If you try to sweep your problems under the rug, they'll go away, right? Michael Mann, a Penn State professor and a central figure in the Climategate scandal and best known for his "hockey stick graph" hopes so.
On Fox News Channel's April 28 broadcast of "Your World with Neil Cavuto," Elmer Beauregard of Minnesotans for Global Warming appeared to explain the reasoning behind a video that drew the ire Mann. The video mocked the Penn State professor's alleged attempt to cover up data from tree rings that would indicate there was no global warming.
"Well, I don't know if you remember, but last fall, Obama was pushing the no cap-and-trade to go through the Senate because he wanted to have something to bring to Copenhagen," Beauregard said. "And just then Climategate broke and the mainstream press really wasn't covering it, so the coalition got together and we tried to think of a way to kind of bring this into the forefront of the American public. And I said I could make a funny YouTube video. And so, I did it to the tune of ‘Draggin' the Line' by Tommy James and The Shondells and put it up on YouTube and it went viral. And then Rush [Limbaugh] played it on his show and it went supernova."
You have the makings of a New York Times hit piece on conservatism. In the April 27 issue of the Times, a story in its Style section of all places by Patricia Cohen, singled out and accused a number of conservatives of "closed-mindedness" or as the article claimed "epistemic closure."
"It is hard to believe that a phrase as dry as ‘epistemic closure' could get anyone excited, but the term has sparked a heated argument among conservatives in recent weeks about their movement's intellectual health," Cohen wrote. "The phrase is being used as shorthand by some prominent conservatives for a kind of closed-mindedness in the movement, a development they see as debasing modern conservatism's proud intellectual history."
As congressional Democrats press on with their attempts to get financial legislation reform passed, a key component has been lacking from the debate: how to handle the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae (NYSE:FNM) and Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE).
The possibility of a suit was the topic on Fox News April 27 "America Live," hosted by Megyn Kelly. Kelly asked ClimateDepot.com executive editor Marc Morano if Mann would be able to prove that this so-called YouTube spoof wasn't true and therefore win his lawsuit.
On her April 26 broadcast, HLN's Joy Behar suggested the new Arizona immigration law that would allow local law enforcement to arrest immigrants unable to produce documents showing they are allowed to be in the U.S. is comparable to "World War II Germany."
"Well, Arizona has a new immigration law and to call it controversial would be to underestimate it. It requires police to stop an individual if there is reasonable suspicion that he or she is in this country illegally," Behar said. "Critics say the law will make Arizona feel more like World War II Germany than a part of the United States."
Cramer told MSNBC's April 26 "Morning Joe" that Goldman really has no defense if, as the government alleges, Goldman misled investors when it established a mortgage-backed security in 2007 for a hedge fund client looking to bet against the housing market. And that's in addition to facing heat from shareholders for not revealing that it received a Wells Notice from the SEC.
Does anyone remember when the liberal intellectuals decried populism coming from the likes of Glenn Beck and other conservatives that was aimed at the direction the country is going under the leadership of President Barack Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress?
Apparently it is OK to cry foul on so-called populist rants when the mouthpieces tend to be right-of-center. But now, with Congress debating financial regulation, this sort of above-the-fray approach has gone by the wayside, at least for Slate.com. On Slate's Political Gabfest podcast for April 22, moderator John Dickerson asked his panel consisting of Slate editor David Plotz and Slate senior editor Emily Bazelon, if Wall Street banks had a responsibility to self-regulate and do what's right as opposed to solely relying on legislation to set the boundaries. That inspired an "impassioned" populist response from Plotz.
Whatever your view on homosexuality might be as it pertains to Christianity, there's probably one place one wouldn't go to seek clarity on the issue - a Jewish TV host that's in his seventh marriage.
However, CNN, the so-called most trusted name in news, had "Larry King Live" host Larry King tackle this issue on his April 23 program in a special broadcast entitled "Can You Be Christian and Gay?" King's special featured recently-out Christian singer Jennifer Knapp, embattled former evangelical preacher Ted Haggard and Horizon Christian Fellowship Senior Pastor Bob Botsford.
