- Since Obama took office, only 16 percent of health care stories mentioning the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) included any criticism of their accounting, despite criticism from many conservative and libertarian experts as well as the former head of CBO.
- Networks reporters and guests emphasized the CBO's integrity calling them "non-partisan," "independent" and the "referee" or "arbiter" of legislation costs. CBS's Nancy Cordes even declared them to be "trusted by both parties as the authority on budget matters."
The new majority in the House of Representatives has made it clear that voting on a full repeal of ObamaCare is its top priority, something a majority of Americans support. But their resolution, H.R. 2, has come under fire from the left and the liberal news media over the deficit.
Democrats, including Rep. Rob Andrews, D-N.J., claimed that House Republicans "are breaking their first promise in their first week" because the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said that repealing the health care bill would add $230 billion to the deficit over 10 years.
CBS's Katie Couric called it "new ammunition" for Democrats on Jan 6, 2011, and on the network news that proved to be the case.
That "ammunition" used to portray the GOP as fiscal hypocrites has also been criticized as "nonsense," not that you'd know it from the network news media.
A sharp drop in the unemployment rate from 9.8 percent to 9.4 percent "surprised" analysts on Jan. 7, but Mesirow Financial's chief economist Diane Swonk warned CNBC viewers that it was an "anomaly."
The drop in unemployment rate confused some because in the same report the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported only 103,000 overall nonfarm payroll gains in December 2010.
CNBC's "Squawk Box" panel reacted to the falling unemployment rate by calling it "sort of a fluke," an "anomaly" and predicting it would rise again. CNBC's Rick Santelli suggested the rate dropped "because people are disenchanted' and dropping out of the labor force."
The 112th Congress took office Jan. 5 and the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives planned to immediately tackle the unpopular health care legislation signed into law in 2010.
The Washington Post reported that House Republicans intend to vote on a repeal of ObamaCare Jan. 12, just one week into the new congressional session.
"ObamaCare is a job-killer for businesses small and large, and the top priority for House Republicans is going to be to cut spending and grow the economy and jobs," Brad Dayspring, spokesman for incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., was quoted by the Post.
That attempt to repeal has been mentioned in many network reports lately, but the public's dislike of the legislation has been missing from most ABC, CBS and NBC news stories between Dec. 5 and Jan. 4.
According to Rasmussen Reports, 60 percent of likely voters favor repeal of the health care law - for the second week in a row. Since the first week of December the percentage favoring repeal has not dropped below 55 percent, and has been between 50 and 63 percent since March of 2010. Those polls were not mentioned in any of the network stories referencing the "controversial" health care legislation.
Only four, out of 63 network stories mentioning ObamaCare legislation in the past month said anything about public opinion of the bill. Only two of those stories, both by ABC, cited any polling data on the issue. In both of those mentions, reporters for ABC admitted that the bill is at "its lowest level of popularity ever" and cited an ABC News/Washington Post poll that found 52 percent of people oppose the bill.
The footage was allowed in court after a New York federal judge ruled in May 2010 that Joe Berlinger, the filmmaker, had to turn over more than 500 hours of outtakes, according to the Times.
While this Times story was not as biased against Chevron as past articles about the $27 billion Ecuadorian lawsuit have been, but the paper was not upfront about its opposition to the use of the film footage.
Gas prices are "soaring" again, crossing the $3-a-gallon threshold on Dec. 23 for the first time since Oct. 17, 2008. Back then the benchmark was a relief as prices plunged from the highest price ever of $4.11.
Pump prices have been climbing all month, yet network reports downplayed the pain and suffering of consumers. Jim Axelrod of CBS called it "bad news" after reporting some positive economic news on Dec. 28, but concluded "The economy's not great, says economist Dan Greenhaus, but not terrible either."
