On March 24, former Congressman Bob Livingston was sent an e-mail by a New York Times editorial page staffer suggesting he write an op-ed essay. Would Livingston, who in 1998 gave up certain elevation to be House speaker because of a sexual affair, write about how Majority Leader Tom DeLay should now act under fire? In a subsequent conversation, it was made clear the Times wanted the prominent Republican to say DeLay should step aside for the good of the party.Makes it appear? Even I--who happen to believe that the MSM has a liberal bias--am completely astounded that a major newspaper would do this. Can you possible imagine the incoherent rage of the Democrats if something like this were tried on them? But, of course, that is the point. It wouldn't.
Livingston in effect declined by responding that if he wrote anything for the Times, it would be pro-DeLay. But this remarkable case of that august newspaper fishing for an op-ed piece makes it appear part of a calculated campaign to bring down the single most powerful Republican in Congress. The Democratic establishment and left-wing activists have targeted DeLay as the way to end a decade of Republican control of the House.
Eric Pfeiffer at the Beltway Buzz has this to say:
As I noted in my article today, the media has been on a big game hunt to find GOP cracks in DeLay support. Novak asserts, “the quest by The New York Times for a prominent Republican to suggest his resignation may cross a line.”
Media Research Center President Brent Bozell issued the following statement on Novak’s story:
“This case makes the political agenda of the New York Times perfectly clear. They want to destroy Tom DeLay, period. What liberals could not do at the ballot box, they are trying to do through the ‘news’ media. These actions prove how the media are actively demonizing DeLay. It has nothing to do with the search for truth. The New York Times has indicted and convicted DeLay already. Now they’re trying to execute him politically.”
I wonder what the Times' Public Editor has to say about this atrocity. No wonder Daniel Okrent is leaving this newspaper. Between this and their selling out the public by publishing the results of the Columbia University panel by cutting a "deal" so that only one side would be presented--he must be terribly ashamed to be associated with such sleazy journalism--I certainly would be (and yes, that is a projection on my part!).