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New York Times Profile Still Trying to Link Loughner to Right-Wing Extremism

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Rusty Weiss
Jan 17, 2011

The New York Times simply can’t help themselves.  They simply cannot leave their opinions out of supposedly objective pieces of journalism.  Which begs the question, if the bulk of the articles contain this type of reporting, why does the Times even bother having a separate opinion section?

In a profile piece on Tucson gunman Jared Loughner titled, Looking Behind the Mug-Shot Grin of an Accused Killer, the Times takes two separate occasions to toss in a casual link to ‘right-wing groups’ (h/t Byron York).

The first cheap shot shows up on the first page of a seven page profile:

He became an echo chamber for stray ideas, amplifying, for example, certain grandiose tenets of a number of extremist right-wing groups — including the need for a new money system and the government’s mind-manipulation of the masses through language.

The second instance addresses the currency issue and casts blame on the right as well :

A few days later, during a meeting with a school administrator, Mr. Loughner said that he had paid for his courses illegally because, “I did not pay with gold and silver” — a standard position among right-wing extremist groups.

Perhaps inadvertently, the profile points out that much of what they know about Loughner is open to interpretation.

Instead, the pattern of facts so far presents only a lack of one, a curlicue of contradictory moments open to broad interpretation.

Fortunately, it seems the Times is willing to provide those interpretations for their readers.

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As Mark Finkelstein wrote earlier today, “By now, even (the) most ardent liberals have had to admit that there was no nexus between conservatives and the manifestly psychotic AZ shooter.”

Apparently this makes the New York Times a step above ‘ardent liberal’.

Its one thing for an op-ed column to provide these links between Loughner and right-wing extremism, but for it to be featured in a profile is yet another demonstration of the journalistic malpractice that permeates the New York Times.

Interestingly, a same-day piece concerning Eric Fuller, the victim of the shooting who was recently arrested for making death threats to a Tea Party spokesman, receives no such treatment.  There is no mention of Fuller being an echo chamber for extreme left-wing groups.  There is no mention that Fuller’s attempts to link the shooting rampage to Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and Fox News, are ‘a standard position among left-wing extremist groups’.

This article was posted: Monday, January 17, 2011 at 5:53 am

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