Compare that to past media exaggeration of gas prices. NBC's Anne Thompson said that "no matter what kind of gas is sold, today it's now unbelievably expensive" on Aug. 31, 2005. That day the national average for gasoline was $2.62 - but the gas price signs shown in Thompson's report were much higher at $3.49.
The unemployment rate rose in November, from 9.6 percent up to 9.8 percent after only 39,000 jobs were added to the workforce. On MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Mark Haines of CNBC called the data "disappointing."
Haines went on to say, "An optimist or a sunny 'glass is half full' kind of person would say the unemployment rate may have ticked up because more people are now looking for work. That's the way that unemployment rate works … but I will grant you that that is a reach."
Other leaked emails showed potential manipulation of temperature data, a willingness to destroy information rather than release it under the British Freedom of Information (FOI) law and the intimidation of publications willing to publish skeptical articles. The files also indicated that the temperature data was in a “hopeless” state.
Even though many considered it a huge scandal, the three broadcast networks didn’t think so. They ignored the story for roughly two weeks, and have only mentioned it in a dozen stories in the past year.
Food-filled winter holidays will soon arrive. But the liberal news media have already spent recent days comparing soda to an illegal drug, promoting a toy ban in kid’s Happy Meals, and generally bashing fast food companies for giving customers exactly what they want.
CNBC’s Erin Burnett outdid food police groups on Nov. 8, when she compared soda to cocaine in a segment discussing a “fat tax.” After citing some claims about people being fatter and living shorter lives, Burnett asked a beverage company spokesperson: “Is your industry killing us?”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the unemployment numbers for October showing “fantastic” gains of 151,000 jobs, according to MSNBC, and an unchanged 9.6 unemployment rate.
CNN’s Christine Romans called it a “good report,” during “American Morning” and noted that it was the “first time in a very, very long time” enough jobs had been added in one month to keep up with new entrants to the workforce. Estimates of the number of jobs needed per month vary between 100,000 and 200,000.
Media Research Center’s President Brent Bozell appeared on “Fox & Friends” Oct. 29, to discuss the broadcast networks’ spin on unemployment.
“Well, it confirms what many conservatives have said for years. It absolutely confirms it, but when you look at the numbers it really does rattle you because it is so obvious when the same reporters are taking two completely different positions because of their political proclivities,” Bozell told Steve Doocy.
After showing this video of network coverage of unemployment leading up the mid-term elections under Bush in 2005-2006 and Obama in 2009-2010, Doocy said, “OK Brent, so there they are trying to put on the happy face. I’m still struck by the comment during the Bush administration where they were talking about ‘Oh, unemployment’s at 4.8 percent. The sky is falling’.”
The largest tax hikes in history are imminent and it is still unclear whether Congress and President Obama will come to an agreement before January 1. The networks should have seen those tax hikes coming a mile away, but the Business & Media Institute found the primary theme of their tax cut stories was Obama as the hero, cutting taxes for the middle-class, not as a tax increaser.
Like the fabled town of Hamelin that hired the Pied Piper to conquer its rat problem, America needed a hero to overcome a faltering economy. According to the news media, that hero was Sen. Barack Obama who made extravagant promises about tax cuts for 95 percent of “working families” and getting the economy back on track.
Liberals are so angry that conservatives are outspending them this election cycle, the president, MSNBC and left-wing bloggers have resorted to attacks on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Liberal website Think Progress, an arm of the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress, claimed that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was soliciting foreign money and using it for political attack ads here in the United States. It’s a serious charge since it is illegal to spend foreign money on domestic elections, yet the left-wing group offered no evidence to support the charge.
Lee Fang of Think Progress appeared on MSNBC’s “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” to present those allegations, but instead of supplying proof of wrongdoing Fang claimed the Chamber should prove their innocence. “They haven’t proved that there’s some firewall [for foreign funds]. They’re just saying, hey, trust us,” Fang said.
Olbermann ate up those claims, repeating them as fact and bashing the Chamber on multiple nights of his program. He even called the group “something like the Manchurian Chamber of Commerce” on Oct. 8.
