NEW YORK (AP) — Consumers apparently shook off their worries about higher gas prices during May, shopping with enthusiasm at apparel stores and malls and giving many retailers better-than-expected results. A big exception was Wal-Mart Stores Inc., whose low-income consumers are feeling the biggest financial squeeze from $3-a-gallon gas.
Yeah, only the poor shop at Wal-Mart. Everyone else shops somewhere else. You didn't know? (/sarcasm)
Economist Thomas Sowell says it's too soon to cheer on the destruction of the mainstream media, who still wield enormous clout.
Conservatives who point out the declining audience for the big television network newscasts, and declining public trust of the media in general, often underestimate how much clout the liberal media still have.
For example, while the economy has had near-record highs in growth rates and in the stock market, with near-record lows in unemployment and inflation, polls show that the public thinks the economy is in big trouble. A steady diet of gloom-and-doom spin in the liberal media has worked. The death of media influence has been greatly exaggerated.
More is involved than partisan attempts to undermine the Bush administration. For decades, the liberal media and the intelligentsia have had to struggle mightily against good economic news. Their whole vision of the world -- and of themselves -- is at stake.
Because it’s been so heavily subsidized, you forget that Air America Radio hosts do shameless commercial plugs like any other talk-radio star. I’ve heard Al Franken chat about his Craft-Matic adjustable mattress, for example. Today checking out the Stephanie Miller show on DC's Progressive Talk 1260, the hopeless Bush-hater turned into a commercial pitch-woman by hosting Roger Schlesinger of Manhattan West real estate, the “Mortgage Minute Guy,” as he discussed the hot new trend toward second homes, and how they can set you up smartly in the Las Vegas area or the Coachella Valley in California. Liberal Air America fans shouldn't be buying second homes, when there's so many charitable causes to support, like say, paying back Air America's robbing the kids of the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club?
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission refused to reconsider on Wednesday its decision to fine 20 CBS Corp. (CBSa.N: Quote, Profile, Research) television stations a total of $550,000 for airing pop singer Janet Jackson's breast flash in 2004.
The decision sets up a likely court battle over the FCC's attempt to crack down on indecent content broadcast on television and radio.
Jackson briefly exposed her breast during the Super Bowl football halftime show, sparking an outrage among some lawmakers and parents groups and provoking regulators to impose the fine on CBS for violating U.S. decency standards.
"The roadside blast in Baghdad on Monday that killed two CBS News crew members and seriously wounded a third has deepened concerns among television network executives about the risks their crews face trying to cover the Iraq war, some arguing that television reporters may be even more exposed than those in print journalism."
Near the end, Carter lets two news executives take some timely blasts at conservatives, and radio host Laura Ingraham in particular:
As Katie Couric departed the Today show after 15 years Wednesday with hours of "misty, watercolor memories" -- for you in the under-40 crowd, that's Streisand singing "The Way We Were," in, ouch, 1973 -- it’s quite obvious that CBS knew it was not only getting one of America’s most famous journalists, but also one of America’s most liberal ones. In the weeks since Couric announced her CBS move on April 5, she has seemed especially outspoken.
She told Ted Kennedy his goal of government-mandated health coverage was a “noble goal”; swooned over Helen Reddy’s feminist anthem “I Am Woman” and oozed over how it shaped her; insisted that teaching tolerance of homosexuality should be done at an early age; and promoted Al Gore’s direst ice-cap-melting predictions: “Even Manhattan would be in deep water, right?” To mark Couric’s NBC career, here’s a very brief listing of some of Katie’s dramatic liberal bias, going all the way back to 1991. (See more from our main page here.)
On the "Couric Watch" over at TVNewser, Brian Stelter noticed the early reviews for the looong Katie Couric goodbye on Wednesday were negative. Take B&C Beat at Broadcasting and Cable magazine:
But today’s Today orgy of tribute was ridiculously over the top, so long by so far that even Couric seemed to know it. Shortly after 8 a.m., when Matt Lauer promised even more tributes to come, Couric chimed in, “Sorreee!" Almost exactly an hour later, as the tributes kept coming, Couric acknowledged, “It’s a lot of Katie.”
The higher CO2 levels that inherently come with global warming are actually a good thing if you're starving in a third world country. Plants breathe CO2, and higher levels means faster plant growth and higher crop yields.
