Playing With Uranium -- July 17, 2003
Times Watch for
July 17, 2003
Thursdays story by Warren
Hoge and Don Van Natta Jr. on British Prime Minister Tony Blairs trip to
Washington describes the domestic political woes of the embattled PM -- but also
advances a fiction about the uranium claim President Bush made in his 2003 State
of the Union address.
In Blair Arrives in U.S.
Today, Trailing Controversy Over Iraq, Hoge and Van Natta Jr. charge: This
week, Mr. Blair has had to confront controversy over the validity of
intelligence on Iraq's bid to seek uranium for a possible nuclear weapons
program from Niger, a claim that Mr. Bush used in his State of the Union speech
but from which the administration has now distanced itself.
Clifford May (a former NYT foreign correspondent) and others have pointed
out, Bush never mentioned Niger. Heres what Bush actually said in his 2003
State of the Union: "The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein
recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."
May adds that even if it
was doubtful that Saddam actually acquired yellowcake from Niger, it does not
follow that he never sought it there or elsewhere in Africa, which is all the
president suggested based on what the British said -- and still say.
For the rest of the Hoge-Van Natta Jr. story on
Blairs US jaunt,
Cuts Cause Deficits, But Medicare Spending Doesnt?
David Rosenbaums Wednesday front-page story is
headlined: White House Sees A $455 Billion Gap In The 03 Budget -- Would Be
Biggest U.S. Deficit -- Democrats Point to Tax Cuts.
In fact, for Rosenbaum the
deficit debate is all about tax cuts. The story opens: The White House today
projected a $455 billion budget deficit in the current fiscal year, by far the
government's largest deficit ever and $150 billion higher than what the
administration predicted just five months ago. Democratic lawmakers said the new
calculations showed the folly of President Bush's tax cuts and demonstrated that
he was mismanaging the economy. But Joshua B. Bolten, Mr. Bush's new budget
director, said a deficit of this magnitude was manageable if we continue
pro-growth economic policies and exercise serious spending discipline.
Not until the 11th
paragraph does Rosenbaum indirectly address the spending side of the deficit
equation: The deficits in future years include the president's proposal to
spend $400 billion during the next decade to provide prescription drug benefits
Instead of Democrats
Point to Tax Cuts, the headline could just as well have read: Conservatives
Point to Medicare Drug Benefit Spending. Of course, then youd know you had
undergone a dimensional shift and
actually in Bizarro World.
For the rest of David Rosenbaums deficit story,
ENDS, BLACKS AND MEN HARDEST HIT"
Times Watch noted,
the Times greeted the 4th of July with this gloomy pile of headlines: US
Jobless Rate Increases To 6.4%, Highest in 9 Years -- 30,000 Jobs Lost In June
-- Figures Defy Some Predictions of an Economic Revival -- Blacks Fare Worst.
Then came another page A1
story from Louis Uchitelle last Saturday: Blacks Lose Better Jobs Faster as
Middle-Class Work Drops. Uchitelle writes: Unemployment among blacks is rising
at a faster pace than in any similar period since the mid-1970's, and the jobs
lost have been mostly in manufacturing, where the pay for blacks has
historically been higher than in many other fields.Nearly 90 percent of those
lost jobs were in manufacturing, according to government data, with blacks hit
disproportionately harder than whites.
The Sunday Times changes
tack, featuring a business story headlined Economic Slump Hits Men the Hardest
portraying New York men as the real victims. Steven Greenhouse writes:
[Job-seeker Michael] Deloach is the victim of a surprising twist in New York's
economic slump -- it has hit men much harder then women. The industries in the
city hit hardest by the downturn -- finance, software, airline and construction
-- employ men disproportionately, and as a result the jobless rate for men has
risen much faster than for women.
Perhaps next week the
Times will find women and Latinos are hardest hit by the weak economy, thus
getting every voting bloc mad at Bush.
For Louis Uchitelles story on blacks as the most
For Steven Greenhouses story on New York men as
the most hurt group,
Louis Uchitelle |