculative in their own way.

But they are also written very much in the spirit of the Nagourney’s own report, which maintains a derisive, opinionated tone from beginning to end. Consider the lead paragraph.

“Sharron Angle leaned across a table in her campaign office here, defending her suddenly embattled campaign to defeat Senator Harry Reid, the Democratic majority leader, under the gaze of a half-dozen advisers and an official videographer packed into the room.”

This is the kind of hackneyed, trite, biased and unseemly approach to campaign coverage that necessitates media watchdogs like TimesCheck. Is there anything written or said here that a paid operative of Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) would have done differently and to greater effect to sully the reputation of his election challenger? In reality, there is  little room for improvement on this end.

“Harry Reid should be brought up on wage and hour law violations, if he does not pay the reporter,” Don Todd, a former Labor Department official now with Americans for Limited Government said in an interview. “The left wing incorrectly assumes women are naturally part of their constituency, so they become alarmed when they see someone out there who does not follow that script.”

Angle is a Tea Party favorite who prevailed over moderate, establishment Republicans in her party’s primary. While NYT does not deny that Reid is in political trouble, it does peddle out the idea that he would be far easy to dislodge with a conventional Republican candidate. One of Angle’s primary opponents is trotted out here to help substantiate liberal spin that is passed off as reporting.

The special election held earlier this year in Pennsylvania 12 demonstrates that conservative-leaning candidates in both parties now have traction with voters. Here a centrist Republican lost out to a Democrat who opposed ObamaCare and environmental regulations, while supporting Second Amendment rights. Yet, in Nevada the NYT tells readers that conservatism is somehow a liability.

“Since Ms. Angle won, her campaign has been rocked by a series of politically intemperate remarks and awkward efforts to retreat from hard-line positions she has embraced in the past like phasing out Social Security. There have also been a staff shake-up and run-ins with Nevada journalists, including one in which a television reporter chased her through a parking lot trying to get her to answer a question.”

Apparently, the misuse of reconciliation to force through unpopular, coercive and costly healthcare legislation is not a hardline position. Advancing the agenda of big labor and environmental extremists at the expense of average Americans is also considered mainstream.

There is no denying how beneficial the Tea Party movement was to Angle in her primary, the NYT concedes. Even so, he views are unacceptable to the larger electorate, the report claims. Faint praise is always followed up with a qualifying point.

“But some of her conservative positions could prove to be a hurdle come November,” the report says. “She has for example called for the elimination of the Energy Department and the Environmental Protection Agency…”

In her interview with Nagourney, Angle draws a connection between the modern conservative movement and the founding period that helps to put her candidacy into proper perspective. Names like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and Benjamin Franklin still resonate in America. Meanwhile, Sen. Reid’s son Rory is reticent to invoke the family surname in his own separate race for Nevada governor.

After orchestrating an incessant chain of negative, misleading press coverage crafted to sabotage her candidacy, the NYT is miffed to find that Angle is not exactly enthusiastic about interacting with the liberal media.

“In the course of the interview, Ms. Angle spoke slowly and cautiously,” the report says. “She appeared reluctant to engage, frequently citing stock answers to questions.” Not too subtle.

The report also ends on a note of criticism compliments of the Republican establishment, which claims Angle is not open to outside advice. Here the NYT concurs. But they key point is missed.

With an eye toward history, Angle places a greater premium on restoring the founding period than she does on placating elite opinion inside either major party.

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