The final government unemployment report before the midterm election was released Oct. 8 showing a loss of 95,000 jobs in September, and an additional 15,000 losses in July and August and an unemployment rate still at 9.6 percent.
But Gallup warned on Oct. 7 that the BLS report was "likely to understate" the job losses in September. By its calculations the unemployment rate is actually much higher at 10.1 percent.
"Gallup's modeling of the unemployment rate is consistent with Tuesday's ADP report of a decline of 39,000 private-sector jobs, and indicates that the government's national unemployment rate in September will be in the 9.6% to 9.8% range," Jacobe wrote.
Red is the new green, according to a horrific short film put together by global warming alarmists in Britain for 10:10 a "Global Day of Doing." Blood red that is.
The group 10:10 UK's "No Pressure" video advertisement that was intended to promote its cause begins with a teacher lecturing her students: "Just before you go there's a brilliant idea in the air that I'd like to run by you. Now it's called 10:10 - the idea is that everyone starts cutting their carbon emissions by 10 percent, thus keeping the planet safe for everyone, eventually."
Preaching global warming alarmism to children is nothing shocking, but the next part of the film was. The teacher singles out the two students who are skeptical about participating, presses a red button and BLAM! those children's bodies explode as blood and guts cover their classmates.
Skeptical soccer players, businesspeople and even actress Gillian Anderson all get blown up in the "disturbing" video for not complying with the wishes of the global warming crowd.
The violent depiction may be a new low for the environmental movement, but its violent rhetoric has been in use for years. Yet, the response from the liberal news media in the U.S. has been minimal, despite the willingness of the same outlets to portray - without a shred of evidence - conservatives as "incendiary" and violent.
After nearly two years in office, the "first rate" economic team that President Obama assembled to turn things around - Peter Orszag, Christina Romer, Larry Summers and Timothy Giethner - has itself nearly turned over.
His E-team of "brainy" economists, as ABC's Claire Shipman called one of them, went to work even before Obama took office, ultimately crafting a massive stimulus plan that they said would create millions of jobs. The media regarded them highly, giving them plenty of live interview time and constantly pushing their economic ideas.
ABC's Diane Sawyer called them "economic gladiators" in late 2008, as Obama was assembling his team. The networks also gave Obama's picks, especially Geithner's appointment, credit for a huge stock market rally.
"Stocks staged a monster rally last week after President-elect Obama unveiled his new economic team. But the euphoria evaporated today," CBS's Anthony Mason declared Dec. 1, 2008, on "Evening News."
"Greed, for lack of a better word, is good." That was the defining line of Oliver Stone's 1987 film "Wall Street," and his attack on the financial system that the news media would use for decades to portray businessmen as villains.
The theme Stone wants viewers to take away from his sequel, "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," was tucked away in the credits of his film on a greenback. "In Greed We Trust," the bill proclaimed where the words "In God We Trust" should have been.
"Money Never Sleeps," which opens in theaters Sept. 24, uses the financial crisis of 2008 as a backdrop for the comeback of Gordon Gekko, the iconic villain of the original. This time Gekko reinvents himself as a changed man, coming back bearish on housing and speculation.
In a business school lecture Gekko warns, "The mother of all evils is speculation -- leveraged debt." He claims the economy is merely moving money around in circles and the business model itself is like a "cancer."
MSNBC is very upset about one "highly-unregulated industry" and its "questionable and even abusive" working conditions.
What industry? Coal mining or perhaps sewage treatment? No. Keli Goff, an author and political analyst who has a "Daily Rant" on MSNBC's "Dylan Ratigan Show," was complaining about the working conditions of models.
That's right, models. The people paid to walk down runways in designer clothing and be photographed for magazines and advertisements that as Goff put it, essentially are "paid for being beautiful." Every industry has its own problems and accidents, but is the modeling industry really a "human rights" issue as MSNBC would have its viewers believe?
