NYT battles Bush on all fronts


Times Watch catches the New York Times politicizing sports writing, in order to score Katrina points against Bush:

Want to take your mind off the tragedy in New Orleans with some tennis coverage? Too bad. Page One of Tuesday's sports section featured a column from liberal sportswriter William Rhoden, "Sports of the Times" who wants tennis star James Blake to become the next Arthur Ashe and a liberal activist, and chides him for failing to go after Bush on the federal response to Hurricane Katrina.

Beginning of Rhoden excerpt:

     "Eight years and several steep challenges later, Blake has developed an Ashe—like demeanor that combines grace and restraint with moral indignation. Can he be the voice of protest and resistance? Last Saturday, Blake had just defeated second—seeded Rafael Nadal when a reporter asked about Hurricane Katrina and the Bush administration's reaction to the disaster. He acknowledged that players were not supposed to talk politics —— 'especially to the press.'

     "'I feel this is a crisis that deserves a lot of attention, and if possible, more attention,' he said. "I don't want to contradict our president too much but....'

     "Blake stopped and thought better of going down that path. 'Actually, I'll leave it at that,' he said. 'Don't want to contradict our president because, you know, we have to follow him and follow his lead.' Ashe, with grace and charm, probably would have spoken his mind and let the chips fall where they may. Give Blake time —— and a few major victories."

Arthur Ashe and his family were my neighbors for quite a few years in a NYC apartment building. Lovely and gracious people they were, and Ashe would hardly have mouthed off the kind of race—baiting rabble—rousing hatemongering that the New York Times implies he would have done.

What a rotten attempt to sully the memory of a fine gentleman.

Dick Weltz   9 08 05