Adam Nagourney

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  • NY Times, Washington Post Hide Racism Of Trump Source They Frequently Quote

    Blog ››› ››› OLIVER WILLIS

    Roger Stone

    The New York Times and Washington Post have frequently quoted Republican dirty trickster and top Trump ally Roger Stone without informing their readers of Stone’s racist and sexist comments that have gotten him banned from appearing on at least two cable news networks.

    The Times and Post quote Stone, who previously served as a paid Trump campaign adviser and who has been an informal political adviser to him for decades. When they have done so, both outlets have routinely not explained to readers that Stone authored a series of tweets attacking others in a racist and sexist manner (including about Times reporters).

    The Times and Post have quoted Stone in over 20 stories since June 2016 in which the papers did not reveal to their readers the racial animus motivating him. The Times reported on Stone’s racial slurs and the cable news fallout in May, while the Post noted them in an April story.

    Among the descriptions the Times used with Stone were “Republican strategist and Trump confidant,” “veteran political operative,” “the longest-serving Trump adviser,” and “an informal adviser to Mr. Trump over many years.” The Post called him a “Nixon-era political trickster,” “sometime-Trump adviser,” “longtime Trump associate,” and “on-again, off-again Trump adviser.”

    Stone called commentator Roland Martin a “stupid negro” and “fat negro.” He referred to commentator Herman Cain as “mandingo” and called former Rep. Allen West (R-FL) an “arrogant know-it-all negro.” He also called commentator Al Sharpton a “professional negro” who likes fried chicken and asked if former Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson was an “Uncle Tom.”

    Stone referred to Martin and CNN political commentator Ana Navarro (who is Latina) as “quota hires.” He said of Navarro: “Black beans and rice didn’t miss her,” described her as a “diva bitch” and called Martin a “token.”

    He also called New York Times columnist Gail Collins an "elitist c*nt" and tweeted "DIE BITCH" at former Times executive editor Jill Abramson. Stone formed the anti-Clinton group “C.U.N.T.” in 2008.

    After Stone’s comments came to light, CNN said he “will no longer appear” on the network. MSNBC told The Washington Post, “Roger Stone will not be a guest on MSNBC because of his now very well-known offensive comments.” Stone has also not recently appeared on Fox News, and Stone said, “I’m banned at Fox because I kick their ass.”

    Stone has been a frequent guest and is now a contributor to conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ radio/internet show, and reportedly facilitated a line of communication between Jones and Trump. Stone has written several conspiracy theory books, and has made several false claims: the Clintons are “plausibly responsible” for the deaths of about 40 people, the Bush family “tried to kill” Ronald Reagan, and that Lyndon Johnson was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

    But as recently as December 9, The New York Times, in an article by Maggie Haberman, quoted Stone and did not tell readers his toxic background (she simply referred to him as “a long-serving informal adviser to Mr. Trump”). On December 8, a Washington Post article by Jenna Johnson also quoted Stone, and hid his background from readers as well (only describing him as a “longtime friend” of Trump).

    It is possible that the desire to quote Stone comes from a dearth of media contacts between the Trump team and the press, but it does a disservice to readers to obscure his problematic background in this manner.

    Additionally, the following articles in both publications over the last six months quoted Stone, but did not tell readers about his racist comments or the repercussions from CNN or MSNBC:

    New York Times

    “Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia” by Eric Lichtblau and Steven Lee Myers

    • Described Stone as “Republican strategist and Trump confidant.”

    “In Donald Trump, Conspiracy Fans Find a Campaign to Believe In” by Campbell Robertson

    • Called Stone “veteran political operative and longtime confidant of Donald J. Trump.”

    “Will Donald Trump Play Infidelity Card at Debate? Clinton Camp Girds” by Maggie Haberman and Amy Chozick

    • Referred to Stone as “the longest-serving Trump adviser.”

    “Donald Trump’s Campaign Hires Ex-Christie Aide to Bolster Political Operation” by Maggie Haberman and Kate Zernike

    • Called Stone “an informal adviser to Mr. Trump over many years.”