However, Palin reacted on the Feb. 16 broadcast of Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor" by asking why "Family Guy" would stoop to such a level.
"This world is full of cruel, cold-hearted people who would do such a thing," Palin said. "Look. I look at Trigg and he is going to face things as special needs children will be facing much more difficult than we ever will. So why make it tougher on the special needs community? When is enough enough? When are we going to be willing to say some things just aren't really funny?"
That was the takeaway from an April 22 CNBC "Squawk Box" segment in which the network's Washington correspondent John Harwood explained the upside for the Obama administration in taking an aggressive tack on financial regulation and pushing it through Congress.
According to Harwood, public opinion on this issue favors President Barack Obama. He explained that Wall Street is very unpopular and that's causing some Republicans to be willing to compromise with Democrats on the issue.
"He knows that things are rolling his way on this issue," Harwood said. "You had battle lines initially drawn - both parties took to the trenches, started firing heavy ammunition. But the throw weight is with the Democratic side on this. The public wants financial regulation reform. They don't like Wall Street, just as they don't like Washington. So this is a case where Barack Obama, instead of being the target of public anger, can direct some of it somewhere else. That is what causes Republicans at the end to say, ‘OK, it's time to negotiate, get serious about a deal.' And they're going to get some concessions in that bargaining in exchange for their votes. And they will then be able to stand up and say, ‘This bill was headed to be a bailout bill. We stopped the bailout and everybody can hold hands and say they did something good for the country.'"
So you do your part and pay your taxes to the federal government. However, you feel you pay too much and you don't like how that same government uses that money. Do you have the right to petition and protest that government?
If it's on federal land that your tax dollars paid for, then your protest is hypocritical nonsense, according to MSNBC host Rachel Maddow. To her, the tea partiers, who protested on the government land of the National Mall, are hypocrites. Worse, they're getting unwarranted media coverage.
"In the case of the tea partiers, though, mainstream media coverage has been willing to almost assume that they're making sense, even in the face of evidence to the contrary," Maddow said on her April 21 program. "Because the idea of being in favor of smaller government, the idea that government is inherently wasteful and incompetent and should be shrunk, because that idea has shifted from a conservative movement talking point 30 years ago to centrist Beltway common wisdom today, sometimes we don't recognize the hypocrisy when it's right in our face. The conservative movement won the framing fight. It doesn't sound crazy anymore to rail against the federal government while standing in a national park until you really think about it."
Remember that $787-billion stimulus passed last year, the one that was supposed to keep unemployment from hitting double digits by invigorating a new green economy? Well it hasn't exactly worked.
Conventional wisdom would suggest not trying it again. Based on the nearly 10 percent unemployment, it's obvious Keynesian economic policies, where the government is a major force in an economy, don't work. However, MSNBC's "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough made the case for an even bigger trip down that route.
"We talked about Sputnik at the event we did last year," Scarborough said on his April 21 program. "I wrote in my book last year that Sputnik was the moment that Eisenhower, a Republican, leaned forward and created a new generation of engineers, a new generation of scientists. That led to the Mercury program, the Apollo program, a man walking on the moon and the Internet. Can we make that type of, again, long-term investment?"
It's pretty obvious that oftentimes the media and the Democratic Party work in concert to marginalize opposition of a common goal. ABC's George Stephanopoulos working with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was just one example. The question is, how far will the media and Democrats take it?
According to Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., if the passage of ObamaCare is evidence, they're willing to take it to achieve Draconian financial regulation and ultimate censorship of the Internet. On his April 19 Fox News Channel program, host Sean Hannity asked Bachmann if there were a double standard, or a coordinated attack as the "echo chamber" of the Democratic Party, including the media, seem to "singing from the same hymnal." And according to Bachmann, the attacks on former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and conservative talkers Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh over the weekend for so-called sedition were the latest evidence.
