New York Times Attacks Washington Times on "Death Panels" Reporting, Obama

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 14, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New York Times Attacks Washington Times on "Death Panels" Reporting, Obama

by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 14
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — In a rare case of one media outlet attacking another, the pro-abortion New York Times is going after the Washington Times, one of the few newspapers with a pro-life editorial perspective.

The liberal New York paper is accusing the Times of misreporting the concerns about the "death panels" found in the House and Senate health care bills and claims the paper has an anti-Obama bias.

In a Friday news story, the "Gray Lady" devoted column space to rebutting the concerns pro-life advocates have about the advanced care planning found in the bills that could promote assisted suicide and rationing.

Tucked away in the news story is a slap at the Washington paper.

"The specter of government-sponsored, forced euthanasia was raised as early as Nov. 23, just weeks after the election and long before any legislation had been drafted, by an outlet decidedly opposed to Mr. Obama, The Washington Times," reporters Jim Rutenberg and Jackie Calmes wrote.

The concerns come "from many of the same pundits and conservative media outlets that were central in defeating President Bill Clinton’s health care proposals 16 years ago, including the editorial board of The Washington Times."

CBN News reported and blogger David Brody noticed the swipe at the Washington Times and was quite surprised to see it.

"That is quite a sweeping statement. It’s one thing to write that on the editorial page. It’s quite another to report it as ‘fact’ a news story," he said.

CBN News contacted The Washington Times for a response and received one from John Solomon, the executive editor.

"We don’t begrudge any news organization the right to report on issues important to its readership. But it is wrong, inaccurate, irresponsible and insulting for the New York Times to brand an entire newspaper as ‘decidedly opposed’ to President Obama because of the voice of its editorial pages," he said.

Solomon noticed the irony that the New York Times would attack his paper on health care rationing on the day the Washington Times carries an interview with one of the architects of the bill.

"This morning — the very day the New York Times besmirched our newsroom unfairly — we featured a front-page interview with White House health care adviser Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel in which he explained the evolution of his thinking on health care rationing," he said.

"Those are the hallmarks of a newsroom doing factual and fair reporting. I challenge the New York Times to prove otherwise," Solomon concluded.

Brody says the New York Times may have proven its own bias on the health care debate by going after its Washington competitor.

"It’s interesting that while The New York Times was trying to make a statement about the so called anti-Obama Washington Times, it turns out the Gray Lady may have actually exposed their bias in a very clear and direct way," he said.

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