    “Donald Trump's Journey: From Crashing a Party to Controlling Its Future” by Adam Nagourney and Alexander Burns

    • Said Stone was “a longtime adviser to Mr. Trump.”

    “Donald Trump May Break the Mold, but He Fits a Pattern, Too” by Alexander Burns

    • Called him “a political strategist who has advised Mr. Trump since the 1980s.”

    “Would Donald Trump Quit if He Wins the Election? He Doesn’t Rule It Out” by Jason Horowitz

    • Described Stone as “Mr. Trump’s longtime political adviser.”

    “What Donald Trump Learned From Joseph McCarthy’s Right-Hand Man” by Jonathan Mahler and Matt Flegenheimer

    • Called Stone a “roguish former Nixon adviser and master of the political dark arts.”

    Washington Post

    “How Alex Jones, conspiracy theorist extraordinaire, got Donald Trump’s ear” by Manuel Roig-Franzia

    • Called Stone a “Nixon-era political trickster.”

    “Is Trump’s new chief strategist a racist? Critics say so.” by David Weigel

    • Referred to Stone as “sometime-Trump adviser.”

    “Democrats sue Trump, Republicans in four states and allege ‘campaign of vigilante voter intimidation’” by Mark Berman and William Wan

    • Described him as “Trump supporter.”

    “As race tightens, Clinton campaign is counting on minority support” by David Weigel

    • Called him a “Trump supporter.”

    “Election officials brace for fallout from Trump’s claims of a ‘rigged’ vote” by Sean Sullivan and Philip Rucker

    • Referred to Stone as “a longtime Trump associate.”

    “Trump claims election is ‘rigged’ and seems to suggest Clinton was on drugs at debate” by Jose A. DeReal and Sean Sullivan

    • Noted Stone was a “longtime ally” of Trump.

    “Trump backers realize they’ve been played as WikiLeaks fails to deliver October surprise” by Griff Witte

    • Called him a “longtime Trump associate.”

    “An image linking Trump to the alt-right is shared by the candidate’s son” by David Weigel

    • Called Stone an “on-again, off-again Trump adviser.”

    “Inside debate prep: Clinton’s careful case vs. Trump’s ‘WrestleMania’” by Philip Rucker, Robert Costa and Anne Gearan

    • Called Stone “a controversial bon vivant and self-proclaimed political dirty-trickster.”

    “Inside Donald Trump’s new strategy to counter the view of many that he is ‘racist’” by Philip Rucker, Robert Costa and Jenna Johnson

    • Referred to Stone as “a longtime Trump confidant.”

    “For Trump, a new ‘rigged’ system: The election itself” by David Weigel

    • Called Stone an “off-again, on-again adviser.”

    “Donald Trump’s long history of clashes with Native Americans” by Shawn Boburg

    • Described Stone as Trump’s “longtime lobbyist and adviser.”

    “Racial tensions and shootings sharpen contrasts between Clinton and Trump” by Jenna Johnson and Abby Phillip

    • Referred to Stone as “a former Nixon staffer and one of Trump’s longtime advisers who has no formal role with the campaign.”

    “This is Trumpism: A personality-fueled run that resonates in an anxious era” by Karen Tumulty and Robert Costa

    • Referenced Stone as someone “who last year parted ways with Trump’s campaign but remains close to the candidate.”

    It is unusual for a political figure to be barred from appearing on at least two cable news networks, particularly for racist and sexist commentary. If the Times and Post -- and others -- continue to quote Stone, they should inform their readers about the background of who they’re quoting, or decline to do so.

  • NYT's Nagourney mimics Politico; helps McCain allies re-write history

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    What's missing from Adam Nagourney's New York Times profile of John McCain? Any indication that this is a bunch of bull:

    Mr. McCain's friends said that in raising his profile, he was motivated not by concern at home, but by philosophical differences over the scope of Mr. Obama's health care proposals and spending measures.