"Well, they are," Bachmann said. "If you look at all of the news shows over this last weekend, they used practically the identical language. They are talking about a war of words. They specifically identified Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin and they were, as you said, they're singing off the same hymnal. But essentially it is whoever they see as an effective voice, that's who they go after and attack right now."
For weeks, MSNBC has advertised Rachel Maddow's two-hour special broadcast about the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah building. This special, aired on the 15-year anniversary of that bombing, was billed as a way for viewers to see what can happen if anti-government sentiment gets out of control.
"So tonight, exactly 15 years later, this special edition of ‘The Rachel Maddow Show' brings you the inside story of the Oklahoma City bombing," Maddow said on her April 19 broadcast. "MSNBC obtained 45 hours of audio tape interviews in which Timothy McVeigh describes the planning and the executions and the motivations behind his horrific attack. This is a detailed account as it has never before been heard, told to us by the terrorist himself."
However, there's an opportunity for viewers to reflect the status quo as they view this documentary, Maddow explained.
One of the things taught in journalism schools, at least when it comes crime reporting, is that when someone charged with a crime, you carefully craft your rhetoric because in the United States, you're presumed innocent until proven guilty.
But what if you're journalist and you're making accusations of crime where there's not even a charge? On NBC's April 18 "The Chris Matthews Show," Time magazine's Joe Klein accused former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Fox News host Glenn Beck of rubbing "right up close to being seditious," which according to the U.S. Code is rubbing right up close to being a crime. And even after the fact, Klein has stuck to his guns and didn't back down from that accusation.
"On the Chris Matthews Show Sunday, I said that some of the right-wing infotainment gasbags--people like Glenn Beck etc.--were nudging up close to the edge of sedition," Klein wrote in an April 19 post on Time.com's Swampland blog. "This has caused a bit of a self-righteous ruckus on the right. Let me be clear: dissent isn't sedition. Questioning an Administration's policies isn't sedition. But questioning an Administration's legitimacy in a manner intended to undermine or overthrow it certainly is."
Liberals are all too often eager to charge conservative personalities of using hyperbole to gain a political advantage, especially when it contradicts their world view - whether it's suggesting the Obama administration is taking the country down the path of socialism, fascism or any other -ism.
However, it could be argued there's a different set of standards for those same people when they want to make strong charges. On NBC's April 18 "The Chris Matthews Show," Time columnist Joe Klein all but accused former GOP vice-presidential nominee and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, along with Fox News host Glenn Beck of sedition.
"I did a little bit of research just before this show - it's on this little napkin here. I looked up the definition of sedition which is conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of the state. And a lot of these statements, especially the ones coming from people like Glenn Beck and to a certain extent Sarah Palin, rub right up close to being seditious."
"I think that we're going to have a problem if we want to start talking about founding fathers, the founding documents, what the origins of our country because the mainstream media is not going to like what you have to say, and so I volunteered myself," Breitbart said. "And on day one, I had to contend with the fact that you guys were called ‘teabaggers.' And I had to deal with the fact an unfortunately named sister, by the name of Contessa Brewer on MSNBC, before you even spoke, told you what your grievances were to the country and our dissent his patriotic presidency. This person took a photo and cut off the head of a black man, and asked is the tea party nation - are the people who are protesting Barack Obama racist? The person was black."
The media is still having trouble understanding the Tea Party movement and what it is protesting, even though its roots are clear.
On Feb. 19, 2009 during CNBC's "Squawk Box," Rick Santelli made his famous rant heard around the world, calling for a so-called tea party-style revolt. And that helped fuel the growth of a Tea Party movement that has resulted in more than 600 protests this April 15, 2010.
Santelli's call for protest wasn't about high taxes. Instead, it was a cry against the Obama administration's plan for a taxpayer-funded mortgage bailout. The very beginning of the tea parties was about bailouts and the growth of government.
But the Associated Press still seemed to miss the point about worries over an overspending government in an April 15 article by Calvin Woodward about the Tea Party rallies. In that report, Woodward defended Obama's tax policies.
