The New York Times should change its motto from “All the News That’s Fit to Print” to “All the News We Here on 43rd Street Feel Like Printing.”
What the newspaper of record feels like printing today is that GOP presidential candidate Marco Rubio has received an inordinate number of traffic citations:
Senator Marco Rubio has been in a hurry to get to the top, rising from state legislator to United States senator in the span of a decade and now running for president at age 44.
But politics is not the only area where Mr. Rubio, a Republican from Florida, has an affinity for the fast track. He and his wife, Jeanette, have also shown a tendency to be in a rush on the road.
According to a search of the Miami-Dade and Duval County court dockets, the Rubios have been cited for numerous infractions over the years for incidents that included speeding, driving through red lights and careless driving. A review of records dating back to 1997 shows that the couple had a combined 17 citations: Mr. Rubio with four and his wife with 13. On four separate occasions they agreed to attend remedial driving school after a violation.
Wow, 17 traffic tickets is a lot for a couple! Imagine if the candidate had himself racked up 17 tickets. How would the Times have reported that? If the paper’s history is any indication, it wouldn’t have. Consider its reaction to a similar report that appeared in its onetime sister publication, the Boston Globe. The dateline is March 8, 2007, and the focus of the story was another young and rapidly rising presidential candidate with a lengthy history of traffic violations:
Two weeks before the US senator … launched his presidential campaign, he paid parking tickets he received while attending Harvard Law School, officials said yesterday.
[He] received 17 parking tickets in Cambridge between 1988 and 1991, according to the city’s Traffic, Parking & Transportation Department.
Of those tickets, he paid only two while he was a student and paid them late, said Susan Clippinger, the office’s director.
The name of that then-presidential hopeful is Barack Obama. The Times, for whatever reason, passed over the story.
Now some will argue that Obama’s citations were all parking tickets, while Rubio’s were moving violations, which is worse. At the same time, Rubio received only four citations to Obama’s 17, and that was over a period of 18 years compared with Obama’s three years.
Feel free to go ahead and call shenanigans on the Times. They deserve it.
(h/t Weasel Zippers)