But that isn't the story you want to paint if you're a big media operation like USA Today. Instead, you want to frame it like this:
Study: Global warming boosts poison ivy WASHINGTON (AP) — Another reason to worry about global warming: more and itchier poison ivy. The noxious vine grows faster and bigger as carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere rise, researchers report Monday... Compared to poison ivy grown in usual atmospheric conditions, those exposed to the extra-high carbon dioxide grew about three times larger — and produced more allergenic form of urushiol, scientists from Duke and Harvard University reported. "...the shift toward a more allergenic form of urushiol have important implications for the future health of both humans and forests," the study concludes.
There you have it. That means I can expect to get stricken with poison ivy three times more than I have in the past, which is currently a consistent zero times. This coupled with inch higher water must be part of the end of civilization that Al Gore anticipates. Remember, folks, all of this global warming nonsense you're reading about is just part of the 2008 Democratic platform as delivered by big media.
On Wednesday’s CBS Evening News, Anthony Mason trumpeted how North Carolina Treasurer Richard Moore, who got four soundbites, withheld that state’s pension fund votes from the ExxonMobil directors who he thinks gave too great a compensation package to the retired CEO, but Mason failed to identify his Democratic affiliation (not even on-screen) or let viewers in how CBS was delivering publicity benefitting a likely 2008 Democratic candidate for Governor of the Tar Heel state. The North Carolina Democratic Party was so excited by Moore’s move that they sent out a press release: “NC State Treasurer Richard Moore Takes on Oil Company.”
"Outside its annual shareholders meeting, ExxonMobil was under fire today from protesters frustrated with soaring gas prices and the company's former CEO," Mason touted before a woman protester outside the Dallas meeting charged: "He's one of the worst examples of corporate greed." After reciting ex-CEO Lee Raymond’s large compensation package, Mason noted that “ExxonMobil is the most profitable company in the country,” but “it's even starting to feel the heat here on Wall Street." For his evidence from “Wall Street,” Mason turned to Democrat Moore of Raleigh who declared: "I think the sentiment of disgust and outrage is very wide." Mason explained Moore’s power: “Richard Moore is North Carolina's state treasurer. The state's pension fund owns 11 million shares of ExxonMobil, worth more than $660 million. Today Moore, on behalf of the state, withheld all those share votes from the Exxon directors who backed Raymond's pay." Moore called the compensation package “un-American.” (Transcript follows)
Forget the forthcoming report. Forget any trials. It appears that the Los Angeles Times has already reached its verdict on Haditha. The title of an editorial today (Wed. May 31, 2006) in the "print edition" at latimes.com is entitled, "What happened at the Iraqi My Lai?"
However, the exact same editorial appears under a different title in the actual print copy of the paper. Paper readers saw a more tame headline: "Duty, honor, investigation." (Yawn.)
For Hillary Clinton and her terminally unfaithful husband, last week must have seemed like a Wes Craven version of an old musical comedy reworked and entitled “A Ghastly Thing Happened on the Way Back to the White House.”
With Hillary leading in most polls as the prohibitive favorite to be the Democratic presidential nominee in 2008, many party loyalists and typically favorable media members appear to be jumping off her bandwagon. At the same time, these very folks are falling over themselves to assist in the makeover and revitalization of former vice president Al Gore.
Coincidence? Unlikely. In fact, this is starting to resemble what these same folks did to Howard Dean during his 2004 presidential run.
For those that have forgotten, Dean was riding high in the polls in the winter of 2004. However, few top-ranking Democrats believed that he could beat President Bush in November. As a result, Time and Newsweek both ran cover stories on January 12, 2004 questioning his “electability” beyond the primaries. As Eric Boehlert wrote in Salon on January 13:
Goldhagen wrote in the Times in reference to Pope Benedict's recent appearance at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp. The smears and invectives from Goldhagen are numerous. He baselessly asserts an "unavoidable causal, historical and moral link connecting the church, the Nazis and Auschwitz" while staking his bogus claim of "a connection between the Catholic Church, Christianity and the Holocaust." Goldhagen then accuses Pope Benedict of "clouded historical understanding" and "whitewashing of the past."
The topic was the disconnect between Hillary Clinton's support for the Iraq war and the fact that her coterie is composed of hard-core, anti-war liberals. In discussing it with guest Dee Dee Myers on this evening's Hardball, Chris Matthews let slip that he equates liberalism with 'caring' for peace and human rights.
Here's how it went down. Discussing Hillary's inner circle, Matthews suddenly interjected:
"Here's something I find to be a mystery, and it just came to me, Dee Dee. You can answer it, you can solve it. When I think about the people who are really loyal to Senator Clinton, they're all pretty much liberals - and I mean liberals - I don't mean just on big spending programs at home, but they really care about peace, and they care about human rights, and they're very suspicious of foreign policy intrigue and overreach. And yet Hillary Clinton is for that. She was for the war with [sic] Iraq. She still is. How can she build a campaign for president on the backs of people who don't agree with her on the central issue of our time?"