"Lost in the rhetoric was that taxes have gone down under Obama," Woodward wrote. "Congress has cut individuals' federal taxes for this year by about $173 billion, leaving Americans with a lighter load despite nearly $29 billion in increases by states. Obama plans to increase taxes on the wealthy to help pay for his health care overhaul and other programs."
"The imagery is clear in the 60 Minutes segment that aired May 3, 2009," Hamilton wrote. "The problem is the facts aren't. There is no way to tell watching and listening to 60 Minutes production ‘Amazon Crude' where or whose responsibility most of the apparently polluted sites are. Although the segment mentions that Texaco left the area in 1992, scant attention is focused on state-owned Petroecuador, which has been the sole operator of former Texaco sites for the past twenty years."
The anchor of "NBC Nightly News" asked just that question, pointing out the cover of the April 19 issue of Newsweek magazine that pronounced "America's Back!" On his April 12 broadcast, Brian Williams asked CNBC's David Faber if it was a little premature to make that declaration.
"I'm looking at the copy of Newsweek magazine out today," Williams said. "It says America's back and we have this classic disconnect. We hear numbers out of Wall Street. We see covers of magazines like that. People watching at home, millions of people in the grips of unemployment and poor financial times wondering when they're going to start feeling some of this."
Is President Barack Obama really instituting "cradle-to-grave" social policies and transforming the United States into a nanny state? Well, it may not be "womb-to-tomb" yet, but he's certainly creating a welfare state for Americans beyond their mid-20s.
"I think it's more likely to be stuck," Harwood said. "Now, ultimately, the hope for Democrats, and for the president, is the actual experience with the legislation. Forget the sales job, but once elements of that kick in, especially the more popular ones, letting kids stay on their parents' insurance policies until they're 26, and preventing insurance companies from kicking people off when they hit a lifetime max - those kinds of things, they hope, will make, fuel acceptance of this legislation."
A little over a year ago, President Obama signed into law the $787-billion stimulus legislation that was supposed to prevent the unemployment rate from exceeding 8 percent. And although the unemployment has receded some from its high, it's still well North of 9 percent. So if that stimulus is given more time, will unemployment improve?
Last week's jobless claims numbers, showing a stagnant unemployment rate of 9.7 percent, didn't provide any reason for optimism. And on CNBC's April 12 "Squawk Box," host Joe Kernen asked CNBC CME Group floor reporter Rick Santelli if this economic indicator is going to be stubborn number, which would confirm a failure of Obamanomics.
"Rick, I wasn't here last week when that claims number came out. But if I could really just dig deep down into your view, do you think a year from now we're still going to be talking about a stubborn unemployment rate, Rick?" Kernen asked.
And now a liberal group called Campaign for America's Future (CAF) is attacking CNN for planning to air a documentary called "I.O.U.S.A.: Solutions," suggesting the network is "fanning the flames of deficit hysteria." The group's co-director Roger Hickey is demanding CNN impose a "Fairness Doctrine" on itself.
"This weekend, CNN is giving four hours of free airtime to the leading propagandist fanning the flames of deficit hysteria, Pete Peterson, along with his lackeys," Hickey wrote in an e-mail sent to supporters and also posted on the Huffington Post. "[A]nd if they do go ahead with this programming, tell them to provide balance to Pete Peterson's deficit hysteria. Give equal time to defenders of Social Security, Medicare and public investment."
Everyone is still looking for a scapegoat for the financial crisis that precipitated the current economic malaise. And one of the popular targets has been former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.
Greenspan recently testified on Capitol Hill and was pressed about how he may have contributed to the financial crisis. According to Suze Orman, host of CNBC's "The Suze Orman Show," some of the blame should go to Greenspan for a 2004 speech he made to the Credit Union National Association.
Greenspan had said some might have "saved tens of thousands of dollars had they held adjustable-rate mortgages rather than fixed-rate mortgages during the past decade," but he did preface it by saying that wouldn't have been the case if rates adjusted upwards as they did. But Orman, appearing on MSNBC's April 8 "Morning Joe" contended he shouldn't have commented on those mortgages at all.