    "Had they reached out to him in a more genuine way, and not tried to pursue a pretty leftist agenda, I think they might have had a potential ally in John on certain things," said Senator Jon Kyl, Mr. McCain's fellow Republican from Arizona.

    That would have been a perfect place for Nagourney to point out -- or at least quote a Democrat pointing out -- that Obama did reach out to Republicans, making massive concessions during the stimulus debate, in exchange for very little GOP support -- and none from John McCain.

    But Nagourney didn't do that; he didn't include so much as a word of rebuttal to the claims that John McCain was ready to work with President Obama, but Obama refused to reach out to Republicans.

    A few days ago, Politico did its own State-of-John-McCain article -- and it, too, uncritically quoted claims that McCain was outraged by a lack of bipartisanship by Obama:

    Mark Salter, McCain's former Senate chief of staff, ghostwriter and close confidant, said McCain may have responded differently if Obama had governed more from the center.

    "You can't expect him to do things that are antithetical to his beliefs," said Salter, who still talks to the senator multiple times each week.

    Discussing Obama's first big initiative, the stimulus, Salter said that his old boss could not get behind what was mostly an infrastructure spending bill.

    "If [Obama] had said we're going to do this half my way and half your way, guys like John McCain and others would have been all over it," he said.

    Politico didn't include any mention of the concessions Obama made to Republicans on the stimulus, either.

  • NYT accentuates the negative in health care polling article

    Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

    The New York Times' write-up of its new poll paints a dire picture for health care reform:

    Poll Shows Obama's Clout on Health Care Is Eroding

    By ADAM NAGOURNEY and MEGAN THEE-BRENAN

    President Obama's ability to shape the debate on health care appears to be eroding as opponents aggressively portray the effort as a government takeover that could limit Americans' ability to chose their doctors and course of treatment, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

    Americans are concerned that overhauling the health care system would reduce the quality of their care, increase their out-of-pocket health costs and tax bills and limit their options in choosing doctors, treatments and tests, the poll found. The percentage who describe health care costs as a serious threat to the American economy - a central argument made by Mr. Obama - has dropped over the past month.

    Uh-oh! Sounds bad, doesn't it? But look how easy it is to write that article differently, based on the same poll (PDF link):

    Poll Shows Strong Support for Reform; Obama More Trusted Than GOP

    By BIZARRO ADAM NAGOURNEY AND BIZARRO MEGAN THEE-BRENAN

    President Obama continues to enjoy significant advantage over his Republican counterparts when it comes to who the public trusts to reform health care, and the American people continue to overwhelmingly favor sweeping reform, even in the face of efforts by opponents to negatively define Mr. Obama's proposals, according to the latest New York Times/CBS poll.

    The poll found that fully 90 percent of Americans think it is necessary to make "fundamental changes" or "completely rebuild" the health care system. President Obama enjoys a 29-point advantage over congressional Republicans on the question of who has better ideas to reform the system. The percentage of people who think the health care system needs to be fixed now as part of fixing the overall economy has increased in recent weeks, and the percentage who think the US cannot afford to fix health care now has decreased.

    Seventy-six percent of Americans consider the rising cost of health care a threat to the nation's economy. Sixty-six percent support the "government offering everyone a government administered health insurance plan - something like the Medicare coverage that people 65 and older get - that would compete with private health insurance plans?" Sixty-five percent support tax increases on "Americans with high incomes" in order to pay for reform.

    Eighty percent of Americans are concerned that if the government does not create a system for providing health care for all Americans, the number of uninsured people will increase. Sixty-six percent are concerned that absent such reform, they personally might be without coverage at some point. Seventy-five percent worry that absent such reform, the cost of their own health care will go up.

    Keep that in mind when you see cable news freak out over the Times article tomorrow: The very same poll contains a ton of data that should be encouraging for those who favor significant reform.