Newsbusters readers who had the misfortune of watching CNN May 30 were not experiencing deja vu. Democratic Congressman John Murtha was interviewed on not one, not two, but three separate network programs throughout the day. Murtha’s day of CNN appearances began with an interview conducted by American Morning's Soledad O'Brien, followed by a late afternoon exchange with Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room. Anderson Cooper 360 viewers, not to be left out, were treated to a pre-taped interview between Cooper and Murtha during the 10pm hour.
While O’Brien and Blitzer were eager to hear Murtha equate the alleged shooting of Iraqi civilians by U.S. Marines in Haditha to the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, only Cooper questioned whether Murtha might be rushing to condemn the Marines before the official investigation is complete.
Cooper: "Congressman Murtha, you believe the military investigation will ultimately show that the, the troops in Haditha, quote, ‘overreacted because of the pressure on them and killed innocent civilians in cold blood.’ That’s a quote from you. How are you so sure at this point? The investigation isn’t even complete."
Former Vice President Al Gore was on "The Early Show" this morning to discuss his documentary about global warming, "An Inconvenient Truth," and his political future with co-host Harry Smith. The former Vice President, or as Harry Smith referred to him, this "road warrior for the environment," claimed there was no reason to debate the existence of global warming, "And, I’ve been trying to tell this story for 30 years, Harry, and the debate among the scientists is over. There’s no more debate, we face a planetary emergency." Harry Smith acknowledged that global warming is not a universally accepted fact, but also charged that it’s the conservative media who don’t accept the premise, "But if I look at more elements, more conservative elements of the media, I would say there is a debate going on..." Mr. Gore responded by comparing conservatives who question the science supporting global warming to those who question the moon landing or the shape of the Earth. Harry Smith did not question this conclusion, instead he just interjected "right." In fact, this sounded less like an interview, and more like a discussion on the Senate floor between 2 liberal Democrats who agree with each other.
CBS's Early Show wasn't the only morning show yesterday doing unpaid commercials for "social justice" products. MRC's Geoff Dickens noticed that on her penultimate Today performance Katie Couric was talking up Global Goods Partners products. Katie once again insisted we know exactly what she thinks about America:
Couric: "I think it's really wonderful how you, just purchasing these products. I mean not only do you get a beautiful object, but you really do feel good about consuming. You know because so often it's just sort of blind consumption, especially in this country, I think. And so to be able to have the full circle happen is really I think a very gratifying thing."
Robert Samuelson has an interesting column today (hat tip Captain's Quarters) on how the media have completely failed to report a significant fact about the Senate's recently passed immigration bill, that it likely will double the number the number of legal immigrants coming into the United States each year. Nowhere was this fact prominently reported.
The Senate passed legislation last week that Sen. Edward Kennedy
(D-Mass.) hailed as "the most far-reaching immigration reform in our
history." You might think that the first question anyone would ask is
how much it would actually increase or decrease legal immigration. But
no. After the Senate approved the bill by 62 to 36, you could not find
the answer in the news columns of The Post, the New York Times or the
Wall Street Journal. Yet the estimates do exist and are fairly
startling. By rough projections, the Senate bill would double
the legal immigration that would occur during the next two decades from
about 20 million (under present law) to about 40 million.
CNN anchor Lou Dobbs has experienced huge growth with his focus on illegal immigration. Reports TVNewser:
Lou Dobbs "continues to exhibit explosive growth," according to CNN. In May 2006, Dobbs' 6pm program was up 85 percent in the demo and 94 percent among total viewers compared to May 2005.
This month, Dobbs averaged 207,000 demo viewers, compared to 112,000 a year ago. FNC's Special Report with Brit Hume averaged 229,000 demo viewers, down from 276,000 a year ago. In May 2005, there was a 146 percent gap between CNN and FNC at 6pm -- and now the gap stands at just 11 percent, CNN noted...
Off the wires from Marketwatch (registration may be required; bolds are mine):
May Chicago PMI rises to highest level since October
Business activity expanded in the Chicago region for the 37th consecutive month in May, the National Association of Purchasing Managers-Chicago said Wednesday. The Chicago purchasing managers' index rose to 61.5% from 57.2% in April, much stronger than the expected decline to 56.2%. It was the highest level since October. Anything over 50% indicates growth. The prices paid index fell to 76.9% from 77.2%. The new orders index rose to 69.6% from 60.8%.