Goff detailed "disturbing" complaints from models and promoted regulation and unionization of the industry. She even called for a "home-grown supermodel" to become the "Norma Rae of the fashion industry." "Union! As Norma Rae said," Goff declared. Norma Rae was a movie starring Sallie Field about a minimum-wage cotton mill worker, based on the life of an actual textile worker who battled to unionize her mill.
After portraying Obama as a tax cutter when he took office, journalists have recently been talking about the Bush tax cuts, whose expiration will amount to a huge tax increase on Americans. But most stories have failed to explain that the pending expiration will raise taxes on many people, including investors, small business owners and families, during an economic slowdown.
While cable primetime shows criticized conservatives for wanting to "cut taxes" for the wealthy, a morning appearance by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was one of the few that put the debate in perspective of tax hikes. McConnell appeared on MSNBC's "Daily Rundown" Sept. 14 and said, "This [Bush tax cuts] has been tax policy for 10 years now. This is not about tax cuts, this is about raising taxes in the middle of a recession."
Recently, the economic news has been troubling. The latest jobs report showed another month with net losses, GDP was revised downward to a "tepid" 1.6 percent for the second quarter and others sectors like housing have still shown signs of weakness.
Obama's "recovery summer" came to a close with 14.9 million Americans unemployed and many worried about the overall economy. Some politicians are worried about being unemployed come November if the economy continues to crawl.
The administration wanted the summer of 2010 to support Obama's claims that recovery was underway thanks to the stimulus package and numerous bailouts. So Obama and other administration officials announced a tour of infrastructure groundbreakings around the country - projects paid for by the $787 billion "recovery act."
The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its "all-important" jobs report on Sept. 3, the morning before Labor Day weekend. CNN rapidly found the "bright spot" in a report that showed a net loss of 54,000 jobs and a higher 9.6 percent unemployment rate.
"American Morning" co-anchor Kiran Chetry announced the report by saying "It's good news, but it's not good news." Still, she maintained the mainstream media's spin by focusing on private-sector jobs gains of 67,000 even though that is cold comfort to the 14.9 million people who are unemployed.
A president with close ties to an oil company helping hide the magnitude and damage of an oil spill would be big news, if he were a conservative. But it seems even when the environmentalists and the left are upset over President Obama's handling of the Gulf oil spill, the national news media barely notice.
That night two of the three network evening shows reported the widely disputed claim without question. Only NBC "Nightly News" included any people skeptical of the White House claim. The networks have only aired a few reports about scientists disputing the claim, and have ignored liberal outrage.
"[T]onight on these beaches some good news and relief," Matt Gutman told "World News" viewers. "A new government report says that 75 percent of that oil has been cleaned up either by man or Mother Nature. And it now seems this war against this oil is coming to an end."
Gutman's report on the success of the oil cleanup included President Obama and Browner, but not a single person who disagreed with the White House claim. The Boston Globe reported Aug. 20, that Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution mapped a 22-mile-long underwater oil plume back in June. Other scientists at University of Georgia estimate that 70 to 79 percent of the oil from the leak remains, contrary to the White House assertion.
Last winter, as blizzard snowfalls piled up into several feet in the nation's capital, conservatives mocked global warming alarmists for trying to link weather incidents to global warming. But as summer heat waves, volcanoes and sinkholes have appeared recently, climate alarmists proved they missed the point.
But Associated Press, USA Today, The New York Times and The Washington Post have all promoted a connection between the extreme heat and weather around the world this summer and global warming. One CNN host asked if the events were the "apocalypse" or global warming. The Huffington Post proposed naming hurricanes and other disasters after climate change "deniers."
Aug. 14 was the 75th anniversary of Social Security, the largest government program and most troubled. Social Security is in the red this year - six years ahead of forecasts. The program faces a $41 billion shortfall this year alone.
The major anniversary of a program often nicknamed the "third-rail" of politics didn't even rate a mention on NBC "Nightly News." Instead, NBC celebrated an "iconic" children's cartoon: Dora the Explorer.