    UPDATE: Also worth noting: Much of the public skepticism the real New York Times article detailed is based on misconceptions -- like the concern that reform would "limit ... options in choosing doctors." Well, it wouldn't. So who cares if people think it might? If such reform is enacted, they'll pretty quickly see that they can still go to their doctor, and that concern will dissipate.

  • NY Times' Nagourney distorted Obama's "proud citizen of the United States and a fellow citizen of the world" quote

    ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    In a "Political Memo," Adam Nagourney distorted a quote from Sen. Barack Obama's Berlin speech in which Obama referred to himself as "a citizen -- a proud citizen of the United States, and a fellow citizen of the world." Nagourney cited only the second part of the quote, telling readers to "expect" that in future ads Sen. John McCain will highlight "Mr. Obama's presenting himself as a 'fellow citizen of the world.' "

  • NY Times' Nagourney ignored Obama's proposed tax cuts in report that McCain will attack Obama for proposing tax increases

    ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    The New York Times' Adam Nagourney reported that Sen. John McCain will attack Sen. Barack Obama for supporting "tax increases," but Nagourney didn't note that Obama has proposed tax cuts for "working-class voters" and others. Nagourney joins other media outlets that have uncritically reported or failed to challenge assertions by the McCain campaign that Obama plans to raise taxes on all or most Americans.

  • NY Times, WSJ reported McCain "has been a champion of public financing," but not that he may be breaking the law

    ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    In online articles discussing Sen. Barack Obama's decision to opt out of public financing for the general election, both The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times reported that Sen. John McCain "has been a champion of public financing." But neither article noted that McCain claims to have opted out of public financing -- and has exceeded spending limits under the public financing system -- during the primary season or that the FEC chairman has taken the position that McCain cannot legally opt out without FEC approval.

  • NY Times baselessly suggested Obama campaign highlighted McCain's age without noting context of remarks or campaign's denials

    ››› ››› LAUREN AUERBACH

    The New York Times' Adam Nagourney suggested Sen. Barack Obama had highlighted Sen. John McCain's age when he said that McCain was "losing his bearings," but Nagourney failed to note that Obama made the comment in response to a smear by McCain and was accusing McCain of violating his pledge to avoid negative campaigning.

  • NY Times' Nagourney ignores McCain reversal on immigration

    ››› ››› RAPHAEL SCHWEBER-KOREN

    The New York Times' Adam Nagourney stated in a March 24 online piece that aides to Sen. John McCain "are beginning to see a general election upside ... to the problems that Mr. McCain's support of immigration legislation caused him in the primaries." However, Nagourney did not mention that McCain reacted to those perceived "problems" by abandoning his own comprehensive immigration reform plan.

  • NY Times' Nagourney uncritically repeated Farrakhan, "most liberal" attacks on Obama

    ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    A New York Times article about possible attacks against Sen. Barack Obama in the general election reported that Sen. John McCain's aides said "their first line of attack would be to portray [Obama] as a liberal, and they have already begun pointing to a rating in The National Journal, based on his votes, of Mr. Obama as the most liberal member of the Senate." But among the "liberal" positions Obama took to earn the distinction of "most liberal senator in 2007" were his votes to implement the bipartisan 9-11 Commission's homeland security recommendations, provide more children with health insurance, expand federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, and maintain a federal minimum wage.

  • NY Times' Nagourney says Romney vulnerable to charges of inconsistency ... but McCain isn't?

    ››› ››› RAPHAEL SCHWEBER-KOREN

    In a January 30 New York Times news analysis of Sen. John McCain's victory over Mitt Romney in the Florida primary, Adam Nagourney wrote that while McCain "presents himself as a man of principle ... who is willing to suffer the political consequences for breaking with party orthodoxy," Romney "is in line with all the proper positions for a Republican conservative, but he underwent a series of transformations to get there, leaving him vulnerable to the charges of inconsistency Mr. McCain has hurled." Yet on immigration and abortion, McCain too has displayed "evolution" and "inconsistency," a fact nowhere to be found in the Times report.