Peace through strength - that was former President Ronald Reagan's method of achieving sound foreign policy as leader of the free world. Reagan was able to win the Cold War by showing the Soviet Union the United States could have both guns and butter.
However, President Barack Obama has recently declared he would take a different approach to foreign policy, particularly in the area of nuclear proliferation. The President announced earlier this week he has worked out a deal to significantly reduce nuclear weapon stockpiles in an agreement with Russia. This has drawn the ire of many conservatives, but that has MSNBC's Chris Matthews perplexed.
Matthews, the host of "Hardball," complained on his April 7 program about Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., being outspoken on Obama's decision to give into potential adversaries on the nuclear issue and claimed that contrary to what history would suggest about former President Ronald Reagan, Bachmann was going against the ideas of Reagan.
It's incredible to see how many ways the mainstream media are able to analyze and dissect the Tea Party movement phenomenon on a regular basis. But lately it has been en vogue to challenge this movement on merits of race - a popular ad hominem talking point for opponents of the movement.
"They've been called Oreos, traitors and Uncle Toms, and are used to having to defend their values," Bauman wrote. "Now black conservatives are really taking heat for their involvement in the mostly white tea party movement-and for having the audacity to oppose the policies of the nation's first black president."
It's a simple law of economics, right? If there's a demand for a certain service or good, that business has a strong shot at thriving. Since the now-defunct Air America shut down for the last time earlier this year, the casual observer must conclude that no one wanted to hear left-wing diatribes over the broadcast airwaves.
But why is this newsworthy, according to Rhodes? Limbaugh has huge audience where people are allegedly forced to listen to him because he is on "every station."
"So now they're saying oh, you know, we're going to accuse them of doing everything we did. And that's how people become these victims," Rhodes said. "You know, it's like - an idea that, you know, people listen to him. They listened to him because, Joy, they have no choice. He's on every radio station. He's on - they have no choice."
With summer driving season upon us, it's important to note that there's a traditional jump in gas prices. But will this seasonal adjustment benefit commodities, specifically oil and make the price of gasoline even higher? That could happen if those forms of energy lure investment from what seems to be an over-valued equities market, brought on by what some claim is cheap money.
On her April 5 program, "Closing Bell" host Maria Bartiromo asked CNBC's CME Group floor reporter Rick Santelli if a move higher in commodities was due to inflation. However, according to Santelli, it's not inflation but a move by investors out of a potentially over-valued equities market that will cause a rise in commodities.
"Well, you know, I don't like to link the two together," Santelli said. "I mean, many times you know, it is core [minus] food and energy. So I think throw all that away. I think the better question is, is that when people are afraid to put their money to work in treasuries, because rates may be going higher, maybe afraid that we are a little long in the tooth in the sugar-buzz rally of equities - boy, commodities is the place to be. Most of the good dollar trades probably already out there."
Democratic congressional efforts to steer the economy not working as advertised. The $787-billion stimulus passed back in early 2009 failed to curb unemployment as promised, and there are other risks of putting a blind trust in government to solve the nation's economic woes.
And to give credit where credit is due, CNN's Christine Romans is pointing these risks out. On the April 5 broadcast of "CNN Newsroom" hosted by Ali Velshi, Romans was asked about the politics of extending unemployment benefits, which were held up through the Easter recess by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. According to Romans, there is a tug-of-war going on in the Senate.
"The Senate Democrats say they are going to plug ahead and plow forward," Romans said. "The issue here is the same issue as last month basically. You have some Republicans - one in particular, Sen. Tom Coburn from Oklahoma - saying, ‘Look, we've got to be able to pay for this. Let's pay for it. Let's do it. It's the right thing to do to help people. Let's find a way to pay for it.' And you have Democrats who are saying, ‘No, this is emergency spending. This is an emergency. The jobless situation is an emergency. Let's just do it right now quickly without finding another way to pay for it.'"