"If you've ever said the phrase: ‘Swiper, no swiping.' then you know the power of the little girl who made that phrase famous." Kate Snow enthusiastically teased. "Dora the Explorer will forever be a seven-year-old cartoon character, but this weekend marks the tenth anniversary of a ground-breaking show that has been almost inescapable for a generation of kids."
This is a historic year for the largest government program: Social Security, which turns 75 in just a few days. The program is also running a deficit for the first time since 1983, and ahead of estimates.
Initially, Social Security was created to provide supplemental income to elderly and disabled people who could not work, and was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt Aug. 14, 1935.
Social Security is in the red six years earlier than forecasted, and for the first time since 1983 (the last time the program was "fixed"). Downplaying the significance of the problem, The New York Times reported March 24, that the program is facing a "small" $29 billion shortfall this year because the high 9.5 percent unemployment rate is cutting into payroll tax collections that fund the program's benefits. Oh, and because there isn't actually a trust fund with all the money previously collected by people paying into the system.
Problems are mounting for the Social Security program which essentially is a government-created "Ponzi scheme." It was a boon for the earliest entrants to the program like Ida May Fuller. She was the recipient of the first monthly retirement check, in 1940, and continued to collect until her death in 1975. Fuller worked only three years under the system: paying in $24.75 in taxes. By the time of her death she had collected a total of $22,888.92 according to the Social Security Administration.
CNN "Newsroom" anchor Kyra Phillips reported the "breaking news" about July's unemployment data just after 9 a.m. Aug. 6. Misreported would be more accurate.
"We begin with the breaking news this morning on a broken economy. We have new evidence of just how feeble the recovery is and how many Americans have nothing to show for it," Phillips said. "The nation's unemployment rate has remained flat at a disheartening 9.5 percent. Just last month 60,000 jobs vanished, the news is bad, but not quite as bad as we expected."
Actually, the news was worse than Phillips reported. The U.S. lost more than twice that many jobs in July: 131,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also revised June data after finding an additional 96,000 lost jobs (June's total losses 221,000).
Many in the news media lauded this "relief" bill and vilified conservatives trying to block its passage. "This Week" panelist Cynthia Tucker said on July 4, it was "absolutely crazy" that the Senate hadn't passed the extension bill.
Senate Democrats defeated a GOP filibuster of a $34 billion bill to extend unemployment benefits to 2.5 million out-of-work Americans on July 20, after Obama blasted the Republicans for blocking the bill.
Obama tried to cast Republicans in a hypocritical and callous light with his Rose Garden speech June 19: "The same people who didn't have any problem spending hundreds of billions of dollars on tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans are now saying we shouldn't offer relief to middle-class Americans."
Of course, that was not only his spin on the issue, it became the media's too. At a time when many Americans are angry about the massive budget deficit, network journalists mostly ignored Democratic promises to pay for every bill and instead scolded Republicans for stalling the legislation and attacked the man who did it.
CNN's "American Morning" reacted with an appropriately downbeat report, but the onscreen chyron led with the better news -- showing the lower unemployment rate rather than the job losses. Christine Romans also pointed out that it was the "best unemployment rate since July 2009," though later in the segment she admitted the rate is still "horrible."
NBC's Ann Curry offered a very brief report on the jobs data on "Today," also highlighting the lowest unemployment rate "since last July."
The report also contradicted Vice President Joe Biden's predictions of 100,000 to 200,000 jobs gained each month for the rest of 2010. This month, Biden is off by about 275,000 jobs
Overall, the news media have been supportive of the Obama's spending requests, a trend some continued in reports about the summit.
An "American Morning" segment painted a flattering picture of Obama at the G-20 summit by ignoring the "rift" between Obama's push for more stimulus and Europe's desire to slash budgets. Christine Romans made it sound as if everyone came to an agreement.